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The University of Maryland - College Park

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Okay, so a lot of people have someQuite BrightEducation
Okay, so a lot of people have some negative things to say about College Park. I will try to break it down to be fair. I love College Park, I have made great friends and have learned a lot about myself in the past four years. But this school is not for everyone by any means. 1. It is a HUGE campus, and if you allow yourself to get lost in the crowd you will. But with having a huge campus it means you see and meet people you would never experience somewhere else. 2. There are a lot of people that go home on weekends, etc. That being said if you live oncampus for atleast one year (which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND) that problem disappears. Most of the people who are home on the weekends do not live on campus so you will find it will not really affect you. 3. The university gives a lot of aid, with scholarships, grants, and federal loans. But you must make sure your FAFSA is in by February 15th!!! 4. There is definitely two separate worlds in college park. Greek and non-Greek. I personally chose not to join a sorority, but most of my friends are in one. I do find that those in the Greek system seem to be more satisfied with their decision to come here because it is such a huge campus and the greek system sort of forces you to be a part of it. Since most of my friends are in fraternities and sororities I was able to be a part of that too and I have to say its nice to know you can always go somewhere and have 20 people to talk to. That being said, make sure you look at all the fraternities and sororities carefully. There are definitely different houses for different kids of people, so make sure you join a place where you will feel comfortable. 5.College Park, the town is in a very low income area. The roads outside the campus look like city streets, there are delapitated buildings, homeless people at 7-11, and issues of violence. I am not judging that whatsoever, but I am making an observation. Campus is extremely safe if you make it that way. It IS a CITY on its own, and with that come dangers. If you decide to walk alone down a road at 2 in the morning that is not a safe decision. But the campus offers so many services, like escorts, busses, drunk busses (which pick you up anywhere in a 5 mile radius of campus and bring you back to your dorm, apartment, house etc.) There is a blue safety light system, and within 30 seconds of pressing the button a police officer will be there. PLus they are no using cameras to monitor the entire area. 6. Get used to walking. This is a huge campus, and car or no car you will be doing some walking. The campus is beautiful and enjoyable to walk around, but just make sure you dont feel the need to wear stilettos to class! 7. D.C. and Baltimore are very accessible. Which can come in handy when you are bored on a Saturday. (The inner harbor in the spring is the best place!) 8. There are now 4 bars in college park... which come the weekend you will be glad for all those students who go home on the weekend. Every bar has a different "personality" and has different crowds. There is always one bar that is PACKED depending on what night of the week it is and what specials are going on. And there is always on bar that is dead. It is ridiculous that there are only 4 bars in the area, and YOU WILL get tired of them very quickly. But they can still be a good time, and there are many other things to do. There is the cities like I mentioned, a movie theatre and bowling and pool etc on campus, lots of local movies, malls, and restaurants, and a great gym. And an outside pool where all the girls wear bikinis and the boys flaunt their beer guts in the spring!Essentially, I would recommend coming to check out the campus, I love it here. It has great sports teams! GO TERPS! and is just a really amazing place to be if you make it that way. Try an overnight visit where the campus will match you up with someone in the dorms so you can be there for a day or two... and just remember there is no "perfect" college, its all about what you make of it!
4th Year Female -- Class 2003
Scholastic Success: A+, Surrounding City: C
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If you want a quality education with aQuite BrightUndecided
If you want a quality education with a friendly positive atmosphere, UM is NOT the place for you. No one cares about you at all. Students are not friendly and most could care less about their education. What is important to a school like this is sports, beer, and getting publicity so they can make more money. It is by no means an educational atmosphere. I don't understand why it is supposedly 'difficult' to get in here, because most of the students I have come in contact with strike me as slackers who would choose their career based on what the easiest major is. Basically any instate student can get in, and once they are they have no incentive to work. Dorms are like prison cells, dark with a single 3 X 5 window. Many times 3 or 4 people are forced to cram into a room meant for two because the University admitted too many students. Everything is over priced especially the food. If your meal plan isn't below a certain amout by specific dates designated by the dining services, they just take the money away from you. With a school of over 30,000 that becomes a lot of money that the school basically steals from you. If you're interested partying and getting completely trashed all the time, UM is a great place for you. Although on some weekends there are a few other things to do, all most students want to do is spend 5 hours getting ready to just stand cramped in someone's backyard or basement and drink cheap beer with a few hundred other kids. Most students at UM only care about that, not themselves or their futures. People say that in a large school you'll be more likely to find people like you, but I disagree. Perhaps there are people like you, but they are very difficult to find, especially when everything is overshadowed by the loud-mouth jerks that come in mass quantities. The choice is yours, but I'm leaving as soon as I can.
1st Year Female -- Class 2006
Extracurricular Activities: A-, Individual Value: F
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Overall, the University of Maryland, College Park isBrightAerospace Engineering
Overall, the University of Maryland, College Park is a great school if you are from Maryland. If you are from out-of-state, you'll often find yourself screwed. The administration seems to tailor everything to their precious in-staters, completely disregarding their New Yorkers, New Jerseyans, and Pennsylvanians (or wherever you are from).

