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Best Tech Colleges Are Harder Than Ever To Get In

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the use-a-catapult dept.

Education 108

alphadogg writes "Results from the early application rounds at the nation's best technical colleges indicate that it will be another excruciatingly difficult year for high school seniors to get accepted into top-notch undergraduate computer science and engineering programs. Leading tech colleges reported a sharp rise in early applications, prompting them to be more selective in choosing prospective freshmen for the Class of 2017. Many colleges are reporting lower acceptance rates for their binding early decision and non-binding early action admissions programs than in previous years. Here's a roundup of stats from MIT, Stanford and others."

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Big deal (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42467849)

I already got my degree.

Was it worth it?

I have no idea. As I climb the hill I'm seeing all sorts of people with and without degrees at all levels.

Re:Big deal (2, Informative)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 years ago | (#42467909)

yeah, not a big deal. So you didn't get into MIT CS department, so what... go to a community college and then transfer to a state uni. All that matters is that you have a CS degree, that's enough to open any door as long as you actually know how to code.

Re:Big deal (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 years ago | (#42468205)

You say "state uni" like it's a second-class choice, but one of the schools on that list is a state uni!

Re:Big deal (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#42468405)

I don't think that was the implication he was making. State schools are the most likely to accept community college credits. This is a perfectly valid and acceptable path for an education, even if you're not at the #1 school.

Re:Big deal (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about 2 years ago | (#42469003)

I don't think that was the implication he was making. State schools are the most likely to accept community college credits. This is a perfectly valid and acceptable path for an education, even if you're not at the #1 school.

And they are cheaper then private universities (before you factor in need-based financial aid, which is a wildcard).

Re:Big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468603)

I think you're reading his sentence wrong- he's saying that a state uni is just fine.

Re:Big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468459)

If you are just trying to get a degree and move on, using it just to get your resume in the door at various places, than by all means, find the cheapest place that won't look bad on a resume. If you want to do more than just learn from textbooks, then maybe you should consider these harder to get into places. Pick one that do research in a field of interest and allow students to participate in such research, so you can then get experience and connections that may end up being far more important than the piece of paper you get at the end.

Re:Big deal (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 years ago | (#42469281)

You participated in research as a CS undergrad?

Re:Big deal (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#42469333)

Yes, this is typical in my experience. I did research at CMU in my undergraduate, as did many (but not all) of my cohort. In graduate school, we often picked a couple undergrads to help with some of the research. Sometimes we were mean and gave them grunt work, but in the end I think they got a lot of experience of out it.

Re:Big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42470197)

A couple profs will be kind of stuck up and not think they could do anything with an undergrad. But in my experience, and in the experience of many friends in fields beyond CS, a lot were more than happy to get an undergrad to help in one way or another. You are essentially free labor, since the cost of hiring an undergrad is much less than other employees or resources, even more so if you qualify for work studies or various school programs to encourage undergrad research (sure beats working in a cafeteria somewhere). The only investment is time, since it takes time to get you up to speed, and to keep track of what you are doing, etc., and that is slightly less of a problem in fields that don't involve dangerous or expensive physical experiments. As the other poster pointed out, you sometimes end up doing grunt work, but with a little time, effort and attention, you can pick up what is going on enough to start contributing on a higher level (although still need to keep an eye out for a few profs looking for grunt work and nothing more).

Re:Big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468463)

The school matters if you're going to a company like Accenture where they base your pay on what school you graduated from. But then, Accenture are among the more feckless, wasteful, slow, and expensive means of getting any project built.

For a know-nothing out of a big name school though, it's great.

MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42469481)

Massive Open Online Courses are the hot new thing, and they allow unlimited enrollment without any class-size restriction, and often without any tuition cost. They're all about *access* - if you want to study to become a neuroscientist, then who says you can't? After all, it's your time and effort to waste, isn't it? Accredition is a different matter of course, since just because you feel you have what it takes to be a good neuroscientist, doesn't mean others will agree with you. But as far as getting the opportunity for learning and studying the field, then it should be your own choice and your own risk.

