If you are planning to take engineering at this school, don't.
Faculty/Course: I'm a freshman. The current division I'm in is Engineering Design but I'll also talk about the department itself (look below). The main lecture professor of the engineering department knows what he's talking about. He has extensive knowledge on engineering and has worked in large companies like Lockheed. We also have a "lab" taught by TA's(sometimes the actual professor)who also know what they are talking about.
Besides the main professor, all the other faculty seem to lack knowledge and experience in the engineering field. In fact, if you look on their website, all but two of the faculty members have an actual degree in engineering. Some of the degrees are English and Fine Arts.
As for the helpfulness, the TA's and the main Professor are helpful and nice. The others, especially mine for the Engineering Communications course, is practically useless and very "b....y". (If you do go to this school for Engineering, don't sign up for the teacher who's the English major)
Engineering Courses:The thing is, while they (professor/TA) know their stuff, the stuff they are teaching is practically useless or learned before. For instance, we learned about how to use Excel. I also had two classes, one where it was basically "ProUniversity Engineering Proganda"and another on the Engineering clubs in the school. The homework assignments are mostly things to keep you busy and to have something to grade for your transcript.
Also, you have to take an Engineering Communications course which is basically a course that makes you write useless papers only to have you learn the lesson of this course is "to always write in the given format."
The projects they give are pathetic. You have an Arduino project and a Reverse Engineering Project. The former, in its essence is a middle school science project.
All you do is follow the directions for one of the projects on instructables.com. They sound cool, but the actual results are pathetic. Think "blinking cube" and "cube with words" as the "spectacular achievements" of this project. Be careful, they also exaggerate about how important the project is because there's an Expo for it. They say locals and the news attend the Expo. But, only students and faculty members attend the event.
The Reverse Engineering project is even worse. All you do is take apart a device and write a bunch of stuff on how you will "conceptually" change it. The whole point of this project is to learn how to write a report and nothing else. In short, the projects in this school don't involve any actual Engineering/building - no math, no engineering, no nothing. In fact, the lesson of the whole semester was to "learn how to work on a team". I'm not paying ~$22,000 to learn how to work on a team. I'm pretty sure most of you learned how to do that in high school.
Engineering Department:The department isn't known for its engineering research or development. They don't have any awards, achievements or famous alumini. No robotics, computers, cars, anything that are noteworthy. Most of them have been done before. Think celebrating the fact that you can build something that moves. In fact, money grants have actually decreased for this school, but they keep saying grants have increased (until 2007 but it goes down). The "shop" is nothing to brag about. It's pretty much a indoor garage with a bunch of tools.
As for majors, the bioengieering program at this school doesn't seem impressive. They don't mention any research they have done. There's no aerospace engineering either. Most students take mechanical, electrical or computer and most professors in the department have those majors.
Also, this school isn't as cheap as they brag about. They don't have any university grants and depend on the state and government solely for financial aid. You'll most likely take out loans. There are scholarships, but they are very difficult to get and freshmen don't have any. Work study is like finding a job in this economy. Chances are you'll have at LEAST ~$24,00 in debt by the end. With the quality of this department, it really isn't worth paying for. As for how this department is ABET credited I'll never know.
Other Courses(Chemistry, Calc, and Geography): Chemistry is horrible. The professor can't speak English. Basically, you have to teach yourself the course. Which defeats the whole point of going to college. I'm not paying ~$22,000 to teach myself, you are supposed to do that.
Calc is no better. While the professor I have is very nice and luckily very informative compared to others, your grade is solely based on the 3 Exams and Final you'll take. If you suck at taking tests, you're in trouble. Also, the Math Department is infamous for being horrible at this school. Professors, can't speak English and office hours aren't very helpful.
Geography: You have General Education requirements in order to graduate (at least 12 credits per semester). Basically they force you to take courses you don't need or want to to pretty much make money off of you. On the bright side, my Urban Geography teacher ruled. He knows what he's talking about, very approachable and is very informative. I actually learned something new and interesting(Unlike engineering).
School Work: Grades not learning or progress is number one. Most students and I don't bother with the material. As long as we get a good enough grade. Think teaching to the test as the motto here.
Students: The students like the ones in high school. There's the nice ones, the mean ones and the ones in between. But there is lack of community, closeness and school spirit amongst the student body.
Area/Social Life: Binghamton is a dying city. You have to drive everywhere and I don't suggest walking alone at night in the city. You're pretty safe on campus but there's not much social life on campus. "Social Centers" are Walmart, Wegmans and the Oakdale mall. You can go Downtown to "The Rat" but people say it's very sketchy. the school tries to involve students in social programs, but it fails miserably. Most of them consist of putting out food in order to attract students to the boring events they have. All in all, you can have a social life, just not a very exciting one. I'm from NYC. The fun you can have from the social life here in a year, can be done in a night in NYC.
Clubs: From my experience, the clubs don't have many events. In this whole semester, I've only had two. There are sports, but I'm not in any.
Campus Aesthetics: I suggest living in either Newing, Mountainview or CIW for the best dorms. As for aesthetics, the campus has very lackluster architecture and design. It's like a high school designed this place. There's no sense of community in this area and there's nothing about the school's campus that would make you say that you're proud of. Paris has the Eiffel tower, Binghamton University has a sad little buildings. The campus is very spread out, this creates a lack of community and interaction between students. Everything is flat and long.