My family took a tour and participated in an open house at Drexel University. I thought I would share my thoughts about what I saw.
1. Academics: We were checking out their graphics design and new media program. The person who headed up the department gave a lecture on what was going on. I was quite impressed. I also met parents who participated in computer science and engineering, and they too liked what they heard.Drexel also does a lot of interdisciplary projects, which give students great experience. Also, they have a top rated co-op program.However, most co-op jobs are in Pennsylvania. Drexel, is also very computer saavy and has lots of computer labs. However, I didn't feel that they had as many computers per student or as wired as say Carnegie Mellon, which I also toured and will discuss in a separate thread. Although Drexel is primarily known for engineering, it had a large number of interest students in its design and new media program. Average SATs for Drexel is around 1200 and they have a 13/1 student teacher ratio, according to the lecturer. I think for engineering and Science, the average SAT is higher. From what I have seen, I would give the school a B to B+ in academics.
2. Parking: Parking is somewhat tough there. It is a city school with very little parking. There is one parking garage , and that is it. Drexel, however, is accessible through the Phily subway system and Amtrak. Overall, C- in parking.
3. Food: They probably had the worst college food that I have ever tasted. I couldn't believe that they would serve such slop to visitors. Honestly, the food was mostly fried and greasy. The only good part of it was that they had decent ( but not great) pizza. There wasn't a lot of choices for lunch either. For example, there was no chicken or hamburgers,but lots of pasta. They had a salad bar, but the lettice looked wilted. They also didn't have a host of topings. Overall F in food. No kidding.
4. Dorms: The building were nice on the outside,but inside were rather small and dreary. I didn't get to see all the dorms ,but what I saw was underwhelming. Many were old and refurbished years ago. I would give them a C for dorms. Also, The actual "campus" of Drexel appeared safe. However, if you walk couple of blocks from the freshmen dorms, I didn't get the same feeling of safety.
5. Quality of Life: The student center was fairly nice with a large pool. However, the pool table needed some work and they really didn't have a large number of tread mills for all the students (maybe 12). Gym facilties were about average. Overall, I would give it a C-C+
6. Student's feelings about the school: We approaced several students. Most felt that the academics were good, but as we observed, they didn't have much to say about anything else. We got the feeling that most students weren't very happy with the Drexel envirnment.
7. Tuition and fees were about $21,300, which is very moderatly priced. Room and board would be around $9,000 more.
Bottom line: I think Drexel is a good school, especially for its engineering, science and art and design programs. If you combine the good academic offerings plus moderate pricing plus very good co- op program, they offer a good academic/vocational experiece,but little else. Although I do feel that having a decent engineering and strong media design department adds to the diversity of kids at the school, I felt it was overall a slightly inferior version of RIT and a lot less in quality to Carnegie Mellon. Definitely, you should check it out. You may not agree with our assessment.