Michigan is an excellent school. I loved my time there, learned a lot, and made great friends. I want to address some of the negative comments I've been reading and give some advice to people who are scared off by those comments.
Academics: It's a hard school, and you're going to have to work hard to do well. Someone mentioned that it was easy to go out 4 or 5 nights a week and still maintain a good GPA. You can definitely skate by ? if you purposely choose easier classes taught by some of the more laid-back professors, or join a frat or sorority and study with the exams they've illegally collected and stored in the house. (I was in a sorority for a couple of weeks and this was one of the big reasons I left.) You can make it easy if you want to, but I came there to work hard and excel, so that's what I did.
I was an English major, so I can't speak for other people who did Art & Design, Engineering, Pre-Med, etc, but since the English classes are smaller I didn't have to deal with as many unhelpful TAs. (But I agree that the TAs are a big problem ? I had to take a couple of math and science classes and most of them spoke very little English and tested us on material that was completely unrelated to the professor's lecture topics.)
Student Life: There is a lot of tension between native Michigan students and the students from the East Coast. The vast majority of out-of-state students are from New York, and most of them are from Long Island specifically (weird!). They aren't all jerks, but I ran into a lot of them who'd had Michigan as their last choice school, so I think that plays into it. I only met one person from California the entire time I was there, and a couple people from Illinois or Ohio here and there, but otherwise it's all Michigan and NY.
Yes, some of the students are snobs ? but at any school this size, you're going to run into different types of people, including jerks. And yes, a lot of people like to drink and party here, but again, you're going to get that at any Big Ten school. If you want to avoid snobbery and drunks, avoid the Greek system. Make an effort to talk to the people in your dorm, do campus activities, go to concerts and shows in Ann Arbor, etc. I made amazing, intelligent, thoughtful friends here who weren't the least bit pretentious.
And as far as this school being for rich jerks who wear North Face jackets and Uggs? Take a look around you ? YOU'RE IN MICHIGAN! It's COLD here in the winter! Everyone I knew, regardless of personality or economic status, had a North Face jacket because they are simply the best cold weather jackets. If you don't want to freeze your ass off walking around during the winter, you'll have to buy a North Face or something similar. I never wore Uggs, but a lot of people do because of how comfortable and warm they are. And if you're the type of person who judges people based on what they're wearing, maybe the problem is you, not the boots or the jackets.Going to Michigan helped me a lot in my career (employers liked seeing it on my resume because its reputation precedes it) and I wouldn't trade my time there for anything. There are great people there and you can learn a lot, you just have to make an effort to carve your own path and put yourself out there. The school is only as good as you're willing to make it. Go Blue!