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View Full Version : Penn State or VTech? (poll)


timosyy
09-19-2004, 07:53 PM
Title & poll pretty much say it all ... I'm about to choose colleges and those are the two i'm considering that I have a reasonable chance in. Course, also considering Carnegie Mellon but chances of getting into their engineering school are pretty slim.

Penn State

#50 overall
#21 engineering (graduate school)
Average GPA : 3.53
Average SAT : 1210

Virginia Tech

#74 overall
#32 engineering (graduate school)
Average GPA : 3.61
Average SAT : 1250

.. I live in Virginia but price isn't really a concern. Penn State is easier to get into and better overall/engineering, so points in their favor on that regard. Nothing substitutes for actual experience, though, and while I've visted VTech I'll admit I havn't had the time to check out Penn State yet.

For the hell of it (and in regards to the last question in the poll), here's a quick breakdown of me.

Academics
GPA : 3.3 (yeah .. slacked off freshman and sophmore year)
SAT : 1420 (retaking oct. 9th)

Senior year classes
Adv. Orchestra (4 years running- commitment?)
AP Lit & Comp.
AP US & Comparative Govt. (two AP classes in one - one per semester)
AP Physics C
AP Computer Science
AP Calculus AB
Comparative Religion (had to take something in place of spanish...)

Clubs (for what it's worth)
Model U.N.
FBLA (Future Buisiness Leaders of America ... *shrug*)
Asian American Club (joke)

Fairly confident I can pull A's, and B+'s in all my classes ... keep in mind this is Fairfax County where the grading system is 94-100 for an A.

Thoughts? Comments? ramblings? thread derailments? fire away =p

Edit: Asian (Taiwanese)

lordtyranus
09-19-2004, 07:59 PM
You forgot to include your race. Are you Indian, Chinese, or another race of Asian descent?

timosyy
09-19-2004, 08:05 PM
Asian =p. added to original post.

enjoi
09-19-2004, 08:06 PM
You will get in to both if you try, even with the somewhat low GPA. I don't really understand the point of retaking the SAT, 1420 is solid. taking the test more than once is a waste of money imo, unless you completely tank your first attempt.

Still man, that senior year workload is ridiculous. Cut that sh1t down :D

alm4rr
09-19-2004, 08:06 PM
PA = :thumbsdown:

nitsuj3580
09-19-2004, 08:08 PM
I had a similar choice. Two good schools (not the same two as you) but the main thing for me was whether to stay in state or go out of state. I decided to stay in state and my school loans are almost paid off as a result of my decision. I also got a really good job so that also made me satisfied with my decision looking back at it.

However, if you love Penn St should you visit there, you should also take that into account especially if the money isn't a big variable.

damonpip
09-19-2004, 08:11 PM
I live in State College and I wasn't too impressed when I visited the engineering department. The majority of incoming freshman in PSU engineering will not have taken any of the AP classes you took, so I think you'd be happier at a school where more people are at the same level as you are. I would try to get into a better school, they aren't even a whole lot more expensive if you can get financial aid.

timosyy
09-19-2004, 08:12 PM
Expenses arn't too big a concern .. its more my low GPA for the better schools

acemcmac
09-19-2004, 09:28 PM
VT is a better program

I have friends in both. Penn State should be both easier to get into and easier to get better grades in though...

nycxandy
09-19-2004, 09:30 PM
I would go to VT.

I got into PSU for ChemE and I transferred.

timosyy
09-19-2004, 10:11 PM
Heh ... looks like this forum is as divided as my mind is right now -_-

VT is a better program? thats what I thought too ... so why is Penn State listed 10 slots above it ? and 24 slots overall ...

>_<.

How about this : suggestions for other colleges ? engineering major .. most likely computer engineering

MikeMike
09-19-2004, 10:13 PM
what rules our Purdue?

MIKE

timosyy
09-19-2004, 10:18 PM
Nothing really .. any stats about it ? I can't find the average GPA ..

