When I tell people that I'm going to umbc, I usually get the response of "Wow, that's a great school!" I believe it to be true based on my experiences so far. The professors that I've talked to are so friendly and willing to help answer any of my questions. Also, the students I've met are kind, upbeat, and willing to talk. When I am on campus, I find that the campus and facilities are beautiful (especially during the spring when the flowers around campus are blooming). The price of umbc is also affordable, especially if you are a high-achieving student, as there are many opportunities for merit scholarships (institutional ones are primarily based on standardized test scores and gpa, but also look into merit scholarships attached to the various scholars programs- it is very worthwhile to apply!) Basically, you are obtaining a stellar education for a reasonable price (umbc has been consistently ranked as one of the top 150 "Best Value" colleges. I have a lot of friends who turned down places like Johns Hopkins, Lehigh, and Virginia Tech to go here. Aside from that, president Freeman Hrabowski is an amazing man, a fantastic speaker, and he really connects to the students. He has really helped the relatively new school to take off, as recently there have been record numbers of applicants and rankings have soared (and they will likely continue to do so). Also, in part thanks to him, the school has obtained much funding for scientific research (through NIH, etc.) and these opportunities are very available to students, as the school is very undergraduate-oriented. A few complaints that are often heard are that umbc is mostly "a commuter school" and that there is "no social life" or "nothing to do around campus." Just to refute these claims, new dorms have been built to allow students to live on campus, and as a result, around 70% of students do now (which is quite average compared to other campuses). Also, there are many clubs and extracurriculars to get involved in if you want to meet people and make friends! As for the party scene, while parties are harder to find, they are there if you look for them. This campus tends to be academic though, so if you plan on getting wasted every night, I advise you to look into umd instead. Finally, there are plenty of off-campus things to do- the school provides shuttles to surrounding areas like Catonsville and Baltimore, but it also helps to find friends with a car. It's Baltimore people!! There's a ton of things to do, go explore!! In sum, this school is way underrated, almost like a hidden secret- if you want a good deal, a supportive college environment (without a sink or swim attitude) and a well-rounded college experience, consider looking at umbc!
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