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Thread: College "Engineering"

  1. #1
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    College "Engineering"

    Most of you know my youngest son attends Fork Union Military in Va. He grades are very high and excels in Math. Jake wants to become an Engineer and I've seen many of you are Engineers. Any know anything about Iowa St. Eng. Dept. ? I was able to get Jake and the Head of the Eng. Dept. talking through E-mail Family connection.
    Just thought I would ask. Jake informed me that they are talking now. I am praying for him to make good choices and I think that a college away from home would be better then home although Md has a great dept also.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
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  2. #2
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    Nov 2006
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    Cedar Rapids, IA
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    Dave, I can most likely get you in touch with several past graduates of the Engineering department at ISU...I work with several. Many of them work with our largest local employer as well...Rockwell Collins. Let me know and I can gather some references if you'd like.

  3. #3
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    Omaha, NE
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    I'm a graduated engineer from ISU (mechanical) and would be happy to discuss with you or your son. It's a very nice campus and student life there is excellent.

  4. #4
    As the father of 2 children who are now their last year of college I will add my free opinion here and it is worth exactly what you are paying for it. My daughters attend a state university about an hour from my home. They are far enough away that they have their freedom and independence yet close enough to home to drop in for the occasional weekend. They love being close. Infact as their last year of schooling came around they were spending more weekends comming home than up at school. It is nice to have the kids go off to learn but even nicer when they choose to come home.

    As far a quality of education is concerned some schools are better than others but some of the best engineers and business people I have met in life graduated from state universities. I am a firm believer that the student's drive and determination are more important than the schools facilities or faculty.

    Attending a state university from the state where you reside is also a lot less expensive. At some of our state schools the tuition and fees for an resident is $4,601 and $14,917 for out of state students. That is a big difference and I am not sure I could justify that one school is that much better just because it is out of state.

    Just something to think about, if your son is smart and dedicated then he will do well and if he lives a 60 miles from home or 600 miles from home he is still on his own and will learn all those important "on your own" lessons.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Scharbrough View Post
    As the father of 2 children who are now their last year of college I will add my free opinion here and it is worth exactly what you are paying for it. My daughters attend a state university about an hour from my home. They are far enough away that they have their freedom and independence yet close enough to home to drop in for the occasional weekend. They love being close. Infact as their last year of schooling came around they were spending more weekends comming home than up at school. It is nice to have the kids go off to learn but even nicer when they choose to come home.

    As far a quality of education is concerned some schools are better than others but some of the best engineers and business people I have met in life graduated from state universities. I am a firm believer that the student's drive and determination are more important than the schools facilities or faculty.

    Attending a state university from the state where you reside is also a lot less expensive. At some of our state schools the tuition and fees for an resident is $4,601 and $14,917 for out of state students. That is a big difference and I am not sure I could justify that one school is that much better just because it is out of state.

    Just something to think about, if your son is smart and dedicated then he will do well and if he lives a 60 miles from home or 600 miles from home he is still on his own and will learn all those important "on your own" lessons.

    Good luck.
    i would agree with most of what joe said but i need to enter in another part that unfortunatly is in our new society of business.. there are some that wont take a student from timbuckto even if he was the top student there,, but if he went to state no.1 and done what made the grade or more he was looked at.. i have seen it happen in my area and hear of it to often.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  6. #6
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    Dave,

    The University of Maryland College Park has an excellent School of Engineering: http://www.eng.umd.edu/ (full disclosure: we compete against them!

    You cannot beat the education he'll get there, and you'll pay "in state" tuition. Not only that, but it's the flagship university for the state system. Yes, admission is pretty competitive, but if he gets in, and works hard, he'll have a bright future.

    He should also have some safety schools to look at, Towson, UMBC, etc. Again, you'll be paying instate tuition. I'm certain that ISU is a fine school, and that gives an excellent education. That said, it's not even their flagship university, which means it's possible the labs likely won't be as well outfitted as those at the U of Iowa, there will likely be fewer opportunities for research, etc.

