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ctman987

Colleges and Universities in Tough Neighborhoods

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Ok so I have been doing some thinking. Currently I am a student at Manhattan College in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. There are very tough neighborhoods in the Bronx, Manhattan College is somewhat at the edge of some of these neighborhoods. The college is also located in Riverdale which is the nicest part of the Bronx and is home to multi-million dollar homes, private schools and the College of Mt St Vincent. The main areas for getting a bite to eat or picking up something at a store around the school are in very diverse and sometimes dangerous neighborhoods but nevertheless you will see hundreds of college students around these establishments each day. Right outside the school is the subway which students use non stop to get into Manhattan

Another example...Trinity College one of the nations leading urban private liberal arts schools is located in the Frog Hollow neighborhood of Hartford, CT. This is not one of Hartford's worst neighborhoods but is a struggling neighborhood but nevertheless the school and students play an integral role in the city and the neighborhood. Trinity is known nationally for the Learning Corridor which is a 175 million dollar project that is on 16 acres and features three magnet schools with specialties in all areas.

There are also major schools that are located in not so great areas such as Temple University in Philadelphia and parts of Columbia University in NYC. So what do people feel about schools like this? I think they are great. If a school is good...or has something that a student wants (and I talk from experience) kids will go there despite there location.

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The college's seem to be safe havens in those cities.

When I was applying to colleges, I had two choices on my acceptance list that were in, or around, rough areas: Fordham in the Bronx, New York City, and CUA in Brooklyn, Washington DC.

But I decided to go to suburban public school in Charlotte. :P

One of my friends went to Columbia U and he thought the area was mighty sketchy (though I know others that disagree).

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Orlando just put two new colleges an the edge of a rough neighbourhood of Paramorre (across from downtown). Florida A&M Law School and UCF media school. These just opened last year and we will see how it will change the rough neighbourhood.

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I agree. Students will always go to where the best schools are. In the case of struggling schools, however, I do think that a bad neigbhorhood can hinder that school's ability to recruit. In Augusta we have the Medical College of Georgia, which borders a very dangerous area of town. The Medical College has stopped the bad area from spreading, but in our case it has not really produced much student life outside of the day given that most students choose to live downtown and commute over to the college. Given that it is the only public medical school in the state I don't foresee it ever declining, but if a community college were in its place, I don't think it could thrive in that atmosphere..... not sure if that makes sense. :blink:

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The list is endless.. and there often seems to be major tension between the school and surrounding city in these situations. On the one hand, an affluent school with a lot of resources and often a liberal attitude wants to do its part to rejuvenate its surroundings, plus there's an aspect of self-interest, both for the sake of good PR and for the safety and comfort of its students, faculty, etc.

At the same time though, I think there's a competing tendency for such a school to turn its back on the outside community and become more insular as a consequence of perceiving the area to be threatening. Also, efforts to get involved in the community can sometimes be seen as condescending.

I'm a student at Vassar College, and these are pretty big issues on people's minds here. There's a lot of talk about how rough the surrounding city of Poughkeepsie, NY is, but also a lot of complacency when it comes to getting active in the area. It's pretty common for students here to trash Poughkeepsie, and I wonder how much hope there is when people of my generation who are supposed to be among the more 'enlightened' are so close-minded and reactionary towards anything that doesn't resemble their suburban town in New Jersey.

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At the same time though, I think there's a competing tendency for such a school to turn its back on the outside community and become more insular as a consequence of perceiving the area to be threatening. Also, efforts to get involved in the community can sometimes be seen as condescending.

I'm a student at Vassar College, and these are pretty big issues on people's minds here. There's a lot of talk about how rough the surrounding city of Poughkeepsie, NY is, but also a lot of complacency when it comes to getting active in the area. It's pretty common for students here to trash Poughkeepsie, and I wonder how much hope there is when people of my generation who are supposed to be among the more 'enlightened' are so close-minded and reactionary towards anything that doesn't resemble their suburban town in New Jersey.

Oh my God, you just described SUNY Albany! The attitudes of students toward the city matches that exactly. Basically, the city allows the student to get drunk cheap and piss all over the street and litter everywhere. Then in the morning it's referred to as "the ghetto" cause it doesn't resemble Long Island and most of the houses have TWO DOORS!!

