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Old 10-13-2011, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Back and Forth FRANCE
2,714 posts, read 2,684,361 times
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I'm looking for a smaller town. A bit of "naturalness" where I can do a bit of hiking. Live at a slower pace. I was thinking of leaving the state but in this economy, that may not be a great idea right now.

I'm thinking of going to Frostburg State maybe to study something in the computer field. I'm a Black male, Conservative, not a partier, kinda a nature lover.
I think I heard some things about western Maryland about racial issues a few years back. How are the racial issues in Frostburg?

I hope to visit soon. Just want to know what the previous/current residents may think about the Frostburg area and the school Frostburg state.

Give me the Good AND Bad please.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,260 posts, read 8,464,262 times
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Frostburg is a small town, nice mountain sceneary, a college town vibe, active bar scene, within a 5-10 minute drive of state parks to hike, and enjoy. It is walkable too, with an active Main St. The college provides many cultural and entertainment activities to students and community members alike.

About 1/2 the town is rundown student rentals. The students act like animals, the streets are filthy, loud at all hours of the night, fights are so common place, they are put up on Youtube for entertainment. Search 'Bowery St. Frostburg" and you will probably find some. I wouldn't want to live there unless I was into the college party scene.

The other half of the town is old white people in overpriced houses because the desire for housing outside the rental district drives prices up. You don't get good value for your $$$ in Frostburg when compared to the rest of Allegany County.

Also FSU is one of the lowest ranked schools in the state. The school RAISED their minimum SAT score for admission from 800 to 1000 this year. It is a school of last resort for many people. It has a high percent of Pell grant students. College is what you make it, but an FSU education isn't the same as a College Park or UMBC education.

The weather from mid-Oct to mid-March is cold, windy and very snowy. Snowy as in it is not rare for it to snow every night for weeks on end. We call it a "skiff" meaning it snowed, but not enough to worry about. Luckily the city is equipped and keeps the main arteries pretty clean. The summer temperatures are nice. 90s are very rare, and it always cools down to the 60s at night with a nice breeze off the mountain.

In terms of race, the city has alot of PG county and Baltimore City Pell grant students that attend FSU (which is about 25% black overall.) Most are your average college students, but there was an ugly shooting death after a "Step Show" last year. Many were quick to react to it as evidence that typical down-state black on black violence was making its way up here because enrollment standards at the school had been lowered.

I wouldn't call Frostburg "racist" as a town because 1/2 of it is diverse student rentals and the other half is the liberals that work at the college. If you do make the move, stick to the city limits. There is virtually no diversity in the small towns that surround Frostburg.

Last edited by westsideboy; 10-13-2011 at 09:43 PM..
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:02 AM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
388 posts, read 699,188 times
Reputation: 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
About 1/2 the town is rundown student rentals. The students act like animals, the streets are filthy, loud at all hours of the night, fights are so common place, they are put up on Youtube for entertainment. Search 'Bowery St. Frostburg" and you will probably find some. I wouldn't want to live there unless I was into the college party scene.
Ehhhh... I'd say that's a bit of an overstatement. Wood St, Center St, Bowery St, College Ave, and that general vicinity are definitely the predominantly party/college housing streets, emanating outward (especially on the more rundown streets). The other parts of the "old town," so to speak, are mostly lower to middle class neighborhoods with college rentals interspersed. Other parts of the in-town area are pretty nice, like McCulloh and Washington Streets (east of Grant), Main Street, and the Frost Avenue area (basically the Washington St. of Frostburg, i.e. brick-paved, tree-lined, large historic homes). While Bowery Street isn't exactly where I'd want to raise my family, I can tell you that the most rundown house on Bowery would likely be one of the nicest on Grant Avenue in the Sunnyside neighborhood adjacent to WVU.

With that being said, Frostburg has more new housing and McMansions than any other town in the county, at least in part because of the university. Main Street is a real gem, lined with Victorians, coffeehouses, bars, pizza joints, ethnic restaurants, a Tastee Freeze, etc. As far as outdoor activities go, Frostburg sits near the top of Big Savage Mountain at the eastern edge of the Allegheny Front. The Great Allegheny Passage runs through town and is great for hiking and biking. Dan's Mountain/Dan's Rock Overlook are five minutes away. Deep Creek Lake, Wisp, Swallow Falls, New Germany, etc. etc. are all 30 minutes or so west. With its location high in the Appalachian Mountains, Frostburg weather is completely different than anything you're used to downstate. Expect mild summers, cold, precipitous winters, and four, very distinct seasons. Any non-local student will tell you that the "freak weather" is right up there with the culture shock.