    Yes, it's possible to get an excellent education at something less than a top school. I myself started at San Diego State, which is on the third tier (First comes the flagship school, then the regional UC campuses, then the state schools). But it's not an easy row to hoe. The best illustration I ever saw had two young men, racing to the top of a building. Just like the start of the 100 yard dash. Starting line, starter pistol, everything. Ready, set, go! One runs through the door and starts going up the stairs. The other runs to the elevator and pushes the button... Yes, Jerry Rice started at Mississippi Valley State. But if you watched the pro bowl, and saw the introductions, you'll have noticed how many of the players went to Miami, or Penn State, or USC, etc. There are solid reasons for that.

    Two caveats: My son started at the University this last fall, as a media studies major. Within two months, he'd switched to another major. Not because he didn't like where he was, he just found the other more interesting. We have lots of students who start in engineering, or chemistry, or other things, and then switch as they explore their interests. That's what universities are for.

    Second, it's getting pretty late in the admissions season. If he wants to be able to have choices about where to go, he better be getting those applications in, like pronto. Seriously. Like, this week. He's burning daylight...

    Best of luck,

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 02-02-2010 at 04:08 PM.

  7. #7
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    What type of engineering is your son interested in? Some schools have great mechanical engineering departments (for example) but not so good electrical engineering departments.

    Getting a degree from a well respected school pays dividends throughout a person's career. For example, having an MBA from Harvard is worth a lot more than having an MBA from some unknown university, and will open doors that would otherwise be closed.

    Having an engineering degree from MIT is worth a whole lot more than an engineering degree from LSU (mine is from LSU). It's not just that you get a better education, but you go to school with (and befriend) people who will become leaders in the field. Having a friend who's the VP of engineering of some company helps you get a job there. And if that doesn't work out, that person will recommend you to his/her friend who's running the engineering dept at another company.

    The people who go to the best schools really do wind up as leaders in the future. Not all of them, and you often don't know who they are in school, but on a percentage basis, there's more leaders in engineering who went to MIT, or Stanford, or Princeton, or some other good school, then who went to DeVry or ITT Institute.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #8
    Not engineering but a related subject..

    My youngest son attended a local small state college. Initially he didn't have a clue what he wanted to do and thus his first year he was a business student. He came home with a 3.2 and 3.4 first year semester grades.

    The next year he switched to Natural Sciences. In the next 4 1/2 years he brought home 2 B's and graduated with a 3.87 IIRC.

    In the middle of that he was offered a scholarship to study microbiology at a larger university. He went for 2 weeks...called me up..moved back home and back to the smaller college. He enjoyed the smaller class size and greater interaction between the students and the instructors.

    After college he applied to 9 of the top rated dental schools in the country. He go accepted at 7 and made the ranked alternate list at the other 2.

    My point...I think it would have been good for him to live on campus....away from Mom and Dad....a good life's experience....but it didn't happen.

    For 5 years ...he had a bigger allowance than I did.

    Yet when he graduated I was only $700 in debt.

    And...he won a competitive scholarship to the University of Texas - San Antonio dental school...it paid 2/3 of his out of state tuition and fees.

    Small local colleges can offer a good, well respected education and can be a real financial savior!
    Ken
    ------



  9. #9
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    Feb 2007
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    If he can stand the snow, Michigan Tech enjoys a reputation as one of the finest. At one time it had the highest freshman dropout rate in the nation because it was so tough. The MTU grads I know are some of the smartest people I've worked with.

    It would help to know what field of engineering he is interested in.

    Heck he could even learn to speak Yooper when he's there.

  10. #10
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    I started out at a smaller, pretty much all-engineering university in out of state, because I got a scholarship that paid the out-of-state tuition. That only lasted one year and because of finances I sitched to a very large state university which I hated. After the first semester I made up my mind I wasn't staying there. Started looking around at smaller schools focusing on those in Michigan, but I ended up at a small private all-engineering college in Indiana. They offered enough scholarships and financial aid that it actually cost less than that state school. The economy wasn't that great (but not as bad as now) when I graduated and I had 2 job offers several months before graduation. I did owe a lot when I graduated, and that's pretty much the norm anymore. But my return on investment for those loans has been well worth it and they've been paid off for a long time.

    My experience with the small school was that professors weren't competing for research money and prestige. They were paid to teach. If they weren't in class during the day, their office doors were open. Most gave their home phone numbers on the class syllabus. The complete opposite was true with many professors at that state school. I had one that refused to talk to students outside the 2 office hours he was required to have.
    Last edited by Matt Meiser; 02-02-2010 at 05:46 PM.

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