I see MOOCs as being the future - then anybody will be able to study whatever they want, regardless of their prior credentials or their past assessments. Accreditation and evaluation will be strictly controlled by professional bodies, but learning will be available for anybody to partake in.

I imagine that MOOC materials could be built up Wikipedia-style, by crowd-sourcing the information and even practice exercises for self-assessment. That information will be textual, audio-visual, etc. Just as Wikipedia rapidly grew to surpass Britannica and other established encyclopedias, likewise the MOOCs and their content could rapidly swell to exceed that of established course curricula in size and quality. Even mainstream university instructors may tell their students to go to a corresponding MOOC to look up practice problems, or further explanations of things. Once a new solution is big enough and useful enough, the world will no longer be able to ignore it - MOOCs are that solution waiting to happen. They're in their infancy right now, but it's only a matter of time before they take over.

Re:MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42470153)

That seems like it would cover the middle ground of people who go to university to just get a degree or to just learn the basics and move on. Such courses won't cover the two ends of the scales though: the people who go to university to party and the people who go to learn, but see universities as a collection of resources beyond just coursework.

Social Learning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42471929)

Partying doesn't matter - you can go anywhere for that, rather than a technical university.

As for those who see universities as providing resources beyond just coursework, I would then coin a new phrase - "social learning". The idea behind social learning would be that you would form social circles with like-minded people having the same learning interests, and that your social interaction could be a strong supplement for reduced teacher-student interaction. As a result, you would rely primarily upon your social circle for most of your learning support, and would only consult with teachers as a last resort. This would reduce the burden on teachers, especially in connection with extremely large class sizes.

Touching back on the partying thing again - I guess that could be called the social part without the learning. ;P

MOOCs would be available for free, or for much lower tuition cost than we see now, and it's mainly the exams that you would take for accreditation purposes that you would pay for. Also, online access would mean not necessarily having to move away from where you already are, allowing you the convenience of learning within your current lifestyle. Access barriers would be reduced, so that motivation, discipline, and focus become the new challenges.

MOOCs would also promote uniformity in the learning experience, and would reduce the variations in quality by creating a single comprehensive source. The MOOC material would include a myriad of different explanations for the same thing, so that if you don't understand a particular explanation, you can look at other explanations until you find one that clicks.

Very importantly, MOOCs would allow metrics to be taken, so that expert systems could intimately monitor your learning progress, finding your defects and roadblocks, diagnosing and prescribing the best solutions to help you move forward. Learning would become a truly interactive experience, again reducing the burden on a teacher, especially with large class size.

Re:Social Learning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42472111)

There is frequently a lot more available at universities than just interacting with the teacher and other students. You can find involvement in groups of people of various skills from the level of your peers to some that are the top in their field, and a mix of different real world experiences that go beyond that coursework. You can just expand your "social circle" concept to include volunteers from people with more experience, but then you are going to run into either an issue of low signal to noise ratio, or back to various barriers to access due to limited time. And it is not just about being able to ask such people questions, but to get hands on experience with different projects, and learning of the bleeding edge of work and research, typically before it is even published in journals let alone textbooks or worked out into some automated coursework. Some fields could manage that online too (with barriers to access due to practical limits on various kinds of research teams), but many fields will not be able to cover needed experience without literal hands-on work.

I am not trying to say MOOCs don't have a place, as they would be able to cover the needs of probably a majority of people's education needed to go into desired areas of the workforce or just to cover curiosities. But there will probably always be a need for physical university settings for many fields, and for many others, there will be a disadvantage, varying from nearly trivially small to large, for those without access to that. Although, you don't often need to even be a student at a university to take advantage of some of those things, as many people are willing to talk or offer projects to anyone who shows up and is polite, although students might get priority. So much of that has been available for quite some time, and a matter of determination to access.

Also, from personal experience, while automated systems for evaluation and diagnosing problems in education will be something developed at some point, we are a long, long ways from it now. I've seen and worked with various examples used in physical sciences, CS, and mathematics that work to varying degrees, but pretty much all have cases of serious suckage. They mostly reduce the workload on teaching, but still end up with a significant amount of student time wasted on figuring out the system instead of the material, or even in some cases, required a lot of specific instruction in just the formatting the systems were expecting and understanding their far less than ideal failure modes and cryptic errors.

