Sam had off from school Monday so we made one more college visit to the University of Cincinnati, a 3 hour drive from home. He had visited there before the roadtrip with the other Sam and liked it a lot and I wanted to see it to be sure it could provide the environment I hope for him. One reason why he likes it is the urban setting in a city that is not too large but large enough to offer opportunities for fun as well as internships and the co-op program. In addition, one of his running buddies from high school is attending there now and he also knows another family in the city from a national summer leadership program he attended at American University last summer.
The main campus is small enough to be very walkable. It has some open space at one end of the campus but is fairly densely built-up everywhere else. I was reminded pretty quickly of an urban design course I took eons ago in my own college education. In that class the emphasis was in planning urban spaces to provide a focus for the narrow spaces caused by high buildings or close walls. I think the campus planners did a good job.
~~~~~~~While some college campuses plan new buildings to mimic older ones to keep a homogeneous architectural style, I only saw that in one quad where the older building on the left was joined by the facing building maybe 15-20 years later and the newest building is probably less than 10 years old.
Academically, University of Cincinnati offers 100s of major in a number of colleges and they were the first in the country to offer co-op, a program where the student gets placed in a paid work environment full-time. While this usually means the student will be enrolled for 5 years, tuition is only required for 4 and the payment received certainly can help offset college costs. The work environment better prepares the student for the post graduation work world and often leads to a job offer.
Sounds like a feasible consideration for Sam, but well behind a couple of others we visited a few weeks ago.