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I think our schoool is a good size, large enough where you don't know everybody, but small enough where you see people you know when walking around campus. Most of my time spent on campus is in on-campus housing, the gym, the library, or The Commons. There is no college town atmosphere. I think UMBC's administration is too focused on the academic parts of the university - there are other aspects to a college other than great academics. School spirit needs to be addressed, as well as other involvement opportunities for students so that they can feel more a part of UMBC than just using UMBC as a stepping stone to get somewhere else. There has been an uprise of school pride in the past two years with the women's basketball team going to the school's first ever NCAA tournament last year and getting UMBC's first taste of national TV coverage and with this year's men's basketball team having an outstanding and exciting season that go UMBC even more free national TV coverage. The student body began to embrace UMBC and be excited about their school and show true school spirit. It is amazing what a successful sporting season that gets your school on a national level can do for a school. UMBC is very unusual in how diverse the community is. This is a great thing about UMBC in how anybody can find their niche on campus. One of the most frequent student complaints is that of the lack of parking - we need more student parking!
I was worried that UMBC would be too large. There are a couple of lecture hall style classes but I must admit that the professors want to see you. Even in the largest of my classes last year the professor made it no secret that he was available...to go over tests, help line up tutors if necessary and even serve as a stand in advisor on the subject or not. What I love about the campus is that for one I am not the only commuter. UMBC is an active campus and one would benefit from living on campus and being able to enjoy it full time however, UMBC still reaches out to commuters with often weekly activities. Additionally, there is this great vibe within the student body that makes you enjoy coming to class. I have never been to a campus that has been more postive and enthusiastic. People are truly motivated and still have a good time. There has been a great many times that I have stayed in a class and talked for an hour or so about the course or current politics. A car is a definite necessity and finding a parking spot can be a universal problem past a certain hour. But in general I can honestly say I could not be happier with my decision to transfer to UMBC. I love the faculty who respects the student. I love the campus that is beautiful and can give you quite the work out with all of those darn steps. I love my major and the great use of technology throughout every course and the availability to students.
UMBC is a fairly quiet, suburban campus. It's good for people who want a medium size research institution, people who live near baltimore and want to stay close to home, and commuters. Much of the population commutes. Even though it's quiet, people still drink and party, but there are no huge on-campus parties. Walk off campus and you will find the blue collar town of Catonsville, but Baltimore is about 15 minutes up 695. It's also one of the most racially diverse schools you will find, but that is probably due to its location.
It can be hard to find someone who says UMBC was my fist choice school. I admit it wasnÕt mine. Having been rejected by other schools, it was the next best thing. In reality I guess it was THE best thing. I have had opportunities to do research along side some of the top professors in my field and IÕve been able to have an on campus job and play rugby, things that I may have never been able to do at a bigger school. UMBC is growing, and I hope that more people will see its changing reputation and respect it as a honors research university. I want to hear that UMBC is someoneÕs first choice, not an alternative.
The best thing abot UMBC is the Humanities Progam; it is a group of studetns with an interest in a discipline in the humanities with some living on their own living/learning community floor. We have fun, do scholarly and non-scholarly activites from poetry readings to historical hikes. I spend most of my time on this floor and after that I would have to say the library. There really isn't too much of a problem that I have with UMBC's size or location. The size is not bad because it is small enough that I see a lot of people that I know some well some not so well just walking to class, and I grew up ten minutes from the school so I know the area real well. As to the administration, it is better than AUCs. Dr. Hrabowski is great and works really hard for our school. The only problem I have with administration is freshmen advising. It is chaotic and exhausting and usually disorganized. The biggest controversy that I can remember was when a UMBC student brutally killed a woman. Thankfully this is very rare and other than that maybe it is the new smoking perimeter, which I am all for. School spirit does kind of lag at sports games but our teams did well this year so maybe next year it will be up. Other non sports related school spirit I guess is fine. For me this is my school, I am proud to be here. One of the few fun things that I can recall are playing jailbreak in Academic row, snowball fights in the middle of the night, freezing while doing Aikido in the winter after dark, getting to know my roommates, drinking coffee in the dining hall, rolling down the hill near the administration building on a perfect late summer early fall night, walking around unlocking campus at six oclock in the morning with no one else around. The most frequent complaints are about the food. Sodexho does a so so job here and thankfully it is being evaluated. (Hopefully it will either improve or be replaced).
UMBC's location is one of the greatest things about it. It takes less than 10 minutes to get to downtown Baltimore and only about half an hour to get to Washington D.C. UMBC has its own exit on Route 195 and is immediately accesible from both the Baltimore beltway (695) and the 95 interstate. UMBC also offers a shuttle service that runs downtown, to the Arundel Mills mall and to the neighborhoods surrounding campus on a daily basis. UMBC is a very liberal school. There are student organizations and groups willing to express and represent any sort of political, religious or philosophical leaning you might have. Tolerance is pretty much the highest virtue. Students interested in organizations have a great resource through the Office of Student Life. Student organizations can apply for funding from the student government association, are qualified as non-profit organizations for charity purposes, have access to professional sound, video, catering, management, and security personel amoung other perks. If you have good highschool grades, AP credit and/or good SAT scores, you'll probably get a scholarship from UMBC. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships on campus give out lots and lots of money to lure prospective freshman but if you receive an award, be sure to keep your grades up. Scholarships require a 3.00 or 3.25 ***ulative GPA maintenance depending on the award.
Benjamin JuniorReviews provided by: Unigo