Re:Big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42470237)

All that matters is that you have a CS degree, that's enough to open any door as long as you actually know how to code.

Not the doors that change the world or make real money. Startups don't have the time to hire from general applicants; they network. Wall Street doesn't waste their time on general applicants; they network. It's not what you know but who you know, and you meet them at school.

(also, I went to Georgia Tech and MIT. What was a semester project down there was the equivalent of a weekly lab assignment up here. There is a difference in rigor...it's just not something you discuss in polite company)

Re:Big deal (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#42474345)

Oh for a "-1 smug cunt" moderation option.

Re:Big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42470261)

You must be on a different hill than I.

So don't go (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42467885)

So don't go. A year of junior college did wonders for my career, and I didn't deal with self-absorbed pricks who couldn't be bothered to profess (something I encountered often in the course of getting my worthless physics degree).

Re:So don't go (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42467991)

WTF do you think the verb "profess" means?
Otherwise your English seems idiomatic, or I would have guessed non-native.

FTFY (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 2 years ago | (#42468223)

"couldn't be bothered to profess" their love for teaching....

pffft MIT (1, Funny)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 2 years ago | (#42467891)

The cool kids go to Yale. Then regret associations with fellow classmates.

What are you talking about? (4, Funny)

Lucas123 (935744) | about 2 years ago | (#42467893)

ITT Tech accepted me no questions asked.

Re:What are you talking about? (1)

RoknrolZombie (2504888) | about 2 years ago | (#42469123)

ITT Tech accepted me no questions asked.

Yeah, like me you just paid a fortune for a piece of paper and some ink.

Re:What are you talking about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42469625)

A buddy of mine said the most difficult math course they offered at the ITT he went to was trig, is that true because if it is... so pathetic.

"Reach" schools (4, Interesting)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#42468041)

Part of the perception of low acceptance for these schools is the concept of a "reach" school that counselors push on students. The idea is you apply to schools from different strata: safety, match, and reach. Your safety school are your fallbacks that you'll likely get into with no problem. The match school are those which you exceed or meet the qualifications. And the reach schools you can guess are the dream schools you apply to. You don't meet the acceptance criteria (grades, SAT, extracurriculars too low) but you apply anyway on the off chance you make it in somehow. The thing is, this batch of reach schools is the same for everyone: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, etc. This is why you see 6000+ applications for MIT, Stanfard, etc.

Take a look at lesser known CMU (and I should know, I went there. When friends and relatives ask me where I attended, it's always followed by "Oh... and where is that?"). They admitted LESS students than MIT, but ended up with double the acceptance rate because 6x as many students applied to MIT, most of them probably completely unqualified because they chose MIT as a "reach" school.

Re:"Reach" schools (4, Informative)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#42468181)

Actually looking more closely at TFA, much of the low acceptance rate for Stanford and MIT can also be attributed to the fact their early admissions are not binding. When I played the application game in highschool, I applied to a single dream school early admission and saved the rest of my apps for when that decision came in. In this case, you can apply to MIT *and* Stanford early admission, and maybe any other schools that do this, effectively giving you two rounds of decisions.

Either way, the "reach" school concept applies, because you always want to apply to your reach school as early decision. That way you know early if you don't get in and can apply to some other reach schools for regular admissions.

Re:"Reach" schools (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468757)

Actually, Stanford's early application is restrictive, meaning that you don't have to go there if accepted, but you can't apply to any other schools until after the decision comes out on December 20th. (I think TFA briefly mentions it, but I also speak from experience)

Re:"Reach" schools (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#42469245)

I see, I was a little confused by their wording. Still, this policy makes Stanford a pretty good early decision pick if you have many to choose from.

GA Tech is like Rodney Dangerfield... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 years ago | (#42468183)

...It's 8th on the list, but still don't get no respect!

For what it's worth, GA Tech was my "match" school, and the one I attended. I don't know why I even bothered applying to a "reach..."

Re:GA Tech is like Rodney Dangerfield... (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#42468199)

I don't know what the rest of GA Tech is like, but you've got my respect for your robotics program (my field). I've met some faculty and researchers from GA Tech at conferences and in my travels, and they're top notch.