The student population consists of kids from all over the state and some nearby states like Virginia and Pennsylvania. The student body is largely made up of locals (Allegany and Garrett Counties), kids from Washington County, and black students from PG/Charles/Bmore, etc. Other than that, you have the ones that come to party (Frostburg is a party school), the ones that come to play sports, and the ones that come with a big scholarship.

If you were going to become a teacher, I would definitely recommend Frostburg but otherwise it has "meh" academics. As WSB stated, you're not going to get the kind of education you would get at College Park or UMBC (or even Towson really). With that being said, I've talked to people who think coming to Frostburg was the best decision they've ever made---people that gained a new perspective after making their first real foray out of the urbanized BosWash. As was stated, college will be what you make of it and if a small college in a little mountain town is what you're looking for, or even if you're just looking for someplace different, you might be pleasantly surprised by FSU.

I'm glad I chose not to go there, but I'm from Allegany County and it would've been like the 13th grade for me. I couldn't be more satisfied with my decision to come to a big flagship university fresh out of high school, but everybody's different. If you do go to Frostburg State, make sure you really get involved, as there isn't much else to do. Remember, Cumberland is as "city" as it gets for about 70 miles in every direction.
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:30 AM
 
Location: NYC
7,257 posts, read 11,553,471 times
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You got great opinions from a local, but from a visitors' perspective, I like the area a lot. Can't guess about racial attitudes but I did see some black folk walking about downtown. If you visit this fall you might check out Frostburg via the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad from Cumberland. I think we got 1.5 hours to wander about Frostburg when I was there earlier this month. It's a very cool ride. We ate at Dante's, which is the local "cool kids" hangout, I suppose. Good food and beer with actual vegetarian options.
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Old 10-16-2011, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,260 posts, read 8,464,262 times
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DRS, you are more forgiving of the students than I am. The college rental district is expanding more and more every year. The upper floors of the buildings on Main St. are almost all college rentals. Welsh Hill Rd. (at the top) is almost all college rentals. And don't forget about those first couple blocks of Frost, W. College, and all of Beall, Broadway, Paul St. etc. Basically anything South of Main St. and East of the Locust St. is college rental until you hit Grant St. The only real non-rental places are that narrow strip around Mt. Ridge, Snob Knob (Victoria Ln.) the area up by Frost Elementary, and the upper blocks of W. College and Frost. It is about a 50/50 split. With the 50% that is not college rental being very pricey (by Allegany County standards). I know because I was hypothetical house shopping up there.

As for the college, it isn't a local college anymore. I had the stats at one point, but can't find them now. But anyway Allegany County students are about 20% of the student population or less. The county with the second most students attending is PG county. All in all, I think significantly less than 1/2 of the students are "locals." As our area's population declined, the school had to start recruiting students from out of the area...it didn't work and enrollment was getting dangerously low until the school dropped its admissions standards to the 800 SAT score. This "is what it is" as they say, but it isn't "our" college like it was even when I college aged about 15 years ago.

Anyway, I think Frostburg works for people of the age to enjoy the college crowd, or those that can afford to live in the upscale places. I admit, I am thinking like an old man here, but I wouldn't want to live or raise kids in the 1/2 of town where your neighbors change every year and are under the age of 22. But that is just me. It isn't a bad place, just a place for college kids and the upper middle class. It wasn't always this way, but it is now. I can count several "exiles" from Frostburg that grew up there, but now live in Eckhart, or the other surrounding towns because their childhood homes were swallowed up by the rental area and can't afford to live in the other parts of town.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
9,396 posts, read 14,053,777 times
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I'll chime in and say that if you want a good computer-related education you'll wanna look into UMCP or UMBC.

