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AcademicGround >> Go to better uni and take on more debt or......


10/11/09 2:14 AM
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amorphous
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Member Since: 10/26/03
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Go to a smaller, but still very decent state University? I'm leaning towards computer science for undergrad and the University of Utah is supposed to have a pretty damn good CS dept. With my current job I have tuition reimbursement and can scrape by with little to no debt.

OR...would it be more advantageous to get into the best damn school I can and figure out the financial aid later? (which may mean graduating with quite a bit of debt) I was looking at Berkeley, but that will probably be too hard to get into. I'm not stupid, but I am trying to be realistic. (Do you have to be a natural-born genius scary smart SOB or can you work really hard to get into MIT?)

Same thing applies to grad school. Probably whatever my company will pay for huh?
10/14/09 7:50 PM
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KenTheWalrus
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If the school name alone will open doors then it's worth it, if not then save the money. -ken
10/20/09 10:52 AM
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None So Blind
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Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 10516

 I have my undergrad, MS, and Ph.D. from middle-of-the-road schools.

No one I ever spoke to about jobs once I finished ever gave a goddamn about where I got the degrees, just the fact that I had them at all.

Same with my undergrad degree when looking at grad schools.

IMHO, expensive colleges are completely not worth it - unless you just have to work at one specific company and that company *only* takes people from University X. I know people with doctoral degrees from Ivy League schools and people with degrees from small Div. II schools - and it makes no difference whatsoever in the performance of their jobs as far as I can see. Matter of fact, the Ivy Leaguers in my hospital have a smidgen more entitlement and attitude issues, so that's a mild negative in my book.

If you take a loan at a state U vs. a big-name U - do you have a pretty strong assurance that a degree from the second place will pay you the extra ~100K in loans that you will generate? I'm assuming Berkeley is $40K a year, Utah is $6-8K a year.

And it's s/w unclear from your post, but if this is only undegrad you're talking about, consider that an expensive grad program will tack on an additional $100K in debt.

Screw that.

10/21/09 12:13 AM
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None So Blind
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Should add, just for context - I'm a member of several national societies, have over a dozen publications, have a great job, and in fact was named clinician of the year at my hospital - not bad for a boy from LSU and Ole Miss ;-)

And yes, that award means I beat out plenty folks from more prestigious schools....

10/23/09 6:16 AM
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P.V.Jena
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Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 1826
 If you're trying to go into academia, it can make a very big difference.

But if its for a real job, it really doesn't matter.



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