The best thing about Drexel is that it is an already respected university, ranked 108th in the country, and it is also climbing in the rankings and continuing to improve in every way. It is fun to watch things around you getting better and better. One thing that I would change is to focus some of the sooner infrastructure improvements on student life issues, such as outdoor recreation, retail, and housing, rather than on academics. The northern part of the campus has been improving quite as quickly as the rest. The school is just right. It is large with 20,000 students, but it feels like a small school because many students are commuters and many are on co-op, so you see the same people every day. Most people are impressed when they hear I go to Drexel. Some who are not familiar with the city will judge it based on what they hear on the news or on "Fresh Prince of Bell Air", but that is bound to happen with people who don't give cities a chance. I spend most of my time in a lab that I work in. There are plenty of opportunities to work on campus, even doing research within your own major, as undergraduates. This is a great opportunity. Philadelphia IS a college town, with 80+ colleges, and West Philadelphia has Drexel and University of Pennsylvania right next to each other and is called University City. Many people hate Drexel's administration and complain of red tape, but I have never experienced it, which is weird because most complain about the financial aid office but I have plenty of financial aid and have never had problems dealing with them. One thing that is frustrating and that the bursar's office and financial aid office don't work together as closely as they should. Recently there was a student who was arrested for identity theft. She and a boyfriend from University of Pennsylvania moved into a Center City Philadelphia condo and stole people's identities. The story had little to do with Drexel except that she happen to go here, but it was a pretty high profile story. The amount of school pride isn't as high as I would have hoped, but it is definitely growing, and rallying around our sport's teams is what is starting it. Drexel also hosted a Democratic Debate in Oct. 2007 and and in Jan. 2008 the Olympic table tennis tournament for the U.S., two things that students can pride themselves in. Also, as the campus aesthetics improve, students are becoming more and more proud. Students are rallying for change in all of aspects of the university like I've never seen before and it is bringing plenty of positive change. I think Drexel is unique with its location being close to Center City and walkable and also next to University of Pennsylvania. Most frequent student complaint is probably the administration, but I believe even that is improving, and I've never had any issues personally.
The best things about Drexel are the Co-Op program and being IN Philadelphia. If I could change anything I would add football since that seems to always be a way to increase school spirit and the tuition is ridiculously high for what it is. I feel the size is great, its perfect for me. I know people, but not everyone. When I tell people I go to Drexel I usually get a "So you're an engineering major?" followed by "thats a rigorous engineering program." I usually spend most of my time on campus in North where most of my friends and myself live. I also spend a good time in class...lol, usually in one of the engineering buildings or friends live a few blocks away from campus where I spend a lot of time as well. I wouldn't say Drexel is a "college town" because it is in Philadelphia which is a major city. You feel like you're in a city not really even on a college campus at times. I like it that way though. I went to a school with a real campus and really did not enjoy it. Even with the schools around it I wouldn't call it a college town, just a school in a major city. Drexel administration has been great for me. They have never messed up my billing and when I transferred back here (I transferred in and out) they really helped me to get back on track and get back into the swing of things. I cannot really think of any controversies on campus. There is a lot of school pride. I am a member of the DAC Pack, the school's spirit team for mainly basketball and I love it. Most people have school pride. Drexel is unusual because of the quarter system as opposed to the semester system, some people hate it, I love it because classes go by quicker and you take more different courses. It is challenging to keep up sometimes though. I think being in West Philly is unusual also, but I love not being constrained by a campus setting or boundaries. You really need common sense to ensure safety. My greatest experience at Drexel was moving into the Engineering Learning Community in Myers Hall. We really became great friends almost like family. We ate together, hung out together, spent our weekends together, took trips together, lived together, and studied together...everything. Although we are spread out now, we still all are great friends and do a lot together. The most frequent complaints from students are definitely tuition, its really pricey here.
The Big Picture? Well, there's more like 5 big pictures... 1. Drexel is a college on cusp of greatness. As lame as that sounds, its true. A med school, a law school, a business school that's climbing in th ranks, two campuses, a great online program, and talks of expansion out west. These things are only starting to build the name and image of the Drexel degree, and for those looking for answers (probably parents more than anything), your school's name means everything! 2. The campus is getting better. Period. 3. Philadelphia is a great city, and Drexel is literally minutes away from everything. There are a million restaurants/bars downtown, the museums, the ballparks, the music venues, comedy clubs, all a 20 minute walk/subway ride away. Don't forget, the Poconos are 2 hours away, the jersey shore only 1, Atlantic City, New York, Baltimore, DC, and lets not forget the wonderfully entertaining site-seeing of Lancaster Country (okay maybe that's not a great pitch, but its there if you want good butter?). 4. Paying for college blows. Like its awful, and the price of Drexel isn't low, but honestly, I don't have a single friend who easily got a job after graduating and is making less than 45k with their DU degree. Can't say the same about my hometown friends who went to other schools. So in the end, the pricetag is worth it. 5. The technology is great. The whole campus is wireless, which may not be a selling point to you right now... but you'd miss it here if it ever went down.
