A nightmare. A verifiable nightmare. If there ever was a university that could be the stereotype of everything skeezy and sketchy, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville would be the example. I could write a 300 page book about everything wrong with this school, but I will condense it to the most important things.
The University of Arkansas likes to pride itself as being considered a "Best Buy" college. It costs $16,000+ to go here as an in-state student living on campus. Considering that the core cirriculum for a B.A. in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is 70 hours (and you only need 124 hours to graduate), you will not be here for four years. You'll be here for five. Unless you actually want to take 18 hours semesters or you have AP/CLEP credit coming into play. And right when you think you've got it all said and done, you find out that 25 of your completed hours have to be above the 3000 level. My major didn't even have 25 hours of 3000+ level courses. So I was stuck trying to find extra courses to take to try and graduate. When I should've been working on my major, I was too busy taking CLEP exams and trying to get out of the ridiculous requirements to graduate from this place.
Everyone knows where the money in this school goes. It goes to non-academic things. The university looks like a strip-mining project with parking decks being built, parking lots being built, additions to the Razorback football stadium being built, etc. I systematically watched the greenspace dwindle more and more each year with more parking lots. However, it's a good thing that they're doing it. The parking here is incorrigible, the campus is VERY spread out and extremely hilly, and you end up having to park your car really far (like a 20 minute walk) away from class. They oversell resident reserved parking stickers here so many people never drive for fear of losing their parking spot and having to park in the next county practically.
Every bad stereotype about Greek life you could imagine is here. Greek life is huge, and with it comes ditzy blonde sorority girls who wear over-tight clothes with their cameltoes showing, frat dorks with vacant expressions wearing assorted shirts that detail their parties, and their combined IQ is 4. There are a few people in the Greek system that aren't total idiots -- the officers. They're actually smart in most cases. And the professional fraternities aren't filled with mental midgets, usually. But the majority of sorority girls here are looking for their MRS and that's the way it's always going to be.
Sports is the single element about this university. Money goes to sports. Everyone goes to the games. I don't want to think that my tuition dollars are going to funding the Razorback stadium, but somehow, I really think it does.
This university is also very corporate. Wal-Mart has its stake in the Walton College of Business. Hence, biz students get huge scholarships and that college gets millions of dollars each year. Walk into the Biz college and you'll see fancy smart boards in the classes. Walk into Old Main and you'll sit in rickety desks and look at peeling paint on the walls. Tyson has its stake in the Poultry Science college. So they're also very well off. Get used to this huge disparity between the departments.
Financial Aid is a joke. Scholarships are few and far between. I have a cumulative 3.9 GPA and I don't have a scholarship (and yes, I applied every year, with tons of letters of rec, etc.).
Housing is the worst. The dorms are infested with enormous, flying cockroaches. Housing is skeezy and wants your money and that is all. The food in the cafeteria is so bad that you will really spend 30 minutes walking around trying desperately to find something to put on your tray that will not make you throw up. Food poisoning is a common occurence, get ready for bloody diarrhea and vomiting. There's a new pathogen du jour to be found in any of the cafeterias here. In fact, this summer, Fulbright Commons was in the newspaper because it failed a health inspection due to cockroach infestation. Get ready to lay in bed and feel something tickling your thigh.This university is a nightmare, like I said at the beginning. I would seriously consider going to school out-of-state. Arkansas is not a place of higher learning, it never has, and it probably won't be for a long time.