View Full Version : Where do FIRST kids go to college?

02-15-2005, 02:34 PM
I am putting together an information package for the high school guidance office and did not have good answers to these questions.

Is there an unofficial list of where FIRSTers prefer to go to college?
What colleges attract or solicit FIRSTers?
Are there any colleges that actively recruit FIRSTers other than by offering scholarships?
How many FIRSTers go to your school?

02-15-2005, 02:38 PM
a) I dunno.
b) USC solicited me, but not because I'm a FIRSTer. (Remember, good grades and high test scores go a loooooong way further to colleges than FIRST involvement!)
c) I never heard of any...but that doesn't mean they don't exist.
d) I am aware of three--myself, a resident in Preston, and one girl I bumped into in line for breakfast one day wearing a M'Aiken Magic (1102) shirt. More are likely out there.

Tom Schindler
02-15-2005, 02:44 PM
How many FIRSTers go to your school?

WPI has an over-abundance of FIRST'ers. A day doesn't go by when i don't see a team shirt (that's not including any 190 team shirts).

I'd also assume places like Clarkson and Northeastern are the same way.


Jessica Boucher
02-15-2005, 02:52 PM
Don't forget about the Impact section in the FIRST Resource Center (http://www.usfirst.org/4vol/resourcectr/impact/index.html). Both the FRC and FLL sections have lots of good stuff.

Koko Ed
02-15-2005, 03:52 PM
I encountered quite a few former FIRST kids at RIT and many of them were not involved in RIT's FIRST program.
I'm sure FIRSTers mostly just go to college period and don't seek a particular kind of college.

02-15-2005, 04:08 PM
I encountered quite a few former FIRST kids at RIT and many of them were not involved in RIT's FIRST program.
I'm sure FIRSTers mostly just go to college period and don't seek a particular kind of college.

I disagree. I believe that a majority of FIRST students lookinto engineering and attend good engineering schools (or any engineering schools). As you stated, you have encountered several at RIT which, from my knowledge, has a good engineering program. There are still several FIRST students that go for other degrees/fields.

Eugenia Gabrielov
02-15-2005, 04:11 PM
I know Purdue has a wealth of robotics kids, since so many of them are my advisors :yikes:

Your best access to such a list may be to consider the scholarships that FIRST offers. Whether a student is involved with FIRST or not, most everyone needs financial aid of some sort nowadays. I know that I would choose a college that offered me financial aid out of respect for my family.

Something you can do is even ask for a submittion thing from college FIRSTers. This would give you somewhat accurate results.

Stephen Kowski
02-15-2005, 04:12 PM
USF....but not for FIRST....you go there cause it is cheap (comparatively).....:)

ZZII 527
02-15-2005, 04:19 PM
There's a high number of former FIRST-er's at MIT, but most of them had a lot more going for them than just FIRST. Their FIRST presense isn't really felt (the MIT mentoring team is pretty small). I guess people are working on bigger, more important things. (Although I can't imagine what is more important than FIRST, the few of us former FIRSTers actually on the MIT FIRST team are the exception rather than the rule.)

MIT does not actively recruit FIRSTers as far as I know (they pretty much don't actively recruit anybody), but it probably looks good to have FIRST engineering experience on your app.

Beth Sweet
02-15-2005, 05:02 PM
Is there an unofficial list of where FIRSTers prefer to go to college?
What colleges attract or solicit FIRSTers?
Are there any colleges that actively recruit FIRSTers other than by offering scholarships?
How many FIRSTers go to your school?

Where do they prefer to go to college? The cheapest place that they can that still provides them with a level of education that they find acceptable.
What colleges attract or solicit FIRSTers? Obviously those with FIRST scholarships are a big turn-on to students (list of those can be found at the FIRST website) and those that are well known for their engineering programs are also good
Are there any colleges that use other ways? Not that I've heard of...
How many FIRSTers go to your school? To the best of my knowledge, 9 and we have 6 of them mentoring for us. The other 3 were on the list but seem to have disappeared off the face of the Earth. We're still looking for them...
(This is a very difficult question to answer when your school has 50,000 people at it...)

Erin Rapacki
02-15-2005, 08:56 PM
Drexel recruits FIRST students...

However, Northeastern is the #1 Co-op School!
(take-that!) :yikes:

02-15-2005, 11:54 PM
Is there an unofficial list of where FIRSTers prefer to go to college?
If you look at the past year's threads of "Class of XXXX where are you applying", you should get a good idea of where most prefer to go.
What colleges attract or solicit FIRSTers?
Depends on the major...colleges with good engineering programs attract the engineering types...now whether they actively look for FIRSTers, I dont know.
How many FIRSTers go to your school?
There are quite a few. As Eugenia mentioned before, there are several - 25ish - that are involved with Purdue's FIRST teams. There are several ex-FIRSTers here too that I know of. I know of about 6-7others from my old team that are at Purdue but are not participating with FIRST teams and I know of a few more who will be up here in the following years...and thats just from my old team. I have met several others who I have seen wearing shirts or see my screensavers and wallpapers on my computer and say "Ooo, FIRST, I did that when I was in high school."

02-16-2005, 02:44 AM
I go to Brigham Young University (Go Cougars!), and AFAIK, I'm the only one here... I wouldn't be surprised if there are other FIRSTers lurking in the shadows, though.


