My SO and I visited UCLA this weekend and here are some highlights:
Everyone was absolutely wonderful. The admissions office and financial aid office staff were incredibly helpful, and available and willing to answer questions and give advice. Everyone knew my name, the atmosphere was very friendly and I felt valued as a prospective student. Overall, I believe this staff actually cares about the education of the individual students, and will be a great asset to any student who plans to attend.
I had the chance to meet and observe quiet a few faculty members during my visit. My impression of the faculty is that they are very available to help student concerns. It goes without saying that many of them are very respected in their field. Another thing that pleasantly surprised me: the faculty were casual. One professor had on the cutest suede sneakers, some corduroys, and a button down shirt. I loved that! It really contributes to the collegiate environment and makes the professor seem that much more accessible. Plus, it's comfortable.
I was shocked at how diverse UCLA appeared. Granted, there were very few URMs (but that is true of every school I've visited thus far), but the students who were there were very interesting in their own rights. At other schools, almost everyone looks like a carbon copy of everyone else, at UCLA there seemed to be a lot of interesting and different people. And although there were not a lot of URMs, there was some diversity in the sense that there were plenty of East Asian people and people of different sexual orientations and gender identities. That is a major plus in my book, I find the learning experience so much more interesting when it is diverse.
Every student I met at UCLA was cool. They were all very happy and willing to answer questions, them seemed incredibly laid back and still very intelligent. What's more, they seemed like the type of people I could hang out with and be friends with.
I think my high expectations for the campus made the actual visit a tab bit more disappointing that it would have been. The law school is a small part of the main campus. I think because I'm so used to east coast school architecture, part of me felt the school looked a little too informal. It also looked like a public school, although I don't know how to describe exactly what I mean by that. I think the student lounge is a little tiny, outdated, and doesn't seem like that great of a place to be. That being said, the library is gorgeous. Overall, I wouldn't rank the campus higher than some of the other places I've been, but I think it's very nice in its own right.
That's all I can think of for now. I walked away from UCLA extremely impressed. If you guys have any questions, I'd be happy to answer. Also, if anyone else has visited UCLA you should also post a review.