University of Rochester Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Madeline

Rochester isn't really a college town so there is a big sense of community on the campus. At times this can feel isolating, especially for freshmen who can't have cars, but the location causes students to become more active on campus.

Daniel

I'l admit, U of R wasn't my first choice and I wasn't sure if it was the place for me when I sent in my deposit. But it has a really interesting dynamic, great academics, and I'm really glad I ended up here. I think UR's size is a real benefit. Some Intro classes do tend to be large, but are small enough where you can still develop a personal relationship with your professor. I had the opportunity to be in several discussion based classes as a freshman and this isn't really out of the ordinary. But UR also is a top-notch University with professors doing high level research in their fields. Its small undergrad size allows for amazing opportunities for undergrad research and independent study. Very few schools offer the same intimacy and research availability. While the city of Rochester gets a bad rap, I honestly think its an above average college town. Lots of music performances, a quaint independent theater and decent night life. Despite what outsiders might think having heard about kodak filing for bankruptcy protection, Rochester is doing fine economically---it was recently listed as one of 10 cities 'poised for greatness' and its really starting to flower. The worst thing about UR is that its name doesn't carry as much clout as its academics deserves. I think that the quality of education and caliber of students makes UR a peer school with WashU, Tufts, CMU, Emory, and JHU (I know a bunch of students that turned down all of these schools and many more) However, UR is practically unknown in many circles. Nevertheless, lots of UR students attend top grad schools and it is well known in academia. Ultimately, its name recognition is more annoying than anything else, and isn't something that will really hold you back in achieving your career goals.

Monica

Personally, I love the University of Rochester because of the neat and tight community. It is academically oriented and was able to meet many friends who I could share my passion for learning and academics. But at the same time, students here are unique and are allowed to continue on their extracurricular activities and hobbies. As a result, students are always vibrant, active and happy! Students definitely have school pride, except for one aspect, the Rochester winter.

Monica

Personally, I love the University of Rochester because of the neat and tight community. It is academically oriented and was able to meet many friends who I could share my passion for learning and academics. But at the same time, students here are unique and are allowed to continue on their extracurricular activities and hobbies. As a result, students are always vibrant, active and happy! Students definitely have school pride, except for one aspect, the Rochester winter.

Tucker

Where to start... I love it!! Everything about U of R screams "you belong here" aloud to me. The red brick construction, the open air of the academic quad, the catacombs and endless halls of knowledge of our main library, the people who greet me with a smile even when I'm in the foulest of moods. For me, there could be no better fit, and I encourage everyone to give it a shot!

Jacob

Rochester is one of the best school's in the country in my opinion. However, many students do not realize this because it is not an ivy or not in an ideal location. Once you come to terms with the weather, you are really able to enjoy all that Rochester has to offer. I can not imagine the academics being stronger at another university than they are here. And with so many extra-curriculars you can become involved so much that you have a full day every day of the week. The school's size is the perfect size at around 5,000; not too small to know everyone, and not too large to get lost and go unnoticed.

willie

School administration cancelled bar parties. If there is one thing that unites the students, it is whenever they do that. It happens every few years and usually ends up not being a big deal-but it is the most riled up I've ever seen people here.

Stephanie

Quite frankly, one of the biggest draws of the University of Rochester is our open curriculum. Don't want to take math ever again? Well, then you probably won't need to. Think required gym was stupid? Good, you don't need that either, but if you do decide to take one, that's fine too. What happens is that all the classes are split into 3 different categories: Humanities, Natural Science and Social Science. Your major, once declared, will fall into one of the three categories. The remaining two categories require the completion of two clusters, one in each remaining category. The clusters are 3 related classes and there are a ton of choices. So many that I see multiple classes I would love to take, but simply don't have room for. A large majority of the teachers really want to see you do well, and there are a ton of options if you are struggling. I have teachers who know every person's name in a 100 person lecture hall. We're a small school, and I wouldn't change it as it's a small town feel with the option of the big city right there. Seriously, take the Red Line of our busing options and there's the city! You will get people who go "Oh, Rochester, RIT right?" when you tell them where you are going. I know I did in my hometown. However, the University has a name and a reputation so while the average person on the street in my hometown thought RIT, my primary care doctor, and the nursing staff knew exactly where I was going and were thrilled for me. Dealing with the financial aid offices can be frustrating at times, but I see that at almost every school that my friends go to and my brother went to. Sometimes people are not as responsive via email as I would like, or the email goes into the spam box, but these are both fixable problems. There is a price tag, and that was, and still is, the biggest drawback. College is expensive, but I cannot see myself anywhere but here at the University of Rochester.

