Good things about IIT (!I proudly go to IIT, and not to ITT!)
-Chicago is an amazing city. Nerd or not, there's always stuff to do. Sometimes you HAVE to go off campus to find something to do, but you can, because unlimited usage of Chicago's elevated train system and its buses is included in tuition. We are right smack dab in the middle of this great city.
-My professors, most it seems from the people I've talked to, DO care about teaching. Even though the grad population is large, undergrad education doesn't get forgotten.
-Most of the school's academic programs are decent to awesome.
-The undergrad (5-year BArch) Architecture department is very, very good. Many professors are practicing architects and their crits are meaningful. The workload is insane, though, be forewarned, but it is at any good architecture school. The focus of the architecture curriculum is more skewed toward engineering than most schools. It's only big problem is its insane growth right now, which has resulted in very large class sizes and overcrowded studio spaces, but has made the program even more selective.
-IIT is small. 2000 undergrads means that you see the people you know walking around campus a lot.
-Even though IIT is expensive, it is not a rich kids' school. Due to its prestige (in the local area, most people elsewhere haven't heard of it), there are some, but sometime their snootiness isn't seen much. On the contrary, most people here are smart poor to middle class kids on scholarship.
-Speaking of which, 99% of undergrads have some financial aid and much more than half, I'd say, are here on some sort of scholarship.
-Diverse. About 40% Chicago/Illinois, 35% out-of-state, 25% international.
-Quite cool state-of-the-art Student Center. The home of the architecture department is a pretty ideal place to study architecture.
-Safe (strangely enough) despite being in the middle of the ghettos (due to our huge police department, I guess). Keep in mind that a bit of common sense is still in order, though. This is Chicago.
-The school is honest. This could be its marketing problem, but it's a good thing. They don't brag about themselves when they should sometimes, it seems, as I sometimes still (after a year) find cool resources the university has for its students that they just don't advertise.
-Come here only if your first priority is academics and you have a good idea what you want to do with your life.
-We are on Princeton Review's list of "Stone Cold Sober Schools." It's not a dry campus, not even the dorms are dry, but people just don't drink (much) and it isn't a party school. I like this aspect, but some people probably see it as a con.
-Our sports teams kind of suck because the school's focus is on academics. However, the sports programs are still demanding and do great things once in a while. No football team.
-There are many clubs but most people forego them with at least the excuse of doing homework. However, we have a pretty lively Greek scene (less now since the school threatened them based on their crummy GPAs.) However, the clubs we do have are not exclusive and it's easy to start one and to get money to run it. Also, the Union Board creates tens of free or extremely cheap events throughout the year open to the whole student body.
-Campus maintenance is horrible. We may "live and work in buildings designed by world-famous architects" but we won't for long if they don't keep them from deteriorating. However, to be fair, conditions used to be a lot worse. The university is renovating a lot of stuff right now.
-We (or our scholarships) pay a lot of money to go here. Where exactly all that money goes is kind of question at times, because the school keeps running out of money to, for example, buy supplies for my shop class.
-As an archie, keeping your scholarship is quite difficult.-The food isn't too great, and it's expensive. Housing is the same way.