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Is there any good way to pick what college you want to go to? Or know which one would look better on your resume when you're out looking for a job? Or is it all GPA? Or does neither really matter that much? I'm looking to get into Electrical Engineering in the NJ/PA area. Looking at Rutgers, NJIT and Lehigh right now. Anyone have any opinions or suggestions?
 

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Is there any good way to pick what college you want to go to? Or know which one would look better on your resume when you're out looking for a job? Or is it all GPA? Or does neither really matter that much? I'm looking to get into Electrical Engineering in the NJ/PA area. Looking at Rutgers, NJIT and Lehigh right now. Anyone have any opinions or suggestions?
Reputation and financial aid if that last one matters to you. The program build matters too. In my school, we start at the major from day one, no 2 year BS.
 

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Most important are 3 things.

1. Are the credits transferable to other major universities?
(who cares where you do your first few years, just finish off the degree at the most prestigous institution you can find in your major)

2. What is the male/female ratio?

3. How good/close is the local scene?

You find one that fits good in all 3, and you will love college.
 

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Most important are 3 things.

1. Are the credits transferable to other major universities?
(who cares where you do your first few years, just finish off the degree at the most prestigous institution you can find in your major)

2. What is the male/female ratio?

3. How good/close is the local scene?

You find one that fits good in all 3, and you will love college.
Lol, basically.

I can't remember the exact stat but some outrageous majority of freshmen change majors, and only about 10% of my friends are graduating from the same college they started at. A lot have even been to more then two even.

In some fields you can build a portfolio and show them what you're capable of in addition to interviewing well for a job.

I feel sorry for people in fields that rely on prestigious colleges and good GPA's, or nepotism and frat hood stuff to get jobs. That would destroy me.

-aaron
 

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Certain jobs require good names behind the degree, but most dont. I'm going to be getting my MBA and for that degree, school matters. I got my BS in Marketing (fitting that it's a "B.S.") and that degree could have come out of a crackerjack box as far as what most employers care.
 

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Reputation, location, size, and curriculum are KEY!

I am right now in the process of choosing colleges.

I am looking into UofM Dearborn, UDM, Lawrence Tech, and MSU with UDM being my first choice.

Sadly, my 29 ACT score and 3.1 GPA shows that I am smart but don't apply myself... and that works against me. Hopefully my MME/ACT score (second time around) is a 31 or better. And hopefully my GPA raises this semester.

I chose my colleges based on size (generally smaller except MSU), reputation (all have great engineering programs except MSU), location (local), and curriculum (all have good classes for my major).

I am deciding between an Electrical Engineering, a Mechanical Engineering, and an Automotive Engineering major. But it will probably depend on my final choice of college to attend.

Most importantly though, visit the schools and see which one you like best!

My sister was accepted to Loyola in Chicago w/o even seeing the school. And when we took a trip to see it, she decided it wasn't right for her.

Good luck in your search. I'm going through the same thing right (currently a junior) now and I know it's stressful and hectic .

-Brad
 

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GPA is never a big issue unless you're trying to get into grad/med/law school afterwards. I also wouldn't worry so much about reputation, per se. A lot of times the reputation in industry doesn't match the reputation that you hear from the locals or the reputation as rated by magazines. Chad's university is a great example. Not many people would think that the University of Illinois in a fairly rural part of an already rural state would be a top university, but it's pretty well regarded in engineering circles. So what reputation do you go by?

I think the most important factor when choosing a university is opportunity. Will you get an opportunity to work hands on perhaps in a research laboratory (even if it's too do engineering work for support in a biology lab, for instance)? Or even in industry? Or will you just basically take classes for 4 years and end up with a degree?

What kind of faculty teach at the university? How heavily is the department engaged in active research? IMO, the absolute best way to judge a particular program in a university is to see how many professors are actively engaged in research -- and whether or not they have graduate students or postdocs working under them and if they have a grant of some sort. Trust me, a professor who's actually spending his time DOING something tends to know a hell of a lot more about his subject than one who only reads about researchers from other universities doing something. Ask faculty there about their research. Let them show you around. Believe me, they won't consider it a bother. They'll usually talk to anyone who'll listen. ;)

And if at all possible, speak to current students who are at least 3 years into their programs. No one knows more about being a student at the university you're interested in than current students.
 

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Actually, to expand upon B-Squad and MarkZ's points, the networking done by your proffessors is usually largely responsible for where you end up after college.

Old, old men can be too outta touch/retired too long to have active contacts, and young profs usually have no pull anywhere.

Also, like MarkZ said, my ergonomics and plastics manufacturing teachers were active in projects and it definately showed and made their classes and insight extremely valuable.

I agree with MarkZ - your best resource is asking students who go there.

Sometimes schools change entire programs and/or reallocate their resources from one area to another, so you can benefit or get screwed when you show up the first day.