Emily

University of Rochester is not a flawless school. No school is. People complain about Dining Services, the Rochester city area, etc., but as a senior in my final year here, what I notice most about the student experience at U of R is that everyone is happy. While everything may not be perfect, so many things have gotten so much better over the past four years. The admins are completely willing to revamp entire dining centers or build a new dorm (or two) if they need to--recession or no recession. Stay here long enough, and you'll see how hard they're working to make this campus a great place for students... even if they do mess things up now and again. Moreover, U of R is a beautiful campus filled with positive and talented people. There's a niche here for everyone, and you're sure to live a balanced life while still actively engaging in challenging classes with some of the best educators in the country. I've had dinner at professors' houses and even consider some of them personal friends. Plus, professors will not hesitate to put in a little extra work if it will do a student good. I can't tell you how many times professors have invited me to plays they thought I'd find interesting, offered me a job/research opportunity, or even nominated me for a student award. And they do all of this for me and for many others simply because they appreciate their students. U of R is a small school with a lot of resources, opportunities, and (most importantly) heart. You will have a great time here; you will make lifelong friends and connections; you will receive an education that you can proud of and that others will respect.

Bradley

Involvement is what stands out to me most about the UR. We have hundreds of student organizations... way more than other peer schools. And almost everybody is involved in SOMETHING, because there is a group and community for every interest and passion. http://sa.rochester.edu/clubs/ Students are also really passionate about their interests: few students simply take classes and end their day at that. Most are involved in some sort of additional academic research, innovation, or other project at the school or in the community. The administration is also really encouraging. To connect with a faculty member you have to put yourself out there, and take the initiative to set up a meeting... but I've found that almost all of them are not only receptive, but excited about getting to know you. The deans are really connected with the community. Speaking of the community... I was surprised by how vibrant the music, performance, and art scene is in Rochester. There are a surprising number of great restaurants too. But a lot of that is a ways of campus. There are discounted taxis, free shuttles, busses, and free bike rentals to get you there... but this is a suburban campus moreso than urban, so sometimes getting out takes planning.

Alice

The school is definitely a bubble, you won't get off campus much without a car. It's a study hard during the week, party hard on the weekends type school. After the "new ivy" ranking, the administration has tried to crack down on the social scene. There's zero school pride in athletics, most people have never gone to a game for anything. Lots of diversity, lots of things to do for fun partying and otherwise.

Erika

The size of Rochester is pretty amazing- small enough to give you personalized attention, but large enough to have decent resources and great aid. When I say I go to UR, most people, especially in academic circles, are really impressed. Alot of people not in academic circles think we're RIT. WE'RE NOT. We're way better. There's a lot of school pride- maybe not in the traditional sense of athletics, but in our school itself. Students wear a ton of UR clothes, and are really proud to be here. It gives us a great sense of community. On campus, I spend most of my time in Gleason, which is this awesome part of our library that was designed by students. It's technically a study area, but it's really more of a socializing/studying place. It's really fun, and really a great place to chill with friends and even maybe get some work done. There's not really a college town feeling, but there's plenty to do in Rochester. We're home of the original garbage plate (if you've never had one, they sound completely disgusting. If you've had one, you know they're amazing), and have a great music and theatre scene. There's lots of cute little diners and coffee shops in the city, but none are really within walking distance. However, the bus system here is really amazing. I go off campus quite a bit, and it's not difficult at all to find buses. They're a great resource. The only real complaint about Rochester (except maybe the price) is the meal plan. Our food is by no means great, and it's really expensive. But we do have some good places, and you learn where to go, and more importantly, where not to go pretty quickly. Hint: stay away from Danforth. Another hint: Douglass is pretty much the best place on campus to eat. Several people have told me we have the largest Starbuck's on a college campus- I'm not sure that's true, but it is a really nice one, and has pretty much all the options of a full Starbucks. Hillside, a little cafe in Sue B Residence Hall, now has panini's, which are delicious and made fresh when you order them, but because of that, there can sometimes be quite a line. That's new this year though, so maybe eventually they'll stop being so incredibly popular. One experience I'll always remember..... there are a million. But my first really great memory was Yellowjacket weekend, which is sort of a kickoff to the school year. You get a free "jersey", and there's a full fledge carnival. It was really fun, and msot of the school shows up. Like I said, everyone's really happy to be here.

Krista

Rochester's curriculum is great for anyone entering college unsure of their major because its lack of a core curriculum lets you explore your interests before you have to declare a major. My biggest disappointment in UR is that its administration's priority is very obviously public image over student satisfaction. The majority of its resources go toward trying to live up to its reputation as the small yet excellent research university recently deemed one of the "25 new Ivies," but in the process it neglects students' needs and ignores students' criticisms. This last year, there was a lot of controversy over the new meal plans that will take effect in the fall. The new plan changes meal plan requirements, making them based on residence rather than class year, so that ideally those with access to a kitchen will have smaller plans that those without. But the details of the plan are only changing which students will be bound by an expensive and unnecessary too-large plan.