Re:GA Tech is like Rodney Dangerfield... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 years ago | (#42468415)

I don't know what the rest of GA Tech is like...

Compared to other majors, Comp Sci is low in the rankings. GA Tech is #3 in Civil Engineering, #5 in Electrical Engineering, #6 in Mechanical Engineering, etc. (Of course, those are all rankings for grad programs, whereas TFA is about undergrad. But still...)

Re:GA Tech is like Rodney Dangerfield... (1)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 2 years ago | (#42469793)

Looking at the list, GT actually gets similar numbers of applicants to those other schools. It just happens to have a larger acceptance rate, because it's a rather large school and it's focus is almost exclusively tech degrees.

As a Tech grad, I'm just happy to see it make a list.

The only public/state school (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42475507)

...It's 8th on the list, but still don't get no respect!

It's the only public school on the list, which goes a long way toward explaining why its stats are so different from the rest.

The criteria they use for the list are pretty nebulous (other than that they "...offer early admission programs" which presumably excludes a lot of the other public tech schools.)

Re:"Reach" schools (1)

Sez Zero (586611) | about 2 years ago | (#42468283)

Take a look at lesser known CMU (and I should know, I went there. When friends and relatives ask me where I attended, it's always followed by "Oh... and where is that?"). They admitted LESS students than MIT...

Jeeze, it can't be that good of a school if they admitted FEWER students than MIT.

Re:"Reach" schools (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#42468335)

Thanks Capt. Grammar! Want to correct all the other spelling and grammar mistakes I made in my post as well? There are plenty you missed.

Re:"Reach" schools (2)

SigmoidCurve (188795) | about 2 years ago | (#42470987)

Thanks Capt. Grammar! Want to correct all the other spelling and grammar mistakes I made in my post as well? There are plenty you missed.

Learn how to write, I expected more from a varsity letterman.

Re:"Reach" schools (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#42471541)

I would be remiss not to point out that a semicolon or period is more appropriate in place of the comma you used. ;)

Re:"Reach" schools (1)

SigmoidCurve (188795) | about 2 years ago | (#42471627)

I would be remiss not to point out that a semicolon or period is more appropriate in place of the comma you used. ;)

Remission accomplished: the semi-colon would be more common in any period.

Re:"Reach" schools (1)

styrotech (136124) | about 2 years ago | (#42473209)

Remission accomplished: the semi-colon would be more common in any period.

That sounds like a euphemism for switching to anal sex during menstruation...

Re:"Reach" schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42474779)

Thanks Capt. Grammar! Want to correct all the other spelling and grammar mistakes I made in my post as well? There are plenty you missed.

What an asshole you appear to be.

Re:"Reach" schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468317)

That's true, but that's not at all a new phenomenon. What is (relatively) new is how many people are going to college, and how much the standards have been raised. I applied to schools in '95 and have a friend about 10 years younger than me who couldn't get into my college despite being bright enough to graduate from UC-Berkeley later. (I don't know what hoops, if any, she had to jump through first.) If I had kids today, I'd encourage them to look for alternatives to college because I'm sure as the admissions are getting tougher, kids are going to be wasting more and more of their time doing crap they otherwise wouldn't just to pad their college applications. This is coming from someone who considers their college experience the single best thing yet to happen in my life.

Re:"Reach" schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468497)

I don't think there's anything wrong with promoting the safety, match and reach strategy. MIT was a ways beyond my match range, nobody else from my school has ever gotten into there. If anything, that leads to more self selection, and it'd be easy to expect lower application numbers over the course of a few years. 6500, and the combined number (EA + RD) from last year ~18000 seems small. There's at least a couple of rather smart people in nigh every school, and 6500 is less than an order of magnitude greater than my school's current graduating class, which, if anything, is indicative of massive self selection, so there aren't really any swarms of overtly ill-qualified applicants inherent in a 6000+ applicant pool.

Re:"Reach" schools (4, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | about 2 years ago | (#42468533)

Which is why it is shameful for anyone to measure the strength of a school based on the percentage of students admitted. I would think this is obvious. You want to judge an undergraduate institution? See what students are doing when they graduate, not when they're accepted. Or whether they make it graduation for that matter.

