I want to start a discussion on the benefits and drawbacks on going to a bigger school or smaller school for both undergrad and grad school.
When I first came to the US, I only really knew a few schools, for obvious reasons the really big ones, and I thought if I wanted to be the best engineer I could be I needed to get into those schools. Life did not think that way, I ended up at South Dakota State University, a small-to-medium size university mostly out of the map for most people.
Looking back, I believe I got a great education, but most importantly, I made it the best experience I could. I was involved in engineering organizations and always sought out professors to make sure I was understanding the topics.
After my undergrad, I looked again into going to bigger schools for grad school. Again, I found myself looking back at this not-so-known school. My thought process this time was that I already knew the professors so I was going to be able to get research projects as well as develop a deeper relationship with them and in consequence be able to understand the concepts better. Additionally, I was blessed to have no student loans during my undergraduate school and having my graduate program paid for was very appealing.
At the end of the day, I got a great education, I have no student loans, and found a great job in structural engineering. I think it is more important to be involved in organizations, always be open to learning, and motivated to seek answers outside of the classroom.What are your thoughts? Where is that balance between the quality of education you get and the amount of money you need to pay for it?
Luis Duque EIT,A.M.ASCE