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Drake University

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityB- Faculty AccessibilityB-
Useful SchoolworkB Excess CompetitionC+
Academic SuccessB- Creativity/ InnovationC-
Individual ValueB- University Resource UseB-
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyC+ FriendlinessB-
Campus MaintenanceB Social LifeC+
Surrounding CityC Extra CurricularsB+
Describes the student body as:
Afraid, Arrogant, Closeminded

Describes the faculty as:

id='quarter' class='snapshot' style='color: #001397; line-height:80px';float:left;
Super Brilliant
Lowest Rating
Creativity/ Innovation
Highest Rating
Extra Curriculars
He cares more about Creativity/ Innovation than the average student.
Date: Sep 04 2010
Major: English (This Major's Salary over time)
Do not come here if you are an intellectual, creative-class type. I came as an English/soc double major, and lasted only a year. The professors I had in these departments were solid, but they clearly dumbed down the material so that other students would get it.

One quick story: for an English course, I wrote what I perceived to be one of the worst papers of my college career. I started writing it at about 11pm the night before it was due, which is a strategy I don't advise to any student. Anyway, The teacher not only gave me an A, she used my paper as an example to the class on how to write a great paper! (While I like this professor and was certainly flattered to receive such an honor, to think that the particular paper of mine was better than anyone else's in that class was just a downright scary thought.)

It's a small school, and yet professors aren't as accesible as you would think. They just aren't there during office hours quite a bit. They do reply to e-mails quickly, though.

The school definitely caters to business, finance, and accounting majors—basically, if your major involved working directly with money, it's a decent school (if you want to go to a truly elite business school, of course, you still will want to look elsewhere.) Read all of the reviews on this site, and you will find the majority of them come from business and related majors.

Pharmacy is the other big program. Journalism is supposedly a pretty good program here, too, but almost everyone I've met in that major comes off as either incredibly arrogant or just incredibly odd (usually, both.)

Also, I am a liberal Democrat, and Drake is a surprisingly conservative, close-minded environment. Seriously. The liberals I did meet in this campus seemed to be liberal in name more than anything else. They recycle one piece of paper once in awhile and make sure EVERYONE knows about it, yet they routinely shop at Wal-Mart and eat McDonald's (quick aside: Des Moines has to have some kind of record for most chain businesses, per capita, of any major city. Seriously, they're EVERYWHERE! And there are very few good local shops, restaurants, etc. IMO), demonize marijuana use (I'm no longer a user of any drugs but I've gotten into arguments with fellow because I believe the war on drugs needs to stop), listen to the same corporate schlock as everyone else (Justin Bieber, anyone?), regard any form of vegetarianism or any concept of ethical treatment to animals as a joke…the list goes on. One thing I do have to credit the school on is, generally speaking, openness to homosexuality. (Yeah, I know what you're thinking, and I'm not gay, but I'm at least happy that Drake is ok with gays.)

The school is expensive and clearly not worth it for an English major, and from what I gather, probably not for any other liberal arts major. U.S. News refers to Drake as an

A+ school for B+ students,
and honestly, I find this to be true. Students here, while generally hard-working, just aren't as smart as one might expect. Also, it has too many rich kids from Chicago with FAR more money than they have brains. Since I'm in-state, U of Iowa is much cheaper for me and the English program there has a MUCH better reputation. But, to talk about getting an English from ANY school brings me to my next point:

BIT OF ADVICE: Whatever school you go to, keep this in mind: PICK AT LEAST ONE MAJOR THAT IS VERY SPECIFIC AND WILL LEAD YOU TO A SPECIFIC JOB. If you want to major in something broad (like English) make it a second major. I am currently in the process of transferring to the U of I where I will double-major in English (like I said) and Speech and Hearing sciences, leading to the grad program in Audiology or Speech Pathology (leaning towards the former.) With the job market the way it is, there is no reason to say,

oh, I'm just going to pick a cool-sounding, cover-all major, take a variety of classes, and hope that a good job lands at my door.
Trust me, it won't happen, while a double-major in something like English can be a helpful life skill and can boost a resume, any out-of-college job that's going to be worth anything is going to be looking for a specific major. Even if you're looking into grad school, it still helps to have a specific track in mind—YOU DON'T WANT TO MAKE IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH GRAD SCHOOL JUST TO FIND THAT THE ONLY JOB YOU'RE QUALIFIED FOR IS TO BE A PROFESSOR IN THAT PARTICULAR FIELD (especially in English, where only about 5% of those with terminal degrees and who are seeking jobs as professors are actually able to find said job.)

I touched on this before, but I'll touch on it again here: if you're in-state, U of Iowa and ISU will be much cheaper for you AND they have far better reputations, nationally (UNI even has a reputation comparable to Drake's.) If you insist on going to a private school in Iowa, try Simpson, Grinnell (idk spelling on that) or Luther. "But, those are small towns!" You say. "I want to go to school in Des Moines!"

Des Moines is Iowa's biggest city but there's no advantage to living there IMO. The night life is not great, only a few bars around campus and they're all pretty sketchy (a few good ones downtown, but you have to find transportation down there.) A few good broadway shows/musical acts come to Des Moines, but those are so few and far between, you could easily drive to DM from Iowa City or Ames to see them (and really, these are the same acts that would come to ANY major city.) Obviously no big athletic teams in the city, not a lot of the arts, and like I said, chain businesses everywhere. Weather is definitely lousy, but since I'm from in-state I'm already used to that. For a smaller, private school in a big midwestern city, I recommend MacCalester College in St. Paul, Butler University in Indianapolis, Case Western in Cleveland, or Washington University in St. Louis (WashU being slightly larger than the rest.) These schools are all more selective than Drake, and for good reason, and if you can get into one of these, know that your degree will look better than a degree from Drake (and these cities are all much cooler than DM.)

One last thing: Drake ranked highly (I believe third) in U.S. News's list of "Master's Universities" in the "midwest" region. Note that the category of "Master's University" refers to a VERY specific set of criteria, (other categories are "National Universities" and "Liberal Arts Colleges," both of which are MUCH larger categories) and when you factor in the fact that it's only the midwest schools that Drake is competing again (when, let's face it, the East Coast has many more elite schools), to be "the third best Master's University in the midwest" is exactly as dubious an honor as it sounds. Again, the school is good for those who want to be a pharmacist or have some business/finance related job, decent for journalism, but if you have any liberal arts major (and, from what I hear, human sciences as well) Drake shouldn't be your first choice. Drake is probably a better than average private college, but not worth the steep price. I know that this turned into an increasingly negative rant, but the more I reflect on my time at Drake, the angrier I get. Oh, well, like I said, more fun times to look forward to elsewhere.

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