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| UMBC is a fantastic school. It was recently ranked #1 in "up and coming" schools. People give UMBC a hard time for having a bad social life, but that's not true. There are parties on the weekends, just not every single night of the week like other schools. UMBC attracts really smart, creative, and independent students. Don't go to UMBC if you're just going to goof off for 4 years. I chose UMBC over some of the best schools in the country- UMD-College Park, NYU, University of Michigan, and Georgia Tech...and it was the best decision I've ever made! |
|Feb 12 2010|| 1st Year Female --
Class 2013 |
|Not so bright|
| I had a choice of going to UMBC or UMCP. I was influenced to go to UMBC. In a way it was better, since the atmosphere was laid back, no partying, which allowed me to study in school. However, post college I often get asked about my school choice and it often gets confused with College Park. UMBC definitely doesn't have the same name that CP does, which has hurt but not all that much. |
| Starting Job: Software Engineer, Preparedness: B-, Reputation: D |
|Oct 07 2009|| Alumnus Male --
Class 2000 |
|Not so bright|
| Overall, I'd say that going to UMBC has been one of the worst mistakes I've made. I'm unsure if this is just my own personal experience, something I'm doing wrong, or a genuine fault of the schools, but I've experienced nothing but suffering and there were several other schools I would have been happy to go to.|
I decided to go to UMBC out of chance really, because senior year of high school was very rough because I had just gotten out of an unhealthy relationship and was suffering the consequences for it. I didn't get to look into as many different schools as I would have liked to. I was feeling unsure and my self esteem and confidence was pretty low, so I didn't want to apply for MICA and I didn't want to go out of state to Juniata. Plus, I knew a lot of people at UMBC and figured it would be an easier transition for me.
Not the case...
UMBC has constantly screwed me over every single semester, for one thing or another. Fall 07, it was financial aid, which for some reason they were not applying to my account and so I had a debt for a while without even knowing it. Spring 08, I had a hard time getting in contact with my academic adviser for that advising thing they force you to do before you can apply for classes so I didn't get to apply for my Fall 08 semester until halfway through the summer. Summer 08, I had to drop a class because I couldn't afford it like I thought I could. But they have a roundabout, tedious method to go about doing this and I almost had to pay full tuition for a class I only took two classes of. Fall 08, my adviser tried to tell me that I had to take another Math class because the class I took in Spring 08 didn't count (which it did; they finally posted it to my academic profile about a year after I took it). Also, a miscommunication on financial aid's part caused me to have to pay for part of my tuition on my own (which I can't afford). Spring 09 (this year), had to have been the worst of them all. First I had to register a little late because of financial ineligibility, adviser being unavailable again, and personal scheduling issues. One of my classes was on my hold list and my teacher gave me authorization to add it right before the add/drop deadline. But it took them another whole week before they actually gave me clearance, which caused me to be "part time" on my account for some time. Then suddenly, they tried to take my financial aid from me because I was "part time" when they sent the information in, even though it was their fault. So I had to deal with that (another roundabout, convoluted process) along with trying to keep up with the workload of the classes. Now, I'm trying to stay on top of my financial aid stuff and they are constantly losing things or making errors...
The faculty and university resources are so hard to get to. If you aren't already in the know (or know someone in the know), you're essentially left in the dark. I would think it would make more sense to have all the major offices (registrar, financial, academics, parking, etc.) in one building instead of spread out all over the place...but maybe that's just me. Most of the information I needed to know to prevent the above problems from happening were hidden away on a really poorly organized website (which they are only just now fixing).
The social life of the school feels almost non-existent. This may be because I'm a commuter (who didn't have a car until recently), but even when I'm on campus late at night, there doesn't seem to be anything going on. The clubs are hard to contact and hard to get into if you aren't able to go to the Involvement Fair. I have been trying to figure out these clubs and how you join, but their websites are often poorly designed as well. The students are typically friendly, but mainly with people in their circles. They often feel unapproachable because of this. They are diverse but segregated; everyone has their "ethnic cliques" and many people don't deviate from them. And when it comes to safety, I don't feel safe at all. Last semester, I got at least one crime alert texted to my cellphone every week. But I'm not surprised, UMBC is pretty close to the city (I know, I live in the city and I'm only 15 minutes away by car).
Some good points, since I don't want to just complain, is that I've only had one or two "bad professors". Most of the teachers are great and really care about their students personally. Even in large classes, you can still feel a more personal atmosphere than you would in a bigger school. They don't play favorites and they all clearly love what they do. That passion for their students and work makes going to class pretty fun and exciting, even if its a class you don't really want to take.
The campus itself is very pretty and very well maintained. I love the lake and the wildlife in the area. I remember when I saw the big fishes in the water and freaked out! And then there was the time I saw the hawk sitting on a lamp post right in front of me...and I freaked out! Being a city girl, the suburban, nature-focused atmosphere is calming and beautiful.In conclusion, I would strongly recommend thinking of other choices before going to UMBC. I feel very distanced from most of the things and people in the school and that isn't what I imagine college would be like. The resources aren't easy to get to, the students are nice but unapproachable, and the only good thing about this school is that if you can make it past the other crap you may have to go through, you'll get valuable classroom experiences. Oh and if you are working (especially if you're working a day shift), UMBC definitely isn't the school for you. The schedule of the entire school is day time ONLY; there are few night time classes, there are few resources available after 3pm (including the staff), and you won't be able to get anything done.
|May 07 2009|| 2nd Year Female --
Class 2011 |