How's the school ? =p

It's listed in the top 10 for engineering but the average SAT is in the 1100's ... ?

nycxandy
09-19-2004, 10:19 PM
They are ranked higher because they probably get more funding and their department is bigger.

And rankings vary from system to system. If it's only a few ranks, just simply disregard it. Don't let some numbers tell you where to go. Rankings are overrated IMO.

TheShiz
09-19-2004, 10:21 PM
expenses aren't a concern? you are going to pay way much more for out of state if you go to Penn, what is the difference, like 4X the cost, parents must be made of money.

timosyy
09-19-2004, 10:26 PM
Haha ... well, alright, its a concern, but my parents ok'd either one. Not exactly made of money .. we've owned 4 cars in the past 20 years or so. Then again, we live in Fairfax. *shrug*. Definately not rolling in the stuff though .. and I have two sisters as well that they're going to have to put through college.

Gamingphreek
09-19-2004, 10:29 PM
PSU is awesome. VT is good too. However from what i hear NCState is the place to go for Computer Engineering and stuff like that.

As far as PSU vs VT. PSU is generally regarded as a more prestigious school (been around longer, just very well respected). VT is ver very good though so its a draw. I like PSU though (favorite college)

-Kevin

timosyy
09-19-2004, 10:34 PM
NCState ... NCState ...

Average SAT: 1195 ... Average GPA : 4.05 <--- !!! O_o.

MikeMike
09-19-2004, 10:36 PM
the engineering here is HUGE at purdue. there are a few of us PU students on this board.

it is highly regarded. good job right out of college most likely. and its a fun school to be at. 25% greek 3rd largest greek system in the U.S.

MIKE

timosyy
09-19-2004, 10:38 PM
What do you think my chances are of getting in, though ?

dbk
09-19-2004, 10:40 PM
Virginia Tech...VTECH????

ArmchairAthlete
09-19-2004, 10:41 PM
I think the Georgia Institute of Technology is ranked higher than both of those.

http://www.gatech.edu

I don't have the exact #'s right now, maybe I'll get some more info for you. Avg SAT is like 1330. You can get in.

timosyy
09-19-2004, 10:45 PM
Well .. Ga Tech is ranked #5 for engineering but I can't pull any numbers off princetonreview.com for it ...

Course i mean .. MIT is better than all of them =p.

The real question is : what are my chances ? (at which schools)

Edit:

Georgia Tech
Average SAT : 1336
Average GPA : 3.72

Seems like a stretch

mym383
09-19-2004, 10:45 PM
I say save some money and go to VT; I personally have a butt-load of debt and know how it feels. Plus, I think I know some people there that desperately need your computer expertise. You know who I am talking about. :-)

Triumph
09-19-2004, 10:58 PM
I'm from Pennsylvania and went to VT (for engineering), so I know alot of people who went to Penn State. Their core curriculums are very similar. They use alot of the same books, they have to take the same classes, the credits transfer, etc. They're also both similar in atmosphere - small college towns in the middle of nowhere, same makeup of student body, etc. You really can't go wrong with either.

If I were you, I'd go to Penn State, just to get out of Virginia. You'll probably be going to school with your whole graduating class if you go to VT. Go out and meet some new people.

timosyy
09-19-2004, 10:59 PM
Yeah .. a year ago or so I was leaning heavily toward VTech but now it seems everyone goes there. I do sort of want to get out, but thats a weak arguement by itself =/.

RabidMongoose
09-19-2004, 11:01 PM
Those engineering ranks you are posting are mainly the result of the graduate work, not undergraduates. I would suggest you go to the best overall school for undergrad while also taking into account the financial aspect.

Triumph
09-19-2004, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by: timosyy
What do you think my chances are of getting in, though ?

I think my highschool GPA was 3.2 or something. 1210 SAT. NO extracurricular crap in 4 years of high school. No AP classes. I got into VT, but I didn't get into Penn State (main). Of course this was in 1997, and VT was just starting to get popular. But I think you have a good chance of getting into either.

