A definitive, objective description of Case Western by a current student.

Alright, lets begin this. I actually created an account for this post. I want to give future students the information that I wish I had. (Heres some background on me, skip to pros and cons of Case if you would like). Case Western Reserve University (referred to as “Case”) was not my dream school. Frankly, it was not even on my radar. I received a note in the mail saying that it was free to apply to. Many people urged me to apply to Case/Carnegie as good ENGR schools, but I thought they’d be too “nerdy” for my tastes. Anyway, I applied because it was free and on the common app. My college list was OSU, Case bc it was free, then a few schools that I thought I would get into; however, the “easiest” one to get into was Columbia so I was rejected across the board. I really did not want to go to OSU, and as a valedictorian with near perfect test scores and some insane ECs, Case was cheaper, giving me a nice excuse to not end up at a state school. However, it was a pretty rude awakening to learn that i was going to Case and not Stanford. Upon arrival I realized I was not alone though.

Anyway, without further delay, here are the pros and cons of Case:

CONS:
Not much school spirit. There’s a general path that most students follow to get to Case:

  1. Here about a good college in Cleveland named “Case,” see it is free to apply, google it then choose to apply bc why not
  2. Forget about Case then go about the college process
  3. Find out you did not get into your dream school/it is expensive af
  4. Realize Case gave you a ton of finaid and is a surprisingly good school, and try and ignore that its in Cleveland
  5. aaaaaaand you’re at Case Western!
    So, the good thing about this process is that the average Case kid is as smart as any ivy league student. One of my professors actually confirmed this to us, saying (given her teaching experience at and education at Yale) that there’s no difference so far as intelligence goes. Kids like me, who’s “stats” fall way above average Harvard kids find themselves at Case. The bad thing is these kids are usually less organized, have a worse work-ethic, or simply are not very confident. I will admit, I did very little work in the actual college admissions process. I thought Bama was better than Vanderbilt till quite recently. Most people I meet are ridiculously smart kids who just don’t prioritize school as much as others, or they don’t realize how smart they are. Also, it leads to a lack of University pride. No one goes to football games, let alone any other sport. If that is a big deal to you, THEN DO NOT COME HERE. you will be miserable. I am a huge sports fan, and I went to most HS football games, but I really do not miss it much. I just live vicariously through OSU’s team. The athletics are terrible. I didn’t play basketball in HS, and I’ve played varsity players here worse than me. However, the good thing is the athletes are chill af bc of it. I’m friends with a lot of football players, basketball players, tennis players, and swimmers. That just doesn’t happen at state schools.

This campus is long. There are a variety of resources to get around this: regular campus shuttles, saferides, etc. but you will learn very quickly, this campus is shaped like a crescent. To get from where the engineering classes are to freshman dorms, its a solid 15minute walk (I’ve done it in 3 before, nailed that presentation). To get to my fraternity house, its like 25 minutes.

THIS CAMPUS IS SPLIT. I’d say its about fifty-fifty for my class (Im a freshman), and its trending upwards (I’ve heard horror stories from older alumni). This is where Case gets its infamous reputation. To be fair, a solid ten percent of this campus is weird af. You cannot really even talk to them. Another ten percent are just recluses, then another thirty percent are kinda chill, but they don’t get out much/are kinda awkward. Either way (more on this in “pros”) you will find friends easily still. If you do fall into this less socially inclined 50% then you do you. The two sides do not really interact or bother each other very often, its not like theres a constant fight, it just feels like theres two different schools.

If you’re a guy: there aren’t a ton of crazy hot chicks…but it doesn’t matter.
if you’re a girl: theres definitely a lack of attractive guys here.
Contrary to the previous points, I do not think this should change your decision on Case. Throughout HS, I was in longterm relationships fairly constantly, but I definitely never had “game”. The girls I dated were awesome, but they weren’t ridiculously hot, solid 7s and 8s by most non-thirsty people. Anyway, since I have been single at Case it has been ridiculous. I am a guy and have been able to get with multiple girls each week. Most of them have been pretty damn attractive as well. Most of my friends have had similar experiences. NONE OF MY FRIENDS HAVE COMPLAINED ABOUT A LACK OF ATTRACTIVE INDIVIDUALS. If you walk around a state school, you will see hotter girls, not even a question, but if you go here, you will get with more attractive girls. There seems to be more of a lack of guys, but I have never heard a girl complain about the lack of guys here. But, that may be because of my next con:

Most first-years are sexually inexperienced, and even “prude” sometimes. What this amounts to is a surprisingly high amount of virgins. Why this sucks sometimes is a lot of people want to “hookup” but not go back and especially not have full out sex. However, its been kinda funny to see so many people come out of their shell so to speak. But yeah, this one reaaaaaaaaaaly sucks sometimes.