I couldn't have asked for a better college experience and am really happy that I picked Drexel. The best thing about this school for me was the co-op program. Getting real work experience worked into your time at college is something that you don't find many other places. Drexel gives you great opportunities to make connections and network so that you will have a job at graduation. Aside from academics I LOVE being right in the city. Everything is a subway/cab ride away, and Philadelphia has a lot to offer. I moved here from Pittsburgh, so for anyone looking to come from a bit farther away, I promise you will love everything about this city. We are so close to NYC and the beach, there is always somewhere to go and something to do. Drexel is a great place to go to school, but I do have to say it does fit some of the stereotypes when it comes to the workload. To succeed here you really need to work like crazy, and there is a lot of competition. Professors don't give out A's for mediocre work, you really need to give it your all. Also, only having your first summer off may sound intimidating, but in the end it will be worth it. By the time you get into your sophomore and junior years most people want to spend their summers doing internships anyways. With the co-op program you get that built in! Besides, as I said, you can head to the beach on the weekends!
One thing I'd change is the food service at Drexel. It's greasy, expensive, and inconvenient. If you can't make it to the dining center for a grilled cheese or some soggy chicken breast, you can head over to Kelly Deli or Ross Commons for more quesadillas, burgers, fries, or pizza. Vegetables? Fruit? Oh, they have some fruit...but it'll cost more than that double cheeseburger with bacon. I'm not sure how it works at every other school, but at Drexel, all of the administrators get to be Senior Interim Associate Directors of something. I'm really not sure what some of the higher up Administrators do…I know our President is probably on campus only a few days a month (if that). We send him to India and to California so much (on the student's dime), that they actually just hired a "Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff. Seriously, can I just have someone answer a phone call when I call the main office or someone to help me process my transcript request? Greek Life at Drexel is probably the best thing to have ever happened to me. I've found a great group of guys to call my brothers for life, but besides that, I've networked for jobs, developed great public speaking and time management skills, and enjoyed college life.
One of the best things about Drexel is the co-op and the location. There isn't anything I would change. The size is just right, smaller campus with medium population makes it so you know a lot more people. Many are somewhat impressed, a few have never heard of it. I spend most of my time on campus, either in class or hanging out with friends in the office. The whole area is somewhat like a college town but since it is in the city it is more of an urban version of a typical college town. We are next to a few university to this entire side of Philly is like one giant college campus. The administration is pretty decent, they do the job that is needed of them to the best of their ability. There has not been anything terribly controversial on campus we have had some minor things happen, with someone being arrested for identity theft and that is about it. There is a ton of school pride, everyone always gets hyped for the basketball games. Drexel runs on the quarter system which is a little unusual for colleges. One experience that I will always remember is when the Democratic Presidential Debate was held at our school. The most frequent complaint is the traffic in order to get to class.
When I tell people I go to Drexel they almost always ask me (usually first) how do I like it. I spend most of my time on campus. Drexel's administration is not something I commonly have interactions with. My department has a person who allows us to go through her with most of our issues regarding classes and scheduling issues. When I have had to deal with the administrators its usually been a long process of waiting for the person to be ready to meet with me regardless of having a meeting or not. Biggest recent controversy is something I wouldn't really know about. I know in the past the whole ordeal with the freshman who stuffed her newborn baby into a gym bag and put it in the trunk of a car. But other than that I'm not sure there are big controversies going around. There is a lot of school pride. We have Pack the Dac which is popular. There are a lot of engingeering events that have been going on recently where the student participation is crazy. Most frequent student complaints are probably homework (!), teachers being too strict with their grades and testing practices, owing wayyyy too much money and finals.
I love Drexel University. I love the location, because it does have a campus feel, but is also walking distance to center city. There is also a shuttle into center city, and where majority of my nursing classes are. For example, it would take me 15 minutes to go to walk to an H&M or an 8 minute walk to a CVS. This past year, our Men's Basketball team made it vary in our conference, and a lot of people attended the games. With our mascot being unique, a lot of people take pride in being a Drexel Dragon. However, when I was applying to this school I remember I really wanted to go to a school with a football team, because in high school I loved attending those games. Looking back now, I am happy I didn't choose a school based on that criteria. I do wish they had one, but so many other positives make up for that. Whenever I tell people from elsewhere that I attend Drexel, it's usually the reaction with "you're smart." The work is challenging here, especially as a nursing major, but it is definitely worth it
I mainly came to Drexel for three reasons. The CoOp program really spoke to me as a great opportunity, I really wanted to go to a college that was literally in the middle of a city, and I got rejected by Northeastern. Even though it wasn't my first choice I knew that i'd be happy here because honestly--i'd probably be happy anywhere I went. The CoOp program spoke to me so much because of my own families situation. I have a brother who is seven years older than me, and after graduating high school he went to college. However, a year and a half into this stay at college, he got suspended and decided not to go back. The end result was him sitting and basically living in my living room with his girlfriend at the time (now my sister-in-law) and it was a situation that created a huge amount of stress in the house. I decided right then and there that I was not going to 'bounce back' no matter what. And if I don't come home for the summer and am working instead--it will be that much easier.
The best thing about Drexel is the co-op program. I haven't gone through it yet but it's the main reason I came here, I want work expe4rience when I graduate. One thing I would change is the ridiculous amount of money it costs to go here, Drexel is SO expensive. My school is the perfect size, for me anyways. Some people go home on the weekends, but since I'm in the city, there's always something to do. Even though many people haven't heard of Drexel, I would have to say we have a lot of school spirit when it comes to things like sporting events and such, which is important to me. There are also a lot of student activites going on constantly. One complaint I have is that freshman are forced to get the most expensive mealplan at the dining hall, and it is definitely an annoyance since the cafeteria isn't that close and the food isn't that great (although there are a lot of choices.