I decided to go to this school for a whole bunch of reasons. Overall, out of all of the schools that I looked at and applied to, UMBC was the best match for me. I feel at home here and I know that a wouldn't have felt as good anywhere else. After applying to 5 out of state schools and two in-state schools, I knew that financially it would make more sense to pick the latter of the two. One thought that I have developed about college is that you really do make your experience. Many people either spend a lot of money to go to a school that they think that they will like or simply don't push themselves once they get to school, only to waste a lot of money. A lot of young people are age take our parents for granted and don't see the finances impacting them directly, but this isn't the case. It is both a responsible and intelligent idea to pick schools that will be cheaper overall. UMBC was one of these cases. Besides finances, when I came on a tour here I was able to get a good sense about what the students are like as well as the social life. Other schools that I visited (including larger public schools and several very small private liberal arts schools) didn't seem as welcoming. I felt like the students grouped very easily and kept to themselves. I also felt that a lot of kids either saw themselves as being better than everyone else or obnoxious. Even though many of them seemed smart, I didn't want to be around kids who had that worldly outlook. The school's reputation also interested me. Once I found out that UMBC was heavy on STEM and that there were a lot of internship and research opportunities, I knew that I would be challenged and that I would make friends with smart genuine people. The tipping point was actually my mom. She at one point essentially told me that I should go here, and that happened in the registrar's office. She gave me a look infront of the staff and asked if I wanted to put down the deposit. At first I was very uncomfortable because George Mason did a way better job making their school look appealing. But, I am more than happy that she pushed me that day. I know that I have enjoyed it more here than I would have there. I have spent less money, made friends who I think are a better match for me, been exposed to better clubs and academics, and experienced diversity like never before.
I was accepted by six of the eight schools to which I applied. Although I had no intention of attending a university in the state of Maryland during the application process, I applied to the University of Maryland- College Park and UMBC. Accepted by both, I reviewed the financial aid packages that each school offered me. Both schools were generous, but I still had my heart set on places much further from home. A couple of months after UMBC offered me a Merit Scholarship and an invitation to join the Honors College, I was invited to interview for the university's Humanities Scholars Program. Entrance to this program is granted to up to 15 scholars every year. Each class of scholars takes two classes together freshman year that involve the humanities in some way. The scholars form their own little community by taking free trips to museums and performances together, discussing course work, attending Humanities Lectures, and sometimes living on the Humanities Floor as a Living Learning Community. It is the community and scholarship this program offered that convinced me that UMBC would be the right choice for me.
I actually transferred to UMBC as a sophomore from Salisbury University and honestly, it was probably the best decision that I ever made. While doing college applications in my senior year, I actually didn't apply to UMBC because I came to the university for cheer camp one year and was displeased with its size and the dorms. However, after attending Salisbury University for one year, I was very mistaken. At first, I thought UMBC was too big but after walking around a campus that was boxed in by trees and took my literally 3 minutes to get to each class, I was extremely happy when I came to UMBC. It's not that big but it's big enough that you could take a walk around it and be occupied for at least an hour. Also, I wanted a school that was more academically rigorous and UMBC fit under the category I was looking for. It's overall a really nice school and it's close to home which is very easy to commute to. The students here (well most of them) really do want to excel in school and that's just the type of people you want to be surrounded by.
The main reason I chose UMBC was because they offered me a very nice financial package. I also like the diversity of the campus, something that I did not experience in high school. There are also a ton of resources to help students prepare for their careers and further education. Plus it's close to home.
I decided to go to UMBC because I had a friend who had just transferred to the school and I wanted to be closer home. I was not happy once I transferred but things are starting to look up for me at the school.