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Old 01-16-2009, 10:44 PM
 
93 posts, read 308,995 times
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My boyfriend and I are looking into going to grad school in Illinois. We are from Arkansas. We are looking at NIU in Dekalb, ISU in Normal, and UI Champaign. We also would consider NEIU in Chicago. Which of these would offer the highest quality of life on a college budget? We don't go out to bars or clubs much, but we do like cultural opportunities like museums, theater, etc. We've been through Champaign and to Chicago. I didn't see enough of Champaign to really comment on it. I've read threads about Champaign, Normal, and Chicago. I don't know much about Dekalb. Could you give me information about each of these places and which you would recommend based on quality of life and the universities themselves? Thanks for any info!
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:47 PM
 
93 posts, read 308,995 times
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I forgot one more thing. We are hoping to find jobs while going to grad school. I am getting certified in secondary English, but might possible get a Special Ed certification before we move. He is in IT. Which offer the best opportunities for these?
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:55 AM
 
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It looks like you're going to grad school for education - is that the same for your boyfriend? If you're looking for solid nuts-and-bolts grad degrees to move up on the pay scale, then ISU, NIU, and NEIU have a lot of connections in the Chicago area and throughout the state. However, purely based on national name recognition, U of I is the best by a wide margin since it it is such a strong research school. I spent 4 years in Champaign for undergrad and it has a ton of activities considering the size of the town, but it obviously has nowhere near the same number of cultural and job opportunities as Chicago. Bloomington-Normal is a lower-key version of Champaign-Urbana - there is more diverse mix of jobs due to the presence of State Farm's headquarters, but the campus area isn't as developed as around U of I and ISU's school spirit isn't anywhere near as strong. DeKalb doesn't feel like a true college town in the same manner as Champaign or even Bloomington-Normal - it's really more of a rural area transitioning into an exurb that happens to have a large university in the middle of it. The flip side of DeKalb is that you're about an hour or so from Chicago and 20 to 30 minutes from Chicago's western suburbs, which provides some more job opportunities in a relatively low-cost location. NEIU is almost completely a commuter campus - there's almost no type of campus life there. Of course, the location is also in Chicago, where only a handful of cities in the world can compare in terms of amenities and cultural options.

Anyway, if all things were equal, I'd recommend U of I simply because of the national name recognition - it's far enough ahead of the other schools that you've mentioned in various academic rankings where it's worth it even if you're not as thrilled with living in Champaign for a few years.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:01 AM
 
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Thank you for the response. He would be going to school for Computer Science. He isn't 100% sure he wants to go to grad school yet, but he's leaning that way. I would be getting an Educational Leadership degree there. Does anyone know how difficult it is to get license reciprocity in Illinois?
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Baker City, Oregon
3,142 posts, read 5,060,233 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laf10 View Post
Thank you for the response. He would be going to school for Computer Science.
U of I has one of the very best computer science programs in the world. This means it has very, very high admittance standards. You might check to see if your boyfriend would qualify.

US rankings:
Rank/School Average assessment
score (5.0=highest)
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 5.0
2. Stanford University (CA) 4.9
3. University of California–Berkeley 4.8
4. Carnegie Mellon University (PA) 4.7
University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign 4.7
6. California Institute of Technology 4.2
Georgia Institute of Technology 4.2
Princeton University (NJ) 4.2
University of Michigan–Ann Arbor 4.2
University of Texas–Austin 4.2

Last edited by karlsch; 01-19-2009 at 11:59 AM..
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:31 PM
 
746 posts, read 2,142,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laf10 View Post
Thank you for the response. He would be going to school for Computer Science. He isn't 100% sure he wants to go to grad school yet, but he's leaning that way. I would be getting an Educational Leadership degree there. Does anyone know how difficult it is to get license reciprocity in Illinois?
I agree with Karlsch - if your boyfriend can get into the CS program at U of I, then it's a no brainer. Outside of Stanford and MIT, Illinois is at the top of the list nationwide in that area. He'll essentially get to choose any CS job that he wants anywhere if he graduates from there.

I'm fairly certain that license reciprocity is difficult to obtain in Illinois (if not completely non-existent), but that may have changed.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:41 PM
hsw
 
2,144 posts, read 5,953,707 times
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Agreed, "do the time" at U-IL for CS

Aside from Stanford, Berkeley or MIT, no where else on planet to go for CS but U-IL...

Next stop, SiliconValley to make a few bucks....
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 23,631,315 times
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I don't know about Stamford, but I believe it was Berkeley and UI who had the first root servers that conncected CA to NY way back in the 60s. The last I heard Virginia had one of the fastes arrays int he world. Take Champaign..
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Baker City, Oregon
3,142 posts, read 5,060,233 times
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Of course, HAL 9000 was from the U of I.

(jump ahead to the 4 min.mark):
YouTube - The Shutting Down of HAL 9000

Because he was naughty, maybe he shouldn't be mentioned.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Maryland
3,451 posts, read 4,390,480 times
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Are you ruling out Northwestern or U. Chicago since they are private schools? Both have an international recognition; however, price might be an issue.

Also, while not in IL, University of Wisconsin--Madison is an exceptional school that offers a great place to live in work with fairly low unemployment and a great proximity to Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis-St.Paul areas.
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