Tessa

Overall I would say that the University of Rochester provides well for its students. Every college will have its shortcomings and Rochester certainly isn't without them, such as the constant battle with the meal plans and housing, but students are also not afraid to let their voices be heard and tell the administration how they feel about these problems. Rochester is not a school that has much in the way of school pride, athletic events are poorly attended and most campus events have to bribe students with free giveaways to get them to show up. The University of Rochester is in a unique location that separates it from the rest of the city so that there isn't much of a college town atmosphere, and it is my understanding that predominantly students do not stray far from campus.

Rose

The Rochester campus is a "bubble" which is pretty isolated from them outside city. In actuality it is not safer because of this. There is a serious lack of reliable transportation to and from the campus. There is a lack of diversity. There is little to no school pride. The food on campus is pretty bad because the school's food provider is Aramark which is crap. The students are far more interested in their GPAs than in meeting new people. The entire social scene revolves around greek life. Even the greek life isn't that socially spectacular.

Hannah

One of the best things about Rochester is the way the curriculum is set up. The fact that you can take pretty much any class you want coming into the school is great, and really designed for most college students, who don't know what you're doing. Everyone is also really helpful, and there to make sure you're doing what you want to be doing. Another thing that really played a part in my decision to come to Rochester was the fact although the students with themselves, they don't bring that through to each other. Everyone is always studying together and helping everyone else. It's a really community-oriented environment. People seem impressed when I say that I go to Rochester, because the school is getting more popular and known around the country. It's becoming one of those "new ivys" i think. There is definitely a lot of school pride. As always we show it in sports, particularly basketball, but it's also really strong because the class presidents and administration work hard to make class activities where we can all get closer. One complaint, and a recent issue on campus was regarding housing and the mealplan. Up through my first year students at Rochester could pick a variety of meal plans, governed by what year you were. The administration made its best guess as to how to limit younger students new to college so that they would always have a sufficient mealplan. However they have recently changed the policy and it is now tied to where you are living. For me this has turned out not to be that big on an issue, but when I first heard about it I agreed with most of the school that this wasn't a very good idea. Peope who were planning to change to a certain mealplan couldn't, because of where they were living, and some living arrangements closer to eateries with one kind of payment style, are going to house a lot of people unable to buy a lot of the food there. This has been a big issue so far and it is great how the students have already petitioned together many times for it to be changed. There's a lot of school spirit and strong leadership skills in our school.

Melissa

Rochester is a great place to try new things in both academics and extra curriculars. It's unique cluster progam makes taking interesting classes so easy. My freshman year, I took a lot of classes that didn't relate to my major, and found that I wanted to double major in a new area. Rochester students work really hard during the week, and let loose on the weekends.

Ryan

First things first, it's cold. Really cold. A lot of people have trouble adjusting to the winters. They're not so bad if you've lived in the NE or somewhere else with lots of snowfall before, but pack warm and be ready for the hell of a car in winter if you drive :) It's a fairly small campus, although it's expanding quickly over these next few years. This means that the party scene isn't always as active as you'd like, but it also means that you see some of the same people in a lot of your classes within a given major, the school administration is more flexible about, e.g., paperwork problems, etc. The city itself isn't really a college town, but there's stuff to do. There are a decent number of restaurants and bars in the nearby area, although pretty much nothing within walking distance. There are a couple live music festivals in the city each year, and there are usually good concerts either in Rochester or a nearby town like Buffalo. The local music scene is great, although it's hit-or-miss bringing it to campus these days. Housing is DIRT CHEAP in Rochester. It's very hard to get permission to live off campus as an underclassman, but once they let you off, assuming you have a car, it's a very good idea. The going rate for a room in a rented house or apartment seems to be around $300/month, less if you're willing to give up some space. I know a lot of people who rent full houses with only 1 or 2 roommates and pay substantially less than the price of dorms. The #1 complaint most students have is the horribly meal plan they force everyone on campus into. It's overpriced and terrible. Not as bad as, say, my high school food was, but it will still leave you craving fast food as if it were gourmet. Paying $7 for a 12 pack of soda only stings a little less when the $7 is dining plan money (which students frequently call monopoly money because it's next to worthless). They force you to overbuy, too; most underclassmen have enough meal credits to provide free food to all their upperclassman friends without coming close to running out. I think I had around 100 meal credits left at the end of the first semester. That's $700, gone. You will learn to despise Aramark. On the plus side, if you're willing to go spend real money on food from time to time, Rochester has good diners and the always delicious garbage plates (google it, they're delicious, best 3am post-bar food EVER!)