Re:"Reach" schools (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 2 years ago | (#42471899)

Well, the degree to which a school is a "reach" school, to use GPP's terminology, is probably a pretty good measurement of that school's reputation. And to be sure, people who graduate from elite schools go on to do great things, out of proportion to their numbers--a degree from Stanford is no guarantee of greatness, just like a degree from Enormous State University is no guarantee of mediocrity, but there's a real correlation. So in crude terms, judging a school by its acceptance rate makes a certain amount of sense.

Re:"Reach" schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42476709)

You want to judge an undergraduate institution? See what students are doing when they graduate, not when they're accepted.

Unfortunately, that kind of data is not available. Institutions collect data on their incoming classes (as part of admissions) but don't give a shit about you once they've got all of your tuition dollars. And nobody else does, either.

If the "College Rankings" publishers really wanted to gather useful data, they'd ask colleges for their alumni rolls, and then survey the last few years' worth of graduates on (A) whether they were able to find employment or enroll in graduate programs; (B) If employed, how much they earned, and (C) Whether their course of study contributed to their current employment or graduate study program (or if they're working at Starbucks or studying to be a hairdresser)

Some colleges may do this for their own use, but they sure as hell won't tell you the results.

Re:"Reach" schools (1)

SigmoidCurve (188795) | about 2 years ago | (#42470951)

Take a look at lesser known CMU (and I should know, I went there. When friends and relatives ask me where I attended, it's always followed by "Oh... and where is that?"). They admitted LESS students than MIT, but ended up with double the acceptance rate

Fewer, they admitted fewer students. Nice work, poster boy.

Re:"Reach" schools (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#42471065)

They taught me how to build robots, not grammar.

Re:"Reach" schools (1)

SigmoidCurve (188795) | about 2 years ago | (#42471727)

They taught me how to build robots, not grammar.

My robot's instruction file says that it "eats, shoots and leaves." OH NOES! I've been shot!

Re:"Reach" schools (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#42474375)

They taught me how to build robots, not grammar.

If you can't communicate in your native language, you shouldn't be allowed to build anything that involves other people, especially robots. Sloppy English means you're a sloppy "engineer".

FUCK MIT ROMNEY GO WITH KAHN !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468101)

Khaaaaaaaaaaannnnn !! Acadameeeeeeeeeeeh !!

Harder than ever? No. (2, Funny)

Bogtha (906264) | about 2 years ago | (#42468129)

Previously on Slashdot: Could You Pass Harvard's Entrance Exam From 1869? [slashdot.org]

Re:Harder than ever? No. (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#42468295)

I know it's in the list, but is Harvard generally considered a tech school? I know personally I never have. Law, medicine, liberal arts and sciences, sure. But I've never considered them up there with MIT, CMU, Cal Tech, GA Tech, and Stanford.

Re:Harder than ever? No. (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 2 years ago | (#42468297)

the math is pretty easy, latin who cares, geography is ok as well.

Re:Harder than ever? No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468531)

Come now. This has been discussed many times; heck, read the very first comment in that thread.

Re:Harder than ever? No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468815)

Well, the math is trivial, but dull. My Latin's rather rusty, but that doesn't look much harder than the senior school entrance exam I took aged 13. I've never leaned Greek, and would score close to zero on the History / Geography paper (but set the equivalent paper in Mediaeval Europe, rather than Ancient Greece, and we'll talk.

I thought you were talking about JEE. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#42468141)

When you talked about how difficult it is to get into best engineering colleges and the incredibly low acceptance rates, I thought you were talking about the Joint Entrance Examination of the Indian Institutes of Technology [wikipedia.org]

In 2012, half a million students took the test to vie for a paltry 10,000 seats. Acceptance rate of 1.9%. The acceptance rate has crept UP because they have increased the number of seats by an order of magnitude since my days. In my year the closing rank (last student admitted to a real IIT, not Banares Hindu University which shared the entrance examn) was 1350. The number of applicants in my year was also less, around 100,000.