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I am a student at Manhattan College and a lot of the students are from the New York and New Jersey area and so know the NYC area. Students are fully aware that there are parts of the Bronx are dangerous but since the school is the last subway stop on the 1 line and there is limited parking most of the students investments are made in the city - either in the Bronx (Riverdale area or by Fordham) or in Manhattan. The school newspaper regularly runs article on issues in the city including the Bronx (crime, parking, a new stadium, etc). The school has not made major investments in the Bronx but there are numerous volunteering groups and the college owns off campus apartments and many students rent off campus individually owned aparments. Since the area around the campus is not horrible students do often walk arond the main road and go to stores and restaurants there. This is differant then the Fordham in the Bronx which is in a very rough neighborhood. Students from all the Bronx colleges frequent bars and restaurants near Fordham but they do not walk the streets around Fordham. Students also go into Manhattan and other NYC colleges (Columbia, Fordham, NYU) 24/7 because of the subway which is cheap and easy.

In Hartford Trinity College did make a major investment in the neighborhood with there involvment in the Learning Corridoir They are now making a community ice rink. I cant speak for students at Trinity but my hometown is the next town over from Hartford and I am sure students frequent the downtown bars & restaurants and the suburban malls.

The Learning Corridoir

http://www.learningcorridor.org/default.htm

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Tulane & Loyola universities in New Orleans are in a very prestigious & safe area of Uptown New Orleans. 4 blocks from those universities lie some very treacherous neighborhoods, students usually don't have a reason to go too far away. A college &/or university in/near the ghetto can definitely hinder enrollment efforts because students want to go to school in a safe area, and you can't blame them. University Of South Florida in Tampa is a good example of this, good school but located in a notoriously dangerous section of Tampa, i.e. North Tampa. University Of Houston & Texas Southern University are the same way, located in the middle of Houston's 3rd Ward. Houston's 3rd Ward has some notoriously dangerous areas and some upper-class areas, the neighborhoods bordering U of H & TSU are quite rough.

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A former Yale student told me the campus was in a bad area. I don't know if that's true as I never visited. There's at least an even chance that this Yale student had lived a very sheltered life.

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USC (the one in Los Angeles) is in a pretty sketchy neighborhood. Cost a fortune to go there. I go to UNC Charlotte which is beginning to be the center of a not so good area. Crime is rampant (I got mugged there in August).

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A former Yale student told me the campus was in a bad area. I don't know if that's true as I never visited. There's at least an even chance that this Yale student had lived a very sheltered life.

It's possible. I've never been to New Haven but the crime rate is pretty high, has low household incomes, and it's quite diverse.

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In crime terms FSU is mostly known for Ted Bundy, but nearly right next to campus is the Frenchtown area which was pretty rough up until a recent revitalization effort.

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One of my friends went to Columbia U and he thought the area was mighty sketchy (though I know others that disagree).

i've heard both versions too. i thought morningside heights was very nice (and i've heard it used to be worse than it is now), but my visits have only been in the daytime.

i spent my freshman year (waaay back) at birmingham-southern college, which is located in a fairly ghetto part of town. the way it approaches its relationship with the outside world is the textbook example of how NOT to handle a bad location, IMO. fences and walls all around, a single public entrance with 24-hour security-controlled access, and (at the time) mandatory on-campus housing for new students. i realize colleges have to sell safety as part of their appeal to the effete people who are likely to enroll (what does that say about me?), but i think it's a losing game in the long run. it requires time, money, and sometimes not-so-good PR, but i think it's necessary for colleges in bad neighborhoods to engage the community in which they operate on a daily basis (not in some made-for-press-release outreach campaign at christmastime or something). the neighborhood can change the character of the college, or the college can work to change the character of the neighborhood.

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I heard some people say that Temple is in a pretty round neighborhood in Philadelphia.

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University of Chicago

Yale University

Duke University

University of Tulsa

Georgia Tech University

All in rather "iffy" areas of town.

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University of Chicago

Yale University

Duke University

University of Tulsa

Georgia Tech University

All in rather "iffy" areas of town.