Laurel

Rochester is a great place to go to school. It's a small school in a big university, so it has a nice small school feel but not too small to make you claustrophobic. When I first got there, I thought I was going to hate it because I'm from a big city and Rochester is a small city. I was worried I wouldn't be able to relate to the students from upstate New York. But my freshman orientation was an unbelieveable experience and I quickly met friends that I will be friends with for my entire life. The people at Rochester are unique because they are kind and inviting rather than cold and snobby. The actual campus is easy to get around , except in the winter when it is freezing. Investing in a North Face down coat is essential for survival. There is a city, and having a car is necessary after freshman year to prevent dying of boredom. There are cute cafes and restaurants in the city and they're only about a 10-15 minute drive. The best part about the city is Wegman's, a huge supermarket open 24 hours a day. Since the food on campus is terrible, Wegman's will get you through those late night study hours. The administration has improved significantly since I was a freshman at Rochester. As a member of a sorority, I had to work with the administration often, and they sincerely care about the well being of the students. Our Greek life on campus is a large part of the extracurriculars on campus, including community outreach, philanthropy, social events, and public service. Four years at Rochester, while it can seem tough at times, is worthwhile in the end for the incredible education, the outstanding people, and the unforgettable memories.

Jeremy

Rochester is very small and you can find/make many close friends. Every person has a hidden talent or something special about them. When I tell people I go to UofR, they say "Oh! Tha'ts a good school!" or "wow, you are in the middle of nowhere". Downtown Rochester is pretty awesome, with Eastman School of Music right around the corner: lots of concerts, there is a thriving music scene. However, in the 19th ward, right next to campus, is the section with the #1 crime rate...in all of New York. So don't go there after dark. Rochester is probably the forgotten hero of our nation. We have a LOT of firsts...we have Kodak, we have George Eastman, we have Xerox. the eerie canal is right by us, we have the largest laser in the world, we have one of the best medical schools. We also have a fuckload of lilacs (Lilac Festival) and is the eternal home of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. Mount hope Cemetary is the largest colonial cemetery in the nation. the administration goes through busts and booms, just like the economy. They vascillate from a liberal, student-oriented approach, to a money-guzzling, 'screw you', 'no fun' administration. As of 2008, they are in the upswing of the latter =( Rochester is lots of fun but lots of work...and a little annoing at times, but generally a good school

Alana

The best thing about U of R is the size. The number number of students, I feel, is perfect, and the campus size is also perfect. It's not so small I feel trapped, and not so large that I feel lost. Most people think you're really smart if you go to U of R. Whenever I tell people, they usually gasp and say, "Wow, you must be really smart!" I usually just shrug it off and say "I guess...." It sometimes feels awkward. I spent most of my time in my dorm building, on my floor (until it got nice out).

Laura

The best thing about the U of R I would say is the student body. They are some of the most interesting people you will ever meet and though the U of R does not focus on "well-roundedness" (with one required course, Freshman writing) they generally are knowledgeable about a lot of different areas and will spark some interesting conversations. Also, the cluster system is great. Short explanation: there are three areas of learning, the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities, you major in one and cluster (take three related courses) in the other two. I am a physics and astronomy major (natural sci) with clusters in Hinduism (humanity) and Anthropology (social sci). The cluster system allows you to take classes you enjoy, and still learn a lot about them. If you never want to take math again, you don't have to, for me it was history. The biggest complaint is parking, frankly their assholes, if you pull up next to your dorm and leave your car their with the flashers on and run in to get something by the time you are out theirs a $50 ticket on your car. Usually if its your first time they'll let you off but after that you're on your own. Also, it's like $300 per semester to park your car in a lot that is like a mile away from your dorm. IMO don't bring a car, there are buses they can get you most anywhere and other people with cars or Zipcars to rent, you don't need it

Brittany

Rochester's campus is absolutely gorgeous. There are a ton of things to do both on and off campus. The university is the perfect size, not too small and not too big. It is very easy to get invovled and truly makes the college experience even better. Everyone is very friendly and you do not just feel like a number at the University of Rochester.

Ryan

FOOD SUCKS!!! Students are awesome. There seems to be somewhat of a lack of school pride in our athletic programs. Students and people are amazing, they are the main reason I love the school so much, without the people that Rochester seems to accept and those that enroll, the school would not be that good. The students work very hard, and party harder :). The school and surrounding back end of the University is very decent and beautiful in the spring which unfortunately is like only the last 5 weeks of school if that, the city of Rochester, is depressing and pitiful, especially coming from a city like NYC. Without a car, and the right people, you might want to transfer your first semester, or worse! However, stick out the tough winter and harsh first semester, and many would agree, that UR grows on you, and once the year is over, you'll realize how great of time you really are having and how much you can't wait for the upcoming year. Its great!...Not everyday, week, month or even year will be glamorous, exciting and completely, insanely fun, but the rewards are far greater when you get over the humps and truly experience a good time with some people who can undoubtedly become your friends for life, with a top tier degree.

Diana

Socially, Rochester has great potential. However, there is no college town, thus, there is no one area where students go to party and relax on the weekends. Social events sprawl all over campus, from the frat quad to the dangerous streets of the 19th Ward (don't go there alone, day or night). So, you and your friends will usually end up in the same place, cycling through the same people every weekend. Here are things I wish I had known about the social life: Go out a lot during freshman orientation, to several different places. Try the frat quad, try the frat in the 19th ward, and try to see if any of the sports teams are having parties. Meet lots of people and make lots of connections. Work hard on making closer ties with people that you get along well with. Don't get stuck in a social rut early on--it only gets increasingly harder to get out.

