If you're seriously considering UMD, take the time to read this.
I came from a competitive, academically rigorous party school in a college town by the beach, which i absolutely loved. After my freshmen year there, i transferred to UMD for non-academic reasons.
The ominous campus foreshadows the experience to come. I'll start with the social scene. I knew a few people at the school, and after the first week or two i was dying to cut loose. I had an invite to a frat "party" and i was looking forward to getting a decent buzz on and enjoying myself. Fast forward a few hours and i'm completely sober, watching a game of water pong (yep, this was a bring your own alcohol party, which i wasn't aware of, and because no one brought anything significant, the game of choice was water pong).
After a stunning display of water pong, i stumbled upon some liquor. Excellent, the night can't go downhill from here, right? Fast Forward another hour and i'm buzzed, some girl with a deeper voice than mine (and i'm masculine) is sucking on my neck and there are 3 dudes "spooning" on the floor nearby. WTF
It's time for me to leave. I'm followed out of the parking lot by a cop, so i never exceed the posted speed limit. I'm not weaving in the lane, or showing any signs of my very mild intoxication, when the lights come on. Great. I pull over, and a female officer approaches me:
Officer: Do you know why i'm stopping you?
Me: No, i do not.
Officer: You were speeding.
Me: No, i wasn't.
Officer: Do you even know the speed limit? (condescending tone)
Me: Yes, it's 25, and i never exceeded it.
Officer: Well, did you see the pedestrian you almost hit?
Me: What? (no pedestrians as far as the eye can see)
After a long argument about whether or not i had almost hit someone in a crosswalk, who absolutely did not exist, i get off with a warning.
Because the place is a social wasteland on the weekends, the police will pull over and hassle drivers in the early morning hours because they have absolutely nothing else to do. I'm guessing this officer was pulling me over to see if i had been drinking (which she failed at), and when she realized she couldn't use speeding as an excuse to stop me, she invented a pedestrian that i had "almost hit".
This story basically embodies the best of the social scene, which is so poor that a lot of the sorority girls are on online dating websites (so i'm told)...sorority girls on dating websites...
The girl with the deep voice was about a 7/10 on her own merit, but at this campus that's an 8.5. It seems like most of the girls here wouldn't know which end of a brush to apply makeup with. Most wear sweatpants most of the time, and few of them actually appear "put together"
Everyone leaves on the weekend because there is nothing to do on campus and nearly nothing in the surrounding area.
So, your social life is likely to be a disaster, but what about academics?
After a month or so at the school i had my first exam. Angry to be in such a place, i had not taken any notes and had been skipping more classes than i attended. I studied for about 2 hours the night before the exam, and scored the highest grade in the class. There were 91 people in this Abnormal Psych class. At that moment i knew i could do almost nothing and stay above a 3.0. With 3 of my 5 textbooks in the unopened packaging, i finished the semester on the dean's list. How is this even considered a university?
Hell, just read the reviews written by some of my peers. Graduates from this place can't assemble a grammatically correct sentence.
In my 3 semesters, i have done nothing academic, learned nothing, averaged over a 3.0, met few people worth speaking to, and been asked to cheat for another student BY A PROFESSOR. In all honesty, a professor at this "university" asked me to help another student cheat through a course, because if the number of students failing was too high it would reflect poorly on him. I could go on all day, but by now i'm sure you get the point. Stay as far away from this place as possible.
You'll notice some positive reviews, and most are written by people who lack perspective. If you plan to spend the duration of your life within 10 miles of Dartmouth, and expect nothing greater, than this is the place for you. If you understand that there is a wide world out there, that there are colleges where people learn things during the week and have this thing called "fun" on the weekends, and that you shouldn't waste the best years of your live at an institution like this one, than do not come here. Thankfully, my sentence here is served.