Current Miami student – the school is about an 11 hour drive for me and I wanted a school with a great work hard/play hard balance, a wide variety of political perspectives, and great support for undergrads. Miami definitely fits the bill!
I know it probably feels like every student says this, but I can’t recommend Miami enough. While there are some things I would change (more economic and racial diversity, more support for women in Farmer and STEM majors, etc.) it’s overall been an absolute blast even as a freshman during a pandemic.
I would disagree that it’s extremely conservative; it is in a red county in a red state, but it is a liberal arts school and I’d say it’s slightly left. The majority of the student senate is left-leaning, there is a center for student inclusion and diversity, there is a robust network of liberal students in groups like College Dems and Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA), and I feel comfortable enough in my sorority to be open about my sexuality. That being said, there is a College Republicans group so if that’s your jam it’s an option. There’s also a students for life (pro-life) group, Muslim students association, LGBT student organization, etc. so there is a wide variety of beliefs and identities to explore. You’ll find your people.
The academics are hard but I’m learning a lot, and the professors are overall excellent. Their genuine attention to undergrads is the best part because they will a) remember you, b) listen to you and c) follow up with you! I emailed a professor in December about getting involved as research and not only did she meet with me for an hour, she asked about my interests, career goals, and passions and then advised me to talk to several other professors because their research would be a better fit. I’ve gotten three emails from her since then with information about scholarships and internships she thinks I’d be a good fit for, and I just applied to do summer research with a different professor. 95% of the time you will have to reach out first, but it’s SO worth it.
Greek life! I’m in a sorority so I can’t really speak for the frats, but as someone whose family said “YOU’RE joining a SORORITY?!” when I told them about it, it’s been nothing but welcoming, supportive, and loads of fun. We haven’t been able to have a lot of in-person events because of COVID, but Panhellenic and my chapter have worked SO incredibly hard to make the best of it, and they have! Sororities have been following COVID guidelines better than frats, I think, and I enjoyed seeing the Panhel’s Diversity & Inclusion initiatives. Rush was not as stressful as I thought, and they emphasize that there really is no stereotypical “sorority girl.” There are girls who might fit that image, but that’s because they want to and it makes them feel good! I have LGBTQ sisters, sisters who struggle with mental health, sisters who want to study abroad and ones who don’t, sisters who go out Thursday-Sunday and sisters who go out once a week – it really is what you make of it
There are plenty of people from the East Coast (mostly Connecticut, NY/NJ, Massachussetts) at Miami so you definitely won’t be alone, but the majority of students are from Ohio or the Chicago area. Kentucky is a close third. I will say it’s sort of a hassle to travel from so far away, but flying isn’t so bad as long as you can schedule a ride from Cincy to Oxford (they have shuttles at Thanksgiving/Christmas/Spring break).
I have many friends in Farmer and it seems like an excellent school. There is a reason why it’s ranked so highly! The support and career prep you get in Farmer is robust, and there are many opportunities to get involved with professors and find internships when you’re ready to do so. As part of the required first-year business core, my friends are working in teams to recommend consumer-friendly initiatives to household-name banks and companies (Like. they literally present to those companies and you can wind up with an internship if you do well enough!!). I’m a polisci major so I don’t know the ins and outs of Farmer and Marketing, but from what I hear it deserves its good reputation.
Major bonus: the campus makes you feel like you’re in a movie. It’s large enough that you don’t feel trapped but small enough to feel like home. I see people I know every day in the student center, library, Uptown, or just walking around campus! Also, the trails are gorgeous
There’s my shameless plug for Miami, let me know if you have any more questions!