You're from Fairfax? I swear to god, 1/3 of the people I met at Tech were from Fairfax. Got kind of old after a while!

timosyy
09-19-2004, 11:07 PM
=). Thats pretty much the general consensus here, too .. its either UVA or VTech for us.

sciencewhiz
09-19-2004, 11:07 PM
Originally posted by: RabidMongoose
Those engineering ranks you are posting are mainly the result of the graduate work, not undergraduates. I would suggest you go to the best overall school for undergrad while also taking into account the financial aspect.

I strongly agree with that.

RabidMongoose
09-19-2004, 11:10 PM
Another thing I should point out is that the engineering school of Vtech and PSU will likely have different average SAT and GPA scores than the school average. Are the averages you listed for the engineering school or for the school as a whole?

timosyy
09-19-2004, 11:13 PM
Originally posted by: sciencewhiz

Originally posted by: RabidMongoose
Those engineering ranks you are posting are mainly the result of the graduate work, not undergraduates. I would suggest you go to the best overall school for undergrad while also taking into account the financial aspect.

I strongly agree with that.

How would I go about finding "the best overall school for undergrad" ?

And .. School as a whole ... not sure how to find engineering school averages. Well aware of the difference, though =/

Edit : ack .. rankings for engineering were for grad programs. the overall ranking is just college in general.

sciencewhiz
09-19-2004, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by: timosyy

How would I go about finding "the best overall school for undergrad" ?


http://www.usnews.com/usnews/e...kengineering_brief.php (http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/rankengineering_brief.php)

You have to pay if you want the whole listings (either online, or by buying the magazine). Your college education is too important to be cheap about, though.

timosyy
09-19-2004, 11:20 PM
Wow ... now I seriously have no clue where to go. haha.

The numbers .. they fail me ..

TheLonelyPhoenix
09-19-2004, 11:23 PM
I'm a student at VT, I also got accepted to both VT and Penn State.

I heard the Penn was the easier of the two to get into, but then again I know people here who got rejected from Penn State and accepted here.

Both have excellent engineering schools, I chose Tech mostly for the campus.

Just go visit, talk to people, and make your own decision.

aswedc
09-19-2004, 11:46 PM
Don't listen to acemcmac, I know who he knows at VT and PSU, and, well, I wouldn't take them as reliable sources of information ;) BS on the graduate thing too, I've seen rankings specifically stating undergrad, and PSU still beats VT.

I'm a freshman and a bit at PSU (was here during the summer, so I'm in my second semester). I'm not in engineering but my roommate is, he's sitting on the other side of the room working right now. Don't worry about being challenged, you'll be worked to death at either program.

I had similar qualifications as you, a 3.3 GPA, 1420 SAT, and also Asian, but not nearly as many AP classes (took 2). You should definately be able to get in, unless the requirements for out of state students are much higher. If you do decide to come here, slack off in some of those classes right away and enjoy your senior year, the admissions offer is unconditional except graduation from high school. Taking them again will be a nice GPA booster anyway.

Anyway I've been having a great time here so pick PSU :P If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them or find someone more suited to answer them...Good luck.

TheLonelyPhoenix
09-19-2004, 11:55 PM
Originally posted by: aswedc
Don't listen to acemcmac, I know who he knows at VT and PSU, and, well, I wouldn't take them as reliable sources of information ;) BS on the graduate thing too, I've seen rankings specifically stating undergrad, and PSU still beats VT.

I'm a freshman and a bit at PSU (was here during the summer, so I'm in my second semester). I'm not in engineering but my roommate is, he's sitting on the other side of the room working right now. Don't worry about being challenged, you'll be worked to death at either program.

I had similar qualifications as you, a 3.3 GPA, 1420 SAT, and also Asian, but not nearly as many AP classes (took 2). You should definately be able to get in, unless the requirements for out of state students are much higher. If you do decide to come here, slack off in some of those classes right away and enjoy your senior year, the admissions offer is unconditional except graduation from high school. Taking them again will be a nice GPA booster anyway.

Anyway I've been having a great time here so pick PSU :P If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them or find someone more suited to answer them...Good luck.

