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Colorado School of Mines, Rensselaer Polytechnic, Worcester Polytechnic?? Please share recent experiences. Thank you!

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My son is at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute now.  If you have specific questions I can ask him, but he isn’t the most talkative kid so I am not getting much general information.

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18 minutes ago, JenneinCA said:

My son is at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute now.  If you have specific questions I can ask him, but he isn’t the most talkative kid so I am not getting much general information.

I don’t have recent RPI info, but I went to the women’s college down the hill ?

i love Troy- in a weird sort of way. My oldest kids were born there & we bought our first house there 

All my RPI grad friends did go on to become engineers & have good careers in their fields 

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21 minutes ago, JenneinCA said:

My son is at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute now.  If you have specific questions I can ask him, but he isn’t the most talkative kid so I am not getting much general information.

Where is he transferring in from?  Why did he feel RPI would be a better fit?  How is he settling in?

We've never been there but it looks great on paper! I know it has a stellar reputation.  I just wondered if anyone could provide greater insight.

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4 minutes ago, Hilltopmom said:

I don’t have recent RPI info, but I went to the women’s college down the hill ?

i love Troy- in a weird sort of way. My oldest kids were born there & we bought our first house there 

All my RPI grad friends did go on to become engineers & have good careers in their fields 

Thanks so much!  That is good to know.  As my profile indicates, we're from South Texas so I don't have any knowledge of RPI except for the postcards and website.

I wonder how my DS would do in the bitter cold of the NE.

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8 minutes ago, SA Homeschooler said:

Where is he transferring in from?  Why did he feel RPI would be a better fit?  How is he settling in?

We've never been there but it looks great on paper! I know it has a stellar reputation.  I just wondered if anyone could provide greater insight.

He transferred from our local community college, Mission College.  It is one of the California community colleges.  It is not the most prestigious of them.  It just happens to be close to home.  He just turned eighteen so he started college young and needed to be close to home at the beginning.

He thought rpi would be a better fit because it actually had the classes he wanted to take.  He wanted more computer science and more math than he could get here.  He is setting in okay.  He has done a hack a thon, his team didn’t get first place but they won a lesser prize and he was happy with that.  He went to his first hockey game last weekend.  He thought it was fun.

Both my husband and I went to rpi.  We met there.  So we had a history there. The school has changed (gotten better) since Shirley Anne Jackson became president.  It was shortly after we graduated.  The ratio of men and women has gotten closer to even, at least in some majors.  Computer science is not very popular with women even now.

I hope that helps.  You can ask more questions if you like.

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I should add that downtown Troy is pretty sketchy at night although I still have friends who are raising families there. But we never had any problems as students.

Don’t go out alone, don’t pick fights with locals, use your head.

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Ds applied and was accepted to RPI and Mines. He went to Mines and it was the right school for him. He just graduated last May. It came down to money as he could get what he wanted at Mines with a 4 year AFROTC. Going to RPI would have meant losing one year. He liked that Mines felt like a small town even though it's on the edge of Denver. He did ROTC cross-town in Boulder. He's glad he was not so far away with dh's health. Of course, now he's in Biloxi! He transferred in enough credits that he only had to take 15 a semester, so was able to work. ROTC doesn't cover R&B--the stipend isn't that big. 

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1 hour ago, Margaret in CO said:

Ds applied and was accepted to RPI and Mines. He went to Mines and it was the right school for him. He just graduated last May. It came down to money as he could get what he wanted at Mines with a 4 year AFROTC. Going to RPI would have meant losing one year. He liked that Mines felt like a small town even though it's on the edge of Denver. He did ROTC cross-town in Boulder. He's glad he was not so far away with dh's health. Of course, now he's in Biloxi! He transferred in enough credits that he only had to take 15 a semester, so was able to work. ROTC doesn't cover R&B--the stipend isn't that big. 

Thank you, Margaret!! We visited Mines this past June...quite by accident.  We were in Denver for something else and I thought we should look at nearby schools so I booked a tour and BAM!! Just like that he fell in love with it!!  That is at the top of his list but we don't want all eggs in one proverbial basket so without having visited he will be applying to the other two schools as well. [And a couple safety schools and a couple of reaches] . We shall see.

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4 our of 5 of mine were accepted to Mines (the other one is a musician), but one chose Navy, one chose WY, and one chose Norwich for various reasons. Mines doesn't have NROTC and when that one got USNA, Mines wasn't really on her radar any more. The Army girl liked a bigger uni so went WY, and the Norwich girl wanted a military school. If you do a tour, request info, etc. Mines will waive their application fee. Navy girl commented to me when I got home one evening, "Mom, I got into Mines. I don't think it's the right place for me." "Why did you apply then?" "They called, and I didn't have to write another essay. I'm accepted and they gave me lots of money. I still think I want an Academy." Well then. 

