Schools 2.4.06So, as some of you may know already, here’s the tally:
- UC Davis
- UC Irvine
- UC San Diego
- UC Berkeley
It costs roughly $20,000/yr. to attend any UC. My parents can afford about $10,000/yr. As I’ve mentioned before, I won’t be getting any government aid.
Davis has offered me a one-time $2,000 scholarship. Irvine has offered me their Regents Scholarship, worth $9,000/yr. (provided I keep a 3.25 GPA). San Diego has offered me nil.
So, Irvine seems like the obvious choice, right? $9,000 + $10,000 = just about enough to fully pay for college. But – Irvine doesn’t have the major I want. I want to major in bioengineering, and Irvine has no bioengineering program whatsoever (in fact, Irvine has only about five or six engineering majors). Davis has a good bioengineering program, but San Diego has the second-best bioengineering program in the nation, not to mention all of the biotech firms located in the San Diego area.
Just my luck that the amount of aid offered to me is inversely proportional to how good the school is in the major I want.
So, now San Diego seems like the obvious choice, right? Take out $10,000/yr. in student loans and just suck it up. But – what if I don’t hold on to bioengineering? What if sophomore year I decide that bioengineering really isn’t my kind of thing? Let’s say I decide mechanical engineering is what I want to do – then I’ll be damning myself for not just going to Irvine and saving the cash. And if I want to change my major, then Davis is the best place to do it – Davis has the largest engineering program amongst the UCs. And I think I’d like the environment at Davis more than at the other two.
In other words, I have no clue whatsoever where I’m going. And I have less than a month to choose.
Well, it depends on WHY you want to major in bioengineering. I've seen lots of freshman come into the biomedical engineering program here at BU because of
1) the pay -- they look at salaries and think, thats what I want to do
2) their parents/counselor told them it was a good idea -- which is the worst possible way to choose
I'd say about 1 in 3 ends up leaving. Anyways, having fewer engineering degrees does not make the school worse, in fact having fewer can mean they are more focused. And a lot fo the degrees overlap: coming out of BU, you compete for the same types of jobs with an Aero or Mech E degree, and the Elec and Computer E's also have heavy overlap.
You might want to check their site(s) and see where the graduates for each degree are working, and see if you'd like to work at any of those companies.
Naw, I haven’t even looked up anything regarding salaries, and I trust my counselor about as much as I trust a Magic 8 ball (and hell if my parents even know what bioengineering is) – my interest has stemmed from my microbio and molecular genetics classes that I’ve taken this year. For a long time I thought I’d be better in a physical sciences field, but then I did rather poorly in physics last year, so now I think I’m really meant for a biology-related field.
And it’s pretty easy to figure out where all the San Diego biotech majors go, since San Diego is home to a gazillion biotech companies.