Seeing as I'm the only guy acemcmac knows at VT, and I have no clue who the fvck you are, I don't see how you have any right to judge how "reliable" i am... or anyone else, for that matter. So I'd like you to keep your personal attacks to yourself.

As I said before, I'm not going to preach either way, both are great schools. The rankings at this level are irrevelant, both are extremely good and rated closely in comparable areas, and the quality of the program varies greatly with your specific engineering field. For example, Virginia Tech has the nation's #1 mining engineering program (the most highly paid engineering discipline, with the possible exception of nuclear). As I said, visit campuses, talk to people, and do some research. I don't foresee you having trouble getting into either school.

acemcmac
09-19-2004, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by: aswedc
Don't listen to acemcmac, I know who he knows at VT and PSU, and, well, I wouldn't take them as reliable sources of information ;) BS on the graduate thing too, I've seen rankings specifically stating undergrad, and PSU still beats VT.

I'm a freshman and a bit at PSU (was here during the summer, so I'm in my second semester). I'm not in engineering but my roommate is, he's sitting on the other side of the room working right now. Don't worry about being challenged, you'll be worked to death at either program.

I had similar qualifications as you, a 3.3 GPA, 1420 SAT, and also Asian, but not nearly as many AP classes (took 2). You should definately be able to get in, unless the requirements for out of state students are much higher. If you do decide to come here, slack off in some of those classes right away and enjoy your senior year, the admissions offer is unconditional except graduation from high school. Taking them again will be a nice GPA booster anyway.

Anyway I've been having a great time here so pick PSU :P If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them or find someone more suited to answer them...Good luck.

What do you know about college? You've only been there 3 weeks and you were probably too stoned to remember 2 of them. You probably like Beast/Nattie/Keystone too, dont you- pu$$y! ROFL

:beer: :D :beer:

timosyy
09-20-2004, 12:00 AM
.. does the fact that i'm interesting in computer engineering have any bearing on this decision ? =)

acemcmac
09-20-2004, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by: timosyy
.. does the fact that i'm interesting in computer engineering have any bearing on this decision ? =)

yeah, tehy're bickering about EE.... I dont know what kind of major aswedc is, but I know he doesen't have the guts for EE... CS or CE possibly, but not EE.....

I'm a CS major.... you engineering guys are teh unloose @ math.... hell I can barley keep up with calc 1 stuff... good luck

TheLonelyPhoenix
09-20-2004, 12:05 AM
I'm an Electrical Engineer (at VT, the curriculums for EE and CpE are equivalent for the first two years). As I remember, PSU and VT had almost identical programs for that discipline. However, VT now has a top 3 in the world supercomputer, while PSU went and spent their money on a stock trading floor for their business majors. Says something to me.

Turkish
09-20-2004, 12:10 AM
Get ready to be challenged @ VT. I know 2 guys that transferred to VT from PSU with 3.9/4.0 GPA after their freshman year and they basically love it here. Their GPAs suffer but as I said, VT Engineering is a very challenging program.

Turkish
09-20-2004, 12:13 AM
Originally posted by: TheLonelyPhoenix
I'm an Electrical Engineer (at VT, the curriculums for EE and CpE are equivalent for the first two years). As I remember, PSU and VT had almost identical programs for that discipline. However, VT now has a top 3 in the world supercomputer, while PSU went and spent their money on a stock trading floor for their business majors. Says something to me.

If you're going to do computer engineering, definetly go for VT.

aswedc
09-20-2004, 12:22 AM
TheLonelyPhoenix: I was referring to [censored] actually. My bad, no personal attack intended. And if he gets offended, well, he's probably too stoned to get offended :P

acemcmac: I've been here 10 weeks, so take that :cool:. Anyway, you go to West Chester so what do you know about college ;) j/k And yes, I'm not in EE or CS, but does EE or CS at WC have a 54k starting salary? I thought not. :)

From the replies here I'm thinking which school is better for you really depends on what kind of person you are. I don't want to get anyone else in this thread pissed off, so give me a PM if you want to talk.