Re:I thought you were talking about JEE. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468569)

Acceptance below 10% is all the same in my opinion. I took the JEE too, I never prepared, never wanted to get into one (I already did very well in my state entrance exams, and had the top state ranks). The only reason I took I guess is because it was a cool thing to do. My guess would be that 90% of the applicants to JEE that apply, dont even think that they have the slightest chance of making. If only they would increase the application fees as much as MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) or Stanford, the acceptance rate would go way up.

Re:I thought you were talking about JEE. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#42473751)

MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Cute. So that I would not confuse it with Madras Institute of Technology, the alma mater of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam ;-)

I think it is not the application fees that is responsible for the low applicant/seat ratio for the top American engg schools. In USA to the students with good academic records get evenly distributed in many areas, journalism, art, literature, law, economics, business degrees etc. In India Engineering and Medecine still garner the lions share of the top students. It is changing now I hear. Degrees like B Sc Visual Communications (video camera, editing, animation etc) are super hot in Chennai I hear.

It All Depends On What Race You Are (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468145)

For the Ivy League schools, being Asian American is makes it even harder because they implement soft quotas on them (around 20%) in the name of diversity.

If you are a member of an underperforming race, then you stand a better chance, grades and test scores being equal.

Fact.

Fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468209)

Factu.. Factu.. Factu..

Re:It All Depends On What Race You Are (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468427)

A white friend of mine married a rich black woman from Kenya.

They had a kid together and bought an abandoned farm.

He put a sickly cow they keep as a pet on the farm.

Now they get literally ~250k from the US fed gov simply because they own a "failing minority farm".

Re:It All Depends On What Race You Are (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42470525)

How many acres is the farm and what did it cost?

Re:It All Depends On What Race You Are (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#42469785)

Of course, getting those equal grades and test scores when you had subpar educational opportunities is the hard part. (And don't try to pretend those inner-city schools are actually equal).

If I were recruiting for a running team, I might pick the guy who came in second, if I found out he was forced to start late due to no fault of his own.

a lot easier when I got into one of those (3, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | about 2 years ago | (#42468233)

About 25% acceptance rate when I got into MIT decades ago. But then applying to more than 3-4 colleges was unusual. Computers/Internet make it somewhat easier to churn applications now. So with twice as many people applying to college at three times more college since then increases applications around six-fold.

"Best" tech college? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468273)

Personally, I don't think MIT is the "Best" tech college. I went to a state university, (and have a lot less debt than i would have racked up at MIT) and I still got a job that pays me well to do the kind of work I like.

The tuition & fees for my BS in Electrical Engineering and my MS in Computer Engineering combined from a state university were cheaper than one year of tuition & fees at MIT.

Re:"Best" tech college? (1)

paiute (550198) | about 2 years ago | (#42468545)

Personally, I don't think MIT is the "Best" tech college.

You can always tell a nonMIT man.

Re:"Best" tech college? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468935)

Yeah, he doesn't tell you.

Re:"Best" tech college? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468817)

You went to a college "good enough" for you, which is fine. But other, smarter people may have more ambition and can get more out of a better school.

Re:"Best" tech college? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42469669)

Personally, I don't think MIT is the "Best" tech college. I went to a state university, (and have a lot less debt than i would have racked up at MIT) and I still got a job that pays me well to do the kind of work I like.

The tuition & fees for my BS in Electrical Engineering and my MS in Computer Engineering combined from a state university were cheaper than one year of tuition & fees at MIT.

But at MIT you'd have zero debt (depending on how long ago you went to college, admittedly) because all top programs now have debt-free financial aid.

gender diversity factor (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468307)

I dont know how it is at other colleges, but MIT's desire to have nearly half women makes it a little harder for guys. They accept about a quarter of the women and less than ten percent of the guys.

I dont know when this changed. It was predominantly male before 1990. I think they always wanted more women apply, but they did not apply in large numbers before then.

Don't worry about it. (2)

albeit unknown (136964) | about 2 years ago | (#42468309)

When I hire new graduates, it usually matters little what school you went to, as long as it's a real, accredited program. I look for project involvement like the solar car, co-ops and internships, little side jobs of a technical nature, and so on. Unless you have that, your resume looks just like everyone else's: Name of school, list of classes, GPA. Who cares? Your resume might as well be one line. I know what classes are required for an engineering degree, don't repeat the school catalog to me.

