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How do I know which college is the best option for me?

I am asenior in high school and I am really interested in discoring more about the engineering field. I want to become a civil engineer, but the colleges that have good programs for that are expensive and difficult to get in, so how do I know which is a good collage I can go? engineering civil-engineering college

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Bob’s Answer

From a cost perspective, many times the in state schools are far more economical unless you are able to receive significant scholarships from a private or out of state school.

Another thing to consider is that if you are considering an advanced degree, consider spending extra money to get into a top tier school for that degree. Your undergrad performance, testing, and college experience will play a role in getting selected. Maybe what I just mentioned is to far in the future for you to be thinking about, but if you are thinking of receiving a masters or doctoral degree, please take this into consideration.

Hope this helps,


WOW! thank you so much BOb I really appreciate you took your time to answer my questions this is very helpful and of course I will consider it! Nazareth G.

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Nicole’s Answer

When considering a college and expenses, I would suggest starting out at community colleges in your hometown. You can look into programs at the college that will prepare you for your future major. This is a great first step and will also save you money while you prepare for a University. Other benefits of community college include: Transfering your credits, smaller campuses, flexibility, and networking.


Nicole recommends the following next steps:

Talk to your guidance counselor at your school
Look into Community Colleges that can prepare you for a major in Engineering

Thank you so much Nicole! Nazareth G.

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Peter’s Answer

I would agree with Nicole. If college costs are a major problem, it can make a lot of sense to spend the first two years of your college career attending a junior college in your local area at far less expense. This also gives you time to better determine the right 4-year college to transfer to. But beware! You need to assure that the courses you take in junior college will actually be accepted at a 4-year engineering college. This means that you need to review the lower division course rqts. for a couple of typical engineering schools to assure that you are taking the kinds of courses that are acceptable for moving onto upper division engineering courses once you gain entry to the 4-year college. It is not uncommon for someone transferring to a 4-year college to have to take an extra year to obtain the required courses not taken while in junior college.
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Alycia’s Answer

Hi Nazareth!

This question is very dependent on the person who is asking. Thankfully, I believe you have the hard part down. You already know what major you want to pursue, and on top of that you are also considering college tuition fees and acceptance rates. I would say explore your limitations first (your college budget, your high school statistics, whether you want to go out-of-state or stay in CA, etcetera). Make a list of 'safe schools' that is within in your limitations, and then go from there. Out of those safe schools, look into which schools have engineering programs that sound the most beneficial to you.
I wish you luck! I also live in CA and I believe there are many universities/colleges out here that have amazing engineering programs. You can do this!


P.S. If you find yourself interested in a school that seems out of your reach (also known as a reach school), but has your dream engineering program, apply! There may be parts of your college application that make you stand out and look like a competitive applicant.

Alycia recommends the following next steps:

Make a list of safe schools (taking into account college fees and acceptance rates and the like)
Look into each schools' engineering program to see if it is a right fit for you
In the mean time, continue studying and doing extracurricular activities to look competitive!

WOW! Thank you so much for your feed back Alycia! thank you for taking your precious time to help me I really appreciate it and I will make sure to that before applying! Nazareth G.