College Hunting!

Hello, my dear Instructablonians!

Life has been busy, and I haven't been on here in AGES! I'm sure many of you have no idea who I am, and those of you who do know are either dead or are too afraid to admit they know me. But no matter! Let's continue!

In case you didn't know, I'll be graduating from high school next year! Yippee!

That means I get to go to college! Yippee!

But first I have to find a nice college so I will be happy and learn very goodly.

My dilemma is this: with 4000 colleges in the US of Awesome, there's really just too many apples in the basket, so it's hard to tell which is ripest (or, only a slightly cynical yet perhaps more accurate note, the least bruised).

So, my fellow Ibl'ers, this is why I've come to you: to ask you for opinions on good colleges!

Why you? Why, because I know we are similar! Instructables is full of inventors and makers and engineers! That's what I want to be when I grow up :-)

Also, many of you are either getting ready for college yourselves, or already in college, or have already finished college altogether! Perfect candidates, you see?

Anyways, just tell me about good schools you know of. Some of my criteria:
* I'm looking for 4 year institutions
* I don't wanna leave the US - too far from the nest, you see?
* I'm interested primarily in engineering (mechanical, aerospace, computer) and architecture (houses, not skyscrapers, in case you were wondering :-)
* Private or public - I don't really care

Assume that anything I didn't mention doesn't matter to me (oh, before I forget, I'm a guy, so no girls' schools, unfortunately). Also, feel free to discuss other colleges too! Good luck to anyone looking for a college, and TIA for anyone who helps out :D

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macgyverfan5 years ago
I think of Stanford or MIT when I think of engineering colleges, but it depends on your level of devotion (how cool you want your resume?) to what you wanna do.
KentsOkay6 years ago
 I graduate the same year as thee :D

ASSUMING you've taken the SAT or PSAT or ACT or whatever, I've been poking around on collegeboard.com, they seem to have a pretty decent listing, and filling out the interest stuff really generates interest from colleges. For instance, I've got the SanFran College of Art and Design bugging me on the phone every week or so for industrial design. Free information NEVER hurts, and if the college is willing to up and call you and ask you to go, mucho better chances for SCHOLARSHIPS YO!!!!
Labot2001 (author)  KentsOkay6 years ago
Yeah, collegeboard etc are good, but they have their place. I'd go to CB and school sites for facts (ie, raw numbers) but there's too many subjective statements on their, obviously used to promote the school by highlighting its good qualities or otherwise stretching the truth. Which is why I'd like to get a few opinions from people who know a bit more about colleges than I do.
 sound points. Try also looking at like the guild of engineers for whatever, or whatever major society for them there is (for instance the Industrial Designers Society of America). They sometimes either have lists of accredited or recommended schools.
Labot2001 (author)  KentsOkay6 years ago
So I take it you're not staying in Texas? Are you looking anywhere in particular?
 I'd like to stay in Texas but only Rice university is acredited. My dad's family big thing was moving AWAY from Houston, I aint goin there :D Rochester Institute of Technology seems real keen for me, so does San Fran Academy of Art. It be a tough call, but once I'm gettin' real serious I'll do some more comparison and make it.
kelseymh6 years ago
If price is no object, then you should go to MIT.  If you don't mind making a relatively long-term commitment to the government, you should investigate the Air Force Academy.  Beyond those personal suggestions of mine (and hopefully lots of other suggestions for you to sift through), you probably want to look up some of the "best colleges and universities" books, in particular those with an emphasis on STEM programs.

If price is an object, you should look at the public universities within your state, and sort the varying campuses by their STEM programs.  In California, for example, UCLA would be great if you want to do both engineering and architecture, but UC Merced would be a terrible choice.

Despite getting my Ph.D. at Caltech, I would not recommend it as an undergraduate institution.  While the academic environment is unparalleled (sorry, MIT :-), the social structure is extremely distorted.  A primary benefit of college is learning how to interact with adults as an adult out in the real world.  That includes learning how to treat your peers, of all genders, appropriately.  The social milieu at Caltech is rather hostile towards women, not because of any administration or formal bias, but just because there are too many hormone-enriched recent teenage males, who haven't learned how to treat women respectfully.

Keep in mind, as above, that this is all my opinion.  I am sure that there are plenty of Techers who would (will?) vociferously disagree with my characterizations.
Labot2001 (author)  kelseymh6 years ago
What is STEM exactly? I know I've heard of it.

@Caltech: Just wondering if you're a woman. It's hard to tell on this Internet thing. Either way though, I understand how that would definitely get annoying. There's some of that at my school, and it's just irritating.
STEM is the latest business/guvmint buzzword for these sorts of courses; it stands for "Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics."  You can sort of tell they shoved "technology" in there just to get something cute :-/

Nope, I'm male, as indicated on my profile (and as you can tell from my picture).  I'm just one of those sensitive modern guys who actually takes the whole "gender respect" stuff seriously ;->
Labot2001 (author)  kelseymh6 years ago
I didn't even bother looking at your profile lol :/
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