PDA

View Full Version : Colleges - Need aid!


Keith Chester
04-09-2005, 08:29 AM
I've been debating for some time between three colleges - Widener, Drexel, and WPI. Time is running out on my decision, and all of next week I'll be doing final visits to each of these colleges to make what could be the most important decision I'll make in years.

Knowing the amount of alumni on the forums and others who have gone to these colleges, I implore you all- tell me what it's like on each campus, what daily life is like. Tell me things I'll never find out on campus tours.

I already know what school I'm leaning towards, but I'm still not positive. Any help you guys can give would be much appreciated.

David Kelly
04-09-2005, 01:24 PM
I've been debating for some time between three colleges - Widener, Drexel, and WPI. Time is running out on my decision, and all of next week I'll be doing final visits to each of these colleges to make what could be the most important decision I'll make in years.

Knowing the amount of alumni on the forums and others who have gone to these colleges, I implore you all- tell me what it's like on each campus, what daily life is like. Tell me things I'll never find out on campus tours.

I already know what school I'm leaning towards, but I'm still not positive. Any help you guys can give would be much appreciated.


You may want to check out one of the newest resources in FIRST, CollegiateFIRST.org (http://www.collegiatefirst.org). It's a website designed to help FIRST students find, and check out colleges that offer FIRST scholarships or are involved with FIRST in some way. It may not be exactly what you are looking for, but it has a ton of information about the schools. You can even contact Amanda Morrison on the forums, as she may be able to help you look for some resources.

Good luck! :]

Chris Fultz
04-09-2005, 04:02 PM
I've been debating for some time between three colleges - Widener, Drexel, and WPI. Time is running out on my decision,

The answer is very easy, Keith.

PURDUE!

Kyle Fenton
04-09-2005, 04:51 PM
How about URI (http://www.uri.edu) :)

Well, daily life at URI is pretty much like any other college.

College however is very different then high school. Basically college is 10 times harder, and 10 times faster then high school.

Often in the beginning you will probably attend large classes. In your first semester, your classes should be very doable, and ease you into college life. After your first semester, your courses start to become much harder, and faster.

Also research your professors, some are very good, but some are extremely horrible. The really bad professors will often expect you just to know the stuff, and just ramble until you get bored. A bad professor will just make life harder then it already is. A good resource to use is Rate your Professor (http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/index.jsp). From these ratings you can possibly pick a better schedule for you.

Also, and most importantly in college, you have to be motivated to succeed. No one will provide that motivation for you. Often classes are just based on tests and quizzes from class. Homework is given, but rarely graded, usually professors just call them "suggested problems." Even though they aren't assigned, it is in your best interest to do them. If you have a problems in them, get help fast, usually colleges provide help programs and study groups for their students. Also, study often for every class, every day, relieves the stress from cramming in all the material near test or finals.

From your selection, it seems like you are choosing changeling colleges. All the colleges you mentioned are very good, and you will probably be happy in any one of them.

Kevin Sevcik
04-09-2005, 04:56 PM
Keith,

I have two brothers attending Drexel at the moment, I can get you in touch with them if you'd like. One is a MechE grad student and the other is a former engineering undergrad and is now in the graphics art program.

For WPI, try to contact someone on here from Team 190. Just find all the members on the team and PM them. I know some of them are fairly active.

Alexander McGee
04-09-2005, 05:12 PM
Or, why not get real experience in an Engineering field / facility? What if you could get a degree in 4 years, and have 4 years of work experience at a major engineering firm or corporation? You can, at Kettering University.

http://www.kettering.edu

KU also offerers substantial academic scholarships, and has a wonderful FIRST scholarship.

Check it out.

Erin Rapacki
04-09-2005, 05:35 PM
Have you visited all the campuses? Have you tried to arrange for a night when you could sleep on the floor of a current student's dorm? These were the things that helped me best decide on a school, and it opened for an opportunity to talk to many students who attend there instead of just robotics people (my guess is that most 190 students are going to say that they like WPI).

I've been spending a few weekends at WPI and I'm not at all impressed with the night life (I go to school in Boston - big difference, Worcester is a "wannabe" little city that seems dull). Drexel would be my pick out of the list because I heard Philadelphia can be fun (the whole city wants to go wifi too) and a coop program is the absolute best thing you could participate in as an undergrad (my school, NU, is ranked #1 in coops but Drexel falls close behind... so I know from experience that being able to work at cool companies for 6 months at a time, and get paid for it, is really nice). In addition, I have a friend who chose Drexel over MIT and other top-notch schools. As for Widener? I didn't even know it existed.

erin

p.s. For "staying on topic" reasons, could people stop trying to sell schools that this person didn't even apply to? The question is: Widener, Drexel, or WPI. :rolleyes:

Chris Fultz
04-09-2005, 05:50 PM
p.s. For "staying on topic" reasons, could people stop trying to sell schools that this person didn't even apply to? The question is: Widener, Drexel, or WPI. :rolleyes:

Ouch!

I was just trying to provide a superior alternative....

