These are my personal thoughts on Georgia Tech, where I got a MS degree in Electrical Engineering. Perhaps they will be useful to prospective engineering students.

Research at Georgia Tech was like working in industry but with crappy pay. Sometimes the "research" seemed more like product development for the companies funding us. Research projects at Georgia Tech tended to be geared toward near-term applications. For these reasons industry recruiters love Georgia Tech. In recent US News & World Report graduate program rankings, recruiters rank Georgia Tech as the second best American graduate school for engineers behind MIT. Georgia Tech is less esteemed in academic circles. It is the polar opposite of Caltech, whose researchers are highly respected in academia for their contributions to fundamental science and deeply-mathematical engineering theory.

Classes at Georgia Tech tended to be difficult and poorly-instructed. I often felt that nobody in the class understood the lectures of some professors, and that some professors didn't understand the material they taught. Industry recruiters don't care so much about these things. More important to them is research output. They only need a handful of dreamers and doers from MIT and Caltech.

Atlanta is surely one of the best places in the US for a student to live. It is a large city (over 4 million people) with lots to do, but it's extremely affordable. For about $800/month I lived in a brand new beautiful apartment in one of the best locations in Atlanta. In Berkeley I paid the same amount to live in someone's basement. Boston and Palo Alto are also extremely expensive.

The lack of liberal arts programs and females make the Tech campus quite dull. While the football and basketball teams have been noteworthy in the past, the student body are largely indifferent toward them. There's basically nothing to do except research on campus. Prospective students should consider that competing schools like the University of Michigan, UC Berkeley, and Cornell are actually pleasant. And while Atlanta is a nice city, it doesn't have the culture and atmosphere of a college town.