Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Decisions, decisions

muftogunmuftogun Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
Few questions about UMD that will help me make my decision by May 1st.

How is campus safety? I've visited the area before, and I can see the campus being a little sketchy a night especially since it is big. So how safe is the campus? How safe do students usually feel on campus?

UMD is a large campus, bigger than I was hoping for. With that being said, how is transportation, getting from class to class? Is there a shuttle system and is it reliable? I visited a school that had one, and it was not very reliable in my opinion.

College Park is 25 minutes from my house which is a con, seeing as though I really wanted to get away. However, I got a full scholarship here which is why I'm considering it so much. I'm between UMD and MIT, but MIT would be super expensive. I'm afraid to make a decision I'll regret, so I just need some clarity.

Replies to: Decisions, decisions

  • marylandhomemarylandhome Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
    The campus is safe. Girls should not walk alone at night, which would not be smart in any populated area. There is a campus police force which does a good job. There are blue security phones all over the place

    The shuttle system is very reliable. But you won't need it to go to class, as the campus is designed to make it pretty easy to walk from just about any class to another in less than 15 minutes.

  • maryversitymaryversity Registered User Posts: 1,994 Senior Member
    I think a lot depends on your intended major and ability to handle what an MIT mom dubbed a "pressure cooker." A friend had two sons attend MIT (one just graduated and the other is still there)...one thrived, the other did not and is barely hanging in. Both different majors, both different personalities.

  • muftogunmuftogun Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    @maryversity yeah besides money, that's another reason I'm not completely jumping on board for MIT. My parents want me to go where I'll be happy and are willing to pay, but I'd feel like I would barely hang on at MIT.
  • maryversitymaryversity Registered User Posts: 1,994 Senior Member
    Ok, so there is def that big question then.

    On the one hand, you'll never know if you can do it (succeed at MIT) unless you try. On the other hand, is it worth putting yourself in that kind of situation if you already question the environment?

    Maryland will def give you the more quintessential, best-4-years-of-your-life college experience - from academics to social to sports (I am sooo not a fan of sports, but I loved attending football games as a student because they were so much fun - lots more going on than just football - school spirit is awesome). And I think that Maryland is far more diverse - which I happen to like...

    As for safety, I am female and attended many moons ago when the surrounding area was even rougher/less attractive. I had no problems because I knew to be alert at night, but that is true of anywhere. I would have no hesitation about sending my daughter (currently have a son attending). I know the campus seems overwhelming, but once you are living there, it really is not that bad/doesn't feel so big...classes in your major will be in one area of the campus, and for any gen eds, you can pick the sections not only by teacher, but by location...bigger school means more options!

    It's easy to make a big school smaller (with programs like honors college, QUEST, etc just to name a few) and other groups you can become involved in. However, you can never make a small school bigger. And MIT is really quite small. Amazing resources of course, but still very small.

    If it were any of the ivies, I'd say it's not even a question - go for Maryland (another friend has 4 kids - 3 went to ivies and 1 went to Maryland and she said that Maryland was by far her favorite - while all her kids are ridiculously smart, the Terp had more unique experiences, plus had more and better job offers before even graduating than her ivy kids did!!!) .

    However, because it's MIT and very, very few get accepted ....and btw, congrats for getting in!!!:) ....my best advice is to see if you can do an overnight at each school. You might get a better gut feeling of what you think will be the best fit for you.

    Remember, there is no wrong answer. It's what's right for YOU - I'm sure you will be successful regardless of which school you decide on.
  • jkeil911jkeil911 Registered User Posts: 6,009 Senior Member
    OP, as for proximity to home, my S went to UMD and loved the proximity--that is, he might as well have been at Notre Dame. He had a teleporter home when he wanted it, but the teleporter didn't work for people over 21. He saw a few high school friends the first year and then they disappeared into their own schools, majors, interests, and dorms. The kids who became his best friends all lived in the same scholars dorm or were friends of the kids who lived there. My D is worried about proximity, too, but she's satisfied herself about the safety and size. We're not worried about these things either. Congratulations on getting into both schools, and good luck with your decision. MIT really is special, but it's not for everyone. UMD engineering is very very good and has been for a long time.
  • MitchKreybenMitchKreyben Registered User Posts: 439 Member
    Full ride? Game over Go where they want you. Also. No debt is a huge huge plus. Excel at UMd. !
  • dowzerwdowzerw Registered User Posts: 2,474 Senior Member
    Normally, I would say take the full ride at the well respected UMD BUT your alternative, while not an Ivie, is in a separate stratosphere-the Holy Grail so to speak, of colleges, which brings cache (reputation) that will have a future dollar value to you. No pressure to choose one or the other from me, but MIT is MIT. A big ****ing deal (and congrats on having been accepted!)
  • PervySagePervySage Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    edited April 2014
    I have the solution here:

