The State University of New York Binghamton
The State University of New York Binghamton - Comments and Student Experiences|
Because there are many students who got into Ivy's but chose Binghamton because it is incredibly inexpensive, the top 10% of students at Binghamton could easily match Harvard, Yale, Columbia, etc. students in intelligence and ambition. More importantly, Binghamton is a place that shows how average students can be exceptionally successful in real life.
On the other hand, there are some very unintelligent kids at Binghamton, and I would argue that the bottom 20% of students force professors to reduce the rigor of many courses to prevent failing too many students.
There is not a strong sense of intellectualism at Binghamton, but if you make a point of befriending those brilliant students at the top of your classes, you will find that all of the smart people find each other, and you will push yourself to be more like them.
Binghamton is average or better than average in terms of the social life students have. There's a strong Greek presence as well as easy access to bars, breweries, and restaurants. Off-campus housing is dirt cheap, which means there are always great (free) house parties rivaling the fraternities and sports teams.
Speaking of sports teams, Binghamton has some great teams, but not in sports you're likely to care about. This is not a school for football or basketball fans, unfortunately. There is actually plenty of spirit at the basketball games, but it is a lot like being a Chicago Cubs fan: you're always excited but your team generally loses. One bright spot, however, is the local minor league hockey team which regularly plays at the downtown arena -- it's a lot of fun because the locals are really into it!
It's worth mentioning that there's a lot of nature around Binghamton, including a nature preserve on campus, and the outdoors club is incredibly popular and active as a result. if you like outdoors stuff, this is a great school for you.
On the whole I think Binghamton is a great school that is fun to be at while providing career opportunities which are comparable to schools that are five times more expensive (e.g. Northeastern, BU, Drexel, etc). Overall, Binghamton's greatest weakness is its distance from a major city, because urban schools tend to have closer relationships to both startups and large corporations. Binghamton does a poor job of proactively helping students get real-world experience via co-ops and internships. Recent administrative shake-ups could change this though, so keep an eye on Binghamton's career services activities.