Northeastern (great school and you are in the Boston area!)
Kevin A.’s Answer
Generally speaking the top schools are more expensive and require better high school GPAs, aptitude test scores, extracurricular activities, application write-ups, etc.
If you are intellectually or athletically gifted, and/or meet other criteria determined by each school, you may be offered a scholarship which lowers or eliminates costs such as tuition, room and board, and meals. Some may even provide employment while you are attending school.
I would say the first step is to decide what type of engineering appeals to you. Examples include Aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, industrial, nuclear engineering.
If you put in the time and learn everything you can, you will more than likely be successful. A big name school may help you get in the door but it's ultimately your performance that determines your success.
Remember people often mistakenly measure success by comparing one person to another but as Earnest Hemmingway demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, the measure of a person's success is how far they've come considering what they had to overcome to get where they are.
Thus, find your passion, apply yourself everyday and--after you get the degree you've chosen to pursue--find ways to separate yourself from the pack such as by reputation as a hard and smart worker, graduate degree or certification, or just by being being the best version of yourself.
Rensselaer Polytechnic institute
Cornell School of Engineering
Georgia Institue of Technology
Univ of Michigan
Choosing a school will be one of the most difficult decisions of your academic career. You'll need to consider what type of degree you'll need in order to accomplish your engineering career goals, as well as whether or not the institution you're considering meets your personal needs.
In the end, your choice may boil down to the school's tuition, location, and reputation.
ABET- accredited: Does the school meet the minimum education standards set by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology? Accreditation is important for any college degree program, as it ensures quality education, and that the curriculum is reviewed by engineering professionals.
School curriculum: Does the focus and philosophy of the program match your interests? Are the clinical facilities up-to-date? Does the school offer dual-degree programs with other majors?
Internships and co-op programs: Does the school offer programs that will give you industry experience? Does the school offer foreign study programs that will give you an edge in the job market?
Location: Are you willing to move out of state? Do you prefer an urban environment?
Size: What is the student-to-instructor ratio?
Tuition: Will money factor into your decision? Will you qualify for in-state tuition at a state school?
Another huge benefit of school? The connections you'll make, and the job placement services that a good engineering college can provide. Many companies searching for future engineers go directly to engineering colleges to find qualified candidates. They will likely hire the Co-op student after they completed the program and their degree as well. So I highly recommend you to find the company that you would like to work for and apply for the Co-op program to help start your career.
I provided the link below for more details about the Top Engineering Schools In The US In 2020 for your reference.
Personally, I would recommend to try your best and try to get into one of the top 10 schools. If you don't get in, it's ok! Its not the end of the world and make sure you apply to a couple of safe schools. There are plenty of opportunites for you get internships and jobs regardless of the college you attend.