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.
Seattle is a great place to live. People here are very laid-back, but still very active. There is much to do outside the city, including hiking, camping, skiing, kayaking and boating, as well as plenty of high-end shopping, restaurants, clubs, bars, theater, music (Seattle has one of the top Jazz scenes in the world) and organizations within the city. The area around the university provides a lot of support for students in terms of housing, cheap and diverse food, and part-time jobs. The crime rate in the area is low compared to most other urban settings. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that UW is a very large school. While this can provide a lot if you're unsure what you'll be doing with yourself, it can also make you feel a little lost, especially when first starting out. UW is one of the top research universities in the world, and thus a lot of its energy and focus goes into its graduate programs. Many undergrad students feel as if they are being marginalized by this attitude...on the other hand, it means your TA's are usually top-quality. Many of the more specialized classes like English and philosophy still have small class sizes, too, and are often offered in multiple sections--enabling you to choose the schedule that works better for you.
I love it here. The beginning sucks though. It's mostly people hanging out in old high school groups since it's a lot of people mostly from Washington. Since I didn't really like anyone from high school, I hated the beginning. But it gets better! The giant intro classes also kind of suck--it's fairly easy to fade away into the crowd and it's just as easy to get a horrible TA. But the fact is, I still love it. Not to mention, for the most part, the school pride is overflowing. The campus is huge, but it's gorgeous. Seattle is beyond amazing (if you like cities), but UW still has a nice little nook outside a big city. Although it does seem to have a heightened crime rate and for the most part, except for one time this year, UWPD is worthless in counter acting the crime (have they caught anyone? but seriously....) For the most part, you come to UW knowing what you're going to get. I expected a large school outside of a large city that is able to provide me option. That's exactly what I got. Although I wish someone of the douchebags wouldn't come here and that the dorms situation was waaaaay better (tiny rooms with 3 people shoved in them is not uncommon), I can't say I don't love it here....because I most certainly do : )
UW totally rocks. And i'm not just saying that...since coming here i've heard so many stories from friends at other schools, and i was worried that maybe i'd made the wrong choice. But i visited several of them at their schools, and none of them could even compare to UW! Don't worry about the big size. Seriously. I have sooo many friends, and there's no way you could ever meet everyone, so you can always make more friends! Also, almost every new friend I make knows at least one or two people I know, which really makes the school seem tiny! Also, joining clubs and sports teams helps a lot. I've made a lot of friends that way! There's a lot of school pride, too. There's always a ton of people on campus wearing purple sweatshirts!! Our big rivalry with WSU is fun, because let's face it, it's nice to be in a rivalry with someone who is obviously inferior to you! :) And even though Seattle is a fairly big city, it's definitely a college town!! If you go off campus wearing a Husky sweatshirt, alumni will say hello to you or say "nice sweatshirt!". Also, thousands and thousands of people who live in Seattle come to our football games in the fall. Also, local employers love hiring UW students.
The Big Picture at Washington...don't come here unless you are ready to push yourself. You will not be coddled, and if you aren't self-motivated, you may very well end up dropping out. This is an invigorating environment if you respond well to challenge. As far as administration goes: one thing I remember very distinctly from Winter Quarter is meeting a school official and realizing that she assumed I wasn't fluent in English. This was pretty shocking, and it took me a couple of days to calm down after that epiphany: here, in a metropolitan setting (not the small suburb I grew up in), people make snap judgments and if your appearance isn't typical, you will be treated like a "minority". Despite some occasional frustrations like that, though, this is a great school.
One thing that is great about Washington is its location. The campus is beautiful and it's only a 15 minute bus ride from downtown Seattle. There is Gasworks park just down the Burke-Gilman trail which cuts through part of campus. Gasworks is said to be the most beautiful location in the Seattle area overlooking downtown across the water. One set of dorms overlook Lake Washington and the other overlook Lake Union. There isn't a place on campus that isn't absolutely gorgeous. The fountain on campus stands in front of a view of Mount Rainier and the list beauty is endless. University Way is filled with stores and restaurants, many cooperating with on campus meal cards. Just down the hill from campus is University Village full of high end stores such as Coach, Abercrombie, Pottery Barn, MAC, Something Silver, Apple, Gap, H&M, Victoria's Secret, QFC, and of course multiple branches of the Seattle classic: Starbucks. The bus system makes it really easy to maneuver around campus and the surrounding areas. One downside to Washington is the ridiculous prices of everything on campus. This is something you will hear everyone complain about. The smallest meal plan HFS offers is over $700 which most girls I talk to have a very very difficult time spending in a quarter, even with the overpriced meals we pay for. Naturally tuition does increase every year along with room and board. But improvements are constantly being made in all of the buildings and I feel that the money is being put to use. Seattle itself has a high price for housing compared to cities where other state schools are located. This almost makes it worth it to stay in the dorms if it weren't for the food prices.
Again, i already explained most of it in the first question... but i believe the best thing about UW and Washington is the campus is in Seattle and close to Downtown Seattle, so there's a lot of places to hang out during your free time. Downtown Seattle is a great place to go eat and just relax and get to know all your friends and just kick back. The campus may be larger than other schools, but you don't really notice the change if you came from a smaller school. In high school, my school was about 2000 students, but the classroom contained about 30 students, so it was a small classroom. So i was pretty scared when i heard about the large lecture classes, however, no one told me there were also small classes here at UW. Most lecture classes come with small quiz sections where you take your quizzes and get extra help lead by TAs. These classes consist of about 25 students in each class. So it's not too bad, i promise you! When you people ask you where are you going to college and you reply UW, many people will immediately tell you CONGRATULATIONS! because UW is known to be one of the top schools in Washington - in which they are one of the top schools for business, medical, nursing, pharmacy, etc. you name it! Also, if you are one of the huge fans of school pride, UW is the school for you! We are all about purple and gold. Huskies is our mascot and we are one huge family. UW also welcomes new incomers by setting a week full of events known as Dawg Days, it helps you become familiar with the campus and get to know students your age that are also new when you arrive in the fall. The one complaint that i believe many students have is waking up around 5:45 in the morning to sign up for classes and still not being able to get into the classes you want! I've had that issue every single quarter, and sometimes i still don't get the classes i want, but that's only a small issue, which shouldn't be in the way of deciding to go to UW and become a Husky.
Charlene FreshmanReviews provided by: Unigo