TheLonelyPhoenix
09-20-2004, 12:28 AM
Originally posted by: aswedc
My bad, no personal attack intended.


You claimed to know acemcmac's contact at VT was an unreliable source. That contact is me. I don't know who you are. Thus, it follows that you probably don't know who I am. I fail to see how this wasn't a personal attack.

[EDIT] On a side note, do the other guys here a favor and dont use their personal info in a reply unless they choose to disclose it themselves first.

Turkish
09-20-2004, 02:31 AM
Originally posted by: TheLonelyPhoenix

Originally posted by: aswedc
My bad, no personal attack intended.


You claimed to know acemcmac's contact at VT was an unreliable source. That contact is me. I don't know who you are. Thus, it follows that you probably don't know who I am. I fail to see how this wasn't a personal attack.

[EDIT] On a side note, do the other guys here a favor and dont use their personal info in a reply unless they choose to disclose it themselves first.

jebus, take a chillpill.

toekramp
09-20-2004, 02:47 AM
<- VT Alumni (English major ;))

Triumph
09-20-2004, 08:18 AM
Originally posted by: TheLonelyPhoenix

Originally posted by: aswedc
My bad, no personal attack intended.


You claimed to know acemcmac's contact at VT was an unreliable source. That contact is me. I don't know who you are. Thus, it follows that you probably don't know who I am. I fail to see how this wasn't a personal attack.

[EDIT] On a side note, do the other guys here a favor and dont use their personal info in a reply unless they choose to disclose it themselves first.

shut up already, nobody cares who you are.

TStep
09-20-2004, 09:31 AM
I went to PSU about 20 years ago. At the time, I think it took about 1200+ SATs and maybe 3.4+ GPA, for a Caucasian applicant to get into the Engineering Program. A friend who was a minority (black) got in with somewhat less, but I can't recall exactly. But that was long ago, so I don't know what the current standards are.

General comments about PSU:

--alot of nothing around you. If you like to ski, Tussy Mtn. If you like to hike, bike, fish, etc, many state parks. We use to go into the state parks, hook a rope up to the bumper of a Jeep, and snow surf. If your the outdoorsy type there is much to do.

--party time, it excels here. Probably enough on that subject.

--school - if you are self motivated, you can learn. If you need to have close teacher-student interaction, PSU is definitely not for you. My classes ranged from 1000+ in the beginning to 6 at the end. Some classes were so big, that I would only show up for tests as the classes were the same crap tought 20 years before I got there.

I think the first 2 years of PSU education is designed to weed people out of engineering that cannot learn on their own. The grading system is generally on a huge curve. In many of my classes 60-70% grades equated to A's. I remember getting a 40something on chemistry final and my grade actually going up to a B+. The general testing was SAT like in form with multiple guess answers, however the answers to choose from (except one) were all the resultants you would get if you made a mistake in your reasoning or mathematics in the course of solving the problem. All answers were designed to trick you.

The second two years was better. I think the philosophy was if you could make the first two years on your own, it's time to really teach you something. Some classes actually had mandatory attendance. And a few very advanced classes had 15 or less students. Classes actually got pretty demanding at this level. I did acually use alot of what I was taught.

Overall I would recommend the PSU-type engineering program if you are a self learner and handle stress well. That aspect alone of PSU has greatly helped me in the construction industry. If you like or need alot of interaction with the teachers, I would not rate it near the top.

SUOrangeman
09-20-2004, 04:57 PM
What? No mention of GMU? (slaps forehead)

I'm sure that PSU and VT have fine programs (I was headed to VT on a piece-mail full-ride way back in the day). However, GMU presents several opportunities right under your nose.

Think about it. Do you expect to work in State College or Blacksburg ... or would you be better served getting an education in what may be the best IT region on the East Coast? I didn't realize it at the time, but several faculty members are very active in industry. Heck, I'm now a co-worker of folks who taught me only a few years ago!

