Benefits of attending local colleges


Demi Ellenbogen
features editor

Nov. 2 is fast approaching and all over the country, seniors are putting the finishing touches on their college applications. The application process is stressful, as there are a myriad of factors to consider when choosing which colleges to apply to and eventually attend.

There are about 4,600 college institutions in the United States, 50 of which are in Maryland. The local colleges are typically popular options for students. University of Maryland at College Park, Montgomery College, Towson University and University of Maryland at Baltimore County receive about half of the senior class each year. Local schools attract students for various reasons including location, fiscality and overall campus appeal.

University of Maryland, College Park was ranked the No. 22 public institution according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Colleges list. UMCP has 92 undergraduate majors, 107 Master’s programs and 83 Doctoral programs, with 54 of the undergraduate and graduate programs ranked among the top 25.

Both the Class of 2017 and Class of 2018 had over 140 graduates attend UMCP. 2017 graduate Radley Ellenbogen (full disclosure: Ellenbogen is this reporter’s brother) is a sophomore at UMCP and a student at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, the 21st best business school according to U.S. News & World Report. “I decided to attend UMD because it offers a great business school, is close to home and has a fun sports scene,” Ellenbogen said.

Montgomery College is a cheaper alternative to a four-year college education. For students with fiscal-related issues, community college gives them an opportunity to get a quality education.

MC offers two-year associate degrees such as Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Arts in Teaching and Associate of Fine Arts. MC’s most popular programs are Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services, and Health Professions and Related Programs.

2017 graduate Thomas Nguyen is studying physical therapy at Montgomery College. Nguyen is in MTAP, a program that helps MC students transfer to UMCP. This program requires students to earn 30 credits and a 3.0 GPA. “While MC has given me access to a cheaper education, I’m working really hard in the MTAP program in hopes of transferring to UMCP,” Nguyen said.

Towson University also receives a multitude of Wootton graduates. Towson offers 64 undergraduate majors, 46 master’s programs and four doctoral degree programs. Also, with TU’s in-state tuition being less than $10,000, it is popular amongst students seeking a more affordable local education. “I chose Towson because I loved the campus, it’s not too far from home, and it was much cheaper than the other schools I applied to. I like how diverse Towson is and how open they are to all communities,” 2018 graduate Grace Darby said.

University of Maryland, Baltimore County is public research university that emphasizes science, engineering, information technology, human services and public policy. UMBC has 48 majors, 38 minors and 25 certificate programs in physical and biological sciences, social and behavioral sciences, engineering, mathematics, information technology, humanities and visual and performing arts. Their graduate school also offers 36 master’s degree programs, 24 doctoral degree programs, and 17 graduate certificate programs.