Re:Don't worry about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42469103)

My resume had none of those thing you look for. The company that did hire me has nine patents thanks to me.

But, yeah, trust a piece of paper. No wonder no one wants to work anymore. You can never know what wacky One Theory Of The Universe the hiring manager is looking for.

Important Question: (2, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#42468403)

How many of the world's billionaires graduated from one of the aforementioned universities?

Re:Important Question: (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468969)

Plenty. And if you include attending without graduating, it's even more. Attending may actually be more important than actually graduating, as networking (the social skill, not the technology) is critical to business success.

http://www.forbes.com/2008/05/19/billionaires-harvard-education-biz-billies-cx_af_0519billieu.html [forbes.com]

Re:Important Question: (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#42469289)

I wonder what a breakdown would look like of who graduated from the school of Law and Business at those respective colleges. Probably a significant portion.

Re:Important Question: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468985)

How is that an important question?

Re:Important Question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42473797)

The whole mystique surrounding these fine schools is that they better to prepare their graduates for success. Since "billionaire" is certainly one measure of success, then finding that people who graduate from harvard/mit/CalTech go on to become billionaires at substantially higher rate than people who graduate from Ohio State/Nebraska/Cornell provides at least some justification for the mystique. Deciphering whether that success is due to the school doing something different (ie, providing a better education) or having a better weed-out process (ie, being selective enough not to admit people with low probability of success) is a different question.

Re:Important Question: (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#42474465)

How many of the world's billionaires graduated from one of the aforementioned universities?

How many of the world's billionaires have actually contributed anything useful to society?

So are the best pussies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468409)

So you can work harder or choose an asshole.

Students aren't stupid. (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 2 years ago | (#42468423)

The value of a big-name school degree is immense and going up. Students are correspondingly applying to them in droves.

Ummm... (5, Insightful)

hondo77 (324058) | about 2 years ago | (#42468481)

...it will be another excruciatingly difficult year for high school seniors to get accepted into top-notch undergraduate computer science and engineering programs.

Isn't it supposed to be excruciatingly difficult to get accepted into top-notch programs?

And yet... (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#42468509)

And yet information is easier to get than ever.

Someone who really puts their mind to their studies will excel more by studying by themselves than someone who only does the bare minimum at MIT.

I've never really understood the allure of going to an ivy league school as opposed to a more obscure state university or smaller private school. This isn't 1960 anymore, the information presented in an MIT, Yale or Harvard lecture is available online to anyone with an internet connection. The technology is the same at a small state school when compared to MIT for all practical intents and purposes. Sure, if your focus is on supercomputers MIT might have hardware that is unavailable at a smaller school, but for most people, the hardware is identical.

About the only advantage I can see going to a larger school would be networking and getting a higher paying or more enjoyable job, something that is defeated by the much, much, much, higher prices of going to a "prestigious" school, where one year of tuition costs as much as 4 years at a different school.

Re:And yet... (1)

file_reaper (1290016) | about 2 years ago | (#42471497)

I see your point of view and your statements are valid. I didnt go to a Ivy League school (I went to UW in Canada), but I've found the quality of the professors teaching there to be unparalled. I've had professors who graduated from Ivy league schools and the quality of their lectures, course work, and overall *quality* of education was unparalled. In Ivy League schools, every course would be at a high quality which I feel is worth the cost. Most of the professors teaching at MIT, Harvard, Stanford etc... probably do cutting edge research and if you watch their lectures they mention a lot of it, along with common methods used in practice by them which you cant find in a textbook, this insider techiniqes, intuition and insights are worth all the money. I may sound a bit romantic or naive but no online/internet learning will give this deep learning. Thanks for your time.

Re:And yet... (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#42471589)

Actually, if you go down the list of professors at *any* college and look at where they graduated, they're mostly from ivy league schools or otherwise top schools in their discipline. The reason for this is simple: competition for faculty positions is fierce, so they end up taking the best of the best candidates.... i.e. the ivy leaguers. If you have a slot open in your Electrical Engineering department are you going to fill it with a MIT doctor or some low tier state school doctor?

