College visit: U of Delaware

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: College visit: U of Delaware
By Momoffour (Momoffour) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 12:33 pm: Edit

Yesterday our schools were closed for Rosh Hashanah so we traveled to U of Delaware.

The campus has Newark's main streets running around the campus so you have an urban feeel yet when you go into the center of campus there are lots of quad/green areas with buildings around giving a campus feel.

The freshman dorms looked run down on the outside to me but the rest of the buildings were attractive red brick Georgian style architecture. The grounds were well kept, attractive, and litter free. Dorms were not a/c and the building was hot and muggy.

They started with a video coving the history of the school and highlighting some of the programs. An adcom then spoke briefly about admission. He said that grades are more important than SATs and the trend in grades is very important. Question #23 on the application is a spot to write an essay regarding your transcript if there is a downward trend or a bad semester. He said they want to know what happened before they will consider your application.

They push their January term as a good way to go abroad and in general they push the study abroad program heavily.

Tour guide was perky and nice but the tour lasted way to long for me. She must have spoken for 15 minutes in the noisy lunchroom about the point system for their food plan and I thought who decides where to apply based on the food plan? Let's move along. I wondered off and looked at some bulletin boards. (Lots of flyers for study abroad.)

Dorm room was typical. Lots of guys on the campus, but she said ratio is 40/60 guys/girls. In general everyone looked like relaxed and happy typical suburban teenagers. Did not see much in the way of diversity.

They have an honors program and have a flyer with some detailed info on what stats it takes to get in. They have a big education department, nursing, hotel management, pre-vet, marine science and the usual host of studies.

Overall the school seemed like a nice place. If anyone knows personal stories I would enjoy hearing them. When I mention the name I have gotten many "Oh so and so went there and loved it." I think kids in general love college and would love just about anywhere they go.

By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 12:43 pm: Edit

>> She must have spoken for 15 minutes in the noisy lunchroom about the point system for their food plan and I thought who decides where to apply based on the food plan?

Get used to it. It's one of the four mandatory topics of any large university tour:

1) Extoll the virtues of the food plan. You were lucky. I think we got 30 minutes and multi-media presentation at the Chapel Hill food court!

2) Point out the blue phones to campus security and how safe they make the campus.

3) Explain that while 99.99% of the campus joins a sorority or fraternity, there are many students who don't and still fit right in.

4) Emphasize that all classes are taught by professors instead of TAs, even when that information is blatantly misleading.

By Uvadad (Uvadad) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 12:56 pm: Edit

My older daughter goes to UDEL and is very happy there. Nice campus. Nice main street.

Frankly, the long January (7+ weeks) term is somewhat problematic. It's really too long for a break, but too short to get a job. Then they are among the last schools to get out in the Spring.

Yes, some kids go on a "study" abroad program. But those are very costly. Others take a course or two.

The long winter break is about the only thing that I (as her Dad) does not like about the school.

By Momoffour (Momoffour) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 01:03 pm: Edit

Uvadad- interesting you say the winter term abroad is very expensive because I had done some research on their website and checked out the cost for some of the programs and found them to be very expensive. (5000 and up) A parent specifically asked the adcom how much more do these programs cost and he hemmed a bit and said about 2000.

In general I find these info sessions and tours boring and redundant, but feel we have to do them to show "interest."

Our next stop, and one I am looking forward to, is Penn State. That school seems to have huge school spirit.

By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 01:39 pm: Edit

the tours and info sessions let you bump schools off the list that look good on paper - also an important function, IMO.

Tours are much worse in the rain. .

A son's friend is at Penn State CP Honors on a full ride scholarship. He likes it - physics major - and gets to take unusual courses (beekeeping). Honors kids get special dorms and perks - college within a college. Hope your next trip goes well!

By Marcyr (Marcyr) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 10:39 pm: Edit

DD is a junior at UD, and loves it. She's an Elementary Ed. major, and is going on an El.Ed. Dept. program to New Zealand over Winter Session. Yes, it's expensive, but part of the cost includes the price of tuition for two classes, so when you remove that from the total cost it's not quite as frightening. She has taken Winter Session courses on campus for the past two years, so we're "saving" by not having to pay additional room & board this year. There are lots of scholarships available for Winter Session/travel programs, but of course you have to demonstrate financial need, which we don't have. DD worked this summer and is using the money she earned to help defray costs - to me, this is about as fair as life gets.

DD is also in the Honors program, and last year was a student advisor (a Russell Fellow) to freshmen in the Honors dorms. If you have specific questions about the program, I can pass them on to her. As for the lack of campus diversity that was mentioned, yes, that's a disappointment, but DD has friends all over campus, and has had the opportunity to share experiences she never would have had otherwise (how many Jewish kids do you know who are "honorary members" of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship?). When it came time to choose her school, DD chose UD over NYU. Many people thought she was nuts, but it was the right choice for her and she hasn't regretted it for a minute.

By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 12:59 am: Edit

idad - don't forget (LAC version). . .

5)Pointless detour to show the climbing wall.

By Bluejay (Bluejay) on Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 08:32 am: Edit

Our daughter is also in the honors program at UDEL and the overall experience has been very positive. The campus is very well kept except for certain dorm areas (Rodney, Dickinson, ...) New dorms are being built in another area of the campus. Older dorms on north and south campus have been renovated and have some nice charm to them. Many upperclass honors students live there. Russell Hall where all freshmen honors students live is certainly nothing to write home about but many feel it offers the best location. I personally feel that Main Street is a real plus. It just gives kids a quick outlet from dorm/residence life; and just a few steps away. CVS, bookstores, restaurants... NO it's not NYC, or Boston by any stretch but it really serves the purpose especially for those without cars. Udel is fairly large and our student felt and still feels that without the honors program she might not be so quick to recommend the school. She thought living in the honors dorm and the individual attention she received from advisors really made a difference; especially as a freshmen. The winter session can be a problem. We are from out of state and the price for her to stay and take a class or two we felt was way out of line. For instaters it's a great deal. We have not looked into winter sessions abroad as she went for a full semester. That was the same price as a regular semester on campus (air fare included).I'll try to answer any more questiond you might have.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 08:52 am: Edit

Two facts about University of Delaware that I find interesting:

1) It was founded in 1743. Let me repeat. SEVENTEEN Forty Three!

2) U of Delaware is ranked among the top 5 or 6 in Chemical Engineering.

By Bluejay (Bluejay) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 09:35 am: Edit

I saw on another thread that you have a daughter at UVA also. How would you compare the overall experiences of your daughters' at UVA and UDEL?


By Pamvanw (Pamvanw) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 09:20 am: Edit

Bluejay - I love your question! We had a daughter go to UVA & a son go elsewhere. (a top 50 school) UVA was in my mind above & beyond in every respect. Now our third child wants to go to Virginia Tech & I'm hoping to have as positive an experience with that Virginia school.

By Uvadad (Uvadad) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 02:15 pm: Edit


Yes, one at UVa (first year) the other at UDEL (Junior). The schools have some similarity. Similar in size and feel. Both are in suburban type areas. Both have good football teams in their division.

But, they have some big differences. Certainly, they have different academic rankings which will attract different kids. The courses (at least the liberal arts classes) at UVa appear to be more rigorous.

UVa also has very strong school spirit and exceptionally number of clubs and activities. Very high attendance at games, etc.

UDEL has a much nicer main street and also has a good social environment.

The cost is also different. UVa for out-of-staters (fortunately we are in-state) is very high. UDEL is more reasonable for out-of-state and they have a very high percentage of out-of-state students.

Both are very happy, but on the other hand, they are happy kids to begin with.

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