The parties are closed. Very very closed. Most parties you have to be on the list, a few it goes by do you know the owners. Either way, its not like Butler where you can just stroll into most parties. However, more and more colleges are getting more closed. At one of my fraternities parties, I tried for like 15 minutes to get this guy who i forgot to put on the list in, but it just didn’t happen. However, the campus is very connected. As a freshman, if theres a party on campus Ik about it, and I’m usually invited. People are nice about that stuff. But again, very stern risk management, because…

Case police bust up parties like none other. Ive been at countless parties that got shut down. Even worked door at one. The good thing is, as an individual you are fine. Case police aren’t mean, and Ive never heard of anyone getting in trouble for public intoxication. What does happen is…

Frats get sanctioned to hell from alc. Yep, fraternities get shit on if they get caught for underage drinking, which is fairly frequently… which is why…

Case has no top-dog frat. ZBT, Zeta Psi, Phi Psi, Delta Sig, Delt are all pretty cool, but you can’t say Case has a top dog frat… mainly bc if there is one it gets shut down and sanctioned. ZBT, Phi Delt, SigEp, Zeta, Phi Psi, Delta Sig, and Delt all got sanctioned last semester. But greek life at case definitely isn’t out of control. (more on this later)

The work is hard. Really fucking hard. The workload is pretty insane. But we load ourselves up. Whats cool tho is that at the end of the struggle, you realize how much you truly learned and its kinda mind blowing. Any who, 4.0 isn’t hard. I’m pretty sure I got one and I have many fraternity brothers that have one.

If you do chill in east cleveland, you gotta stay on your toes.

Weather sucks, but it does pretty much anywhere North.

Well thats it for cons… lets get to the good parts of case:

PROS:

Surprisingly accessible athletic stuff. Pretty much any time of day, theres a free ball court, swimming pool, track, and weight room, and cardio stuff. A new, nice af place just opened on north side, so no matter where you live, you’re a five minute walk away from a weight room. Also, Case kids aren’t the most athletically inclined, so you never have to wait. Always open racks/equipment.
(CONT)

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Despite the weather, they do shovel really well. You won’t slip on your way to class, theres places to jog, and I haven’t had boots and have been fine

While we don’t have grade inflation like the ivies, if you cover your shit, good grades aren’t hard to come by.

Jobs love us. “Case Western” actually sounds hella good to recruiters.

You can do anything with a Case degree. One of my brothers is a year from graduating. He’s been able to party constantly, and actually turned down multiple ivies for Case (mainly money) and currently has a 140k job offer

Case kids are down to Earth. While we lack confidence in general, we aren’t full of ourselves. The kids I meet are chill

Case kids are accepting. Id say I lie on the less tolerant side of Case students. Not to say Im intolerant, I fully support any gay or trans activities, most of my best friends are minorities, and I myself am one. The thing is, Case kids are mostly outspokenly accepting, like its insane. Actually IF YOU ARE AT ALL BIGOTED, DO NOT COME HERE. You won’t fit in at all dude.

Case is just obscure enough to get some social cred. Like most people don’t know much about case, but everything they do makes them think you are smart for going there. State schools are simply looked at as inferior, true or not. Going to a private school you get to avoid that.

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We got insanely good alumni. Our endowment is amazing. Not to mention, our new university center is useless af, but it looks sweet and its got some alright restaurants.

Greek Life at case is amazing. Im not lying, look it up. We are top 3 in the country by any margin. Everyone goes Greek too. very few GDIs. I love my fraternity. We’ve thrown some amazing parties, helped people through philanthropy events, and Ive gotten a lot of professional help.

Greek Life isn’t rapey at Case. If you’re a girl, you can go out and have no fears. In fact, the campus as a whole is on its toes about sexual assault. If anything ever looks iffy, people step in. no bystander syndrome. Sexual assault is not tolerated by anyone here. Also, bc its a small campus, you know who the creepy (not calling them rapists!!!) guys on campus are. Basically, we aren’t like OU where they have a frat thats built like a maze so it is hard to get out when under the influence of roofies. I love it. Girls feel very safe at parties, and it makes for a great atmosphere.