Kelsey

One thing I would chage about Rochester is the "life" of the city directly around the campus. The university is practically an island... surrounding by a cemetery and the Genesee River. There are times when I really wish we could have a Park Ave atmosphere closer than a bus ride away.

Kendall

UR is awesome because even though it's Division 3 for sports, all of the teams are amazing and compete at a very high level. And there is a lot of school spirit.. lots of people support the teams. The school is a great size. I like that I can walk around and still see a lot of people I know, at bigger schools I would rarely have that. But also there are still many more people to meet, so it isn't like I know everyone. The city of Rochester is not as great as I thought it would be going into it, but I still do not know very much about it and I'm looking forward to doing so.

Sandy

Rochester is the perfect size in the perfect town. Being in a school that has around 5,000 students insures that everywhere you go is someone that you know and like but you are constantly meeting more and more people. Sure, the city of Rochester is not known for being a great American city, but it is full of clubs, restaurants, coffee shops, activities, and other options that are catered towards college students. You are able to get a campus feeling- spend time in Wilson Commons hanging out in Starbucks or one of the lounges, party on the frat quad, live in a dorm with tons of other kids always around and ready to meet new people, sit on one of the quads when it is warm out and people watch, read, or study- but the city is full of places to go when you get cabin fever. There are free buses to get anywhere in the city that you want to go. (We do have quite a long, snowy winter though!)

Allison

The best thing about Rochester, hands down, is the curriculum. That is the reason I came to the school. We get to study what we love immediately and throughout our time at Rochester. I think this makes students love learning. It certainly made me love my time at Rochester, at least academically. My second-favorite quality of Rochester is the library. For a book lover like me, it truly is like a second best friend. I wish I had not had so much assigned reading so that I could have had more time to peruse the stacks.

Royce

The best thing about rochester is the group of friends on the Music Interest Floor that I have made. to be honest things were looking pretty dreary as far as the social scene freshmen year (mind you im not the type to go to the frat quad; not that theres anything wrong with that kind of fun). fortunately my sophmore year i joined MIF (meaning i applied and was accepted to live on the floor designated to MIF) and its full of people who know how to have fun but dont take themselves too seriously; really its a wonderful community. rochester is just the right size for me but it keeps getting larger because each year a larger percent of people accepted to u of r decide to actually come here. hence a larger than expected freshmen class and a bit of a housing crisis ensues. lots of the freshmen as a result end up living in converted tripples and some even quads! however the school is building new dorms so maybe that wont be an issue. we have a lot of school pride but virtually no sports pride even though perhaps sports pride is a little on the rise. i never see the administration..

ethan

great college town, greek life is the saving grace but it dying out, you have to search hard to find cool people but they are definitely out there

Holly

In general, it's probably one of the best schools that one can imagine to attend in a lifetime. The size is about just right, and we are a very good college community. However, the big problem with prestigeous schools like Rochester, is that that administration tend to take name and prestige over the students. Sometimes I feel that the administration is more focused on keeping the school's name and repulation than actually caring about the students. They're more concerned about having no bumps in the system, having everything running perfectly, and wiping out any possibility of "interrupting" the school's perfection than what the students really need. Big-name schools often give me the feeling that they tend to forget that it's us paying them to go here, and not the other way around, and that no matter how top-notch the school is, it's still an educational system, not a bureaucratic business.

Emily

NO REQUIRED COURSES, the university programme does NOT get in the way of your education and interests. Very nice campus, good community feel - not too few or too many students. I spend my weekdays in the library because I am one of the many pre-med students and my weekends on the frat quad partying. Not a lot of sporting school pride until one of our teams start doing well, like the men's basketball team this year- then the whole school is out to support them. However, everyone at Rochester is very proud to be there.

Nathan

The city of Rochester is relatively boring with a few decent bars, a few mediocre clubs, mediocre weather, and a lot of old industry like Kodak that's slowly dying. At the same time there are a lot of college students in the area and there some areas like Corn hill and park ave that have a college lively feel to them. Overall the area is fairly liberal politically but varies by school somewhat. U of R is very open minded though decidedly left in political persuasion. There are a lot of cool events on campus but they get old because there's not as much variety as there should be so by junior and senior year you usually start looking off campus to local bars, clubs, etc for entertainment. The music scene in rochester isn't that great although you do have national bands come through but tickets are expensive. School pride isn't that big, although there is a certain rich private school feel on campus-but only from a minority of students who are stuck up and uber-rich. Basketball is probably the biggest sport and the only one where there is a large attendance at games. Basically Rochester is only a school to go to if you're really serious academically and willing to work hard pursuing your field of study. The freedom is nice but you also have enough rope to hang yourself if you don't work hard and stay on top of things. The career center sucks so hopefully you're ambition and good about applying for internships and jobs on your own. It's a good school but only for the smart, hard working student who is ok with only having one or two nights free all week for a little relaxing.

