It's been ages since I've actually engaged in any conversation on the forum, but I figured I could use some help here.
I've been accepted into 4 of the 5 colleges I applied to. Those schools are:
University of Florida
Florida State University
I'm still waiting for Carnegie Mellon's decision.
Now, I'm a resident of Florida and going to school in-state would be absolutely free. The problem is that I'm very poor and want to major in Computer Science. Because of my fiscal situation, I've got to pick the best school for CS for the best money. I've looked into all of these schools and if money weren't an problem, I'd go to CMU with Ga Tech as a close second. I've looked into the CS program at UF and it looks rather legitimate. They offer a BS in CS and the curriculum is solid as far as I can tell. I'm just not sure how a potential employer would view a degree from there.
Should I go to a techy school and graduate with significant debt or stay at home and graduate with excess money and a degree from a not traditionally tech-oriented school?
If you want to do actual computer science then being at a good school matters much more, but only in the sense that you will have more direct and easier access to good teachers / research groups.
EDIT: let me rephrase my answer: It only matters if you want to do science, but you should still go to a tech university, if not for the fact that even I know Florida is not the most hip place to be, then because you'll likely meet more interesting or at least more like-minded people there. And that's what University is really about!
1. Learning to operate independently and function in the workplace
2. Meeting like-minded individuals for networking and fun
3. The name of the school you attend
4. The degree you get
5. What you actually learn
The whole point of the undergraduate experience is learning to how to prioritize work and set achievable goals. That's really the education that you're getting.
EDIT: If you're wicked poor, can't you get grants, scholarships, and other sorts of funding that won't drive you into crazy-ass debt?
Also, don't forget about the relatively recent federal loan forgiveness plan, and its associated income-based repayment option. College is more affordable than you might think.
To its credit, the University of Florida gives its CS degrees out of the college of engineering, which is revered, i guess. The school is also gigantic (40,000 undergrads.) So, if I were to go there, I think I would be able to find my niche. And, if rankings matter, is the 15th best public school based on some arbitrary report.
I honestly don't care anymore that I'm getting older. For me, it just means I am getting paid more than I was and still having more opportunities to go do things I couldn't do a decade ago.
Those years after high school were fun, but I think I'm having way more fun now.
Whenever I hear conversations of teenagers, I think to myself, "I talked like that, didn't I? Wow. I must have sounded really stupid to older people when I was younger."
High school sucks for everyone cool, guys.
Pessimism is so fucking boring. How do you expect to accomplish anything worthwhile if your baseline expectation is that everything turns to shit anyway?