UCSD vs UCI
I got admitted to both colleges, UCSD for Computer Engineering housed under the ECE department, UCI for Electrical Engineering with Honors.
Cost is equal at both.
-- honors college gives priority registration which I heard is a big deal for STEM
-- have heard it's a commuter school
-- more minors that I like (such as ling and polisci data analytics)
-- better location
-- socially dead?
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Choosing a college to go to is definitely a daunting task - you're committing a lot of time and money to somewhere so you want to make sure it is worth it. Ultimately the decision on where to go has to come down to you. Friends, family, teachers, etc. can give you their thoughts on what you should do but in the end you are the one who will be attending the school.
I think right now one of the best things you can do is sit down and come up with a more comprehensive pro/con list for each school. I would imagine when you start to think about things in more detail that you will realize you can come up with a lot more things that will help you make your decision. Start by thinking about the things that matter most to you in a school. Is it prestige? Academics? Location? Size? Food? Come up with as many pros/cons as you can for both schools and then work your way through the other items on your list.
Here are things I would consider (some might not be relevant):
Academics: Which major are you leaning towards? Are the programs good? Are there specific professors/research opportunities you're more interested in at a school? Are there other classes available to you which you want to take? Does the Honors college matter to you? Are classes taught by grad students at all?
Location: Do you want a big or small school? City or rural? Is there enough to do in the surrounding area? Climate? Close to home or no?
Campus life/school environment: Think about athletics, clubs, organizations, events. Is there greek life? What about the food? Think about the school community. Do you like the diversity? Religious affiliation? Is there something missing you'll want in your free time? What about school spirit from students? Too much or not enough?
This is just a quick list off the top of my head, I'm sure you can think of more. Take some time and really consider this decision. You're going to spend your next 4 years at this place so you want to make sure it's somewhere you can see yourself living at. Listen to your gut, it's going to be right a lot of the time. And don't think anything is too silly of a reason to go somewhere. Maybe there's a local ice cream place near by that reminds you of home. Maybe there's a rock climbing wall in the gym that will help keep you sane when finals come. Maybe you never even use the rock wall but just the fact that it's there makes you realize the school cares about the student experience. Maybe the school lets you submit family recipes and they make a new one every month so students can get a taste of home. These things might seem minor or silly but I think you'd be surprised sometimes what helps tip the scale for a school one way or another.
This probably really depends on your priorities! Congrats on getting honors at UCI -- maybe that would mean a lot in the future where you are applying for jobs and could mean a higher salary. If that's your main goal for attending UCI, go for it! A commuter school wouldn't be too bad if you found nearby housing, and if you're unsure, make sure you talk to your college counselor or do some of your own research.
If you want to learn more and have more minor degrees, you should stick with UCSD since having more diverse subjects on your resume could be more valuable! I don't think any college is quite socially dead, but you can always talk to current students there!
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