Sean

Rochester is a very unique city. It has a variety of things that you can do. There are clubs, bars, concert halls (classic and rock), historical things, nature trails, and so on and so forth. Basically if you wanted to get off campus and do something you should be able to find something to do. It's not a tiny city so big things like bands and big name performances do stop by in the town. It's not huge so you don't really have to worry about traffic or driving hours on ends to get from one side of the city to the other. I personally thing it's a nice balance of city / suburb / and rural. UR is fairly self sufficient. We have our own bus system a mini-store to buy groceries and that sort of things and various programs on campus throughout there year to entertain yourself. UR is expanding quickly, but as of now there is no defined college town. However plans have been drawn up to expand UR by twice or three times its current size and will occupy a larger portion of the area. The biggest issue at Rochester that, truly, affects UR undergraduates is the meal plan system. It recently has been tweaked so that you choose your meal plan based on your current dormitory. They say the calculation is based on the number of people using a single kitchen in a wing of a dormitory and the higher the number the more likely you will be using campus dining rather than you cooking yourself. This fundamentally screws up many upperclassman (and freshman) who live dorms on the residential quad as well as those who live in the freshman dormitory (Susan B. Anthony). Upperclassman who have volunteered their services to the university serving as Residential advisers (they're actually paid), Freshman Fellows (basically they are on hall academic support, unpaid), and D'lions (Upperclassman that live in the freshman building and help keep hall spirit up / provide events to keep people entertained and engaged in the university and Rochester community, also unpaid) are screwed over because previously they would have had meal plans that were much cheaper due to their upperclassman status. But now they must use the most expensive meal plan on campus. Also, and ironically enough, the hospital food (which you can use campus currency with) is better than many of the campus sites. If you like sports, UR isn't a bad place to be either. Unless you like football. we do have a reputation for losing at that particular sport very frequently. One last thing about Rochester, that I guess you have to talk about when you're looking into colleges. That is, of course, Alcohol. If you want to drink there are plenty of opportunities to, and if you don't you don't really have to and there are just as many people who don't drink / party like that. So like the weather, it's what you choose that will affect whether or not you like the atmosphere about that.

Travis

The main thing that I would change would be the location of the school, it would be much more popular if the weather didnt blow. The school seemed large when I first got here but now that I am a senior, it seems as though I know or know of everyone. When ever I tell anyone that I go to the UofR all they ever have to say is that its cold/snowy there, no one really knows much more than that. The way that the campus is positioned makes it almost impossible to walk anywhere, other than to the hood or a graveyard, so getting food other than what is offered on campus is very hard unless you have a car, and even then if you have a car its most likely parked very far away, in one of the many distant unsecured parking areas. The rochester administation is generally disinterested in the student population other than those who get caught drinking in their dorms, and the UR security spends most of their energy dispatching of people having fun and not alot of time preventing students/faculty from being jumped on campus. I know personally I have experienced crime on campus when one of my friends got his computer stolen from his room by a non-student and the only reason that the kid didnt get away with it was not because of UR security but because I chased the theif down myself(he was rather fat and slow so this wasnt too difficult) and got him to give it back, turns out he had an outstanding warrent out for his arrest, safe...

ben

Overall, i am very pleased with my first year at rochester. it is just the right size (around 4500 or so i believe): its easy to get around without being overwhelmed and i am constantly meeting new people, but its also easy to get settled down and find a niche. the best thing about rochester is the people. the average rochester student is generally friendly and not not cocky/egotistical or too shy. there isn't a whole lot of geographic diversity (most people are from new york and the northeast), but there are many different kinds of people to meet from various socioeconomic backgrounds, and they make living on campus a great experience. the school is also very "middle-of-the-road." by this i mean that its not really known for having just one characterization, the students aren't over the top in regard to personality/appearance/ideologies/etc, and the academics are great but the school isn't that well known outside of the state. the city of rochester isn't much of a college town, but there are some nice areas to live off campus and there are plenty of night time hot spots, but a lot goes on on campus and many upperclassmen choose to live on campus all 4 years. there might not be a whole lot of "school pride" as its normally thought of in terms of loud sporting events, but generally everyone at school is very proud of where they are and it shows with other events on campus.

