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How do I choose which college to apply to?

I want to be an Imagineer for Disney, I know what I want to major in, Engineering... But how do I choose a college? I don't care how far it is, but it's hard to really know what schools have good programs for that. Please help!

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Doc’s Answer

Perfect Aubrey, knowing that you want to major in engineering and your dream career would be working as an Imagineer for Disney prepares you to choose the college that's the perfect fit for your goals.

COST
Make sure that the colleges you’re considering are affordable for your family so that you can avoid spending years paying off student loans. Have a conversation with your parents to break down the costs of college, considering what financial or merit-based aid you might receive.

SCHOLARSHIP(S)
Start by looking at the school website to see if they have a list of available scholarships. But then also talk directly to their admission department. This can be a great way to narrow down your list—or make your final decision.

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
Location is also a significant factor in choosing a college that meats your goals. If you decide to stay in your home state and attend a public school, you can qualify for in-state tuition, potentially saving you a lot of money on college.
You can also cut costs on travel since car rides are usually less expensive than airfare. Consider whether you want to live in a rural area, a sprawling metropolis, or someplace in between.

NAME DOESN'T MATTER
Lastly Aubrey all college offer majors in Engineering, so keep your goal in mind when choosing a college that fits your dream career. Don't make the mistake of choosing a college for the wrong reasons, like: because your friends are going there or because it's a Ivy league university. College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won. Finding a good fit requires time and thoughtfulness.

Visiting college Web sites to decide if you want to spend the time and money on a visit. Check a school's Web site to find the admissions officer assigned to your region of the country. Send them an e-mail to ask about getting in touch with students taking the major your interested in. When you visit, try to build in time to sit in on classes, eat in the dining hall and hang around in the student center or other high-traffic areas. That will help you imagine yourself as part of the community. Talk to a few students and ask if they would make the same college choice if they had to do it again. Go back to the first item on this list as you consider the information you collected about the colleges.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! you cannot imagine how helpful this was Aubrey
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Karin’s Answer

Hi Aubrey,

It's great, that you already have a clear idea what you want to do. I am leaving a link below with more details of the requirements for Imagineers and what they are looking for.

To find the right college for you, you can use bigfuture and filter for your criteria. Or you can use the USNews rankings to compare schools (links below).

I hope this helps! Good luck!

KP

Karin recommends the following next steps:

https://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Disney-Imagineer
https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-search/filters
https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-engineering-schools/eng-rankings
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Aliza’s Answer

Aubrey,

I'm so glad you've found a passion for engineering. First, I would use some of the links in the responses above to see what types of engineers make good Imagineers. For example, I majored in Industrial Engineering and had peers go on to work as an Imagineers but Mechanical and Robotics engineering are also common choices. You can go to into general engineering and decide later, but if one speaks to you I would make sure that the college you choose has a good program.

Once you decide which one you might want to pursue, I would look at which schools are rated well for those specialties in US News and World Report. Another option is to create a LinkedIn profile and look for current imagineers - then you can see what they majored in and where they went to school. Then, consider the cost, scholarships available, and curriculum of those schools. Also, consider what kind of college atmosphere you want - small town, big city, etc.
Thank you comment icon Thanks, can't wait to put this advice into action! Aubrey
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Joseph’s Answer

I wasn't sure what that meant but found something exceptionally helpful: wiki wiki :-)

https://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Disney-Imagineer#:~:text=You%20need%20a%20Bachelor's%20and,might%20depend%20on%20the%20job.

The link also provides some schools.
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ian’s Answer

Certainly! When it comes to engineering colleges, there are several excellent options to consider. Here are some of the top-ranked engineering schools in the United States:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): Known for its rigorous academic environment, MIT consistently ranks as one of the best engineering schools globally. It offers cutting-edge research opportunities and a diverse learning experience1.
Stanford University: Stanford provides an enriching and transformative academic environment. Its vibrant campus culture fosters deep connections with peers and faculty, and it offers unparalleled resources and opportunities for research and extracurricular activities1.
Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech): Georgia Tech is renowned for its academic focus in engineering. It offers distinguished programs in various fields, including sciences, business, architecture, and liberal arts. The campus provides a comprehensive educational experience1.
Rice University: Located in Houston, Texas, Rice University offers a welcoming and supportive community. It combines strong academics with a vibrant social life, making it an attractive choice for engineering students1.
Yale University: While not exclusively an engineering school, Yale provides an amazing social and academic life. Its unique blend of art and technology creates a stimulating environment for students1.
Harvard University: Harvard’s engineering programs allow students to pursue their lifelong dreams and engage in continuous learning. It offers a wide range of resources and opportunities1.
California Institute of Technology (Caltech): Caltech is a small but challenging school known for its rigorous academic standards. It consistently ranks among the top engineering institutions globally1.
Columbia University: Columbia is a prestigious and prominent school with a strong engineering program. Its location in New York City provides unique opportunities for research and industry connections1.
Carnegie Mellon University: Known for its unique blend of art and technology, Carnegie Mellon offers engaging and diverse opportunities for engineering students. It has a strong focus on interdisciplinary collaboration1.
Princeton University: Princeton provides an engaging academic environment and diverse opportunities for engineering students. Its beautiful campus and strong faculty make it an attractive choice1.
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