My experience at UC has been a bit of a mixed bag. There are positives and negatives about it, just like any other large state university.
As an out-of-state student, I have felt very out of place here. 80% of the student body is from Ohio, and of the remaining 20%, I'd say about half are from the Asian continent. That leaves only 10% of the student body that is from different states. I feel like an outsider here, where it's virtually the 13th grade for Ohio residents. Everyone knows each other and hangs out with their high school friends, so I strongly recommend joining a fraternity or sorority if you're out-of-state like me.
Unfortunately, I haven't really been able to take advantage of the social scene here at UC because I'm in DAAP. If you plan on attending DAAP, prepare to have no life. The teachers aren't kidding when they say expect to spend most of your weekend in the studio. I spent 18 straight hours in the studio working on projects. If you enjoy creative, abstract thinking combined with hands-on work, DAAP is definitely for you. Its reputation is earned. DAAP clearly is one of the most innovative programs in the country. Unfortunately, I found out quickly that it just wasn't for me. That doesn't mean it's not a great program. It also doesn't mean I'm dumb or lazy, it just means that I'm much better adjusted to the standard lecture class. There are hardly any lecture classes at DAAP, which can be a positive or a negative depending on the person. I do think every major in DAAP should require a portfolio. Architecture does not, and I really wish it did because I might not have wasted a semester of my life struggling through architecture studios. What I figured out in architecture is that you have to LOVE it. There's no money in the field and job prospects fluctuate with the economy. You have to live, breathe, and love architecture. I found out quickly that I do NOT.
In terms of the other colleges here at UC, it seems that CCM is very highly regarded. I'm not sure what people do with degrees in music, but if that's your interest, then I'd definitely recommend checking out CCM. The College of Engineering is fairly well regarded as well. I believe it's ranked in the top 60 or so engineering programs in the country. Other than that, the programs here are very mediocre. Everything in the College of Arts & Sciences is outside of the top 100. If you are interested in anything but DAAP, CCM, or engineering, I'd go elsewhere (unless you're in-state and want a good bargain).
Sports at UC are awesome. Football games are an absolute blast. Nippert Stadium is only 35,000 seats, but it gets LOUD during Big East games. You can either buy season tickets for $60 or line up at 8 AM on the Monday before the game and get free student section tickets. I went ahead and bought the season ticket package, but I think it's better to just get the free ones. Suck it up and wake up early so that you can get free seats. It's worth it.
I've had a fine experience with faculty. I'm in DAAP, so I haven't had a full blown lecture class here at UC. I can't really say how strong the average professor is here at UC. At DAAP, the studio teachers are very helpful but also extremely arrogant. The GA's are quite nice, though, as they understand what you are going through better than the ***hole professors. I've heard horror stories about teachers outside of DAAP, but I can't give an honest opinion because I haven't experienced them. My guess is that the faculty are ok - not great, not bad.
Campus is fine. I like that it is very compact. It was ranked in Forbes Magazine as one of the top 10 most beautiful campuses in the world. I think that's bogus. Some of the buildings here are just bizarre (DAAP building is a monstrosity), and there's not a whole lot of greenery. The surrounding area is scary. Some people think that Clifton's reputation as a war zone is exaggerated, but I can guarantee you IT'S NOT. We get at least an email a day about armed robberies occurring on streets near campus. There have already been 3 homicides, one of which occurred right outside of a dorm. I would not walk around alone anywhere off campus after dusk. Campus seems relatively safe. I've made quite a few walks back from the DAAP building at obscene hours and haven't had any incidents.
Ultimately, UC is what you make of it. I know people hate to hear that cliche, but it's true. I, unfortunately, did not make the most of it like I could have. I partially blame DAAP, I partially blame myself. I'm not an extremely outgoing person, so I've had a hard time making friends outside of DAAP. UC is a mediocre school, and I find it ridiculous that I'm paying $20,000 a year to attend. It's not worth it for out-of-state students. I think it's a pretty good bargain for in-state students. I've only been here for half a semester, and I can already tell that UC has a LONG way to come before being compared with OSU.