StudentsReview :: The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor - Comments and Student Experiences
Search for Schools by Region

or within distance of city

Similar Schools
Michigan State University -- East Lansing, MI
Harvard University -- Cambridge, MA
New York University -- New York, NY

  Who's got the Best?

Perceptual Rankings:
You Make 'Em.
We Post 'Em.
You Vote 'Em Up.
You Vote 'Em Down.
Aww yeah.

The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

There are 250 Comments


Sort By: [Date] [Major] [Rating]

Select Comments:

Positive Negative Neutral Advice
This school was a massive disappointment for me.Quite BrightPsychology
This school was a massive disappointment for me. With such a solid reputation, the low quality of the faculty shocked me. Make no mistake, this is a "research institution," as our dear President Schlissel loves to say in his emails to students. Unfortunately, teaching appears to be optional in this "research institution," or "degree factory" as I like to call it. I can't blame the professors because there is so little incentive for them to put effort into teaching when their livelihood directly comes from how much research they churn out. It shows. As a pre-med student, I essentially taught myself all of the material from general chemistry through biochemistry. I did well, but I worked extremely hard to compensate for the lack of quality instruction. Even worse, many science professors do not hold office hours. Rather, they have "open discussions" in which students are allowed to ask questions. However, this makes it extremely difficult to get to know professors on an individual basis, which is problematic for letters of recommendation. The best they can do is "recognize your face" from class, which is a shame. Don't go into Michigan with any illusions. You are a number. The University does not care about you. The professors range from mediocre to incompetent. Good luck. You're on your own.

Social life at Michigan is a bit less bleak. There are plenty of organizations to join, though I would argue that many student orgs are (forgive the expression) disorganized. Joining organizations, in particular, is haphazard with a giant sign-up free-for-fall called Festifall at the beginning of each school year. Greek life is quite big at Michigan. There's definitely a divide between the GDIs and the Greeks. While students are generally friendly and approachable, people do look at you differently when you don't have letters, wear Sperry's and Vineyard Vines, or end every sentence with "bruh." Obviously, if you're a sports fan, Michigan is the place for you. Football, basketball, hockey, etc. are all very popular, though football definitely takes the cake. However, game days seem to be more of an excuse to drink excessively at pre-games and tailgates than passion for the sport. My first few game days were magical, but I quickly found that I grew tired of losing my Saturdays (and quite frequently the contents of my stomach). As a pre-med student, I didn't get to take much advantage of social life at Michigan. I didn't have trouble making friends, but time spent hanging out often included studying.

I've heard many people say that Michigan has a beautiful campus. I disagree. There are perhaps three weeks during an entire school year in which I would concede that the campus looks nice. The Diag often looks and smells like a swamp, the buildings comprise a messy hodgepodge of disparate architecture, and the horrendous weather makes it difficult to enjoy strolling through campus. Quick note on the weather: I'm from Chicago, so I'm used to bad winters and somewhat unpredictable weather. However, the weather I experienced during my four years in Ann Arbor was NOTICEABLY worse Chicago. There was one day in which it snowed, hailed, rained, and became sunny. ALL IN ONE DAY. Even the animals had mystified expressions on their faces. My advice for someone planning to attend Michigan: get used to cold and gray. I've never stayed in a city with less sunshine than Ann Arbor.

Moving on to the surrounding city, Ann Arbor is great, particularly during the summer. There's a beautiful arboretum near the Medical Campus, and downtown is filled with many interesting places to eat. Seeing as it's Ann Arbor, there are quite a few hipster places, so if that's your thing...However, undergraduate students typically don't go into downtown. They mainly stay east of State Street with the exception of Skeeps bar. With this in mind, I think Ann Arbor is better for graduate students and adults.

I want to hit on an important topic, which is diversity. The University constantly jerks itself off as a champion of diversity. I will concede that there are many races represented at the school. However, the school mistakes sheer racial numbers for true diversity. The vast majority of people at the school come from the exact same mold - suburban, well-off, middle to upper middle class - yes, even many of the racially diverse students. Furthermore, there is a shocking amount of segregation among the students. Black people hang out with black people. Asians hang out with Asians. White people hang out with white people. Arabs hang out with Arabs. Indians hang out with Indians. There isn't much mixing of the races. Thus, I haven't gained many new cultural perspectives, which is why I have a major problem with the University's self-proclamation of outstanding diversity. Not to mention, the students can be quite racist. We've had our share of problems during my four years here.What else is there to say? Overall, Michigan did not live up to my expectations. The administrators believe that it is a "research institution" rather than a "school," and it shows. Unfortunately, that philosophy leaves thousands of students hung out to dry. It's definitely not worth out-of-state tuition. I would only give a half-hearted recommendation to attend Michigan if you're in-state or plan to major in business. The business school, while difficult to get into, is an absolute joke once you get in. They inflate grades, fill out your schedules for you, and hook you up with basically any internship you want. However, if you don't fall into the business or in-state categories, save yourself the money and headaches by going somewhere else.

