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Overview of our visit to Drexel

taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
edited March 2008 in Drexel University
Overview of visit at Drexel



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.
Post edited by taxguy on
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Replies to: Overview of our visit to Drexel

  • kayoshinkayoshin Registered User Posts: 197 Junior Member
    WOW thanx a lot for the info, taxguy

    I'm just around looking for possible RD choices of schools, and Drexels one of em.
    I've never visited it, so your input means a lot, since i'm going into the computer field.
  • lowermorelandmomlowermorelandmom Registered User Posts: 266 Junior Member
    I agree with your view. We visited Drexel a few months ago during the open house. We went for a tour of the freshroom dorms. The rooms themselves were okay, but the overall building I thought felt very drab. Our tour guide told us that there really isn't much going on on the weekends at Drexel, so he pretty much hangs out in his room with videos. Also I didn't like the idea that there was only one dining hall to eat and it was about three blocks from the freshman dorms. The open house was very disorganized, and we had to wait in a line for about 45 minutes to be led up to see a dorm, because a few of the elevators weren't working.
  • LdyWASPLdyWASP Registered User Posts: 77 Junior Member
    I would definitely agree with your assesment of Drexel, especially on campus safety. From what I hear from my friends that go there, the campus itself is safe, but you can't really get too far away from the school to be in a not-too-great area.
  • LBC05LBC05 Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    taxguy: Very interesting evaluation...it helped a lot.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    I thought that prospective Drexel applicants might be interested in seeing this post.
  • 1moremom1moremom Registered User Posts: 3,958 Senior Member
    Here's another take; my family visited Drexel last week.

    1. Academics: We were looking at the College of Engineering and were generally unimpressed. The dean made a few remarks that were either untrue or questionable, which made us cross the school off our list before we got through the initial talk. It is hard to imagine why a student would choose Drexel over, for example, PSU, unless s/he was interested in their coop program, which is a strength. They also seem to have a lot going on in the medical fields, but we didn't look into that.

    2. Parking: Not something that we really cared about.

    3. Food: I didn't really think it was much different than other dorm food we've eaten. Actually, I would say it was better than what we got at Harvard and we were there for Parents' Weekend, when they might have tried to impress us. We did visit during the summer, when the kitchen staff wasn't cooking for quite so many.

    4. Dorms: Again, no better or worse than others. The dorm security was better than my older son's-- a manned desk at Drexel vs. a card swipe for S1. We ran into friends at the open house who had been on campus the night before and were a little disconcerted (as opposed to reassured) by the visible police presence. The campus itself didn't really have much to recommend it.

    5. Quality of life: The facilities on campus weren't great, but I think if a student (and friends) took advantage of what the city has to offer one might cobble together a decent social life. Among other things, when we were there the school was sponsoring a bus trip to see "The Producers" (I think it was) in NY for $25 including the show tickets.

    6. Student's feelings about the school: By the time we might have talked to students, we were not interested enough to bother. Our tour guide was very upbeat and seemed happy with his experience, particularly his 3 (!) coop opportunities.

    7. COA according to College Board is about $38K for room, board and tuition. If their numbers are accurate, I wouldn't say the price is moderate, especially when you compare it to more highly regarded schools. There did seem to be a number of merit based scholarships available to anyone with a reasonable scholastic record.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    I just wanted to bump this for interested parties.
  • cagb1016cagb1016 Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    Drexel Tuition 5-Year Programs Annual 4-Year Programs Annual
    Students beginning
    September 2006 $26,000 $32,000

    Fees Annual Annual
    General Fee $1,250 $1,250
    Laboratory Fee $290 $290

    Laboratory Fee,
    Nursing Co-op
    $380
    Student Activity Fee $100 $100
    Immunization Fee $30 $30

    Housing Annual Annual
    Calhoun Hall* $6,555 $6,555
    Kelly Hall* $6,555 $6,555
    Myers Hall* $6,555 $6,555
    Towers Hall* $6,555 $6,555
    East Hall $7,560 $7,560
    North Hall $7,560 $7,560
    Van Rensselaer Hall (double) 7,560 $7,560
    University Crossings $7,560 $7,560

    Meal Plan Annual Annual
    Gold Carte Blanche Plan $4,455 $4,455

    this is from Drexel's web site
  • cagb1016cagb1016 Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    sorry, columns shifted on my reply. The first amount is per year for a 5-year program, the second is for a 4-year.
  • cewillmcewillm Registered User Posts: 153 Junior Member
    I think Drexel has a terrible quality of life. Academics are pretty poor, the buildings are old and outdated, one isn't guaranteed dorms, and the dubious financial aid won't help with the outrageous tution (when considering the school's quality).