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I didn't attend the school, but I did visit it, and was a little scary - the University of Washington in St. Louis, a little ironic given the St. Louis threads today I suppose.

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University of Chicago

Yale University

Duke University

University of Tulsa

Georgia Tech University

All in rather "iffy" areas of town.

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Like the fellow from Yale who undoubtedly leads a very sheltered life, this is probably the result of some surgeon's son from a gated community in suburban New Jersey or northern Virginia spreading rumours about how "sketchy" Durham is and how his RA said he'll get shot if he leaves campus.

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I'd scratch Georgia Tech off that list as well. Midtown has really turned around over the past 10 years. Now, Georgia State on the other hand........

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University of Detroit Mercy and Marygrove College are right down the street from each other on McNichols (6 mile) and had a wall around them

sorry no pics

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Yale University is not in a bad area of New Haven. The main area of Yale is located in the heart of downtown New Haven. Yale University along with the many other colleges in Greater New Haven including Southern CT State University (New Haven), Albertus Magnus College (New Haven, Quinnipiac University (Hamden) and University of New Haven (West Haven) have helped downtown New Haven become a very hip young and bustling area.

Yale is the largest downtown property owner and over the last few years has bought dozens of buildings and has brought in dozens of new restaurants and shops. Every tenant that rents from Yale must follow a strict guideline of rules which include staying open late. There are numerous well known shops like J. Crew, Urban Outfitters, Barnes & Noble (Yale Bookstore) and Ann Taylor in downtown New Haven as well as numerous independant shops, restaurants, theaters, clubs, and cafes.

Downtown New Haven is a very hip area that can be compared to the Village with New York University, Downtown Burlington, VT with UVM and Champlain College and Northampton, MA with Amherst, UMASS, Smith College, Hampshire College and Mount Holyoke College.

People are also flocking to live in downtown New Haven. Tons of new lofts, condos and apartments have opened in the city and are rapidly being grabbed up. There are also a few proposals to construct some new high rises in the city.

In conclusion YALE is NOT in a bad area!!!

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temple in philly is in one of the tougher neighborhoods in the city.

yale is funny... most of it's pretty safe, but parts of it do border some rough neighborhoods, and some of the other parts of the campus are in rough neighborhoods. the dorms are all fairly close together and only a couple of them border some of the rough areas. it's generally safe now, but 10-15 years ago, it was a much different story.

i went to GA tech for a conference and i did not feel like it was in a bad area. when i got there at 10pm, i needed dinner and walked to this little diner and i didn't feel unsafe. there were 2 nights i walked far from campus. both times it was about 1-2 miles away from campus. i didn't feel unsafe, but it wasn't the nicest of neighborhoods (the places i went were in different directions).

southern CT state university in new haven is in a fairly rough neighborhood in new haven. at least that neighborhood used to be rough. i don't know what it's like anymore. it's sort of on the outskirts and also borders one of the wealthier neighborhoods in the city.

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To reawaken this thread, I'm surprised John's Hopkins in Baltimore hasn't been mentioned. My parents wouldn't let me even apply for two reasons: 1 was the ridiculous cost ($44,000 a year is a tad on the high side) and 2 the terrible neighborhoods that border the campus.

In Virginia, I know that Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) gets a really bad name, as well as other schools in the city and region (Virginia Union University, Virginia State, etc)... VCU's not in the greatest section of downtown, but I didn't feel unsafe on or around campus when I visited. There is a large homeless population at Monroe Park, however, and makes the area appear a tad shady-seeming, but there's certainly not as many psychotic (not meaning offense, but rather diagnosing apparent mental problems) persons as live in the vicinity of Harvard when I visited.

And then CNU... My lovely school :) We're our own little bubble in Newport News. Parts of the city are pretty sketch--particularly the southern end of the city (dubbed, however, The East End). CNU, however, is having a positive impact on this section of the city, with hundreds of millions of dollars of investments and a rapidly increasing profile for the school. Our campus is pretty reminiscent of William and Mary -- wooded with large, collonaded brick buildings, and a cupola-topped library under construction.

Those are the examples I have that were not already mentioned, but I'll try to come up with others...

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