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Old 02-03-2015, 12:20 PM
 
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My son just got accepted to TTU. He will be attending school as an out of state student (Computer Science Major). Any parents out there who can advise regarding costs, school, city etc? We live in Chicago right now but moving to Dallas in the summer.
Thanks in advance,
JK
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:31 PM
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Location: Ohio
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Parent of a CS major here. TTU's one of the best values in the country.

Lubbock seems like a nice enough place, but I'm sure the locals in this forum will have much more detailed opinions to offer you. Biggest drawback IMO is the long drive from other Texas cities. Coming from Dallas, yours will be shorter than ours is.
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:35 PM
 
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Very reasuring to hear from a parent Thanks! It is a long drive from Dallas as well - but better than him going to school in Illinois- that would be really far away- he did get accepted to Univ of Illinois as well - so you would recommend TTU based on academics? I am not familiar at all- our first child in college
Thanks!!
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Denver
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Illinois is known as one of the top CS schools in the country. I'm sure Tech is good too, but it doesn't have the reputation UI has.
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:50 PM
 
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That is true- it will be a difficult decision
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:18 PM
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Location: Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smiles_chicago View Post
so you would recommend TTU based on academics? I am not familiar at all- our first child in college
Thanks!!
This is my second kid in college. Between the two, we looked at a lot of schools. The older one went to a bigger-name private school out of state.

So far, my wife and I have been favorably impressed with how well-organized TTU is. It's a well-run campus. It might be the best-organized school we've ever seen. I can't really speak much to academics, since my son only has one semester under his belt. My son likes it there and he's getting good grades.
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:05 PM
 
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here are some things you need to consider

1. it takes 1 year of being a resident and WORKING during that full year to establish residency and you CANNOT be enrolled in any college/university (4 year or community) during that time period if you automatically want to be granted residency after a year

If you are enrolled during that time period you will be considered an out of state student for the entire time you pursue the degree unless you can convince the state that you intend to remain in Texas as a resident for longer than you are enrolled in school

Many people falsely believe (and even falsely advise people on here) that you can move to Texas, enroll for a year, pay out of state tuition for a year and then after a year of being here start to pay in state tuition with no trouble at all

That is NOT the case you need to live here a full year while working and without going to a college or university to establish residency and if you do immediately go to a college or a university it will be more difficult and a more complex process to get in state tuition after a year

http://www.collegeforalltexans.com/i...7C40B6500BCF97

now in your case there could be a possibility of getting a waver for that based on the ability to prove that you and your spouse (the guardians of your son) moved to Texas to work/establish residency and not to go to school and as a part of that your son moved with you

The above is not very easy to read or understand

here is a different link with some FAQs

University of Houston : Texas Residency FAQs - University of Houston

I realize the above link is for UH, but the rules are the same for all public Texas universities......here are two FAQs that apply to your family situation to a degree

I moved to Texas from Iowa 15 months ago. I came here to go to work, but enrolled in college almost immediately. When I enrolled, the college classified me as a nonresident. I've been working full time and going to school full time for the 12 months. Can I be reclassified as a Texas resident?
Maybe. Employment while enrolled in college during a 12-month period can be a basis of reclassification as a resident at the end of that period if you can also provide the college with other evidence that convinces them that you have made Texas your permanent home.
I was a nonresident when I enrolled in college last Fall. Will the college automatically review my file after the 12 months are up to see if I'm now a resident?
No. If you were classified as a nonresident student, the college will continue to classify you as a nonresident until you apply in writing to have your status changed and provide the college proof that you have established a domicile in Texas (i.e., made Texas your permanent home). Application should be submitted to the college well ahead of the official census date for the term in which you wish to be classified as a Texas resident in order for the college to have sufficient time to reach their conclusions.so again the first FAQ gives a very clear "maybe" to the ability to move to Texas, work and go to school and pay out of state tuition for 12 months and then get reclassified as an in state resident

the second FAQ makes it clear that the college or university will not automatically review or change status that needs to be initiated by the student and it needs to be done with plenty of time for the university to make a decision

and again the first FAQ makes it "clear" that the chances of getting that changed are MAYBE

in your case I would be contacting Texas Tech, explaining your situation and discussing it with them AND GET IT ALL IN WRITING VERY CLEARLY

There is a good chance at first contact that they will tell you "not sure will need to review in a year"......in that case you and your spouse should try and retain/have all needed documents that show you were offered a transfer or a chance of job situation and that was the reason for the move before your son picked a university and also show that you were the legal guardian of the son before the move and after the move

I feel that would give you the best chance to show that parents moved, kid moved with parents/to be closer to parents.....it was not done because of a choice of universities

2. as stated before Illinois is one of the top CS programs there is so that is quite an accomplishment to get accepted there, but really if your son can do that they should do well from any CS department and Texas Tech while not on the level of Illinois or UT Austin (two of the very very best) it is a good program

