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UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 05:06 PM   #1
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UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

I need help.

My son has been accepted to several universities, both private and public. Going through the list, he and I have no problems comparing one school from another based on cost, academic level, and enviroment.

We are stuck, though, when trying to weight UCLA versus UT or A&M. We are in Texas, so we pay resident tuition and fee for UT and A&M, about $8,500 annually. As a non-resident we'll have to pay $25,000 tuition and fee for UCLA, or roughly 3 times as much.

We have not received the final financial packages from any of the 3 schools. Let's discuss based on the assumption that there won't be any help (which is likely the case, since they all are public schools).

The question my son and I are wrestling with is: Is UCLA worth the extra $16,500 a year? My son knows that if he chooses UCLA, he will have to take a loan to help out, as the cost exceeds my allocated fund.

Edit to add: My son have not yet heard from UC Berkeley, should he get accepted there, he and I will go through this exercise again. So, please comment on Berkeley versus UT or A&M as well. Thanks.

Sam
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 05:13 PM   #2
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

It depends on the department but they're pretty equivalent schools, academically.

Has your son checked out both campuses?

Is there a specific field in which your son is interested?

http://www.stat.tamu.edu/~jnewton/nr...rc41indiv.html


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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 05:35 PM   #3
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

Thank you eridanus. My son will be majoring in EE.
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 05:38 PM   #4
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

I agree that the the field of study would play at least a small part in the choice. My son went through a similar situation. We decided against out of state schools because of cost and the fact that none were better than what UT or A&M had to offer. The AE department at both were good, but A&M had the edge in that field. He toured both campuses and after the visit to A&M that pretty much sealed the deal. He fell in love with the tradition of A&M. My son in law also went there with an EE degree.
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 05:43 PM   #5
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

I have friends who went to both schools. I think that you need to take into account things like the setting Austin versus College Station and environments. UT seems a little more liberal than Texas A&M, at least 20 years ago.
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 05:55 PM   #6
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

Another consideration may be where he wants to live after graduation. All of the above mentioned are excellent schools with good reputations nationally. If he does have a strong preference for where he'd like to live (TX? Southwest? CA?) he may want to check with the placement department to see how strong the regional recruiting networks are at each school.
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 05:57 PM   #7
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

Quote:
UT seems a little more liberal than Texas A&M
I think I remember someplace reading last year that A&M has the most conservative student body. Bush's Presidential Library is also located on A&M's campus.
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 06:00 PM   #8
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

Right, would your son be a "2 percenter" at A&M or would he really enjoy the culture? A&M is a conservative school. The corps (ROTC) is a big part of campus life.

UT is obviously more urban, as is UCLA (which is perhaps too urban?).

Berkeley is the better school for EE. Is a top 5 school compared to a top 10 school worth an extra $16k+/yr? Probably not so much on the undergrad level.
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 06:15 PM   #9
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

Quote:
Originally Posted by eridanus
I just went through this report and noticed that it's 10 years old, and published by A&M. Is there a more recent report?
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 06:26 PM   #10
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

Quote:
Originally Posted by bssc
UT seems a little more liberal than Texas A&M, at least 20 years ago.
Burnt orange is actually a shade of blue and maroon is very red.

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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 06:27 PM   #11
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

If he is interested in a co-op (internship), you may also want to take into account how many opportunities there are in the nearby community. Austin is full of tech companies that hire co-ops from UT.

I went through the EE program in a town that didn't have many local opportunities, and many of my classmates moved 1000+ miles between work and school (6 months of each in our case) for their co-op assignments. However, they got some great work experience and the top job offers as a result.

I'd strongly encourage him to do a co-op no matter where he goes.
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 06:43 PM   #12
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

Sam, I see you're from Houston. Have you and your son considered Rice? Great school and probably lots of nearby co-op possibilities. You may even save some expenses on dorm fees if he were to live at home while attending school. Just throwing out ideas. An extra $16,500 per year for a California school just seems a bit much to me.
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 07:07 PM   #13
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

Since you are from Texas... you must NOT be native... UT vs A&M

Each school has a major following... and the people who like one usually don't like the other... both are good in what they do.. but from what I hear, A&M is a bit more hands on thier students...

Now, I have a nephew and niece at UT and both love it..

As for the extra money... think $66K more!!! And maybe even more than that if he does not graduate in 4 years... it is not worth it to go out of state when you compare it with any public Texas school...
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 07:32 PM   #14
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

Quote:
Originally Posted by sc
Austin is full of tech companies that hire co-ops from UT.
Good point, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poundkey
Sam, I see you're from Houston. Have you and your son considered Rice? Great school and probably lots of nearby co-op possibilities. You may even save some expenses on dorm fees if he were to live at home while attending school. Just throwing out ideas. An extra $16,500 per year for a California school just seems a bit much to me.
I encourage both my kids to apply to Rice. I know they have a good chance of getting accepted there. But they did not. In fact, they refused to apply to any schools in Houston. Reason? They want to get far away from the restrictive parents Not that I blame them. I would get away myself.


Quote:
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Since you are from Texas... you must NOT be native... UT vs A&M
Definitely not native. I was born on the other side of the world.

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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 07:42 PM   #15
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

if they are similar academically, i wouldn't be able to justify the cost difference.

i went to ucla, it was fun but definitely a huge public university - easy to get lost...not worth the price difference to me. i would consider it for my kid if it was between a smaller private school (more one on one attention i didn't get at ucla) and a large public school

also - the demographics will be very different at ucla vs. texas... :P
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 07:47 PM   #16
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

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A: To hide the No-Pest Strip...
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 08:15 PM   #17
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

For under-grad I would say stay home and save the money. They are all good schools.

For grad school I would recommend Berkeley unless there was a specific professor/research area at one of the other schools.

MB, Ph.D., UC Berkeley
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 08:35 PM   #18
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

Quote:
Originally Posted by mb
For under-grad I would say stay home and save the money. They are all good schools.
That's a good point. For the money, he'd be better off getting the BSEE from a local school and then spending 1-2 years getting an MSEE from a more prestigious university (or more for a PhD). Prospective employers will pay more attention to the university associated with the graduate degree.

As a grad school student he may have an easier time getting financial aid in the form of a teaching assistant or research assistant position. I believe it's also common for state schools to reduce the tuition for out-of-state students to the in-state price for those who have a TA or RA position.

If he is likely to stop with a BSEE, I'd say he should go to the school with the best co-op program. His co-op experience will play a huge role in what job offer(s) he gets after graduation.
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 08:54 PM   #19
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
I encourage both my kids to apply to Rice. I know they have a good chance of getting accepted there. But they did not. In fact, they refused to apply to any schools in Houston. Reason? They want to get far away from the restrictive parents Not that I blame them. I would get away myself.
You should have told them that if they applied and got in that you would move far way to get away from them.
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M
Old 03-05-2007, 09:11 PM   #20
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Re: UCLA versus UT Austin or Texas A&M

Why didn't I think of that? Where were you 6 months ago?
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