First, I would like to commend you for looking and planning ahead. In my opinion college is a great investment for your future.
If you Google that question, you will get a list of collages that offer aerospace engineering courses. MIT will always be in the top 5, but that does not necessarily mean its the best for you. As Peter pointed out, University of Washington is great because its close to Boeing. One of my friends got his aeronautical engineering degree from New York Polytechnic, and he was pretty happy with the education he got. Another buddy of mine went to Embry-Riddle, where he quickly learned that aerospace engineering was not for him, but luckily they offer a lot of other aerospace programs. I thought I wanted to go into aerospace engineering, but in Aviation high school I was able to take a pre-engineering course and advanced physics and calculus, which helped me change my mind.
If I had to recommend a school, I would recommend Embry -Riddle, because it has a lot of other options, and also its one of the best known Universities in the country. When I mention that I have a degree from College of Aeronautics, most people react with "Ohh, that's nice. Where is that?". My friend from NY Polytechnic gets the same reaction. But, mention Embry -Riddle in the Aviation community, and almost everyone knows exactly what you are talking about. Its right on Daytona Beach, so even people that are not in aviation have heard about it. Embry-Riddle also offers an aircraft maintenance program, and from speaking with the owner of AQRD (Aerospace Quality Research and Development), finding an engineer with some hands on mechanical abilities is worth its weight in gold.
Because College is expensive, you might want to start at your community collage, get your academics out of the way, and then transfer your credits to a collage of your choice, that way your diploma has the great name but with a smaller price tag. This will also give you more time to research your selection.
Also, make sure you check for any available internship opportunities available close to you. Check with engineering firms and get this set up now, if you wait till March, most seats will already be filled and spoken for. This will give you first hand knowledge of what its like to be an engineer, it gives others the opportunity to get to know you, and it will look great on a resume or collage applications.
Hope this helps. Good luck!
Andrei recommends the following next steps:
- See if your school has options for pre-engineering, advanced calculus and/or physics.
- See if your guidance coucelor can help you find internships or apprenticeships with engineering firms, airlines or aviation entities.
- Make sure this is what you want to do for a life time.
- Google the question, and research each one.