3. One thing about Texas Tech and their CS department is they mainly teach now in Java (at least they did last time I was aware)......There was an article several years back talking about them moving away from C++ (both a good and horrid language) because of some of the issues with using it as a teaching language and more towards other languages

This is becoming much more common though

What programming languages do the top tier Universities teach?

there is a link (somewhat dated) that goes through a few years with different people chiming in about what various university Cs programs are teaching in.....so if your son really loves C++ or he is set on some aspect of industry where a strong knowledge of that is needed he would need to think Texas Tech over and or make sure that while he is at Texas Tech he makes sure to take all the available C++ courses or those that use C++

And the reality is it is very difficult to "teach" a computer language to a degree and really CS is more about the concepts and constructs of proper programming no matter the language and there are large MAJOR firms that actually like to hire math majors because they say it is easier to teach a math major to program than it is to teach a CS/script kiddie/hacker proper math.......because really a computer is a binary math machine and all coding of anything is making something into mathematical concepts hopefully in the easiest and least CPU and memory hogging way possible

So if your son already knows C++ well or he picks up languages easily he should do well anywhere no matter the language used for teaching

If this is an issue for your son I would encourage him to contact the departments of the universities he is considering and discuss it with them

I think over time it is less of an issue because as that (somewhat dated) forum shows even top schools like UT, Ga Tech, some of the UC System schools and others have more and more moved to other languages at least somewhat and in early year classes and more importantly as many mention time and again it is the concepts that are the most important aspect

I am sure your son can find more recent discussions of that as well if it is something he feels is important to him and I mentioned in because I recall reading the news story in the past about Texas Tech making the switch (a couple of years back)

4. If he does well he should have no issue finding a job, internships in Lubbock are more limited, but the ARE available I would first encourage him to try and get an on campus job in the IT department (there are usually many) and he can also apply for summer internships in dallas where mom and dad are so that helps a great deal and there is a company called Tyler Technologies in Lubbock that hires a lot of CS people (and others as well)....also local government and hospitals hire a lot and have internships as well

5. Live as close to campus as possible if not living on campus......nothing is further than 15 minutes away from anything else in Lubbock for the most part, but a lot of things are more than 15 minutes away from available campus parking on the Texas Tech campus......once you are to the main part of campus where classes are it is easy to get around campus......but getting to a parking place and then to the main area of campus is terrible (just like most any large public university anywhere in the USA)

as a CS major there will probably be many times when being on campus and in the CS lab to do assignments will be much more preferable to being off campus or at home even if they can be done at home and unless one has a lot of languages on their computer some work will have to be done on campus unless one wants to or can log in remotely......and in todays world "group projects" are always popular so most likely being on campus will be needed for that

Live within an EASY biking distance or walking distance and by that I mean EASY....PAY THE EXTRA MONEY IT IS WELL WORTH IT PERIOD.....PAY IT

Everything in Lubbock is on a survey grid one mile by one mile "sections" (640 acres in a section).....Campus is a couple of sections

Tech Terrace to the south of campus is a section and will be rental houses and "back houses" which are second units on a property accessed from the alley and rented to students

To the west of campus is Overton......North Overton (north half of the Overton Section) was "recently" redeveloped and is fully student centric and will probably rent for the most.....South Overton will be mostly like Tech Terrace with rent houses and back houses and a scattering of smaller older apartment complexes in various conditions of upkeep

Hear of Lubbock is south east of campus and really only about the first north west quarter section of that I would consider an easy walk or bike ride and that area will have a lot of students

north of campus is harder to get to because of the Marsha Sharp freeway, but the new apartments just north of the football stadium are student centric and there are a few others right on forth street......the neighborhood directly behind those complexes is not really student focused and I would say live elsewhere

The neighborhood west of Tech Terrace is probably a bit of a walk, but it is nice and if riding a bike once you are across 19th you are on campus property and an easy bike ride and it has students scattered in it

after that you are getting to areas that are either student centric, BUT well away from campus like Linwood or over near the walmart on 4th street or you are in areas that are a mix of students and non-students, but needing a car to get to campus for the most part because the shuttle system for Tech exist, but it is not great

5. Lubbock can be windy (like Chicago windy but without the cold usually)......Lubbock can be very dry......it is sunny in Lubbock A LOT.....bright powerful sun and with the surprising elevation that sun beams down on you.....but it is dry heat

6. if your son is considering graduate school for CS I would be hard pressed to say go somewhere besides Illinois or if he has his heart set on google, apple, IBM or similar again Illinois would be a great choice.....but if he does well at Texas Tech there are plenty of doors that will be open for him

one has to always take "rankings" with a grain of salt, but one thing Tech scores well at is producing graduates that are capable of functioning in the real world especially in their college of engineering (CS is in engineering at Tech at some places it is natural sciences or arts and sciences).....there are many "top" universities and especially engineering programs that produce students that can hardly pass an interview and or give off an attitude of expecting to come in and lead a space shuttle program or be the team lead on some design project and those students often do not get the job

again one has to take those with some degree of give and take and with regard to the individuals in question, but Tech grads get a lot of very good jobs right out of school......but again Illinois is just one of the best period in CS and there will probably be a lot of "doors" to open and look into with a degree in CS from there

it will depend on your sons goals and how he feels he can perform at each school relative to those goals, but Texas Tech produces a lot of quality graduates especially out of the college of engineering and they get a lot of graduates hired into dallas and the telcom industry and tech industry there