Ds liked the nerdy aspect of Mines. He met his fiance there--also a nerd. It's not full of kids who were the popular kids in school, but the intellectual ones, the ones whose idea of a good time is solving a coding challenge. One reason he was interested--you can look online and see how close the washers and dryers are to being finished in the dorms! That appealed to him--isn't that funny!

We do have a friend who was rejected by Mines--they knew it was a safety, so rather than him rejecting them, they rejected him. He's on full-ride at Rice now. 

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Ds graduated last May from Mines and is staying for an extra year to get a 1 year master's degree and play basketball.  I think we've PM'ed a bit.  Mines has been a terrific fit for my STEM leaning basketball player.

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My son is in his second year of the PhD program at Worcester. He loves the school, the town, the area. He claims he’ll never leave that part of MA. He was a math/biophysics undergrad major elsewhere, and now is Data Science. 

The campus is small but beautiful. He said he would have loved to have been an undergrad there. Their robotics department has brand new buildings nearby. I don’t think it’s much of a party school. There are a few other universities nearby, but since it’s in the middle of a large city it’s not so apparent. It’s an extremely diverse area, tho that’s a plus to him. He lives a quarter mile from campus, so it can be a bit sketchy or pretty snazzy, depending on the street, you know?

It’s been years since I lived in a city, so the traffic bothered me. But there are so many things to see within an hour or two. There’s also a train station a few blocks away, so trips to Boston are cheap.

Last of all, the school is super dedicated to getting their students employed. I think only a small percentage actually go on to grad school because the tech places go there looking for them.

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13 hours ago, Sue in St Pete said:

Ds graduated last May from Mines and is staying for an extra year to get a 1 year master's degree and play basketball.  I think we've PM'ed a bit.  Mines has been a terrific fit for my STEM leaning basketball player.

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Yes Sue!! Thank you so much for all of your help!!

I'm happy to say that, Mines was the very first app that he submitted.  Since it is the only one of these schools that he has actually visited, it is the one he feels most connected to.  We'll visit the others if he gets in.  No point in spending $ if he doesn't already have a spot.

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Both of my boys applied to these 3 schools last year (and 4 or 5 more). All I can say is that of these 3, RPI came out to be the least expensive for both dss. (We are OOS for Mines) Of course everyone's situation will be different. Good luck! 

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2 hours ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

My son is in his second year of the PhD program at Worcester. He loves the school, the town, the area. He claims he’ll never leave that part of MA. He was a math/biophysics undergrad major elsewhere, and now is Data Science. 

The campus is small but beautiful. He said he would have loved to have been an undergrad there. Their robotics department has brand new buildings nearby. I don’t think it’s much of a party school. There are a few other universities nearby, but since it’s in the middle of a large city it’s not so apparent. It’s an extremely diverse area, tho that’s a plus to him. He lives a quarter mile from campus, so it can be a bit sketchy or pretty snazzy, depending on the street, you know?

It’s been years since I lived in a city, so the traffic bothered me. But there are so many things to see within an hour or two. There’s also a train station a few blocks away, so trips to Boston are cheap.

Last of all, the school is super dedicated to getting their students employed. I think only a small percentage actually go on to grad school because the tech places go there looking for them.

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Thank you for sharing!!  When we have spoken to the school representatives at college fairs they have emphasized the freedom and flexibility in their curriculum; it sounds ideally suited for homeschoolers.  My DS is used to having an input on what he learns.

I just don't know how my South Texas boy will fair in the NE.  It would def be a bit of a culture shock.

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1 minute ago, Jen500 said:

Both of my boys applied to these 3 schools last year (and 4 or 5 more). All I can say is that of these 3, RPI came out to be the least expensive for both dss. (We are OOS for Mines) Of course everyone's situation will be different. Good luck! 

We are out of state for Mines too!! That will definitely affect our choice.  Well, that and actually getting in...lol.

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8 hours ago, SA Homeschooler said:

Thank you for sharing!!  When we have spoken to the school representatives at college fairs they have emphasized the freedom and flexibility in their curriculum; it sounds ideally suited for homeschoolers.  My DS is used to having an input on what he learns.

I just don't know how my South Texas boy will fair in the NE.  It would def be a bit of a culture shock.

