Ball State University
Ball State University - Comments and Student Experiences|
I started in Fall 2012 as an undecided major. If you're wanting to use freshman year as a time to explore your interests by taking different classes to pick a major, this is not the school for you. The programs are set up for students to start taking major classes first or second semester of freshman year, which is great if you're firm on a major but puts you behind if you're not (like 75% of students at BSU). There are in-depth career assessments available that are helpful once you find them, but those can only do so much. Also, most of the majors are very generic in their course offerings with little room for exploring your own interests, whereas IU for example offers far more flexibility. I spent my time considering mainly social science majors, which focus far too much on research and theories that most people won't use unless they go to grad school.
The core curriculum requires way too many irrelevant classes, though that's true of all schools. Aside from public speaking, personal finance and the English sequence, the requirements are pointless other than getting the credits. I wasn't there long enough to take program courses but the core classes are filled with a lot of busy work.
Also, don't expect to graduate in 4 years unless you come in with at least a semester's worth of credits. Between prerequisites for several classes or not having a major right away or some people just don't graduate until their 9th or 10th semester.
Being from Muncie, I chose to commute instead of living on campus to save money. While there is a program to help commuters and give them something like an RA, ultimately living in the residence halls is crucial to having a social life at this school. BSU has invested A TON into their residence halls, there's always an ongoing project to build or rebuild a residence hall, and lots of sophomores and even upperclassmen will choose to stay in them. People boast about which hall they live in as if it's the best, some of the halls are very clique-y for no reason.
There are roughly 400 student groups on campus. I joined 3 of them, 2 of which didn't fulfill their intended purpose that well and were very clique-y between leaders and members. (Clique-y describes a lot at this school). Some of these groups have a great presence and are great for those interested while others you wouldn't know existed, with every level in between. I did make good friends in one group that helped me make it as long as I did at BSU. Regardless of where you live, groups are the best way to meet people outside of dorms.
BSU is very much a party school. As in I've found parties every day of the week. I know people drink at every school, but very few people have the "work hard, play hard" attitude to look responsible. And other than the State Excise Police when the year starts up, parties only get busted if someone calls UPD about it, otherwise they just see one, drive by to look and go on.
There's about 50% of students at BSU who are mature and do what they need to without being obnoxious and those people are great, but there's the other 50% that to be blunt are students who wanted to go to IU or Purdue but were rejected, and act snobby for no valid reason while competing with each other to see who can "ball so hard", BSU slang for how much can you party.
To say some positive things, you do get a free health center, rec center and counseling center with your tuition, plus football games are free for students. The city bus is also free for students and makes having a car unnecessary. I would recommend BSU for education, architecture and telecommunications majors, otherwise you'll probably find a better program in your field elsewhere. Ball State is a good fit for some people, I'm just not one of them. BSU is growing and getting students with higher GPAs and moving up a few spots in the rankings, but overall they just don't give most students what they need to be very successful.
Back to the more important part education. Ball State University has some of the most under paid professors in the state and it shows. It is a shame that the University president was given about a 1mm (million) dollar bonus last year. I guess I am spoiled with having attended other universities in Indiana. Ball State degrees are laughed at by many businesses. Don't expect a good paying job with a Ball State degree.
Their Pre-Professional degree is a joke. I can tell you now that their program will not prepare you for the MCATs. Even if you were a 4.0 student good luck getting into med school with a Ball State degree. The program is a mixture of in class lectures and a bunch of online homework and tests. They try to hard to push the tech aspect of using email and online shit, but if you have problems using or have a question about online work for your in person class hang it up.
Their tutoring program for the sciences is a joke the tutors or GA's barely have a clue about what they are attempting to help you with and their best friend is Google to answer your questions. (as if I couldn't do that myself)
Their freshman advisors are a joke, they will screw up your schedule and put you in classes you don't need or the wrong ones. Demand to meet your actual advisor for your major to review your schedule to make sure that you are not signed up for the wrong classes or classes you don't need.
Mand. Class BS:
Ball State has some seriously BS class requirements for your degree, such as the PE aspect you can choose walking, running, swimming coupled with a BS lecture section of the course. The BS lecture section of what they call a PFW class is basically a High School Health course derailed. I am not sorry for saying this but if you do not know that if you have unprotected sex you could get preg. or catch an STD you don't belong in college. Second if you don't know what foods are healthy for you and not guess what you don't belong in college. If you don't know that you probably should exercise on the regular (even if you choose not to) you probably don't belong in college. The Lecture portion of that class was a joke and full of miss information. Why such a course is required of adults to get a degree I will never know. They probably should teach students something useful like archery or marksmanship or something instead.
Social Weekend Aspect:
Ball State students like to boast that they attend a wild party school. Well this is wrong. IU, Purdue, Depauw, ND have much better parties that are less likely to be "busted" by the police. The party's at Ball State are lame house parties for the most part. A bunch of BYOB events, or students operating illegal bars AKA charging per drink just like a bar would. The parties start around 10pm and run dry by 12 if your are lucky around 1 am. Almost no party really lasts past 2am at ball state. Just FYI. So don't expect some wild fun like you would see in the movies it just does not happen at Ball State.
Don't expect much from Ball State sports, but know that if you attend full time you will be paying about 400 in hidden fees to pay for your "free" admissions to all athletic events. Remember almost all the students playing any sport including running are here on a full ride scholarship free food, free room, free books, free upscale tutors, and they even get paid money on top of that.
Okay back to the science's department. There is nothing cutting edge or top notch about ball state science department. The majority of the equipment ball state uses in the sciences building is severely outdated equipment that if you were wanting to work in a lab, chances are if you were to work in a 3rd world country lab the equipment in that lab would be more current than Ball States equipment. Half the time at ball state the outdated Tech in the Sciences building do not work properly.
You think you will be doing something new in labs with a new course, but in reality you will be doing pretty much the same useless labs over and over again.
Don't waste your time or money at Ball State if you are wanting a science degree. The truth is that College is a piece of paper to help you open up your first doors to a career. Ball State's piece of paper won't open any real doors in a field that you have your heart set on. It might open the doors if you want to flip hamburgers for a living, but hey who goes to college for that?
2nd- When you need something done, do it yourself. You are wasting your time in trying to run everything through your advisor. They know less than what you think. If you need special permission to get into a class, email/call/visit the professor on your own. Stay on the professor until you get your access to the class permitted.3rd- Get everything in writing. I can not tell you the number of times my advisor has gone back on her word. She has issues with remembering what she has committed to. I will say it one more time, GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING!!