Jeff Waegelin
02-16-2005, 01:23 PM
I go to the University of Michigan, and there's a fair number of FIRST students here. I believe there's only one FIRST scholarship, but we still draw a lot of them.

<shameless plug>if anyone's coming to U-M next year, or is already a student here, Team 830 wants your help! We're looking for more college mentors... contact me if you're interested.</shameless plug>

02-16-2005, 01:31 PM
Tom is right. My roommate was in FIRST, and at least 2 other guys on my floor were. Everywhere you look you see FIRST shirts/hats/etc.

We also have that wee little scholarship some of you may have heard of ;)

Lil' Lavery
02-16-2005, 01:48 PM
I know a lot of former 116er's goes to Virginia Commonwealth or Virginia Tech. Beyond that, I dont know of any high concentrations of former 116er's.

02-16-2005, 01:59 PM
I'm hoping to go to UCONN for IT Technician/Programming. The only thing that might hold me back is the world language requirements.

02-16-2005, 02:04 PM
University of Wisconsin Madison all the way! Even though they really don't have any FIRST scholarships its a good engineering school and good for French, so that was my choice over the other schools.

02-16-2005, 05:07 PM
VCU has a large number of FIRST students. Some get their first FIRST exposure once they get here and the Engineering school recruits them to help with the regional, or when they take ENGR 492 - Mentor a FIRST team.

I've run into only dozen or so outside the FIRST club, but then again I am a bio major. Most FIRSTies go gearhead. I've no exact number of FIRSTers here, but having hosted a regional 5 years now, they are numerous.

Don't forget the almost forgotten FIRST College Connect (http://www.firstcollegeconnect.com/), even though it seems unable to send emails to change your school anymore. :rolleyes:

See also


02-22-2005, 09:43 PM
Just tonight I got accepted to the University of Waterloo for Honours Co-Op Computer Science :D (this is in Ontario, Canada).

J Flex 188
02-22-2005, 09:48 PM
Exactly. The University of Waterloo is a huge destination for FIRSTers in Canada, and they offer a wealth of scholarships for any potential candiates. They also are hosting their first regional this year, so for anyone interested, Waterloo has one of the best, if not the best co-op engineering programs in Canada and North America.

02-22-2005, 09:50 PM
GeorgiaTech seems to be a very popular FIRST school, especially since they basically run the Peachtree Regional :]

Shu Song
02-22-2005, 10:13 PM
I have no idea if Cornell is very big on FIRSTers, but I did get in and that's all that matters to me.

In my four years on the team, I've known only two people get accepted into Cornell, and one of them is me. Given that Cornell has a really nice robo-cup team as well as other tech oriented programs and opportunities, I think that being a FIRSTer really scored me points with the admissions people. :D

boy... I sound like a Cornell brochure.

Nick Seidl
02-23-2005, 11:08 PM
Many of the regionals attract admissions tables for nearby universities, especially if the regional is hosted by a university. Also, check the link below to see the list of scholarships available for FIRST students. I think there are about $4.2 million available, and much of that goes unclaimed every year. I hope that helps. If any of your students have questions about Purdue specifically, I would be happy to help them too. Good luck.

FIRST Scholarship Page (http://www.usfirst.org/robotics/2005/scholarshipsummary.htm)

Yan Wang
02-23-2005, 11:13 PM
From IHS 2004 College Profile:
Applied to Cornell University: 97
Accepted: 57 (58.8%)

We love Cornell :)

And they've certainly helped us very much in the past five years. We've had many Cornell mentors and the list of what teams they come from is very impressive: 116, 179, 190, 192, 217, 1209

Come join us.

(And I hope Shu [Tierra] keeps helping out in Ithaca.)

Alex Pelan
02-25-2005, 12:52 AM
Last year's senior class for our team:
For engineering majors, we sent alumni to WPI, Drexel, Villanova, and RIT, and we sent non-engineering students to Boston University, UMass, and a couple of other places that escape me right now.

02-25-2005, 08:40 AM
This is my first and last year as a FIRST student (senior year, rookie team)

I've been looking at a Computer Engineering degree from a couple of schools, VT being 1st choice, NCState, VCU, ODU, along with some others

ODU gobbled me up quick, 1 week acceptance turn around + scholarship
All the others I hear from on the 1st of Apr or Mar, i forgot haha

Greg Needel
02-25-2005, 08:48 AM
as ed said there is a very large number of FIRST students at RIT

and as you will notice schools that Host regionals have a large number. RIT is now recruiting FIRST students with 10 $5,000 scholarships and over the next few year i expect the number of FIRSTers here to increase even more.

also you should check out http://www.firstcollegeconnect.com/ alot of it is old but you can still get a generalization from it

02-25-2005, 11:00 AM
Last year my team's one and only senior went to Cornell. This year, there are 5 seniors. Only one got in somewhere early, and he's going to Cornell. Three of the others are hoping to go to Carnegie Mellon. CMU is VERY big in my robotics team, as our mentor is an alumni interviewer.

02-25-2005, 11:57 AM
I know of at least 5 people in FIRST (including myself) who have already been accepted to Carnegie Mellon this year and several past participants of FIRST go to CMU. CMU, i believe, also helps mentor a FIRST team and has been involved with the competition this year with the CMU Cams. They are one of the top schools in the nation when it comes to engineering, especially with their awesome robotics program, computer sciences, and countless other areas of study. I'd say Carnegie Mellon University is definitely very FIRST friendly.