Theres a frat/ sorority for everyone. Sigma Nu is literally known for being extremely nice guys that are a little boring and lame. Only at Case will you find a place like this. I don’t personally do much with Sig Nu’s but if that is your thing, then its nice to have the option. Frats like theta chi and delta chi and delta upsilon just do their own things. The guys in it are by no definition “cool” but they have great brotherhood, and thats awesome.

As I kinda mentioned above, hooking up is easy if you’re confident. To be fair, its also easy at state schools. Ive partied a fair amount at state schools, and I get with pretty much the same level of attractiveness with girls either way. Girls at state schools are more aggressive though.

Students are extremely chill. It kinda goes along with the lack of school spirit, but Case students are just a good group. its not filled with hyper-achievers where they’re obnoxious. Everyones really successful but they are not arrogant or consumed with it.

Access to whatever you want, and not pressure to not do what you do not want to do. What I mean is theres access to most common drugs, but heres no real peer pressure to do them. If you don’t smoke, then thats cool. If you don’t drink then thats cool. no one forces drinks on you. This is also nice because it allows you to go out sober for a night if you don’t feel like drinking.

You’re in Cleveland! Yes this is a pro. You get a free RTA pass, so you’re always like 20 minutes away from the heart of one of the biggest cities (and it feels bigger) in the US. I haven’t been to LA, but id take Cleveland over most big cities. Very active night life for sure. Also CAVS!!! I got to see a free cavs game already. Not to mention Kendrick Lamar put up an unreal free outdoor concert the first game of the cavs. As weird as it sounds, theres shit to do in east cleveland too. Theres all sorts of adventures that you can go on/ that I have gone on. Ive had many experiences most people will never get in their lifetime all in my first semester. Also don’t believe the hype on east cleveland. Not nearly as dangerous as people say.

You get very connected very quickly. Though parties are very closed, you make connections very easily, so you’ll most likely be on the guest list. You quickly make friends in all the social fraternities and sororities.

Rush/orientation is awesome. Two of the best weeks of my life. You just gotta experience it.

Theres a lot of stuff nearby and more coming soon. You don’t need a car, and theres good eating right off campus. Also, Case is in the uptown and its getting very developed currently. Alumni will give us crap about how much we have now compared to what things were like then.

So on the campus being split, its kinda for the best. The computer game kids do their own thing. No one bullies anyone, while the kids who wanna go out and party can. Theres never a weekend night where there isn’t a party. Almost all are fraternity rooted. There are very few “dorm parties” those are mainly pregames. There are village parties, which are on campus sweets for upper classmen but they kinda suck. Your best bet is a house party or a fraternity party. All are pretty fun. Not gonna lie though, they usually aren’t too wild. Like at Case a party is 150 kids with a dance floor and people playing games and its definitely a good time, but a state school party is like 250 kids with two stripper poles and ridiculous shit. Again, I party more than anyone I know who went to state schools. The people who party as much as I do at state schools are just fucked up from hard drugs and stuff. Case partying is safer.

THIS IS THE BIGGEST PRO: The almighty fee-waiver. Its the reason Im here, and its the reason 60% of the cool freshmen I’ve met are here. It also brings in a more diverse grouping than is Case’s reputation (interesting and attractive extroverted people).

So, in conclusion, Ive seen a lot of misinformation on here, especially on the social stuff. The social life here is amazing. Also, people don’t drink at bars like an OU so you save a shit ton of money by getting fucked up with your friends on a pickup.

Im definitely missing some stuff, but this is already long af. If you have any questions just respond Ig, Ill check this periodically… I myself am still not sure Im staying at Case. Ive got a ridiculously close group of friends so it’d be hard to leave it and all the other friends I’ve met at Case, Im also super involved in an organization, and I love my fraternity and Ive got really good relationships with professors and have research lined up already… what it comes down to is I really did think (partially in fault to a guidance counsellor) I was guaranteed for Stanford or MIT, so Im still coming to terms with Case. I also could have probably gotten into an easier school like Duke or Cornell fairly easily, so I’m still thinking about transferring.