7. overall Tech is well run, they are investing in the university across the board, Lubbock is low cost of living and easy to get around (I would say need a car especially off of campus) and Tech is trying to and having some success moving up in national rankings.....but again Illinois is a top flight school especially for CS so there are things to consider especially relative to future goals

8. one other thing you said "first child in college".....this implies to me the possibility of one or more after that....I do not know your financial situation, nor am I asking or wanting to know, but one thing that some parents do if they have more than one heading to the same university (and more common in a low cost of living "university town" like Lubbock) is they will buy a house in one of the "student centric" areas instead of renting it.....in Lubbock that could be about $80,000 to pull off......by the time their second especially 3rd child has graduated they usually come out ahead financially over paying rent and with the way rent can be in some of the places close to campus and even more so if a college friend "rents a room" they can come out pretty good financially on the deal over just renting and having that rent disappear.......this again depends on several factors financial, responsibility ect, but Lubbock is one of the places where that is commonly done
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:16 AM
 
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Texasvines- I am so thankful you took the time to respond with so much detail. I so appreciate your insight!
Thanks again,
JK
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:16 PM
 
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We pulled out our oldest just a few weeks ago, she transferred to a smaller school closer to home.

The education is tops but the culture in the freshmen dorms does not promote safety and lots of mayhem.


When we heard that the kids party there, we never thought it would be outside our kids dorm, she would peep out her peephole and there they would be, sitting around at 3 in the morning drinking, mind you, both male and females students.

There is no sign in, no one watching the doors, a student living on campus can enter any dorm, they can go in and stay as long as they want. I felt fooled as a parent because we were shown a residence hall that we thought promoted safety. When my kid told me how it really worked, I felt stone cold conned. The all girls dorm does lock the dorms at 10 but all it takes is a resident staying there to come and let their friend in. No rules about who can visit and they can stay as long as they want. So in other words, boys or vice versa can stay in the dorms. There is a 3 day rule for overnighters for those visiting the campus.

For the studious student, it makes it hard when they are paired with a person who wants to party and have their buddies in all night. We tried Roommate surfer and there was no match. No one wanted to room with my daughter because she outlined that she did not drink nor partied and did not like visitors coming in unless planned and a set of rules followed. She eventually got roommates, which I won't write publicly about.

The parties started in the dorms around Thursday and she would hear all kinds of things all weekend. Pot fumes coming out of the vents ( no individual units) a few times, she would call a friend on another floor and he would concur it was there too. Lots of complaining but not enough man power to stop it. She came out of the elevator to the lobby and found food all over the floor and 2 cops with boys laying on the floor tripping on whatever it was they took.

It scared her so much that she did not come out on the weekends unless she had to use the bathroom.

I could not believe the amount of immaturity that went on there.

The controls for the air and heat are centralized with the exception of 1 that I know of personally( maybe more?) It would be 50 degrees inside the dorm with snow outside ( YES). She had to buy an electric blanket and wore a knit cap at night to stay warm. oh ( writing as I think) the dorm my kid was in, was like a ghetto. Lots of graffiti on the doors, in the inside of the desk in the doors. Some of the graffiti was dated to the 70's.

I would NEVER send a freshmen there, especially a female in a co ed dorm.

I would send her back there, if she chose to go when she could live off campus out of the freshmen dorms.

Here are some other things that got me, no respect for others as far as smoking goes. Kids smoking their pipes , vapors, cigs while walking. They can't even wait to get to the smoking areas. The freshmen are rebellious because they get a bit of freedom.

The running joke is that the freshmen who come in as engineers will eventually be business majors because they party too hard... and from what I saw, many of them will be dropping out because they chose TTU due to it is a long way from home ...

Now the good... is there? Yes. They do have tradition. The education is very good, the TTU network of alumni is great. There are some great organizations on campus. My daughter did pledge in a no panhellenic sorority and they helped her so much. The key is to get out of the freshmen dorms...

Our daughter is much happier now, she is in a place she has said that the people are more serious about their studies and the dorm she is in, they check you in. I have to give my license every time I visit. There is also set hours on the weekend and weekdays for visitors.

Last edited by Vintage Life; 02-08-2015 at 08:48 PM..
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:29 PM
 
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Another thought, if your child has the grades, he can get better accommodations. He can also live at Talkington. It doesn't take away the fact there are no set hours. If anyone stays over from off campus, it is 3 days max if I remember correctly.

Last edited by Vintage Life; 02-08-2015 at 08:44 PM..
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