Why Alabama over UMD?

<p>I'm a high school senior.
Alabama has offered me a 2/3 OOS tuition scholarship, which will make the cost of attendance nearly identical to my in-state flagship- UMDCP. Can anybody give me aspects of UA that make it superior to UMD?
A few things that are important to me- </p>

<p>1.) living on campus
2.) I absolutely want to study abroad at some point
3.) I would like to be in a school where I can be surrounded by people of similar intelligence to me.
4.) Location is irrelevant. UMD being close to my house is not an incentive for me. I could care less.
5.) I have no clue what I want to study or do for a career. </p>

<p>These are the two public universities I applied to, and due to finances, my final decision will probably include these two schools. UMD has an edge on the USNWR rankings (Don't inveigh me) but it isn't significant enough to determine a decision. In the comparison of these two schools... WHY ALABAMA!? </p>

<p>Thanks.</p>

<p>Nihility- we are from Maryland, and UMCP or UMBC were the in state ideas for my son. He would have been offered a very good scholarship at UMBC, I am not sure how much he would have been offered at UMCP- they are hard to predict. I can tell you a number of reason why HE decided to go out of state to Alabama:
These are not in any specific order!
1. Honors college offers more than UMCP honors does
2. More opportunity for research
3. Big school, in a small town.
4. Much safer area/ campus
5. better dorms
6. wanted to experience a different state, meet new people
7. Alabama has been so NICE to deal with. UMCP was not easy to get any answers from.
8. Wanted to go to a different school than most of his friends were going to.
9. community service oriented
10. And of course, if you ask him, he will tell you it is because there is a lazy river on campus. (sigh)</p>

<p>There are other reasons, I will keep adding as I remember!</p>

<p>**** A BIG reason for Alabama (Probably the biggest for him)- they are VERY VERY generous with AP and transfer credits. He will be able to participate in University Scholars and graduate in 4 years with a Masters in Computer science with all of the credits he is taking with him. That was a huge plus for him. UMCP and UMBC are not any where near as generous. UMBC does have a MS in 5 for their CS students, but they are still very stingy on AP/transfer credits.</p>

<p>*.) I would like to be in a school where I can be surrounded by people of similar intelligence to me.
*</p>

<p>Since you qualify for UA scholar, then that suggests that your ACT is a 30/31 (or SAT equivalent).</p>

<p>Unless you're going to major in an "easy major," you're going to have classmates that are as intelligent as you are....or even more intelligent. ;)</p>

<p>I have no clue what I want to study or do for a career.</p>

<p>Well.....what subjects do you like in high school?</p>

<p>It seems that it's a much lower risk to choose Alabama over UMF and this is why....</p>

<p>1) You can only get that scholarship as an incoming frosh...you can't get it later as a transfer.</p>

<p>2) If you were to choose UMD, and regret it, then you can't then later go to Bama with that scholarship.</p>

<p>3) However, if you were to choose Bama, and then later decide to transfer to UMD, you won't have lost anything since you'd still get the instate rate to UMD.</p>

<p>So....you only risk something by going to UMD.</p>

<p>that's true.</p>

<p>Wow. Great points from both of you.
Your posts brought up other issues that are important to me. I definitely don't want to go to a school where people from my high school go. Not because I don't like them, I just want to experience new places and different individuals.
I have a ton of dual enrollment credits which I may want to transfer to the college I attend. (some of which I plan to retake to raise my gpa).</p>

<p>The idea of attending UA on the scholarship and then always having the transfer option is also a great point. It's really a one way street in terms of finances. </p>

<p>@vlines- What were you referring to with a "lazy river"?</p>

<p>I used to ask the same questions until I visited UA last week. I am still waiting to hear from UMD and maybe if I get Banneker/Key it will sway me back to UMD but I am not even sure about that.
The Lazy River is like a pool with current that moves you around on your innertube "lazily"</p>

<p>The University of Alabama ranked 6th in the nation among public universities in the enrollment of National Merit Scholars in the 2010 freshman class.</p>