;)

Cory
04-09-2005, 05:54 PM
I've been spending a few weekends at WPI and I'm not at all impressed with the night life (I go to school in Boston - big difference, Worcester is a "wannabe" little city that seems dull).:

Worcester is a pretty crappy city outside of the area around campus. It's what I expected when I chose to go to WPI though, since it's an industrial city.

I think the biggest difference between WPI and any other school would be the quarter system. WPI is on 7 week quarters, where as most quarter schools are on 10-11 week quarters, and semesters run 14+ weeks. This means it's VERY fast paced. In 7 weeks, you learn what people are learning in 10-14 weeks at other schools.

I've only had one professor that was actually bad. The rest were all decent to very good.

Class sizes are in general pretty small. Physics, Chem, Bio all end up as large lectures. Calculus is pretty much less than 40 people per lecture. Once you get past the introductory stuff it drops even lower.

The campus itself is nice. I visited MIT and Harvard before I went to visit WPI, and I liked WPI's campus better than both.

It's a smaller school so you get to know more people, and you know them better than you would at a large university.

Any specific questions, feel free to PM me, IM me, whatever :)

Keith Chester
04-09-2005, 07:43 PM
I was amazed to come home from my baby cousin's birthday party, tired from helping him build hundreds of lego toys and answering questions about robotics (he's my biggest fan, and I'll be surprised if in 8 years he won't be a FIRSTer), and find this many replies! Thanks to everyone who replied!

I'll be sending out the appropiate PM's and IM's to answer more questions.

One individual who answered a lot of questions for me and was a huge help who didn't post here was Mel W- thanks!

As to Erin- yea, I've visited WPI before, and am visiting it again (as well as Drexel and Widener) this week to make my decision a bit easier. No matter what college I choose I will be getting a part time job somewhere to help pay off the bills, but I needn't worry (thankfully) about supporting myself while there.

I agree with the talk of Worcester not being a beautiful city; it seemed, and excuse my terminology, crappy. Don't get me wrong- near and on WPI campus my jaw was dragging on the ground from the sheer New England beauty, and my digital camera batteries died on me 3/4 through the tour. But I've also heard that Drexel is located in a fairly bad part of the city, crimewise. Did I hear wrong?

And while I have all this contact information for people from Drexel and WPI, no one from Widener...

Once again, thanks everyone (even you Purdue fans...)!

dk5sm5luigi
04-09-2005, 08:12 PM
I would suggest WPI because, well because I go there and love it. As you said it is a beautiful campus and that is one of the reasons I chose to go here. As you may know WPI has three projects that you must complete to graduate. The IQP which you do your Junior year something like 80% of the students go off campus for a term (7 weeks) and work on a project with a company. Most places are out of the country. (all locations can be found at http://www.wpi.edu/Academics/Depts/IGSD/Projects/) I worked at the United States Patent and Trademark Office developing a training system for them during my IQP.

The MQP is your senior project and can be a lot of fun. Several people have done their project with FIRST to create new drive lines (CVT- Continuously Variable Transmission, 2002) or a new way of controlling the robot (glove to control arm). The projects are a lot of fun but there are plenty of other things on campus which are fun.

As other people have said Worcester isn't the best city but when you live on campus you rarely leave because there are so many activities on campus. We have a DARPA Grand Challenge team, a Formula SAE race car team, and other activities to get involved in. Oh and we also have a FIRST team. Every Sunday night a movie which was recently shown in theaters is shown on campus for $2.

Now that I am done selling WPI for a while, what major are you interested? I can tell you more about activities that you are interested in if you want. Feel free to contact me or anyone else on the team.

Keith Chester
04-09-2005, 08:24 PM
Ack! I can't believe I never mentioned majors!

Well, other than my incredible interest in robotics, I'm leaning towards mechanical engineering, but that's not set in stone yet. I signed up under all for just "engineering" and plan to pick later on. I may find another type of engineering I enjoy more.

melitami
04-09-2005, 10:30 PM
I'm a junior at Drexel....with Drexel, it depends on whether or not you want to graduate in 5 years or 4 years like a normal school. Co-op is awesome, you end up going to school year round because of it (6 months co-op, 6 months school), but it's a good simulation of the real world.

PM me if you have an questions. Granted I'm biomed an EE, so I can only answer so many questions about MechE, but my boyfriend's doing his MS in MechE, so I know who to ask specific questions to.

gren737
04-11-2005, 07:35 AM
I graduated from WPI in Dec. 2001. I also did a co-op for a half a year which is why my graduation date was pushed back.

Now I've been working in the field for 3 years (I'm an ME) and there's another thing that WPI has going for it, name recognition. Every company that I've worked at has had several WPI engineers. I interned at DEKA for a summer and they're staff is literally 50% WPI. We also have a parent of one of our FIRSTers who works at BAE Systems and he's said, if he sees WPI on a resume it goes to the top of the stack.
I know the other schools you're looking at are big names too, it's just someting to think about. Not that you should go to a school only for it's name recognition, but when trying to land that first job it does help.

Good Luck!