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UIUC Vs Madison- PhD Mechanical Engineering


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I got accepted with RA positions to both UIUC and Madison for PhD in mechanical engineering, and went to visit both schools. UIUC gave me a better offer than Madison and in general, I got a better impression of the school. With that said, Champaign as a town sucks whereas Madison is so pretty. 

I feel like if I will go to Madison, I will miss on an amazing academic opportunity. With that said, those are 5(!!!) years of my life that I do not want to spend in a small sad college town. I did my undergrad in one of those towns and I am ready to live somewhere different.

What do you think that I should do?

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I am in a similar situation to yours. I have received a generous offer from UIUC for ECE but I am still waiting for the University of Michigan to send out their decision since I feel like Ann Arbor is much better than Urbana/Champaign. 

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8 hours ago, Dan123 said:

I got accepted with RA positions to both UIUC and Madison for PhD in mechanical engineering, and went to visit both schools. UIUC gave me a better offer than Madison and in general, I got a better impression of the school. With that said, Champaign as a town sucks whereas Madison is so pretty. 

I feel like if I will go to Madison, I will miss on an amazing academic opportunity. With that said, those are 5(!!!) years of my life that I do not want to spend in a small sad college town. I did my undergrad in one of those towns and I am ready to live somewhere different.

What do you think that I should do?

University of Wisconsin - Madison 

Research Expenditures (MechE / Engineering School)
2018 - $10.9M /$115.9M
2017 - $10.5M / $125.1M
2016 - $10.6M / $120.3M
2015 - $13.1M / $166.9M
2014 - $10.8M / $178.8M 
2013 - $16.4M / $181.4M
2012 - $14.3M / $137.0M 
2011 - $13.5M / $127.3M
2010 - $14.4M / $126.0M 
2009 - $14.3M / $122.0M

Source: (ASEE Profile data)

Reduced state funding and tuition freezes earlier to start the decade are finally taking full effect. If a school is paying you crap, chances are the school is not in great shape.

University of Illinois - UC

Research Expenditures (MechE / Engineering School)
2018 - $24.3M / $221.1M
<too lazy to look up the years between>
2009 - $17.9M / $207.8M

Source: (ASEE Profile data)

I've lived in Madison and was accepted to UIUC (declined). Madison is the cooler city by far. But the decline at UW's programs is undeniable. It costs money to provide meaningful startup packages to new faculty and high enough stipends to attract top students. Cuts and tight budgets also hit things like career services. I would think twice before trusting my career aspirations to a school in a state that is hostile to higher education. 
 

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On 3/13/2019 at 10:11 PM, Entangled Phantoms said:

University of Wisconsin - Madison 

Research Expenditures (MechE / Engineering School)
2018 - $10.9M /$115.9M
2017 - $10.5M / $125.1M
2016 - $10.6M / $120.3M
2015 - $13.1M / $166.9M
2014 - $10.8M / $178.8M 
2013 - $16.4M / $181.4M
2012 - $14.3M / $137.0M 
2011 - $13.5M / $127.3M
2010 - $14.4M / $126.0M 
2009 - $14.3M / $122.0M

Source: (ASEE Profile data)

Reduced state funding and tuition freezes earlier to start the decade are finally taking full effect. If a school is paying you crap, chances are the school is not in great shape.

University of Illinois - UC

Research Expenditures (MechE / Engineering School)
2018 - $24.3M / $221.1M
<too lazy to look up the years between>
2009 - $17.9M / $207.8M

Source: (ASEE Profile data)

I've lived in Madison and was accepted to UIUC (declined). Madison is the cooler city by far. But the decline at UW's programs is undeniable. It costs money to provide meaningful startup packages to new faculty and high enough stipends to attract top students. Cuts and tight budgets also hit things like career services. I would think twice before trusting my career aspirations to a school in a state that is hostile to higher education. 
 

Awesome data!

On 3/13/2019 at 1:15 PM, Dan123 said:

I got accepted with RA positions to both UIUC and Madison for PhD in mechanical engineering, and went to visit both schools. UIUC gave me a better offer than Madison and in general, I got a better impression of the school. With that said, Champaign as a town sucks whereas Madison is so pretty. 

I feel like if I will go to Madison, I will miss on an amazing academic opportunity. With that said, those are 5(!!!) years of my life that I do not want to spend in a small sad college town. I did my undergrad in one of those towns and I am ready to live somewhere different.

What do you think that I should do?

I also got accepted to UIUC’s ME PhD and I am strongly considering it. I spent a summer there and it is not that bad + you get to save a lot of money. People are really nice, too.

Do you mind sharing how much is the RA stipend? I got the MechSE fellowship ($25k over 9-months) for the first year and was offered RA for the remaining of my PhD time, but they didn’t mention how much, they just said it is similar.

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1 hour ago, drfigue said:

Awesome data!

I also got accepted to UIUC’s ME PhD and I am strongly considering it. I spent a summer there and it is not that bad + you get to save a lot of money. People are really nice, too.

Do you mind sharing how much is the RA stipend? I got the MechSE fellowship ($25k over 9-months) for the first year and was offered RA for the remaining of my PhD time, but they didn’t mention how much, they just said it is similar.

 

On 3/13/2019 at 9:11 PM, Entangled Phantoms said:

University of Wisconsin - Madison 

Research Expenditures (MechE / Engineering School)
2018 - $10.9M /$115.9M
2017 - $10.5M / $125.1M
2016 - $10.6M / $120.3M
2015 - $13.1M / $166.9M
2014 - $10.8M / $178.8M 
2013 - $16.4M / $181.4M
2012 - $14.3M / $137.0M 
2011 - $13.5M / $127.3M
2010 - $14.4M / $126.0M 
2009 - $14.3M / $122.0M

Source: (ASEE Profile data)

Reduced state funding and tuition freezes earlier to start the decade are finally taking full effect. If a school is paying you crap, chances are the school is not in great shape.

University of Illinois - UC

Research Expenditures (MechE / Engineering School)
2018 - $24.3M / $221.1M
<too lazy to look up the years between>
2009 - $17.9M / $207.8M

Source: (ASEE Profile data)

I've lived in Madison and was accepted to UIUC (declined). Madison is the cooler city by far. But the decline at UW's programs is undeniable. It costs money to provide meaningful startup packages to new faculty and high enough stipends to attract top students. Cuts and tight budgets also hit things like career services. I would think twice before trusting my career aspirations to a school in a state that is hostile to higher education. 
 

You are amazing. Thank you! I have not heard from any other school so UIUC will probably be it. Saving money would be nice too... 

Regarding the money, I got a fellowship too. $30K for 12 months and I have heard from profs that it is about $29K a year past the fellowship. I am not sure about health insurance and fees yet but I am planning on emailing them soon

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