<p>The University of Alabama led the nation with a record 10 students named to USA Today’s 2010 All-USA College Academic Team. (This list is inclusive of the Ivy’s, we liked to mention AL outranked a couple key names for effect…Harvard, Princeton etc..) </p>

<p>The University of Alabama’s graduates and students include 15 Rhodes Scholars, 34 Goldwater Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 21 Hollings Scholars, two Javits Fellows, one Udall Scholar and one Portz Scholar.</p>

<p>The Honors College enrolls 1300 freshman/year. (Larger than many incoming classes at colleges our questioners were considering.).</p>

<p>In 2010 Alabama led the nation (tying with Brown University) in Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Scholar Athlete Awards. </p>

<p>The UA School of Law is ranked 35th in the nation in U.S. News and World Report’s 2012 edition of the annual “Best Graduate Schools” publication. The Manderson Graduate School of Business ranks 32nd among public universities and 63rd among all universities, in the same publication.</p>

<p>University of Alabama students are committed to community service: In the 2009-2010 academic year, some 15,100 UA students completed more than 710,000 hours of community service with more than 120 community partners. Additional, 120 UA faculty members offered service-learning courses, and an estimated 5,300 students participated in them. The University of Alabama has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.</p>

<p>Are there any photos of the lazy river online?</p>

<p>Here you go: Student</a> Affairs | University Recreation Center</p>

<p>Thanks - I found that one right after I asked. Are there any where we can see the whole thing (an aerial shot)?</p>

<p>as far as aerial shot- go to google maps. Put in the address 401 5th ave east, tuscaloosa, AL. That is the address for the student rec center. On the upper right hand side of the map, there is the option to switch to satelite view When you do that, you will see a satelite picture of the pool that has a lazy river. It is behind the rec center. It is really not huge, like the ones in amusement parks. You can scan in to get a little better idea of the size. </p>

<p>Just to clarify, my son's statement to people "because it has a lazy river", is made to those who he feels are being judgemental about his choice of Alabama. He is a very confident boy, and does not feel the need to justify his decisions to a bunch of people that are making judgemental comments. Like I said, anyone that knows him, knows that he is being sarcastic, laughs at him, and asks him the real reasons. Then he gives them the info I posted above. The lazy river is NOT the reason he chose Alabama. He did not even find out about it until long after he made his decision. It is just the superficial comment that he makes to the superficial people that question his decision.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I definitely don't want to go to a school where people from my high school go. Not because I don't like them, I just want to experience new places and different individuals.
I have a ton of dual enrollment credits which I may want to transfer to the college I attend. (some of which I plan to retake to raise my gpa).

[/quote]
</p>

<p>that is how my son felt exactly. Although the students that he knows at UMCP say they do not ever see other students from their school because it is so big. Unless they intentionally plan to meet up. It is not the same at UMBC- much smaller environment. </p>

<p>If you are looking at the honors college at UMCP, I can tell you that the dorms are not very nice. Additionally, all students are expected to live off campus after your first 2 years (not optional really), and the rent in the area is very expensive. May cost more than dorm living in some cases.</p>

<p>@vlines - thanks. I was just curious as we somehow missed this on our tour. </p>

<p>Honestly, I wrote a whole long reply in the other thread (which I decided to delete and not post) wondering why everyone was worried about what others thought of out kids choosing UA. We have to teach our kids that people are judgmental and critical by nature; I believe that instead of bolstering our kids with positive facts we should instead be teaching them to have confidence in themselves and their own choices.</p>

<p>I agree, class2012mom, it just makes me cringe when he says it. But I do understand why he does it. </p>

<p>For me, I am proud of the decision he has made. He did not choose Alabama because it is known for being a party school (he has friends that chose that way!), he did not choose Alabama because of prestige (no offense intended), he did not choose Alabama because it was an easy choice or "easy" school. He chose Alabama because out of all of the schools he considered, it was the best fit with the best academic programs available to him. And it will allow him to graduate with little to no debt with a Masters. He puts a very high value to that last statement. And that makes me proud.</p>