    When I was at the Open House in October at least the food was good.

    Honestly, if you're the the type of student of Drexel's caliber (1200 SAT/3.4 UW, dedicated but not the all-star AP student in HS), then make your way 10 blocks over to Temple. Not only will this type of student shine there, but the tuition is actually "reasonable" ($5000-$10000 a year depending on school scholarship and finaid). Also the facilities are newer (although the dorms aren't great, you have to get your deposit in early to get nice ones) and you're closer to Center City and a real social life. CC is a nice walk (20 blocks or so) from Drexel and noticeably less from Temple.
  • lishilishi Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    I am actually a Drexel student right now. I'm in my 3rd year in the Business Administration with a major in Legal Studies and a mnor in Political Science. I read the following review and noticed that there were false statements that I feel should be corrected.
    There is one parking garage , and that is it.

    There is definitely more than one parking area for students that choose to pay for parking. Only one of them is a covered lot. There are prolly about 6 parking lots that Drexel rents out to students. It is not hard at all to get parking thru Drexel, and I actually have a parking space less than a block from my house. I have had a car since I first started Drexel, and have never had trouble getting a spot with Drexel parking. If you choose to park on the street it can be a little harder, but only around the areas within 3 blocks of the campus. So basicaly just where the freshman dorms are. I know 3 blocks sounds far for those of you who are used to driving everywhere (that used to be me) but honestly its nothing. And trust me I hate walking places.

    They probably had the worst college food that I have ever tasted.

    I admit that the food is 5 star quality but if its the worst food you have ever tasted then good luck at any college caf. Its not that bad of food. Of course you'll get sick of it after awhile, but that s true with anything. And we do serve hamburgers.
    Our tour guide told us that there really isn't much going on on the weekends at Drexel, so he pretty much hangs out in his room with videos.

    LOL THIS GUY IS A DREXEL TOURGUIDE!!!! I mean Drexel is definitely no Penn State of partying but there are always parties going on. I don't want to be mean but whoever this guy is, prolly doesn't have a lot of friends or prefers to stay at home. Sure there may be nights when there is only 4 or 5 parties, but there are still parties going on that night.


    Good Luck with your decisions!!!
  • lishilishi Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    then make your way 10 blocks over to Temple.

    And if you're worried about safety Temple is def not your choice. about a block off of that campus is about 10 times worse than 3 blocks off of Drexel. A new movie theater and shopping center opened up on Temple's campus this past fall. Three days later there was a shooting in the movie theater.

    Good luck cewillm!!!
  • BlahDeBlahBlahDeBlah Registered User Posts: 581 Member
    Drexel is a lot closer to center city than Temple is, IMO (and I am not sure I would want to actually walk the stretch between the Temple campus and cc), but it's kind of a moot point since you can just hop on a train in either location. University city also has a lot more life, which makes it less necessary to leave the area to begin with.

    I would actually tend to partially agree with the tour guide's assessment of not much going on on the weekends. You will not find a lot of huge parties and the campus itself tends to be sort of empty, but you will find a lot of people having small parties for their friends in their apartments, and people doing things in the city...going to movies, shows, restaurants, bars, clubs, the shore in the summer, whatever. If you are looking for the typical big state school atmosphere, you would be better off at an actual big state school.

    And btw, with financial aid my tuition comes out to be within the "reasonable" range noted by cewillm. State schools do not tend to be generous with financial aid to out-of-state students...just because the sticker price is better doesn't mean it will end up being cheaper in the end.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    This was started last year, but I think much of it is still relevant.
  • OldPersonOldPerson Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
    I agree with taxguy that Drexel is agood choice for engineering, IT, computer science for students who do not have 90th percentile SATs. One factor is also money. they give a large amount of merit aid. The students can also earn 10 to 15 thousand dollars per year in co-op.

    It is in a much safer area than temple. At Temple, if you are not a pennsylvania resident, you will pay >17,000 tuiton alone (ie. not including room and board)
    You will also probably not get merit aid anywhere comparable to Drexel.
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