Sarah

I find that the atmosphere here is cozy, but not cloistering. It's that "just right" size of 4,000-ish undergrads. There are lots of things to do on campus, and the city of Rochester itself is fun to explore. There are a lot of ethnic restaurants, Eastman Theatre (great concerts!), movies, and, of course, Wegmans. ;)

Gene

Whenever you tell someone – out of New York state – that you go to school in New York, they automatically assume that you mean New York City. But that's something very distinct from going to school in Rochester, NY. The University of Rochester is a small enough school to wear you see many of the same faces all the time, but not so small that you have to remember everyone's name. For a student in Humanities or Social Science classes, this was amazing because classes were rarely larger than 20 students. In this way, some great relationships develop between classmates and professors alike. While the city itself is much smaller than the Big Apple, there are many hang-out spots and events to check out year round. (However, winter can have a big effect on how much you go out during those months of the year.) I think it was difficult for many of my classmates to realize this because the University is a landlocked campus – bordered on three sides by the Genessee River, the Strong Memorial Hospital and the historic Mt. Hope Cemetery (resting site for Fredrick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony). Recent (somewhat controversial) efforts are underway, however, to foster a more physical connection between the city and it's largest employer. It's the ideal place for those that want a balance between major urban area and college town.

Charlie

roughly 5000 undergrads, plus 1000 graduate students. Long cold winters, lots of snow. Food is not bad, parking is a bit of a hassle. Overall an excellent place though.

Ashlee

I will start by saying that I am in the Take 5 program at the U of R but I'm a student at the Eastman School of Music. I'll do my best to talk about both. Both schools have a great faculty and great campuses. They're both ranked among the top in the US. When I first got to Eastman, I thought it was WAY too small (500 undergrads), but now I can't imagine it any other way! I've always thought the U of R was a nice size, though (around 5,000 undergrads, I think). The reaction I usually get about going to Rochester is usually some kind of joke about the snow. People who know a lot about music react really positively when I tell them I go to Eastman. At Eastman, I spend a lot of time in the practice room (lol), at Java's (the coffee place next door), and in the library. At the River Campus, a spend a lot of time at the library, the gym, and Starbucks. Rochester is obviously a city, but there are actually a LOT of colleges around, including RIT, Nazareth, St. John Fisher, Roberts Wesleyan... I honestly don't know much about the administration at Rochester, except for President Joel Seligman. He's okay, I guess. People at Eastman have mixed feelings about him because of his university unification project. I love the adminstration at Eastman, although we'll have a new Dean of Academic Affairs in September, so we'll see how that goes. The biggest recent controversy at Eastman is probably about renaming "Eastman Theatre" "Kodak Hall." Eastman students usually have a lot of school pride; I'm not sure about students at the River Campus.

Shawn

It's a really good school, particularly as a research institution. If you're looking for the opportunity to start research--particularly in any of the sciences or serious social sciences--as an undergrad, it's perfect. It's small enough that students get individual attention but big enough that we have a lot of resources. The meal plan kind of sucks, parking is a bitch, and obviously the school is overpriced. Those are the biggest things people complain about. Oh, and the weather. It gets super cold and cloudy for most of the year here, and Seasonal Affective Disorder is very much a real thing. It's awesome in the spring, though, when everyone is outside and excited to enjoy the weather. The social life is easy to find; almost all students live on campus. We've been a little low on housing the last few years so that might be changing, but it's pretty easy to connect with someone here without having to look too hard.

Jenna

I would say Rochester isn't a college town, yet there are plenty of colleges around. Personally, I would like to see more interaction between the Rochester area colleges since there are so many college students in one area that happen to never run into each other. The worst thing about U of R is the parking system, we have almost no parking and nowhere to go but up. We're trapped in by Mt. Hope Cemetery and the Genesee River yet for some reason parking garages have never been thought of. The lack of transportation is a horrible thing for U of R because many students never experience all that Rochester has to offer, and instead, think Marketplace is the only thing around. The curriculum at Rochester is great in its flexibility and worth looking into.

David

The University of Rochester is a very good school. The campus is nice, the size of the undergraduate population is at a nice level, and by and large, the classes are well designed and taught. There isn't really much to say about the administration - the presence of the administration is not really felt by the students. The area around the school has good and bad points. There is a new bus system which shuttles students around to shopping areas (such as supermarkets and malls) as well as the nearby neighborhoods, where many students live. However, the 19th Ward, right outside the school, is basically a ghetto, and can be dangerous, especially when students are alone after dark. The University Heath Services (UHS) is mediocre. Many students are misdiagnosed when they make visits, and especially when a student needs to go to the hospital for treatment and tests, many mistakes are made. Personally, I once needed a simple blood test done, and after answering many irelevant questions at the UHS office, I was sent to the hospital, where I sat through most of a physical examination before I talked to the doctor and cleared up the confusion. Finally, Residential Life Services (ResLife) leaves much to be desired. They do not really listen to the requests or questions of the students, and are intentially deceptive with information. The housing on campus, however, is solidly good.