-aaron
 

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Well as Mark Twain said, "Don't let your schoolin' get in the way of your education." My point is, don't get caught up in numbers, GPA, resume, etc. A college is much much more than taking tests. Go to the acutal campus and see if you feel good there. Talk to the students like Aaron said. See what your heart tells you. Discover the environment that will help your EDUCATION the best!

IME in the real world that GPA doesn't carry over to a big income. I know, I had I high GPA in college and I'm poor! :) Just kidding...
 

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Is there any good way to pick what college you want to go to? Or know which one would look better on your resume when you're out looking for a job? Or is it all GPA? Or does neither really matter that much? I'm looking to get into Electrical Engineering in the NJ/PA area. Looking at Rutgers, NJIT and Lehigh right now. Anyone have any opinions or suggestions?
Having partied at all three schools, I would say if you are looking for education NJIT has great engineering programs, one of my sisters, my bro-in law is a professor there and a few friends graduated from there. The classes aren't too huge, but the women to men ratio is horrible. Like 3 guys to every girl, might even be worse. Also don't go out of the campus at night. Newark is getting cleaner but it is still not there yet.

Rutgers is a good school too as far as what all the books say. They turned down Ivy Leagueship years ago I heard. The odds for women is great there. But the classes are huge like some up to 1000. I've taken classes there. A little impersonal if you ask me. But there are tons of activities there, and the partying isn't too bad. Tons of people. The city of New Brunswick is kind of trashy minus a few streets. Not too sure about the other campuses. I know for sure Camden isn't the most savory place to be, though its not as dangerous as everyone says it is. I haven't been to the Newark campus, but its not too far from NJIT.

Lehigh, its actually quite fun up there as far as partying goes. There aren't a lot of parties its more of a greek life type place there. Classes aren't overwhelming huge like Rutgers. I think they only have like 4-5000 students versus the 30k+ at Rutgers. The chicks are easy hehe. My friends who went to Lehigh really like it there. They still attend their alumni days and stuff like that. So I'm sure that says something.

Where in NJ are you?
 

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Having partied at all three schools,
lol. While your parents may say don't listen to that, I would take Skylars view on this as good advice. I agree with a few of the others here also that the environment that you are putting yourself in is much more important to getting the most out of school. I went to CSUF (Good baseball program that's about it) and for me it was a commuter school. Still lived at the parents house which was 5 minutes away and went to school nights while I worked in the day. Took longer to graduate and I didn't get involved as much as I should have when it comes to fellow student life. I now look back and ask myself what did I just do with those years of my life? I should have "Partied at all three schools" and maybe I could of had more fun during those times.
 

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I dealt with the same issues when trying to go to school for Mechanical Engineering. I ended up deciding it was going to be too much effort, too hard, and not really worth it to me. I am now going to the step below it which is a Mechanical Tech. They are under engineers, but I only have to do 2 1/2 yr program and I am done. I am also done with quite a few classes so it will not take me long at all to finish.
 

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I dealt with the same issues when trying to go to school for Mechanical Engineering. I ended up deciding it was going to be too much effort, too hard, and not really worth it to me. I am now going to the step below it which is a Mechanical Tech. They are under engineers, but I only have to do 2 1/2 yr program and I am done. I am also done with quite a few classes so it will not take me long at all to finish.

no offense, but you realize by doing this, you will be doing all of the work, putting in all the extra hours, and take the blame whenever anything goes wrong, with none of the extra pay?

The difference between a tech and a pro? The Pro gets a fancy stamp with a certification number, more vacation, less hours... Not too mention payed for business trips, company cars... and that right there is worth an extra 20k a year atleast, because signing your name is hard work. ;)
 

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Well only having a 1/2 semester of calculus I in high school doesn't help me much in completing I-III in college. I tried Calculus II twice and couldn't seem to get through it by myself. That math is some hard stuff! I got through Calculus I easily enough, but Calculus II seems to be a whole different story. I don't know what the hell went wrong, but oh well I will still make good money for less work. haha Someone has to do it. :)
 

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Although some universities may be better than others, it is you who will make the major difference in your experience and education from college. You will get out of it what you put in.
 

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My advice is going to be different from many people's: go to the absolute best private university to which you are admitted, and worry about how to pay for it later. As someone currently in graduate school at a good public university who did my undergrad (after a stint studying in Europe) at a USNWR top 20 school, I've seen worlds of difference in resources available to students and also faculty-student interaction.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wow, I really appreciate all the in-depth responses guys.
I'm in Phillipsburg, NJ. It's about 15-20 minutes from Bethlehem and Allentown, PA.
I have a professor at community college right now who graduated from NJIT and he said the same thing, great school. I just assumed that he was plugging it because he graduated from there, but it's helpful that it's really true. My brother's friend is going to Lehigh right now and he really likes the school also, so that must say something. I'll have to get in touch with him and see if he knows any engineering students to see what they have to say about the program.
 
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