you're delusional. WPI is NOT right beneath MIT in terms of "highly regarded schools". On top of that, it would be out-of-state tuition for him. OP, take a look at this list and pick the best compromise between cost/rank. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-engineering-schools/eng-rankings/page+2 Looks like you're going to be paying high tuition if you pick off that list, but there are reasons that colleges make those lists. And, more than the people you go to school with, the school's name on your degree will help with your career. Well....maybe. I got my degree from UT Austin (#8 on the list above), and got a job at NASA after graduation. I got it through connections, so those are important, but not "sell yourself into slavery for life because of student loans" important. Engineering is different from most other careers; engineers are largely pragmatic, skeptical and antisocial. So, the rules of thumb that apply to things like business and marketing and other no-value-added careers don't tend to apply. Now onto the more editorial portion of my reply. You might want to consider going ME instead of ASE, because the degree itself (assuming you only want undergrad) could be a limiting factor on your career. Aerospace is one of the most volatile career fields to get into. It's blown by every wind of political change you can imagine, and, in the private sector, everything is so highly marginalized that the top companies usually resort to massive layoffs in order to make their bottom lines look better when projects start getting into cost overruns. If you'd like, I can continue this more later, after dinner.