Josh

Rochester doesn't have much of a "college town" but rochester is a pretty cool city, especially with Dinosaur BBQ about a 10 min drive from campus, and all kinds of other great ethnic food around as well. The best thing about U of R is probably the academic program called "clusters." but i guess i'll talk about that in the academics section. The school is a decent size of about 3000 kids. You see some people a lot, but i meet a good amount of new people a year. The fact that i see the same people a lot may just be because of my small major. Past first or second year subjects the class sizes are manageable and you can generally get e-mail responses or set up meetings with professors easily. Generally there isn't much school pride, with people always talking about how the administration is screwing them this time or things such as that. The newest upset is the HORRIBLE meal plan that they introduced to try to fix the one that wasn't NEARLY as bad. Of course, we now have to pay more money to get more food when almost no one could possibly finish their meal plans before. Also, they keep raising the price of college every year, and you arent locked in to a certain rate that was agreed upon in freshman year. Also, a yearly tradition called D-Day, which was about the only fun thing that the administration would put on, is about to be shut down for good because they dont want to pay for good bands to come and play anymore. Thanks a lot. When i tell my friends things like this they always say that their college is so much nicer about this kinda stuff. Oh yea, and ResLife constantly screws you. The housing system wouldn't be so bad if they stopped admitting too many freshman (eager for their money) and and constantly asking us upperclassmen to please live off campus.

Cristina

Rochester is a great place both the city and the school. I love how as soon as it gets warm outside the students are immediately on the quad throwing frisbees and soaking in the sun. Probably because we don't get a lot of that during the school year. It is a very chilax atmosphere. This school is the perfect size for me. I call it a big small school. By that I mean it has a big feel yet at the same time there is a personableness that I absolutely love. If I could change something it would be the food and the tuition. Tuition just went up and I already got screwed over by financial aid. That probably was a big controversy this year among the students. Now about the food, unfortunately it is terrible! But you can live in glc somphmore year with a kitchen and then you can cook for yourself rather than put up with the food. Another negative is the school feels like camp sometimes and I feel like I really don't know what is going on in the real world . It is a closed campus and the buses here take you to the mall so you have to make an effort to see the city yourself. It is not like Penn State where the town is right there.

Alex

The people are really the best part of my time here. With such a dreary, long winter you have to have close friends to make you smile. It seems like just the right size, considering I came from a high school with more students than here. It was impossible to get to know anyone very well, which is not a problem here. As a "New Ivy" school, Rochester is certainly gaining the recognition it deserves. The students love to have fun, but know when to buckle down to keep the grades up. There is really no school pride whatsoever. Our athletics are a joke, although basketball saw some excitement this year coming in first or second in our division.

Yell O. Jacket

The best thing about Rochester -- besides having fantastic professors, friendly students, and a beautiful campus -- is that we really don't have any class requirements besides what is required by our major. In other colleges, you have to take "General Education" classes. At UR, you will never have to take another year of Math or Spanish if you don't want to and as long as it's not part of your major. Everyone thinks that the school is small, and it's certainly not LARGE, but it is a good size. You get a very personal education because of the size, but there are still tons of people to meet/become friends with. The city gets a bad rep as being really boring, but there are tons of city events that the college exposes you to. I get cheap student rate tickets right on campus for concerts, musicals, comedy shows, art shows, etc. Rochester has a super reputation among people in New York state at least. People confuse us with RIT a lot, but we're really the better school. It's considered the "new Ivy league" by a lot of reliable sources. It depends where you are if you're out of state, but anyone who knows of us is like, "WOW, you must be really smart," if you tell them you go to UR. I spend most of my time on campus in the dorm, at Starbucks, in class, etc. I practically live in Robbins Library (medieval studies library) because Undergraduate Medieval Society puts together so many cool events. I have no big opinion on the administration. They seem to be involved enough, but I'm really not involved with campus politics enough to know. My experience with them has always been positive. There is tons of school pride here. I think that everyone, even the people that decide to transfer, really love this school. We're just really happy here, and the only reason I've heard for transfer is that their academic interests changed or the tuition was too expensive. UR has a lot of history behind it. I think that we were the first college to admit women. Susan B. Anthony helped us out with that one :) I do mean that literally. We even have a dorm named after her. The biggest recent controversy on campus would have to be the anticipated change of meal plan options. That's also the most complained about thing (but mostly the upper classmen who sort of get ripped off by it).

Peter

Theres no school spirit, it's not a well known school, the city of Rochester sucks, the girls are ugly, I guess it's a pretty campus. The only thing you should come here for is if you want to get a degree in Poly Sci or pre med. Anything else and good luck getting into a good grad school or getting a good job

Theresa

The University of Rochester is an amazing school. I truly do love evreything about it, except for the fact that it is 7 hours from home, being that I am from NYC. But, if thats what your looking for, go for it. Even with that draw back, I still decided to come here because they gave me amazing financial aid, more than any other school I applied to. The campus is really great. There is a no much to do socially, it is impossible to get bored! U of R has a lot of schoolpride, but not as much athletic pride. The crowds at sporting events is sort of pathetic, but the student body has been making that change, by sponsing events, and getting a new maskot "Rocky". Overall...awesome school!

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