It's not the same as living out in a small town near the sticks, but I know we've got a hiking club on campus and I'm sure UMBC has something similar.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:05 AM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
388 posts, read 699,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
DRS, you are more forgiving of the students than I am. The college rental district is expanding more and more every year. The upper floors of the buildings on Main St. are almost all college rentals. Welsh Hill Rd. (at the top) is almost all college rentals. And don't forget about those first couple blocks of Frost, W. College, and all of Beall, Broadway, Paul St. etc. Basically anything South of Main St. and East of the Locust St. is college rental until you hit Grant St. The only real non-rental places are that narrow strip around Mt. Ridge, Snob Knob (Victoria Ln.) the area up by Frost Elementary, and the upper blocks of W. College and Frost. It is about a 50/50 split. With the 50% that is not college rental being very pricey (by Allegany County standards). I know because I was hypothetical house shopping up there.
Haha well I am of college age so that probably explains my being more forgiving of the students. I guess I forgot about all those other streets but you're definitely right. Don't forget Braddock Estates and that general vicinity as another big area that's non-student.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
As for the college, it isn't a local college anymore. I had the stats at one point, but can't find them now. But anyway Allegany County students are about 20% of the student population or less. The county with the second most students attending is PG county. All in all, I think significantly less than 1/2 of the students are "locals." As our area's population declined, the school had to start recruiting students from out of the area...it didn't work and enrollment was getting dangerously low until the school dropped its admissions standards to the 800 SAT score. This "is what it is" as they say, but it isn't "our" college like it was even when I college aged about 15 years ago.
Thanks for clearing that up. I go to WVU so I'm not exactly the authority on all things FSU but I just went off what I knew, which is that a lot of locals go there (which, I guess, doesn't equate to a large percentage of the overall population), that it's a top choice for kids from Hagerstown, and that a lot of kids from the majority black areas of the state come up to school there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
Anyway, I think Frostburg works for people of the age to enjoy the college crowd, or those that can afford to live in the upscale places. I admit, I am thinking like an old man here, but I wouldn't want to live or raise kids in the 1/2 of town where your neighbors change every year and are under the age of 22. But that is just me. It isn't a bad place, just a place for college kids and the upper middle class. It wasn't always this way, but it is now. I can count several "exiles" from Frostburg that grew up there, but now live in Eckhart, or the other surrounding towns because their childhood homes were swallowed up by the rental area and can't afford to live in the other parts of town.
Agreed. If you're looking for house parties, bars, and the like, Frostburg is your place to be in Allegany County. If you're not looking for the college life, you're limited to more upscale neighborhoods for the most part. I think "college kids" and "upper middle class" are pretty accurate descriptions of the respective groups in Frostburg. Some of the people I went to school with were quite the snobs.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:26 PM
 
Location: California
61 posts, read 116,696 times
Reputation: 59
I am a Frostburg State Alumnus, class of 2005. The town was a pretty nice area back when I went to school there and the school itself had higher standards and better professors from what I hear about the place nowadays. Most of the college rentals were on Main and Bowery, and many people just moved into the new appt. complex that went up not too long ago. Frostburg is a beautiful place with nice mountain views and plenty of nature to offer. Dan's Rock is a must-see area up there . The downtown area has that nice old-world feel to it due to the appearance of the housing, so if you are into that, then you'll like it. The weather is hit or miss depending on what you think is comfortable. Personally, I love the cold weather, so it worked out well for me with all of the snow, but if you don't like cold temps then you'll hate it in the winter time. My roommates and I would joke about the place deserving to be named Frostburg due to the weather, so that is something to keep in mind if you plan on settling there. Summers are amazing, though. When I was there, the downtown area was always alive with plenty of drunk and crazy college kids roaming about and doing what drunk and crazy college kids do. If you like that kind of thing, then you'll feel right home, however, it got old really fast for me and I was a college kid myself at the time. I hear that it has gotten much worse because more rental units are appearing and the students are spreading out further and further around the town.

As far as students from PG/DC/Baltimore, they started to really trickle in about a year before I graduated. We had a small pocket of people from those areas, mostly from Baltimore, but they just kind of kept to themselves and focused on sports and the activities that the BSA would put together. Unfortunately, there was violence, particularly at the dances. My roommate talked me into going to one dance and it got cut short due to a major brawl between the African-Americans and the Jamaicans and Africans. Unfortunately, African-American vs. Jamaican/African was a running theme when I attended the school. We even had a major dust up during bingo night at The Lane Center where an African won and started taunted the African-Americans and.....well, tables got knocked over, bingo chips went flying everywhere, and 5 people had to be carried out on stretchers. There was never any gun violence involved, so the place must have gotten worse in this regard. I am shocked that the school has become 25% black. It was more like about 8-9% when I went there. I guess more people are finding out about the school and finding that it is more affordable then the other schools in the state. Unfortunately, some of those people are bringing the negative ideas and practices of their home environment with them, it would seem.

As far as racial issues, I had one experience at the 7-11 on main street. There was a group of people chatting at the cash register and when I entered, they all went silent and every eye in the room followed me around the store as I shopped. When I rang out, the cashier said something smart to me and had an attitude while the others just gave me that "what the hell are you doing here" look. As I walked out of the store, I heard low, angry whispering and laughter. That was the only negative racial experience I had there in 3 years (I transferred to Frosty after freshman year). I had no real problems fitting in there, and I have friends there who are friends for life. I have been invited to nights out on the town, to private parties off campus, and even to upscale dinners. My professors went out of their way to help me, often outside of working hours, as well. I'm of mixed heritage, and yes, I am a minority. However, aside from the 7-11 experience, I was accepted with open arms and included in more activities than I can think of. None of my black friends ever complained much about racism or being discriminated against, either. They talked about getting strange stares and hearing the occassional ignorant comment every once in a blue moon (especially in the Wal-Mart down in Lavale) because there weren't many black people up there at the time. I had an overall positive experience while I was there, but I am only one person. I can only tell you that, from my own experience, there is not much racism up there, however, you will find ignorant people no matter where you go. Most of the people are nice, but be mindful that you are in a small town and you may encounter the occassional idiot with a closed mind.

