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Rochester Institute of Technology

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by blindfire, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. Mark from MA

    Mark from MA NES Member

    Jun 4, 2008
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    My son is going to engineering school in the fall and we toured RIT, WPI , ULowell and a few others.

    I was impressed by RIT with the coop and the campus is decent. In the end my son chose WPI as they gave gim a much better package and he is on the football and baseball teams as an incoming freshman.

    That said ULowell for a little more than 1/2 the price of WPI (with my kids package) impressed the hell out of me from what they were when I graduated.

    Networking is important and as a member of two sports teams both coaches preached that they have thousands of contacts from past players and people that love the sports as alma maters. So that helped swing the decision, and my kid just felt WPI was the place for him. Hope so because he is paying the extra money at the end to go there.

    I really dont think that any of these schools are bad choices. I do think the prices are f***ing retarded. But if they
    get a good job upon graduation then its fine. Eat hot dogs and drive a shitbox for 3 years pay off the loans and get on with life.
  2. vicorjh

    vicorjh NES Member

    Jan 9, 2015
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    Haha, or longer in some cases. E.g. me.
  3. Nhusa


    Dec 6, 2015
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    NH Seacoast
    RIT 100% over U Mass Lowell.
  4. Spanz

    Spanz NES Member

    Feb 25, 2009
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    aeronautics....embry riddle for sure. Know a kid just graduated, had 4 job offers, and ended up taking one that would pay for his masters and PHD. But he did have in-country experience servicing Ospreys
  5. Bane89


    Jan 18, 2013
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    I went to both, for EE. RIT for one year back in 2008, and transferred to UML.

    RIT has a better campus by far - single contiguous area, not cut up by heavily traveled city streets. A bit spread out for walking around, especially when winter sets in (which is basically the entire school year). Labs are open to students for long hours, clean and modern, with good equipment. Gleason Dining Hall (the big freshman dining hall) was the usual thing, food's pretty good while parents are around, then goes to shit in a hurry. Academic buildings have tunnels linking some of them, residential buildings are fully networked by tunnels. Residence halls are decent, the honors housing off the edge of Gleason is super tight on space, tiny rooms. Head further out to perimeter halls like Nathaniel Rochester, and the rooms get quite spacious. Hockey is big. Snow is pretty much every other day, a little bit at a time, but the grounds crew does a good job keeping the place walkable. Want something to do? ~16k undergraduates IIRC on there, lots of clubs and stuff, but if you go off campus, you're in Henrietta, a suburb attached to Rochester. It gets quiet fast. Also, for campus visit, it's a big campus with a coherent (if bland) architectural style, well-kept, quiet and peaceful, and they throw a decent show, impress the visitors and lure them in. Something to keep in mind, they aren't really lying per se, but those tours make it seem the best it possibly can.

    UML's facilities are a garbage dump by comparison, ripped apart and thrown around Lowell, have to cross a river from residential to North (engineering is obviously on North). As a general rule, those on North are miserable, those on South are happy. One is the STEM campus, the other is not. I was a commuter student, but did tour UML coming out of high school. The dorm building was this dark blue interior endless concrete corridors, and all the warmth of a prison. It was the only university tour that I did not finish, left early because I hated it so much. North, you can hear fart can cars rattle by the windows, not a really peaceful ambiance. They're overhauling engineering, some of the rooms are nicer, I've heard the labs are being updated. When I was there, most students did not have lab access via swipe card (something that RIT let freshmen have), and lab equipment was mostly old and crappy. They did get some newer Keysight scopes, which were nice, but the rest of it, eh. There was a push going for Discovery, which is a lab in a box that you can do anywhere, that was pretty neat, but I question it's real-world validity. I suppose if you want city things to do, Lowell is a city. I was a commuter, so it was in and out. Lots of other students do that, parking is a nightmare, and it makes group projects a pain. Food in the basement of North is decent, better than Gleason in RIT, probably.

