Thoughts on University of Maryland?

Hi everyone! I am a current high school junior trying to build my college list & was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on UMD? I am really interested in their Public Policy major and the campus seems really nice & diverse! I am from California so a merit scholarship would be ideal to pay for the out-of-state tuition (hopefully I get into their honors college). I am also worried about the location since I heard College Park can be a “boring” town but it is only one bus ride away from D.C. (I really want to go to college at/near a big city). Any thoughts? How is the social scene like?

My stats:
GPA UW: 3.8
GPA W: 4.2
ACT: haven’t taken it but predicted to be around 32
APs: 7 + 3 honors classes

-founder/exec director of my own political organization
-national project director of an activism society
-logistics officer for my school’s Model UN
-National Honors Society
-Board member of my city’s teen philanthropy program
-congressional internship
-tutor for three years
-political intern for my county’s democratic party

I think UMD is a good University, My D graduated in 2018. We are in-state and always enjoyed visiting the campus at various times. There are a number of nice restaurants and hotels there.

My D was also in the Honors College and enjoyed some of the Honors Classes and Seminars.

UMD is expensive if you are OOS and UMD is NOT famous for giving out a lot of Merit Scholarships. Getting into the Honors College is NO guarantee of getting a scholarship, and I would say that most of the Honors College students do not get scholarships.

There are basically 3 Merit Scholarships available for incoming Freshman, provided that you applied by the Priority Deadline of Nov 1, 2020.

First is the Bannaker/Key Scholarship. There are 2 levels, Full and Partial (the partial amount depends on iS or OOS status. OOS is higher). Only students admitted to the Honors College are eligible for the B/K. Approximately 400 students are invited to interview for this one each year. Of the 400, about 250 get the Full Scholarship and 150 get the Partial.

Next is the President’s Scholarship. They range from $2000 to $12,500 for 4 years. I don’t know how many are given out.

Finally, there are the Dean’s Scholarships. These range from $1,500 to $4,500 for 2 years and are only available to In-state students.

@2022jl have you considered UC Riverside for Public Policy?

You’d save a ton of money. If you must have UMD degree, you could always transfer into Public Policy.

Save money, get top grades, get internships. UMD Public Policy grad school while working for Washington DC based employer may be another strategy for you to consider.

We visited campus yesterday - my thoughts were that for such a large university, it is truly a gorgeous campus, and even with covid toning things down it didn’t look boring to me, in fact it looked like a thriving place. For its size I was expecting something much more industrial and impersonal. When you think “Classic American College Campus” this campus is the idea that populates my imagination and for me it was a pleasant surprise. Also, check out the DC metro map, college park is a stop, and if you’ve ever been on the DC Metro I think it’s one of the best and most efficient I’ve seen in the USA. I think google maps said it’s 9 miles from campus to the white house, so there’s that. My perception was that if you are lucky enough to get in you’d have to try pretty dang hard to be bored there. I have no affiliation with the school, and don’t know much about it, except for a brief visit there yesterday, and that I “hear” it’s solid academically in a lot of areas. I just offer my initial reactions as a parent having been on several campuses in my life.


My daughter has an uW gpa of 3.9, 33 ACT, 7 AP’s, the rest honors, was offered $2000 a year, we never bothered to visit because it’s not affordable for us.