My son spent the first 16 years of his life in small town Texas. But yes, it’s a totally different world. Of course I’m biased, as I really dislike Texas. The weather does take time to adjust to. In our opinion, though, it’s a much better way if life all around.

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My son is a senior at WPI.  The project based curriculum has been an excellent fit for him.  His current plan is to stay for a master's degree.  One thing that's interesting about WPI is that the percentage of women in the freshman class in the years my son has been there has gone from 30% for the first two years to 40% last year to 50% this year.  At least that's what he tells me.

Edited by EKS
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My oldest was a chemical engineering undergrad at WPI - currently in a nuclear engineering master's program sponsored by his job.  He was homeschooled all the way through high school and found WPI to be a great fit for his learning style - hands-on, project-based - but also great for professional work after in the sense that engineers at his job tend to work on projects in small groups, which is what they've been trained to do at WPI.  He graduated in the height of the post-recession hiring slump but had a job offer before graduation, which I agree with Dotwithaperiod is something the school does well.  He liked Cornell and Bucknell, but instantly clicked at WPI, possibly a function of having grown up in a small New England town.  He avoided RPI because he didn't like Troy but ended up living and working in nearby Albany, ironically.

One unusual feature of WPI which my son loved but others may not is the academic calendar.  They do every class every day for 7 weeks then a week break and a new semester. If you get behind it's a problem, but if you stay up on the work it's more like the real world into which you'll be hired.  

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On 10/13/2018 at 11:45 AM, EKS said:

My son is a senior at WPI.  The project based curriculum has been an excellent fit for him.  His current plan is to stay for a master's degree.  One thing that's interesting about WPI is that the percentage of women in the freshman class in the years my son has been there has gone from 30% for the first two years to 40% last year to 50% this year.  At least that's what he tells me.

 

Since a female president took over, the number of female admits has gone up. We were just at an open house and they said the goal is to get it to 50%, so I don't think they're there yet. I forget if they said what percentage they were at...

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We've decided to sign up for Fall open house at WPI for Nov 12.  Additionally, my son will be having a Skype or phone interview just prior to our trip.  Any advice or helpful tips would be appreciated.  Thank you in advance!

 

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I can't remember if your ds is set on a particular major or not.  I always asked what assistance the student would get in figuring it out since my ds had no clue.  lol  We just knew he leaned STEM.

Can I just say that WPI is expensive?

College has been much less expensive for us than I feared thanks to academic and athletic scholarships.  I always wondered what it would have been like (financially) at WPI since they are D3 and have no athletic scholarships.  Ds/dh had an unofficial visit scheduled (D3 have no official visits) when ds was offered at Mines.  After some thought, ds accepted Mines and cancelled the WPI trip.  Our one visit to Boston (Brandeis for an academic basketball camp and Tufts for a college tour) didn't excite him.

Good luck!  I'm glad you are exploring the option.

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On 10/15/2018 at 6:27 AM, Harpymom said:

He avoided RPI because he didn't like Troy 

My sister lives in NYC area and knows lots of schools in the NE after having 3 kids choose schools in the region.  She has nothing good to say about Troy.

Edited by Sue in St Pete
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41 minutes ago, Sue in St Pete said:

I can't remember if your ds is set on a particular major or not.  I always asked what assistance the student would get in figuring it out since my ds had no clue.  lol  We just knew he leaned STEM.    My son will probably be an EE major with maybe a minor in CS.

Can I just say that WPI is expensive?  I bet it is!! But although my DS has been an avid tennis player, he isn't really intending to play in college.  It will be too hard to keep up.

College has been much less expensive for us than I feared thanks to academic and athletic scholarships.  I always wondered what it would have been like (financially) at WPI since they are D3 and have no athletic scholarships.  Ds/dh had an unofficial visit scheduled (D3 have no official visits) when ds was offered at Mines.  After some thought, ds accepted Mines and cancelled the WPI trip.  Our one visit to Boston (Brandeis for an academic basketball camp and Tufts for a college tour) didn't excite him.  I'm not sure how much DS will like Boston either or for that matter Troy...lol.  I do know that project based really speaks to him.

Good luck!  I'm glad you are exploring the option.

3
5

 

Edited by SA Homeschooler

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2 minutes ago, Sue in St Pete said:

Have you considered Olin?  Isn't that project based?  It's close to WPI as well...

Yes, we will be stopping by Olin on the way to WPI....but with such a low acceptance rate...those are slim odds.  But yes, their program sounds amazing too!!

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Not sure if you saw it on the Acceptance thread but...DS has gotten accepted at both Mines and WPI with merit at each. 

He has a couple more apps pending before he has to decide.

Thank you all for providing your insights.

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