Drew University - Comments and Student Experiences|
Let's talk about the good parts...
Drew's a very close-knit campus that fosters a sense of individual attention. Professors are generally masters in their subjects and its impossible to walk down the path without running into someone you know. The school also gives out a lot of financial aid - which unfortunately helps me transition into the cons of attending Drew.
Onto the bad....
Drew University has a very corrupt administration that is out to get your money in any way it can. There's been shady financial issues in the past few years and the school is struggling to save itself from bankruptcy. Freshmen are given very large financial age packages that are then vastly deducted once they become upperclassmen. If you try to appeal to the administration, good luck. You'll be thrown onto the back burner with the other hundred suckers in your position.
A lot of the people in the business and financial aid offices also don't seem to know how to use computers. In fact, if you ask members of administration for help in dealing with financial issues, you're met with a disconnect from reality that's startling. Seriously, for all the money that Drew works out of you, its also bizarre that its not being put to good use. The relatively new performing arts building suffered damage from snow this year because of "unstable walls" and money is continually being spent on strange things like expensive nutrition billboards in the Commons.
The food here is bad. It might not be as horrendous as people have made it out to be, but its been ranked continually as some of the worst in America. There's tales from the Commons that would disturb you to no end - and just for the sake of being civil, I'm not going to disclose them. But I'd like to point out that there's been ignored cases of cross-contamination that no one seems too care about.
The academics at Drew are generally very good. The small class sizes are awesome and you're really able to get the most out of the material. But at the same time, some professors have been known to be condescending in a way that encourages a conformist atmosphere. The school's liberal arts philosophy encourages students to "explore new options," but a lot of professors are quick to dismiss opinions they disagree with. They might mean well, but they unintentionally encourage students to think in the same "hive-mentality" where they're scared of being shot down.
I'm not writing this to viciously bash Drew University. I spent a lot of money to come here and I just want to paint an honest depiction for anyone else who's considering applying. While I may have been harsh, I'll reinforce that isn't a bad school. Its a well-intentioned institution with caring professors, but its been corrupted by its administration.
Pros: There are many nice people here. Many of them are odd or awkward but still very nice. The teachers are very helpful and willing to meet with you whenever. Small class sizes are nice. We do have a beautiful campus when its spring/summer.
I know my review is neutral because I did have a good time, the school is just not what I want in a college. If you want to come here, do it. I recommend this school for students who live nearby and like to go home often. This school is not for anyone who lives far away and just wants to be near the city or wants to go to a college for theatre.
For a small school, there is a lot of red-tape in dealing with non-academic departments. Plan to stand on line for hours to get housing, and the health service center is lousy -- go to an off-campus doctor or clinic. Academic departments are great to work with, but dealing with non-academic departments is like going to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
Social life is nothing to write home about. I attended Drew in the late 1990's when the school's alcohol policy was lenient, but today the school has become one of the strictest is New Jersey, issuing hundred of tickets each year to students for alcohol violations. I can remember going to outdoor barbeques with students eating burgers and drinking beer. I was stunned to find out that the campus public safety now enters private student rooms in order to issue alcohol citations.
Tuition and costs have become increasingly problematic. Drew costs $52,500 per year (not counting books and personal expenses) making it one of the most expensive colleges in the United States. The school used to give out a lot of scholarships and financial aid. It eliminated its full-tuition merit scholarships a few years ago, and financial aid and other grants have not kept up with tuition.
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