TECH Colleges

Thread Starter


Joined Apr 24, 2010
I'm gonna be applying to colleges soon, and I want to go to Caltech!

Unfortunately I am not going to make it in, but....

Does anyone know of any great science technology schools which are a bit less select than Caltech/ MIT/ Harvey Mudd?

GPA: 4.2
650 reading
770 math
700 writing

800 Math2
800 Physics
710 Chemistry

Any advice is much appreciated, especially from seasoned college veterans!


Joined Jan 18, 2008
Do you want an engineering or BS degree or an AB/BA degree? Are you planning to go for a Ph.D.? Which specific areas of science or technology interest you the most, e.g., chemistry, math, electrical, biological, physics?

There are many excellent schools available to you. Since you mention both Caltech and MIT, I assume you do not have any geographical restraints. If so, to what locations are you restricted? Is cost a big issue?

What type of student are you? That is, do you like a more structured curriculum or one where you have to find and follow-up on the opportunities?


Thread Starter


Joined Apr 24, 2010
Well I'm looking to get a BS at a good school and then get my masters (or Docotorate, but I haven't thought that far ahead yet) at a GREAT school... maybe even Caltech or Stanford

I'm actually not applying to MIT because of my low chance of getting in, and because if I did get in the climate would kill me in minutes. I'm from southern California so a warm climate is best!

Cost is a factor but because my parents make no money I should be able to get close to a full ride, especially at a public school.

As for what type of student I am... well I think a structured curriculum would be useful for me... but not so structured that it limits potential, like my current High School. We are encouraged to avoid AP classes.


Joined Dec 5, 2009
If you have a year left in high school, I would transfer to a high school that is less on the IDIOTIC side. They ENCOURAGE you to AVOID AP?

...That is so very odd. Now-a-days, schools "report cards" are based on how students perform at and after that schools involvement.

You should camp out at your counselors office and demand access to test into AP.

Are there no teachers at your school intellegent enough to teach an AP class? IS that what the problem is?

"If you take an AP class, we as teachers will have to work SO much harder."

Thread Starter


Joined Apr 24, 2010
Oh no no no please let me clarify. It definitely is not a bad school, but a few of my early counselors advised many incoming freshmen including myself to not overexert themselves because honors classes actually assigned homework. It's a negative work ethic for the 'average and below' students, but the higher reaching students figured out that was a bad idea after freshman year, myself included. Anyways, I over-exaggerated the part about being encouraged to take low level classes.


Joined Jul 7, 2009
If you're someone who likes to dig in and work, you can get a good education at a smaller school. Don't fall into the trap of thinking the big name schools are the only places to go. One thing you'll find out at the big schools is that you're just a number, one in thousands, and it can take a lot of work just to get recognized. You may get very little interaction with teachers until you're upper division.

A smaller school with a good name can put you in much closer contact with the teachers. This can be very important to your educational process. I've attended classes at big schools and smaller schools and I'd still probably pick the smaller school. For grad school, that's a bit different -- I'd go where the good research is being done. But you don't need to worry about that yet. If you're smart, you'll also look for some smaller schools (say, less than 5k to 10k students) that have great track records in teaching and getting undergrads involved with industry, research, etc.

I don't know how things are now, but 30-40 years ago, you could get some great lower division classes in the California junior college system in Silicon Valley. And there's nothing wrong with going to a junior college for the first couple of years to get the basic classes -- and it's very cost effective.

Truthfully, your education depends more on you and how you work at it than where you go to school. You can get a great education at a nearly unknown college and you can coast through at a big school and come out a bum. It's really all up to you -- the college isn't as important as their "marketing" departments want you to believe.

Thread Starter


Joined Apr 24, 2010
I completely agree, and the Caltech has the best of both worlds.. 4 to 1 student to professor ratio or something ridiculous.

I'll definitely take that word of advice into consideration. The only advantage of a bigger school is on-campus recruitment. I suppose that wouldn't really matter until I was in grad school anyways.

Speaking of which, I literally know nothing about transferring to grad schools. What does it take to get into the best programs?