REAL TALK: UMBC gave me an education. The only problem is that it wasn't a very good one. I am in graduate school and I have realized that I was never pushed to develop critical thinking skills. This has hampered my ability to truly exceed in my program.
UMBC classes are mostly taught by professors who are not very invested in their students. Nearly all of the professors I've had "phoned it in," or to put it another way, they delivered their lectures but didn't put any real effort in them. One professor just stood at the front of the class and yammered on and on about the reading and other off-topic subjects. Another used an overhead projector and transparencies. None of my professors, save for one, really cared.
How is this an "Honor's University?" The faculty is third-rate, the buildings are ugly and rundown, and the classes are not very challenging. UMBC does NOT offer a true, rigorous liberal arts education.
I originally came to UMBC because admissions boasted their commitment to "diversity." I also read that it was one of the most ethnically and racially diverse schools in the country. So I picked it over University of Maryland-College Park. BIG MISTAKE. Yes, it's ethnically diverse but no one talks to each other. At UMBC, there are clusters of ethnic groups who don't interact with anyone outside of their group.
Unlike the real University of Maryland, UMBC has no name recognition. Here's a typical exchange I've had too many times than I care to mention.
Person XYZ: Where did you do your undergrad?
Person XYZ (puzzled): What?
Me: UMBC. The University of Maryland Baltimore County
Person XYZ: Oh, okay. How was College Park?
Me: No, I went to the school in Baltimore County, not College Park.
Person XYZ: Oh. Is that a good school?
So basically, if you want a school that has name recognition and prestige, do NOT pick UMBC.
Not to mention, this is probably the most boring campus in the United States of America. Everyone stays in their rooms or crowd the library. UMBC is a no-fun zone. No one goes to sporting events. No one parties. It's all about maintaining that 4.0 GPA. It gets downright depressing.
This school may get good ratings as an "Up and Coming School" but let's be honest, it's UMBC: A school NO ONE has heard of and one that has zero prestige or good reputation. It is NOT on par with MIT, Dartmouth, etc. That is false advertising.
Like I said previously, UMBC gave me an education. It wasn't a good one at all, but I have a diploma. I never hang my diploma. It's not even framed. It's sitting in the original envelope on a shelf in my closet.
If I could do it over again, I'd go to Maryland.