Re:And yet... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#42471659)

The problem with lecture style learning is you can get it all online. A simple query on YouTube brings up thousands of results for a lecture in computer science.

And sure, it might be worth a bit more money, but not a whole lot more. For an instate resident at most smaller state schools tuition at 15 credit hours ranges from $3-5 thousand dollars a semester. At MIT tuition/fees cost ~$21 thousand dollars a semester. That is a HUGE jump. That means that tuition at MIT for 4 years costs ~$168,000, or the price of a decent house. On the other hand, you can expect to pay ~$40,000 at a smaller state schools. I think there are many, many, better ways you can spend $128,000 to benefit your learning than going to MIT.

Sure, a degree is pretty much required anymore (and ITT isn't much better than high school when dealing with HR) and so going to college is pretty much the only option if you live in the West, but with many lectures being available online and the huge cost involved with going to a prestigious university, I simply don't see how it is worth it.

MIT (1)

deodiaus2 (980169) | about 2 years ago | (#42472115)

MIT is a school where professors make a lot more money doing industry sponcered research. As an undergraduate, you will likily be ignored because the graduate students will get most of the time and attention by the professors. The graduate students are unpaid slaves conducting research on behalf of the professors who hope to graduate and get out of their predicament ASAP. Most professors at MIT are there because of their great research record and previous accomplishment and not because they can explain themselves well or teach.
OTOH, a school like Dartmouth values undergraduates and rewards professors who teach well.

Re:And yet... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#42474489)

About the only advantage I can see going to a larger school would be networking

*kerching*

got it in one.

It's the US equivalent of the Oxbridge set up here in the UK. I know you think you're classless and that you don't have the old boy/upper class twit nepotism we do. Well, you're wrong.

here's why (1)

schlachter (862210) | about 2 years ago | (#42476087)

for the company of your peers and the connections...and the reputation

These are tech schools?? (5, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | about 2 years ago | (#42468607)

How do Harvard and Columbia make the list when UIUC, Berkeley, Michigan, Cornell don't?

Re:These are tech schools?? (2)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 2 years ago | (#42468775)

I guess its because they're only looking at those with early admissions.

Yeah, it's always funny when people talk about Harvard as a tech school, when there are half a dozen state schools better in CS, and their engineering school doesn't even rank.

Re:These are tech schools?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42469893)

So Michigan at least has an early decision admissions program. That's how I applied there way back when I first did the college thing.

http://www.admissions.umich.edu/drupal/early

Re:These are tech schools?? (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | about 2 years ago | (#42468903)

Hard to decide whether to mod up insightful or reply... I notice that among your list, all but Cornell are public; among the list in the article, all but Georgia Tech are private.

Re:These are tech schools?? (0)

volmtech (769154) | about 2 years ago | (#42469269)

President,of the United States.

Re:These are tech schools?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42470603)

I'm guessing that data is what was available.

Georgia Tech too. Weird, not a bad school, but from their 55% acceptance rate it's hard to think they're top tier.

Re:These are tech schools?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42472193)

Getting in isn't the problem...its getting through it :D GT likes to line their pockets with crushed souls :]

Get indoctrinated good now.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42468695)

like good little drones..

Parts of IT need trades / apprenticeships not just (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#42469243)

Parts of IT need trades / apprenticeships not just schools like the one listed they are good for high level design but not so much for day to day desktop / sysadmin stuff.

Also CS is not IT it's more for high level design / coding.

Also way to much is put on the college degrees even harvard says that.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2011/0202/Does-everyone-need-a-college-degree-Maybe-not-says-Harvard-study [csmonitor.com]

But easier than ever (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 2 years ago | (#42474075)

To stay in. Although, to a person, every single person I've ever met who went to Harvard proudly told me that it was FAR easier to stay in than to get in. So it's simply more of the same and getting worse. And given 30% of the admissions are legacy, that means that for the vast sweep of the 'elite' of this country, their entire future is settled by the time they're 17. Awesome.

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