    Just go to UMD for your first two (free) years, then see if you can transfer to MIT. If you were MIT material to be accepted as freshman then I'm sure you'll be in good position to be accepted as a junior transfer to MIT, of course if you do great at UMD your first two years. Plus after two years in college you may feel more comfortable and more sure of your self to deal with the level of MIT.

    You'll get to taste both sides of your dilemma, and count your self lucky that you have parents who are willing to pay for you to go to MIT and want you to be happy, not many (I mean many) people have that. Plus you can never forget the type of prestige MIT brings, the type that UMD, despite being a great school, doesn't.

    Hope you are happy with what ever you do!

    On the side:

    Don't tell me you go to BLAIR HS? that would be awesome.
  • bonee26bonee26 Registered User Posts: 183 Junior Member
    Go free to UMD, do your Masters or PHD at MIT
  • skibum4skibum4 Registered User Posts: 282 Junior Member
    I have son at MIT and I went to UMD for graduate school. I can only say that my son has been extremely happy at MIT and while the work is rigorous, it is an extremely collaborative environment. First semester freshmen year is pass/no record (meaning grades do not matter at all), and what I think might surprise most people is that it is not a competitive, cut throat kind of place all. Students are encouraged to do most of their PSETs (homework assignments) with other students, and many of the classes are focused on team work. Son is also Varsity athlete, in a fraternity, has a girlfriend, and is partaking in lots of social activities outside of class. Is he busy and challenged? Yes, but he has some great opportunities and high paying summer internship after sophomore year. 98% of MIT students graduate, so they work hard to help students succeed. If you were admitted at MIT -= you are up for the challenge. Admissions knows what they are doing. Good luck in your decision, but you will not regret going to MIT. It's near impossible to transfer into MIT. (1%)
  • muftogunmuftogun Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    Thank you guys for all your input, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to UMD. It's more of the college experience I want and I just received an email that I was nominated for the Stamps Banneker/Key Scholarship. Plus, although MIT is MIT, I feel like the only real reason I want to go there is because of the name, which really isn't a good enough reason for me. But thanks again
  • 1214mom1214mom Registered User Posts: 4,212 Senior Member
    It sounds like you have thought about it and are making a mature decision. You certainly are not the first to turn down MIT for Maryland. Congratulations and good luck! It should be a great four years. If you haven't submitted your housing request, please do so ASAP.
  • PervySagePervySage Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    It is said that in this world is "not about what you know, but WHO you know."

    MIT is more likely to provide the WHO.

    ahh forget what I'm saying, I'm talking nonsense.

    Its good that you can see beyond all the superficial stuff like names. Hope things go great for you.
  • jkeil911jkeil911 Registered User Posts: 6,009 Senior Member
    yes, get that housing request in asap. you can get the deposit back if you go somewhere else if you ask for a refund by July 1, I think it is. without the request, you might find yourself without housing. in fact, check with the AO to find out when the cutoff for housing is. congrats on the nomination. that's a terrific honor.
  • Normanisnot21Normanisnot21 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Got to agree with Bonee26. If you are accepted for BK at UMD and admitted to MI (and congrats on both) you are almost certainly going to end up doing graduate work. Where you do your graduate work is far more important than undergrad for anything happening subsequently. Also, the vast majority of graduate schools you would care about, when making their admit decisions, know that funding undergraduate education is a big deal and are not biased against those that did undergrad at public schools.
This discussion has been closed.