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McDaniel College

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McDaniel's academics are truly amazing.Quite BrightHistory/Histories (art history/etc.)
McDaniel's academics are truly amazing. Since being here I've re-discovered how much I enjoy learning for the sake of learning, so much so that I'm actually excited to go to class and do homework(!). All of my classes are discussion-based with heavy emphasis on ideas rather than simple textbook facts. Professors, who act more like mentors than just teachers, encourage students to think for themselves and become worldly individuals. If you're looking to expand your point-of-view, go on to graduate school, or if you just really, really love learning about new and interesting things, you've come to the right place.

With that being said, there are a lot of things I wish the college would improve on. A lot of students treat this place like it's an extension of their high school, so be prepared to face all the cliques and drama (I graduated HS four years ago so I'm completely over that mindset). Most of them seem too bogged down with Greek life or sports (or their cliques) that they rarely care about much else, not something I would expect from a school with such a strong academic persona. The only reason IMHO that McDaniel doesn't rank up there with Amherst, Skidmore, or Oberlin is due to all the people they accept, who in turn end up bringing the school down. Raise the admission standards and the college would have a much better reputation. That's not to say there aren't any cool or open-minded people here, but I feel the immaturity shown by a good number of students makes the environment much more negative than it needs to be.

Westminster isn't exactly a great town either (it can be rather sketchy at night). However, Baltimore is only a half hour drive away (DC is an hour south via rural roads), so you won't be bored to tears if you find someone with a car.

A word about the food: it's not as bad as the other reviews have said. Go to Sandella's and get a sandwich wrap or mozerella sticks if GLAR isn't appealing.Same sort of thing with the dorms. They aren't as bad as you'd think. But again, leave campus and Westminster and hit up Bmore as often as you can to avoid going crazy.

1st Year Female -- Class 2012
Friendliness: A+, Surrounding City: C+
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As a second semester student here who isQuite BrightPolitical Science
As a second semester student here who is transferring, I will simply do a pro and con list of the school. I will however say that I am not transferring because I am entirely unsatisfied with the college, but mostly because I found a better program for my major at another school.

PRO's:

Financial aid: If you are putting yourself through college (like I am) or if you are not affluent, this college is VERY generous in terms of need-based aid. Additionally, I have friends who could afford the $38,000 who still got academic scholarships. Sports players, don't count on sports for scholarships because there are none of those here.

Friendly people: I have met some of the nicest people here, and I have a very good handful of people who I plan to keep in touch with when I leave. People are genuinely nice and caring, and it is a family-like environment especially if you become friends with the other residents on your floor.

Academics: It's true, you won't be a number here, or at least not in any of my classes. Classes are challenging and most make me feel like a more well-rounded person. There are always those crappy professors anywhere, I had one last semester, but most are good here.

Campus: Beautiful, especially in spring.
Dorms: If you're looking for glamor, don't come here. That being said, the facilities are fine and I have no problem with the dorm, communal bathroom setting.

CON's:

Location: If you are a person who enjoys going out on the town, this is NOT the place for you. I didn't realize until I came here that I really enjoy being near SOMEWHERE, because there is truly nothing to do in Westminster. Sure, Baltimore is about 45 minutes away by car, but for people who don't have cars or who don't wish to spend all their money on gas, it is really not conveniently close to the college. If you are used to being in the middle of nowhere, you will probably be alright, but trust me, there is NOTHING around campus to do.

Activities: The clubrooms are fun and there are small events sometimes, but on a daily basis, activities are not frequent enough to keep students excited and give them something to do. Most people simply hang out in their dorms all week long until Thursday or Friday, when they go out drinking.

Social Scene: While I do have good friends and while people are genuinely nice, MANY people join greek life. Greek life is fine and yes it gives you a lot more to do, but it is also expensive and creates large cliques on campus.

Food: All college food sucks, but there is really no variety here. You will get bored of it fast, even if you are not a picky eater. Also, the cafeteria is more like a high school than my high school with all the cliques of sports teams and frats and sororities sitting at their "designated" tables.

All in all, the college has its ups and downs, and it was great for a year. I just don't think that it is a place that can keep me entertained for long enough. McDaniel is a great place for some people, and a horrible place for others. Just try and visit on a day other than Accepted Students Day so that you can see the true happenings on campus. I'd suggest an overnight visit.

1st Year Female -- Class 2012
Useful Schoolwork: A, Surrounding City: F
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There are always going to be your upsBrightHistory/Histories (art history/etc.)
There are always going to be your ups and downs with the college you choose. Unfortunately, I have not had the college experience I expected to have. There is not much of a night life here and many people, including myself, go home on the weekends. However, I have also accepted the fact that college is not always about the parties. It's about the faculty and their support in your success, the general atmosphere, and what fits for you personally. I have learned so much in the little time that I have spent here at WMC (or McDaniel). I know the education I am receiving will be worth it in the end. Advice: Go away as a freshman instead of transferring in sophomore yr. Also, remember what you go to college for. You can find good times elsewhere if need be, but do what you have to during the week to succeed. My Dad always reminds me when I'm getting frustrated with college to "Keep Your Eye On The Prize." It's true, your degree is golden.
1st Year Female -- Class 2004
Education Quality: A+, Social Life: D
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