Campus Visit Debriefing: University of Delaware

I've book-ended my IECA Summer Training Institute trip with college visits.  University of Delaware was my "before" stop!  I visited UD on Tuesday, July 28, 2015.

University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware

Fun fact: Vice President Joe Biden is an alumnus and still shows up at campus events.  Read about him here.

Ease of application: UD accepts the Common App.  When applying, you apply directly to a major, not to a college.  It is highly recommended that you put a first and second choice major so that you increase your odds of acceptance, especially if you are applying to a competitive major like nursing or engineering.  The primary considerations for your application are your high school transcript (both rigor and performance) and your SAT or ACT scores.  Secondary considerations include your essay, activities/talent/involvement, and letters of recommendation (one letter is required).  SAT Subject Tests are recommended for those applying for the Honors program or a competitive major.  While there is a January 15 deadline, applications are accepted and decisions are made on a rolling basis.  Your admissions application doubles as your merit scholarship application if you are accepted.

Overall impression: The feeling I took away from my tour is that UD wants its students to succeed academically but that it also wants them to have a good time doing so.  There's a big rah-rah spirit here, even if the teams aren't the most successful.  Newark is a nice little town with plenty of places to eat.  There are over 400 student organizations here, and 20% of the student go Greek.  The school also attracts big names in politics and entertainment.  So, lots going on.  About 80% of the freshman live around a central "beach" (which is really a turf field?), giving new students many opportunities for bonding that first year.  The whole student body is only about 30% Delawarians (what in the world does one call a person from Delaware??), so there is some geographic diversity to enliven the experience.

On the academic success side, here are a few interesting things I learned about UD:

  • Every student must complete a "Discovery Learning Experience," which can be research, study abroad, or an internship.
  • University of Delaware was the first university in the nation to establish a study abroad program.  The year was 1923 and the country was France.  Dare to be first, Delaware!
  • First semester of freshman year, a student's assigned adviser picks the student's schedule.  I found this fascinating.  The student will meet with the adviser to communicate what he wants to take, but the adviser makes the ultimate decision about what he needs to take.  Schedules are sent out about one week prior to the beginning of the semester.

There's your quick take on the University of Delaware.  Interested in checking it out?  Go!  The "Blue Hen Ambassador" (tour guide) I had was awesome: Tiana, I believe was her name?  It's a loooong tour, but she made it informative and enjoyable, even in the sweltering heat.  Ask for her!  ...or for someone whose name sounds like Tiana, since I'm not 100% sure about that.