Given GMU's relative youth (what a 40-year-old university), it's not set in its ways resting on its laurels. We've got Nobel and Pulitzer honorees and all types of other distinguished faculty coming out of our wazoo. I'm sure that other schools have similar credentials, but the air of aristocracy at some schools makes those folks untouchable. You might get invited to dinner with a prof at GMU!

I also believe that GMU is the most diverse (within the top 5, at worst) school in the country. And now, we are officially the largest school in the state ... yes, larger than VT and VCU. Don't automatically assume that GMU sacrifices academics in the process of growing.

I could go on and on, but I won't for now. I strongly encourage you to give GMU a serious look. After all, I'm not asking you to travel hours!

-SUO
GMU BS Elec. Eng 1997

MikeMike
09-20-2004, 05:50 PM
there is NO reason not to apply to purdue. NO essays are required, its rolling admission, its only like 10$ online.

it was absolutley easy and i knew i was accepted by like mid october my senior year.

MIKE

VTBigBear
09-20-2004, 08:03 PM
although im a VT graduate...

if you can get into Purdue.. go for it..


otherwise Penn or VT? hokies baby... (very biased opinion)

slpaulson
09-20-2004, 08:43 PM
I've gotta put a plug in for Wisconsin :).

But seriously, I'd go to whichever is cheaper, they are both good schools.

<-- Comp E major at UW - Madison.

I believe we're supposed to be #15 for Comp E.

timosyy
09-20-2004, 08:45 PM
Mm ... GMU is my backup =)

It's like .. 30 minutes away.

The only problem is .. asian community -_-. VTech is low enough (No one my parents know have gone any "lower"...)

=/

timosyy
09-20-2004, 08:46 PM
Purdue .. I guess I might as well.

Tech is the same way .. no essays, no SAT II's ... haha -_-

I just hate their early decision. So binding.

Sukhoi
09-20-2004, 09:11 PM
Um with that stuff you listed set your sights a bit higher...Ohio State, Purdue, and Illinois are all going to be ranged higher than the two schools you listed. You probably won't get into Illinois (wouldn't hurt to apply though especially since you're asian and we had Nancy Cantor as chancellor until she went to terrorize Syracuse and have racial quotas for freshmen enrollment), but you should get into Ohio State and have a pretty decent chance at Purdue. And Purdue >>>>> Penn State and VTech for engineering.

Also decide what you want in a school. CMU is way freaking different from Penn State in regards to the social situation...CMU basically doesn't have one.

Triumph
09-20-2004, 10:04 PM
I'd choose VT or PSU over Ohio State, if for nothing else but to avoid the slum that is Columbus.

Are you Vietnamese, timosyy? For some reason, I met more Vietnamese people in Blacksburg/Roanoke than anywhere else. I'm not sure exactly why...

Corporate Thug
09-20-2004, 10:20 PM
penn

timosyy
09-20-2004, 10:46 PM
Triumph - Taiwanese =)

And I only took timosyy cause 'timosy' was already taken >_<. Blehh .. looks so weird written out with two y's.

If you don't get it, ask an asian immigrant to say "timothy" -_-

timosyy
09-21-2004, 12:07 AM
Alright so I'm definately considering Purdue now .. if only because I might as well -_-

What do you think my chances are of getting in, though ? The engineering school ...

GPA+SAT+course selection in first post =p

Krk3561
09-21-2004, 05:09 PM
I think you guys are all being too tough. I think you could get into any of the schools you listed, Ohio State, Purdue, and Illinois included. CMU maybe a reach, its still possible, apply anyways, you never know what happens.

wkabel23
09-21-2004, 05:13 PM
I think you should look more into GT. Perhaps apply ED if you really like it but IMO its engineering and undergrad trumps VT and PSU.

sohcrates
09-21-2004, 05:22 PM
I did PSU undergrad and I'm at VA Tech (northern virginia campus) for grad school in engineering now.

I'd suggest PSU undergrad. It's a great school.

Krk3561
09-21-2004, 05:27 PM
I know a few people at GT and they dont like it at all

Deeko
09-21-2004, 08:18 PM
Engineering? Why not Drexel? One of the top engineering programs in the nation, plus a quality co-op program.