College preferences - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

View Poll Results: What school?
Arizona State /Tempe 0 0%
Illinois /Urbana 6 33.33%
Maryland / College Park 6 33.33%
Massachusetts /Amherst 7 38.89%
Missouri /Columbia 1 5.56%
Tennessee /Knoxville 3 16.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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post #11 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 08:18 AM
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I support Digme and his recommendation. My baby girl is finishing her third year at Maryland, and we are just thrilled with her choice and the education she is receiving. Although admitedly biased as a MD resident, she could have gone just about anywhere and she, too, is very happy. Warning: as you approach the University, much of what surrounds is it looks like urban blight, but she never once has felt unsafe. UMd can leave a bad first impression on parents. Academically speaking, it is quite competitive. Lots to do on campus, very diverse, and a short Metro subway ride to all that Washington DC holds. Plus, and one can never discount this, the area is ripe with internships which often lead to full-time, permanent employment. I went to a little ag school called Penn State, and although it pains me to admit it sometimes, Maryland is a fine institution.

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post #12 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by deathrattle
One of my kids is returning to her country of birth in the fall for the middle year of her degree course. She is reading for a B.A. in humanities-'American studies'
She has to choose her 1-3 preferences from the following:

Arizona state University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Maryland at College Park, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Missouri at Columbia and University of Tennessee at knoxville.

She is 19, quite laid back but not overly extrovert. She likes socialising, a few drinks etc., but not raising hell. When she started Uni here last year at Manchester, she was quite surprised how much shittier the weather is up there compared to London. (They get about twice the rainfall and it's on average a few degrees cooler).

So all things considered, my suggestion to her would be-

1) Az
2) Il
3) Mass. or Tn

She will obviously be a long way from home, so I'm particularly concerned that she ends up somewhere she will settle quickly and feel comfortable-perhaps more so than the overall standard of the school.

Constructive advice and/or experience would be much appreciated.


She can always do a "road trip" if she wants to see the Grand Canyon.

Please get her out to SF an Seattle for visits, though.
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post #13 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 08:53 AM
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I've heard Maryland is hot and getting hotter
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post #14 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 08:55 AM
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UMASS Amherst is a long ride to Boston with no "public" transportation. It is in the western part of the state, probably a good 2 hours away from all that historical stuff. They get a lot of snow and it is cold in the winter. The isolation leads to some heavy partying as it is a large campus.

If she wants warmer weather, I would stick with UMD. If she choses UMA, I can check in on her.
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post #15 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Von Vorschlag
I've heard Maryland is hot and getting hotter
By the end of this century, I'll probably have to relocate.

Of course, being from England, 56° will probably feel like a heat wave to her.

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post #16 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 09:14 AM
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UMD or that order, I say that without hesitation.
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post #17 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 09:52 AM
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Hey, DR.

I can't speak to #2 and #3 but my undergrad degree is from the Scum Devils in Tempe. It's also the only diploma I have never framed and would never display.

The comments about ASU being a party school are pretty true. At one point (I believe in the 80s or 90s, I really can't recall specifically and no, it's not from too much partying) they had the notoriety of having the highest incidence of STDs in the student body for similar schools, know how they can massage statistics,eh? Lots of drinking, partying, etc. in the whole area.

My chief complaint about the school (there are many, many complaints, but this is just the chief one) is an undertow of apathy by the majority of the faculty, staff, TA's, everyone, right down to the folks slinging hash in the myriad eating places as to whether you learn, graduate, succeed or anything else.

Don't get me wrong; there are a few outstanding instructors there. But I could count on the fingers of one hand those I met who would so qualify. And I never met anyone in administration that seemed to give a rip one way or the other, and my counselor (they're just there to help you pick classes, find a major, etc.) was as indifferent as you could be. Basically, they seem to see you as a walking dollar sign: so long as they're getting your money, they're happy. Thus, if you're a really focused student you can get a good education there, but they're not necessarily going to give you much help with it.

Tempe is also very, very hot in the summer, basically the same weather as Phoenix. It's one big valley (they call it the valley of the sun for good reason). Usually you see the first 100 degree day sometime in March and then the last one sometime around Halloween, sometimes even into November. And 110+ is fairly regular for June, July and August. I'm usually in Phoenix around July 4th, even at 10 pm watching fireworks it's often still 108 or so.

If she has any allergies or respiratory difficulties there is a pretty nasty inversion layer in the valley for much of the fall and winter that exacerbates such things.

One plus is that it's not too far from Phoenix's major airport (Sky Harbor International), so a hop to LA, SF or across the country and then she's on a jumbo bound for dear ol' dad. Of course if she's in Knoxville or Columbia, she's probably going to get home quicker anyway since she doesn't have to fly as far.

Anyway, that's my 2c. If you want more, toss me an e-mail, you know where I am.

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post #18 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, quite a lot to take in. Gonna have to read through again more thoroughly later. Thanks for all the assistance so far guys.
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post #19 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 10:11 AM
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The problem with ASU is not just that it's a party school, it's an urban party school, which fails to provide the kind of academic atmosphere that many major learning institutions do. Tempe isn't just sorta close to Phoenix, it is Phoenix, and the folks who work there all live in Phoenix. Alternatively, U of I is located in a small town that essentially revolves around the University, thus provides a more fulfilling and vastly superior academic atmosphere on many levels.

The only thing ASU has going for it is great weather -- no real winter, lots of sunshine and great temps, except for the summer when she'll probably be home anyways.

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post #20 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 10:11 AM
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Agree with FTL on U Mass advantage.

On the other hand, of the schools mentioned in the list, crappiest weather which your daughter may not appreciate, especially in the spring semester.

Is she going to be in the States for just the fall semester or for an entire year?

If it's just fall, then definitely U Mass - New England fall is majestic. Unlike British autumn, it is dry and the skies are deep blue. In fact, I love September and October in the Northeast. Winter is much drier than it is in Europe. The closest Big City, Boston, has perhaps the most European feel out of all American cities and it is pedestrian oriented (she can take the bus in and no need for her to own a car). Another short hop to NYC too.

Spring is rather slow to come, and it may feel like Manchester at times (although climate remain much drier throughout).

I don't know much about Illinois or Tennessee, and all I know about ASU is that it is a top party school (it already had a reputation when I was applying for colleges 20 years ago and continues to maintain it).

I'd look into Maryland as well for pretty much the same reason I endorse UMass.



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