4th Year Male -- Class 2016
Surrounding City: A, Individual Value: F
Rate this comment:
Useless (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Helpful
I was a top-notch student (and National MeritHistory/Histories (art history/etc.)
I was a top-notch student (and National Merit Scholar) prior to coming to college (only ended up with a 3.0 at UM, and that's because I decided to step up my game in the last year and pull A's--this merely consisted of attending class). One point of advice would be to take time off in between high school and college to get your bearings and re-calibrate what it is you actually wanted to study/achieve. If you are an achiever, you might need a breather. People coming out of the "success" track from high school haven't fully had the chance to explore their own darn minds and reflect. I cannot recommend more heartily to take a step back, go work as a barrister/a for a while, shake off some of that compulsive programming (be it personal or parental), and THEN make the choice about college--because that can be a great experience, but I think more appreciated when it isn't just part of a continuum that you haven't truly been at the wheel of.

Additionally, I do think there is a financial divide that separates some students from the majority here at UM. I did come from a privileged background so I cannot speak to that fully on my own behalf, but I employ staff that haven't been so advantaged, and they have expressed a sense of isolation and general lack of comprehension of where the bulk of their peers are coming from. Something of which to be aware and willing to wrangle with.

Lastly, and somewhat adding to the above observation, diversity does exist at UM, if you are merely looking at skin color (although African Americans are underrepresented). However, when you take a closer look at diversity, the upbringing and financial backgrounds of the majority of students closely mirror one another. There is a paucity of "experiential", "economical", diversity. Perhaps this is typical of all Big Ten schools, I don't know. But I feel like exposure to other cultures and ways of life are limited by the average college-track youth being funneled into the same mold. And that mold is finely represented at UM.

Positive points: Ann Arbor is a decent place. There are very good professors that are committed to their work and mentoring roles (as well as bad).

Essentially, I think college is going to have its ups and downs, wherever you attend. Like life itself. Just brace yourself for the realities, read all the reviews you can, and make your leap (hopefully after taking some time off from the academic grind!). Good luck out there!

Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
Rate this comment:
Useless (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Helpful
A good education can be had at anyHistory/Histories (art history/etc.)
A good education can be had at any university or community college. But a large, globally respected university like Michigan offers more than just a good eduction. It provides an opportunity to meet and learn from people who shape the world at the highest levels of government and business. If you don't take advantage of the special opportunities a world class university offers, you may as well save your money and attend a smaller, less expensive school.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
Rate this comment:
Useless (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Helpful
The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Compare UMichSave UMich

StudentsReview Advice!

• What is a good school?
• Statistical Significance
• How to choose a Major
• How to choose your Career
• What you make of it?
• How Ivy League Admissions works
• On the Student/Faculty Ratio

• FAFSA: Who is a Parent?
• FAFSA: Parent Contribution
• FAFSA: Dream out of reach

• College Financial Planning
• Survive College and Graduate
• Sniffing Out Commuter Schools
• Preparing for College: A HS Roadmap
• Talking to Your Parents about College.
• Is a top college worth it?
• Why is college hard?
• Why Kids Aren't Happy in Traditional Schools
• Essential College Tips
Ah, college. Considered by many to be the time of a young person's lif... more→
• Cost of College Increasing Faster Than Inflation
According to NPR, the cost of college... more→
• For parents filling out the FAFSA and PROFILE (from a veteran paper slinger)
Just so you know, filling out these forms is a lot more than penciling... more→
• How to choose the right college?
My name is Esteban Correa. I am currently a second year INTERNATIONAL ... more→
• Create The Right Career Habits Now
Getting ahead in your career can be easier if you make the choice to b... more→

• Senior Year (Tips and experience)
It's the end of junior year and everyone is anticipating the arrival o... more→
• Informational Overload! What Should I Look For in a College or University?
We are in an instant information age, where you can find almost anythi... more→
• Personality Type and College Choice
Personality type is something very important to consider when deciding... more→
• A Free Application is a Good Application
As a senior finishing her scholastic year, I feel that it is my duty ... more→

• College Academic Survival Guide
The leap from high school to college academics is not an insignificant... more→
• Getting Involved: The Key to College Happiness
As a tour guide, the absolute, most frequently asked question I got wa... more→
• Choose a Path, Not a Major
Unless you're one of the fortunate souls who's already found their cal... more→
• The Scoop on State Schools
A recent college graduate, I vividly remember touring campuses as a p... more→

• The Purpose of a Higher Education
You are one of the millions of people this year applying for admission... more→
• The Importance of Choosing the Right College Major (2012)
One of the most important academic choices you'll make while in colleg... more→
• How to choose a college major
I was not sure what college major to choose. When you are in your late... more→
• How to guarantee your acceptance to many colleges
Are your grades are not what you think they should be from high school... more→

• Nailing the College Application Process
College applications seem to always be put on top of students procrast... more→
• What to do for a Successful Interview
Interviews seem to become more commonplace in every facet of life as o... more→
• I Don't Know Where to Start (General College Advice)
Preparing for college is a difficult time for every student and it?s o... more→
• Attitude and Dress Code for an Interview (General College Advice)
An interview is something we all have to go through when we get a job... more→

• Starting College (General College Advice)
College is a huge milestone in your life. You?ve seen the castle like ... more→
• Boston Apartment lease: Watch out!

Are you a student and about to sign the very first lease in your li... more→

• What college is right for you?
When thinking about their choices for colleges, many students and pare... more→