Recently, we  took a campus tour at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. This well-regarded university is part of the part of the SUNY (State University of New York) system. The school offers many majors and minors but specializes in Engineering, Computers, Math, and Medical Support majors.


We’ve come up with things the average student would like, and not like.

Five things to like:

  1. The price is right– With tuition at $6,870 for New York residents, and $24,500 for everyone else, this highly selective university is a great bargain. Add in its generous distribution of scholarships, for both U.S. and international students, and this school has the potential to provide a great return on investment.
  2. Commitment to student scholarship and undergraduate research– Between its annual Undergraduate Research Day and the professors’ commitment to get their student involved in their research, this university points future scholars and researchers in the right direction.
  3. There are no classes on Wednesday from 1:00-2:30 for student clubs to meet– This is almost unprecedented. The one and a half hour a week break from classes- during prime school time, no less, gives both students and faculty a chance to work together and meet weekly in the 400+ clubs and organizations on campus.
  4. Honors Programs– Students can differentiate and challenge themselves intellectually as early as their freshman year by being accepted into one of the three honors programs Stony Brook University offers.
  5. The SUNY network– The strength and reach of the State University of New York system gives students extended options for many things, including its vast library system as well Study Abroad program access.

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Five things that you might not like:

  1. It’s big and somewhat remote– With over 26,000 students, 10,000 of which live on campus, and a somewhat remote suburban northern Long Island location, those looking for something quainter and more centrally located are out of luck. We didn’t see a college town area nor where there sufficient Starbuck’s and other in-between area spaces for students to study and socialize.
  2. No Early Decision– Stony Brook no longer accepts students applying for Early Decision. You have to wait until March to find out if you are accepted. They claim that this takes away the stress on the Admission’s team, but they ae able to take this time and money saving approach because they can.
  3. Dorms and Dining Halls are not sexy– Many of today’s colleges are proud to boast modern, luxurious dormitories and newer food service facilities. Granted, this is mostly seen at private universities but many public universities are investing in this too. The facilities shown to us during the tour are not as “sexy” and modern as facilities we have seen in other schools.
  4. Completion Rate– Retention rate is quite high (84%) but six-year completion rate, although above the national average (59%), is only 70%. This is lower than many similar top tier universities which commonly graduate around 90% of their student body. Keeping in mind that the school is 37% Asian, and this population graduates at a much higher rate than everyone else, the non-Asian student population probably graduates at a rate lower than 70%.
  5. It’s a “safe school” and not necessarily a “first choice” school– I like the actual data to support this claim, but anecdotally, many scholastic, New York students get accepted to Stony Brook but rejected from other northeastern Math/Engineering stalwarts such as MIT, Cornell, Yale, U Penn, etc. That’s the bad news. The good news is that going to Stony Brook instead of these other schools will save you a ton of money.

Conclusion- if you are looking for a good engineering or medical services school, at a good price, with a commitment to academics and scholarships, Stony Brook University can be a great choice for you. If you are a New York resident, it’s hard to beat the price. You must be comfortable spending your time in suburban northern Long Island.

One other note- Stony Brook offers a combined five-year masters and bachelor’s degree program for select majors. You must apply and be accepted for this option. Choosing and completing this path in five years can save even more money.

For more information, visit the Stony Brook University website.


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