Im honestly worried about not having nearly as positive of an experience at a different school. Ive loved my time here way more than I ever thought I would, I just don’t necessarily love “Case”. But yeah, use what I posted as guidelines for if Case is right for you (especially socially).

tl;dr: read the first sentence or two of each paragraph, they are pros and cons of CWRU. Also Case’s reputation isn’t necessarily true.

It wouldn’t all post in one lol, hope this helps anyone deciding where to go.

Thanks for the posts and insight on Case. My son has been accepted already for Fall 2015, and I’m guessing this is where he will end up. Your comments make me think that Case is definitely a fit for him.

Very accurate, glad you posted it for people.

Very very insightful. Case is my current top school and this post only makes me want to go there more!

No school spirit… sounds like my type of school lmao

Thank you for your opinion! I’m accepted EA and applied only to schools I probably can’t get into RD, so I will likely end up at Case (or Chapman - also accepted EA, but everything I hear about Chapman is bad). Conveniently, I’ve really loved my visits there and it seems like it will work out great for me. Questions: is it possible to walk the line between that split? I’m a nerdy intellectual with stunted social skills but I plan to party and hook up plenty. Also, you mentioned research - is it easy to find research opportunities?

Thanks for your detailed personal experience. I have a question about the split. What about the kids that fall in between i.e. they are not into parties but like laid back socialization (not computer game nerds) such as going to movies, eating out, hanging out listening to music?

@singermom4 if it means anything, I’m a student with that kind of personality and I will probably be attending Case next year. Thus, I think that there will be other students like that as well.

Just another opinion here, my daughter just finished her first semester of her junior year. She had a lot of health problems and Case admin. could not have been less caring. She was hospitalized and never even got a call to see how she was. Bottom line: good reputation, ok academics (classes are huge for engineers and not particularly well-taught), terrible advising and admin…it’s basically a public school in terms of class size and instructional quality with private school tuition.

@BethesdaM‌ The engineering core classes are large, but beyond those, the major specific courses, are much smaller. “Not well-taught” Can you clarify? On what basis do you draw that conclusion? With how many research university engineering programs are you knowledgeable? Obviously, not every teacher is as good as another, but I have been very satisfied with my professors. Furthermore, this is a research institution which will differ from a school devoted to undergraduate teaching. It is my opinion, based on two schools with which I have been associated and through conversations I’ve had with friends at other universities, that Case is one of best in terms of have consummate scholars, who do care about students.

“never even got a call” I am sorry, but is it really the administrations responsibility to make calls on the convalesced?

@singermom4 @minohi I’m also that kind of guy. I wouldn’t say I’m very social, and I do play computer games, but I prefer to spend my fridays with a close group of friends out to dinner, the movies, or just hanging out. I think (/hope) I’m getting the vibe that a lot of this kind of people will be at case. I got denied from Johns Hopkins ED but got into Case EA with a big scholarship, so theres a good chance I’ll be there next year. Also I’m going to do engineering.

@singermom4, My DD falls into the same category and she has no problem finding people to hang with. Most of her friends are from her sorority but she also has friends from her program and from her freshman year experience. I think what has been surprising about CASE is that the student body is not judgmental. So whatever type of person you are, there is a place for you. You will have to make the effort to find your group but it is there.

My DD is not the hook up type and majority of her girlfriends are not either. Most of them seem to have boyfriends from their hometowns at other colleges for whatever reason.

I do think CASE has school spirit but not really in the traditional sense revolving around sports. CASE is well know for it’s Engineering, Law School, Dentistry School, MBA, etc. So the pride comes from Alumni who value their degrees. That is why CASE has a great endowment and can give great scholarships to incoming students. We are not from Ohio but as a parent and professional, almost every other business professional I know has heard of CASE, knows of someone who graduated from there or has a son or daughter or another relative who attended CASE.

Great insight on Case. D was accepted EA. We visited last summer but she’s going again in Feb to see it in winter. It sounds like a much better fit socially than the other top contender on her list, which has more of a party reputation. The only thing I didn’t like at all during our tour were the freshman dorms. They looked old and kind of dirty.

Haha, jmek15. Out of all the schools we looked at, Case’s dorms were mid range. Meaning some were much nicer and others not as nice. I have stayed with my DD in her dorm before when her roommate was gone. It was fine. She’s now upperclassman and so it is much better. But the dorms are ok. Just, ok. :wink:

@collegeugrn‌ When did you rush your frat?