The University of Maryland is very much a suitcase school. It's about 3/4ths in-state. And about 3/4ths of the student population go home every other weekend. If you are from out-of-state, you'll find that there will be weekends when almost everyone you know is gone.

If you get invited into College Park Scholars, don't do it! All it is is extra work. Supposedely, it's a "living/learning program," but hat is crap. You'll find yourself in a community no matter where you live. There are lots of people in my College Park Scholars dorm who are NOT Scholars. They don't seem to be missing out on anything. In fact, I am envious of them because they dont have to do all the extra week that we have to.

The parking policy is ridiculous. No freshmen residents can park at all. There are a "limited number of spaces" for sophomores - the catch? You must provide proof that you NEED to have a car on campus (i.e. you have a job or an internship). That's where the out-of-state students get screwed yet again. Out-of-state sophomores can't park on campus without a job/internship. Yet, they cant get a job/internship without a car - It becomes a chicken and the egg situation. In-state students, on the other hand, can easily go home and get their cars on the weekends (when parking meters are not enforced). They can easily find a bull-shit job or internship. Or, in-state students can easily have their old high school employers "re-hire" them to work an hour or two a week.

Also, the room & board is a huge rip-off.. While the rooms are decently sized, they are either sizzling hot or ice-cold. There is no in-between. It seems like every dormitory has major roach infestations. They'll crawl into your room, into your closet, onto your desk, or even onto your stuff without any warning. You could be talking on the phone and when you put the receiver down, there will be a roach on it (true story, by the way). The maintenance crew seems to clean out the bathroom only once a week. The food here is alright at first. But give it a month or two and it seems like you've eaten everything there is to eat. The menu has about a million variations of a Chicken Sandwich, and you'll notice that it's offered as the "Special" two of three times a week. Finally, the meal plan is a declining point balance. You get about 933 dollars to spend a semester. But if you break it down, it's about 8 dollars a day. There is NO WAY you could spend only 8 dollars a day. The food is unbelievably overpriced. A Cheeseburger, French Fries, and a Soda costs around $7.74. Once again, they integrate into the meal plan the assumption that you are going to eat out or go home on the weekends. That is simply not true of everyone.If you like to party, you'll definitely love this school. There is an abundance of alcohol and drugs and it doesnt take a rocket scientist (no pun intended) to figure out how to get them. Most of the kids I've talked to love it here. I guess it depends on what kind of a person you are. If you partied and drank a lot in high school, you'll probably enjoy UMD. If you preferred to spend your free time shooting pool or going bowling (stuff that doesnt involve alcohol), you'll probably find yourself wishing you were somewhere else.

1st Year Male -- Class 2006
Education Quality: A, Individual Value: D
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The University of Maryland - College Park
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