Athens, OH: Athens is described as a college town because Ohio University doubles the population to 40,000. The university reminds me of those seen in movies – very idyllic with many brick buildings. A brick street winds through most of the campus, and a small pond is framed with a bridge, gazebo, trees, and benches. The architecture is aesthetically very pleasing, but the icing on the cake is the remodeled Baker University Center, a breathtaking building containing the first escalators in all of Athens County.
Athens is relatively far from large cities in Ohio; the closest would be Columbus, which is an hour away. It receives its “party school” reputation because the university has many programs to entertain students. OU boasts a brand-new recreation facility, the Ping Center, that is open to students, faculty, and staff, featuring five gymnasiums, a track, aerobics, weight training, martial arts, and even a climbing wall!
I toured the Alden Library, a building that can seat 3,000, is outfitted with numerous computers, and is open to the public seven days a week (during the school year). The entire university has wireless Internet and all of the necessary athletic facilities to keep NCAA Division I teams at the top of their game.
Not many universities have even one award-winning college, but Ohio University has nine, which offer more than 250 undergraduate majors. They are the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Fine Arts, Health and Human Services, Honors Tutorial, Osteopathic Medicine, Engineering and Technology, Communication, and University College. Within these, there is certainly something to capture any student’s interest.
The only drawback is the dorms. The two-person room is small and, despite the mini-fridge and microwave, there seems little storage for even half of the clothes I’d want to bring. The tour guide said students can bring a television, but it appears impossible to find a spot for it. Students are required to live in dorms for a minimum of two years.
The tuition is reasonable, with fees for Ohio residents totaling $17,223 and $26,187 for out-of-state students, with many scholarship opportunities available.
Ohio University left a wonderful and lasting impression on me. The administration displays their desire for student success in its modern features, their emphasis on small class size, and their top-notch programs. Attending a smaller school will also give me many opportunities to meet people and live in a close-knit community that feels like where I grew up. I also like the fact that it takes just ten minutes to cross campus. Ohio University may seem too good to be true, but I assure you, this superb educational institution exists.
Find out more at ohio.edu.