    By commuting to UML, I cut my costs by, um, 70%? 75%? Somewhere in that ballpark. Yet checking ROI charts for various degrees from various colleges indicated almost no difference between UML and RIT graduates in terms of income after graduation. My selection was almost entirely financially driven. By sticking with RIT, I would have graduated with about $100k in debt. By going to UML, as a commuter student, I picked up about $25k in a few years. My debt from one year of RIT was more than my time at UML. Putting aside cost concerns, you don't really get more income potential from RIT, but I would say it is a marginally better school in academics. If you want city life, hopping off campus, Lowell wins. But for life on campus, quality of life on campus, RIT is way ahead. Given a re-deal to pick again coming out of high school, I probably would've gone to UMass Amherst - split the cost difference, get a campus life instead of commuting.
  6. Another_David


    Jul 13, 2005
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    Eastern Mass.
    went to RIT for two years, transferred to WIT and completed my degree. RIT was far better academically but short on women and culture. WIT was not academically challenging but in Boston, a real city--more worldly. 20 years out no one cares where I went! I still mention where I co-op'd though and that's still respected when you name drop people you worked with. Both have coop programs--super important. Northeast engineering schools in general are quite good, well respected internationally.

    The problem with IT schools is many people do leave engineering and the Uni's have more options if you transfer majors.

    Wherever I've worked I've tried to get involved in hiring coops and wow some of these kids are dead from the shoulders up. One person quit after a week and went back to home depot because they offered a couple bucks more to recruit them back. Penny wise, pound foolish. One intern we had used to get paid more in food and booze than actual pay--company would always buy 3 meals a day on travel and bar tab at night and this skinny kid could eat!
  7. jefftk


    Feb 12, 2011
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    I would tend to agree that choice of college is less important, especially in the long run. Although, some of the "better" schools can make things easier when you're starting out by means of reputation and resources (such as career fairs, etc). If you don't have your schools reputation to lean on then you will have to make that up with your own reputation - meaning work experience or other projects.

    One important thing to note, I think, is that while RIT may have an official co-op program, there is no reason you couldn't take it upon yourself to do some co-ops if you go to another school. In fact, if you're an engineering major and you do not have any co-op/work experience by the time you graduate then I would say you are way behind the curve.

    Another big thing, besides work experience, is extracurricular interest related to the field - personal projects or clubs. If I get a stack of resumes to look at, the person with no obvious personal/club activities demonstrating interest in the field goes straight to the bottom. I would much rather hire someone from UMass Lowell who has a list of personal projects they can talk about than someone from MIT or RIT whose sole outside interest is playing video games.
    Aside from just academics/classwork, many of the 'better' schools will likely have more to offer in official/organized club activities.

    There is a lot to be said for not getting in to a lot of debt as well though.
  8. eisenhow


    Apr 4, 2008
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    Westford, MA
    Rochester isn't that bad. The weather isn't drastically different from where I grew up in upstate NY or where I live in MA. I went to University of Rochester for Mechanical Engineering but also looked at RIT, RPI, and SUNY Buffalo. RPI was too close to home for me to seriously consider, I wanted to go "away" for school. SUNY Buffalo was cheaper but I fell in love UR. I visited on a beautiful autumn day and fell in love with the campus. I liked the idea of "well rounded education" not an engineering/technical school. I ended up in in the engineering program and didn't get much out of the well rounded part. I got a good scholarship/financial aid package. I stayed and got my Masters and walked away with < $20k in loans that I was able to pay back quickly. Through internships and connections I made I was able to get a good job after graduation. That was 20 years ago, the economics I'm sure have changed. The big industries in Rochester, that were responsible for my scholarships and internships are shadow of their former selves.
  9. Rob Boudrie

    Rob Boudrie NES Member

    Apr 24, 2005
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    I worked summers in a tech job I found on my own - no official "co-op" status with college, and I just worked the semesters I would normally have off so it did not extend my time doing a BS (7 semesters). I went to RPI and found out smaller companies did not affiliate with the school co-op program (it was small and only served a minority of the students) because the school charged a placement fee to the companies hiring students in their off terms.

    RPI has unfortunately headed straight down the shitter (see www.renewrensselaer.org) with internal strife; declining finances; an imperial president (she insists on being introduced as "The Honorable ...." and other administrators must rise when she enters a room); a president who is spending into oblivion while looting the place with one of the top college president salaries in the country; and is listed in the top ten universities for suppression of free speech by TheFire.org. One reason cited for controlling campus speech by an administrator was that the failure to do so could lead to groups like the NRA having students circulate literature. What was once a great school has become an embarrassment. If I were still on campus, I would start selling "Make Rensselaer Great Again" hats.

    I regret that I would not recommend my alma matter to an aspiring nerd when there are better and more financially stable choices out there.

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