College Selection Advice

byatucker8y9th Mar 201148 comments


I, and a lot of other people my age, are currently facing a pretty big life decision -- where to go to college. Since this is probably going to have a pretty big impact on my life, I'd like to get some more information on this.

Seeing as a lot of people here have probably made this choice already, gone through with some of the consequences of it, and are rational, I decided to ask here.

My current considerations are:


  • Academic rigor
  • Money (i.e. if a school gives me a full ride, should I go there rather than plunk down $250k over 4 years)
  • Ability to do undergrad research
  • Flexibility
  • Likelihood to meet cool people
  • Novelty (this one's a lot weaker though)
My current situation is:
  • Accepted to MIT, University of Southern California, University of Maryland, Swarthmore, Harvey Mudd, Harvard, and CMU
  • Getting some form of scholarships at USC and UMD, amount TBD
  • Not likely to receive that much need-based financial aid
  • Probably going to start in Engineering, might double major with Comp Sci, Statistics, or maybe Math. If I go to CMU, probably Engineering and Public Policy
  • I also like and am competent in Economics, History, and English (though, definitely not getting a degree in the last 2)
  • Maryland is my home state, and I would know a lot of people at UMD
So if you have any advice, for me or in general, I'd love to hear it. If you have any questions yourself, feel free to ask them.