Updated Profile: Drexel University (PA)
Drexel University is one of the most popular options among New Jersey’s college-bound high school students. It’s easy to see why. Few college towns offer more for young people to do than Philadelphia while very few schools do cooperative education, aka “co-op” as thoroughly as Drexel. There are many universities that offer co-op for engineering majors, and sometimes computer science or business. But very few extend co-op to virtually every major.
Drexel University offers over 80 majors, many have concentrations that you are not likely to find at most other private universities. My last visit to Drexel took place three years ago. It became time to write an updated profile. There’s also a Pinterest page with pictures of the campus and programs.
Drexel University has the fourth-largest undergraduate enrollment of any independent (non-religious) private university in the US, after NYU, the University of Southern California and Boston University. It is also the largest private university that is firmly committed to co-op as an important part of its educational business model.
Being in the nation’s fifth most populous city is also a huge plus for work. Philadelphia has strong sectors in the arts and design, consulting, education, financial services, health care and public/non-profit management, among other industries, and lower living costs than Boston, New York or Washington DC. Drexel students graduate with impressive academic and professional resumes, often as good or better than they would have built by choosing a more selective school.
Cooperative education offers students the opportunity to alternate between periods of school and work over one, two or three years of their college education. These positions can pay quite well for students in Engineering, Computer Science, Accounting and health professions. The salaries can be high enough to cover housing and dining for a school year. But students in other majors may not be so fortunate. Their co-ops are more likely to be for the experience than the salary. Co-op may also add an extra year’s housing costs as well as student fees though a student will pay only four years of tuition. Costs are more of an issue at Drexel. Without scholarships, the total cost of attendance will surpass $70,000 for the coming academic year.
The resources and incredibly diverse academic offerings are here, but it is also possible to be overwhelmed. Drexel University offers so many opportunities for a mature student who feels ready to tackle city life to find their path, as long as they do their homework, float a financial boat and work as closely as possible with career and academic advisors. This university offers better preparation for life than most, as long as a student enters with some idea of what they want academically and can cover the costs.
The Report Card: Drexel University
- Four-Year/Six Year Graduation Rates: Not Applicable/B
- Freshman Retention: B+
- Costs: C
- Curriculum: A
- Community: A
- Comforts: B
- Connections: A
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