Ayanna McCoy and Jurnee Gilchrist report from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on Carver's annual spring college tour!

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Exploring the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) – home of the Hawks
Ayanna McCoy and Jurnee Gilchrist

Nestled on nearly a thousand acres of land in the middle of what seems to be farm country is the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), home of the Hawks. As our bus driver Dave navigated his way to the student center, there were goats grazing and lines for an irrigation system with remanence of crops that were already harvested. It is evident that agriculture is a major part of the school offerings. It is also hard to believe that UMES is a short drive to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. We arrived to the words OPORTUNITY and DISTINCTION prominently etched on the student center building. We learned of Jasmine Prezzie from Ms. Novelette. Jasmine was once a student on the Carver college tour, who fell in love with UMES. Jasmine enrolled and graduated from UMES. Jasmine is now pursuing a master’s degree from Fordham University. In Jasmine’s own words, “forever a Hawk”.

Even though the campus is on nearly a thousand acres of land, it is a walkable campus with only 48 buildings. There are no shuttles available or needed. UMES is a public Historically Black College and University that was founded in 1886 as a land-grant institution and has had many name changes over the years. Currently UMES has 3906 students enrolled. UMES has a warm and special feel. There is a 14 to 1 student to staff ratio. We were surprise to learn that UMES is a D1 school for athletics, however they do not have a football team. This has been the case since the 1960’s. There are 14 NCAA Division 1 intercollegiate teams and competes in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). Ninety percent of UMES students qualify for financial aid.

In order to gain admission to the school you are required to have a 2.5 GPA, SAT scores of 930 and two recommendation letters. The out-of-state tuition is $27,671 per year and in-state tuition is $17,665 per year. What stood out for us was UMES’s strong academic support for students who need extra help, the friendly environment, and the opportunity for freshmen students to have cars on campus. We can actually see ourselves at this school. It’s very well maintained and welcoming. The school is a smaller school, it gives us a home away from home vibe. We have added UMES to our short list of colleges. We feel strongly that it is a hidden gem.

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