The following reviews are the views of students or alumni at this school and are unrelated to the school data and other editorial content on usnews.com. These reviews neither reflect nor impact a school's position within the Best Colleges rankings.
It's a big school, but with a big school comes many, many opportunities. From clubs to fun activities to research, there is always something great you can find out about UMD. When I tell people I go to UMD, the responses range from, "Wow, what a great institution" to "Isn't that a party school?" and in my experience the former has always been more true. I spend a lot of my time on campus involved in my extra curricular activities and in my dorm doing work or just relaxing with friends. DC is really accessible by public transportation and is a lot of fun to explore in free time. College Park is an odd sort of college town, mainly because most of the city is so dominated by the campus itself, that the residents seem to feel kind of ignored, but to the best of my knowledge the current administration and students are working to make the city into more of a so-called "College town." There is a ton of school pride. Everyone has a UMD sweatshirt or gear of some kind, and we're some of the rowdiest fans around. Football games and Men's soccer are full of intense cheering from the stands for the home team. The most common student complaints, especially in my year is the lack of on-campus housing. It's troublesome that as a sophomore who wanted to live on campus for my junior year, I am being forced to move off campus do to our housing crisis. Plans are in the works to fix this, but currently it's not being handled well.
One of the best things about Maryland are the living and learning programs. They make a University of over 30,000 undergrads seem like a small community. It makes it easier not to get lost in the shuffle. I would change the structure of the Student Government Association and how they allocate funds. The size of the school can be overwhelming at times but its great going to such a big university because there is always something to do, a new activity to get involved with, or meeting new people. College Park, despite the name is NOT a college town. There are about 5 bars on Rte. 1 and thats it. There also is some animosity between the university and the city of College Park. Crime is an issue here. The Administration (especially the Diversity Provost) is awesome. He's very accessible, easy to talk to and always willing to help with student initiatives. Biggest controversy--a noose was hung outside of the black student union in Fall 07 MD students have a ton of school spirit, which is one of my favorite things about Maryland. We're "terpaholics"
I loved that I had the option to create my own major and that there were a huge number of courses to choose from. The quality definitely varied but you could find the really rigorous engaging courses hidden amongst the rest. Same went for the student population - yeah it's a huge school, but you find your kindred spirits somehow. And places to hang out - again, the trend continues - the selection isn't huge but there were definitely some great spots on and around campus, and the joys of DC are not too far away, especially if you have a car.
I like the atmosphere of this school. It's not a perfect university, but I'd never regret coming here. The campus is huge and you can walk around and be completely anonymous, but head to an area where everyone will know who you are. Maryland itself is very historic and beautiful. Outside of campus can get shady, though. Safety is a concern of mine, but there are services that students can utilize, like the shuttles and police escorts. Things should get better once the local developments start up. College Park will be the best place to be in ten years. For now, we have class here and go out in DC. At least the metro stop comes here. That's convenient, especially for those of us who don't have cars.
Best thing: the size is great. There are plenty of resources to help you out, and it's more likely that there's some niche here for you to fill. The campus is beautiful. I'd change the location. College Park kind of sucks. There's nothing to do, and it's not really the safest place. How people react: Men's basketball team not doing so well, huh? Spend most of my time in my room hanging out/studying/sleeping, or at work, or in class. Administration is pretty good; listens to students, or at least pretends to. Housing is awful, though. There's no where near enough to meet demand. That was a pretty big controversy last year, when they kicked the rising seniors off campus. And now it's not looking to good for rising juniors (me!). LOTS OF SCHOOL PRIDE! Lots of Terp gear. *uck Duke!
The best thing about Maryland is its size and diversity. There really is something for everyone. Even though the university is big, the individual schools (majors) make students feel like they're part of a community. When I was on campus, I spent most of my time in the Journalism building and the library doing work or killing time between classes. During the spring and fall, it was great to do work on the mall. One of the main complaints about College Park is the actual town could use some revitalization. When I graduated, there were only three bars (now four), no movie theater and minimal shopping options within walking distance of campus. Despite that, there is an enormous amount of school pride, especially when it comes to athletics. Maryland alum stay fans of the school for life and that is a pretty neat thing.
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