<p>My 2 cents is to pick UA. See what it is really like and if you don't like it, you can come back to UMD. I don't know for a fact but it doesn't sound like stingy UMD gave you any money. </p>

<p>The #1 reason dd is not attending UMD is that she have to live off campus after her 1st year because she will be a junior next year because of AP/IB credit. I lived off campus 26 years ago and the area was not safe then and there is no way it is safe now. It costs way too much to live within walking distance to the college and many of the houses that rent in the area are nasty.
I went to UMCP. I commute for a year. Then I lived in an apartment for 6 months and was never so happy to leave. A drug dealer above my apartment made for an unpleasant time. There was crime in the parking lot of the complex. I was a transfer student and finished in a year and half so I was done. </p>

<h1>2 reason is the large class sizes for many of the courses she needed.</h1>

<p>Good luck with your decision.</p>

<p>momof3- the living off campus thing at UMCP was a real concern for me and not a selling point for my son. I am actually hoping he will choose to stay on campus all 4 years at Alabama, but I also feel pretty comfortable with him deciding to live off campus in some of the apartments in the area.</p>

<p>Living on campus is just HUGE to me.
Does anybody have any percentages of juniors/seniors who live ON-campus at UA?</p>

<p>I know I'll get flack for this as I'm posting in the Alabama forum, but this should really tell you something about the intellectual quality of students in each school:
Middle 50% of students in each school:
UMD: SAT Critical Reading: 580 - 680<br>
SAT Math: 610 - 720
Alabama: SAT Critical Reading: 490 - 620<br>
SAT Math: 500 - 620
Employers recognize this disparity between the schools, and, depending on your major, UMD seems to be the better choice here on a purely academic level.
Good luck with everything, both are great schools, this is just something to keep in mind.</p>

<p>Edit: I would also like to question one of the earlier claims that UA gives more research opportunity. What value is this based off of? UMD is one of the top public research U's in the country, especially in the sciences. What puts UA in front of UMDCP?</p>

<p>*I know I'll get flack for this as I'm posting in the Alabama forum, but this should really tell you something about the intellectual quality of students in each school: </p>

<p>Middle 50% of students in each school:
UMD:
SAT Critical Reading: 580 - 680
SAT Math:............... 610 - 720 .</p>

<p>Alabama:
SAT Critical Reading: 490 - 620 19%
SAT Math:............... 500 - 620 19%
ACT Composite: ..........22 - 29 78% </p>

<p>*</p>

<p>UMD superscores both the SAT and the ACT. Bama doesn't superscore either test. </p>

<p>Superscoring boosts UMD's middle quartiles.</p>

<p>That said, the middle quartiles often don't tell much. Its the stats of the classmates in your major that matter more than what the stats are of kids across campus in other majors. My kids - math and ChemE majors - don't give a rat's patootie what the stats are of kids in the more "right-brained" or less-challenging majors...who does? </p>

<p>That's why the middle quartiles often don't tell you much about the "intellectual quality of students" in challenging majors unless the number at the 75% quartile mark is low. </p>

<p>I'm guessing that Nihility will be studying a more challending major since his ACT is in the 30/31 range. It's very likely that his classmates will be similarly strong or stronger. When 25% of the school has an ACT 30 or higher, then the more challenging majors are going to have concentrations of kids with that ACT or higher.</p>

<p>Employers recognize this disparity between the schools,</p>

<p>lol....Employers don't acknowledge such differences between flagships....they just don't. This isn't a comparison between Princeton and Podunk.</p>

<p>Anyway.....Bama posters..... please refrain from trolling over to the UMD threads and posting critical posts.....it's bad form.</p>

<p>As far as research opportunities comment- I will follow up on that. My son was looking at both, and really wants research to be part of his career in the future. UA has structured research opportunities as early as freshman year for students, UMCP does not.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Living on campus is just HUGE to me.
Does anybody have any percentages of juniors/seniors who live ON-campus at UA?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>This might be hard to find. I have heard that many upper classmen WANT to move off of campus. Some for the advantage of saving money, since it is less expensive than the dorms. </p>

<p>I wonder if housing has that % available?</p>