Campus: Located in West Philadelphia, Drexel’s campus is fully immersed in the city. It’s in an area called University City, which also houses the University of Pennsylvania and University of the Sciences.
Although it’s in a big city, when I walked around campus I never felt lost because all of Drexel’s buildings are within a short distance of each other. This made being in the city less overwhelming because the campus was easy to navigate and felt safe.
According to The College Board, Drexel has over 16,000 enrolled undergraduates and an acceptance rate of 75 percent. The mid-range of accepted SAT scores after March 1 are 590-710 for math and 580-680 for evidence based reading and writing. The mid-range of accepted ACT scores is 25-30.
Cost: Rather than following the traditional semester schedule followed by many colleges, Drexel is on a quarter system with a new term about every three months. Tuition for both in-state and out-of-state is $16,220 per term, not including room and board and other additional fees.
Drexel is also unlike other colleges because of their co-op program. Drexel Co-op allows students to work full-time in their field of interest for a six-month period. Although you can choose to stay in Philadelphia for co-ops, Drexel is aligned with 1,703 employers in 35 states and 45 countries. During my visit, I don’t think I heard the words “study abroad” once, but I don’t mind this because you have the opportunity to work abroad which is really cool.
Students have the option of either graduating in four years with one co-op or graduating in five years with three co-ops. Either way, most students are expected to take classes during the summer term in order to stay on track toward graduation. At first I was skeptical about taking classes in the summer because this would mean less time for going to the beach, but the median gross six-month salary for students in paid co-ops is $17,160, which is statistic that definitely appeals to me.
Athletics: Drexel is a member of the NCAA and has 18 Division I teams. Drexel does not have a football team due to its location in West Philadelphia, which does not have enough space for a football stadium. This causes Drexel to push back their Homecoming to winter, featuring a men’s basketball game as the Homecoming game.
They have one of the most mythical mascots you’ll find on a college campus: a dragon named Mario the Magnificent. My tour guide explained that Mario is named after Mario V. Mascioli, an alumnus who didn’t miss a single basketball game for over 20 years.
Food and other things to do: I didn’t eat at the dining hall on campus, but my tour guide explained that the meal plans at Drexel include dining dollars along with traditional meal swipes. There are also many cool restaurants right on or near campus. When I was at Drexel, I ate at a Japanese restaurant across the street from the Admissions Visit Center called coZara that had really good sushi.
In the historic city of Philadelphia, there are plenty of museums and landmarks to visit. There are also a lot of sporting events, music venues, and trendy neighborhoods that you can explore. Drexel has a Dragon Shuttle, which provides students with free transportation into the heart of the city and back. If I go to Drexel, I could picture myself taking the shuttle on weekends to explore all that Philadelphia has to offer.
Summary: I liked Drexel’s co-op program because it’s something that can’t be found at most colleges. Having work experience can help kickstart your career after college, and this would be an advantage of attending Drexel. The only issue I found with this is if you do a co-op outside Philadelphia, it’s up to you to find housing. An admissions representative and my tour guide both said that the only assistance Drexel provides is finding other students with co-ops in the same city as you that you could be roommates with.
My visit to Drexel’s campus exceeded my expectations. Although it’s in a big city, Drexel felt like a real college campus when I walked around on my tour. Drexel has practically no green space, but none of the students seemed to mind because there’s so much to do in Philadelphia.
Christina Giovanazi is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.