I think the main question that you need to ask is about employment. Frostburg isn't exactly a booming metropolis with tons of jobs available for everyone. It took me months to find a job and that was as a part time assistant at the Baby Bull Gym on Main (and this was during better times, I might add)! My roommate took a meager job at the lane center that payed just enough to afford him 1-2 books for his classes and a couple of cheap beers on the weekend. Another friend drove back and forth to Cumberland to work part time as a computer repair tech for $10 per hour while juggling a heavy course load. Others were on scholarship and/or had parents that were very well off. This was during far better times, so I don't even want to know what the situation is at this point up there. It was not the easiest place to make a living back when the economy was actually booming, so good luck if you make the move.
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,260 posts, read 8,464,262 times
Reputation: 3691
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowlynx View Post
I am a Frostburg State Alumnus, class of 2005. The town was a pretty nice area back when I went to school there and the school itself had higher standards and better professors from what I hear about the place nowadays. Most of the college rentals were on Main and Bowery, and many people just moved into the new appt. complex that went up not too long ago. Frostburg is a beautiful place with nice mountain views and plenty of nature to offer. Dan's Rock is a must-see area up there . The downtown area has that nice old-world feel to it due to the appearance of the housing, so if you are into that, then you'll like it. The weather is hit or miss depending on what you think is comfortable. Personally, I love the cold weather, so it worked out well for me with all of the snow, but if you don't like cold temps then you'll hate it in the winter time. My roommates and I would joke about the place deserving to be named Frostburg due to the weather, so that is something to keep in mind if you plan on settling there. Summers are amazing, though. When I was there, the downtown area was always alive with plenty of drunk and crazy college kids roaming about and doing what drunk and crazy college kids do. If you like that kind of thing, then you'll feel right home, however, it got old really fast for me and I was a college kid myself at the time. I hear that it has gotten much worse because more rental units are appearing and the students are spreading out further and further around the town.

As far as students from PG/DC/Baltimore, they started to really trickle in about a year before I graduated. We had a small pocket of people from those areas, mostly from Baltimore, but they just kind of kept to themselves and focused on sports and the activities that the BSA would put together. Unfortunately, there was violence, particularly at the dances. My roommate talked me into going to one dance and it got cut short due to a major brawl between the African-Americans and the Jamaicans and Africans. Unfortunately, African-American vs. Jamaican/African was a running theme when I attended the school. We even had a major dust up during bingo night at The Lane Center where an African won and started taunted the African-Americans and.....well, tables got knocked over, bingo chips went flying everywhere, and 5 people had to be carried out on stretchers. There was never any gun violence involved, so the place must have gotten worse in this regard. I am shocked that the school has become 25% black. It was more like about 8-9% when I went there. I guess more people are finding out about the school and finding that it is more affordable then the other schools in the state. Unfortunately, some of those people are bringing the negative ideas and practices of their home environment with them, it would seem.

As far as racial issues, I had one experience at the 7-11 on main street. There was a group of people chatting at the cash register and when I entered, they all went silent and every eye in the room followed me around the store as I shopped. When I rang out, the cashier said something smart to me and had an attitude while the others just gave me that "what the hell are you doing here" look. As I walked out of the store, I heard low, angry whispering and laughter. That was the only negative racial experience I had there in 3 years (I transferred to Frosty after freshman year). I had no real problems fitting in there, and I have friends there who are friends for life. I have been invited to nights out on the town, to private parties off campus, and even to upscale dinners. My professors went out of their way to help me, often outside of working hours, as well. I'm of mixed heritage, and yes, I am a minority. However, aside from the 7-11 experience, I was accepted with open arms and included in more activities than I can think of. None of my black friends ever complained much about racism or being discriminated against, either. They talked about getting strange stares and hearing the occassional ignorant comment every once in a blue moon (especially in the Wal-Mart down in Lavale) because there weren't many black people up there at the time. I had an overall positive experience while I was there, but I am only one person. I can only tell you that, from my own experience, there is not much racism up there, however, you will find ignorant people no matter where you go. Most of the people are nice, but be mindful that you are in a small town and you may encounter the occassional idiot with a closed mind.

I think the main question that you need to ask is about employment. Frostburg isn't exactly a booming metropolis with tons of jobs available for everyone. It took me months to find a job and that was as a part time assistant at the Baby Bull Gym on Main (and this was during better times, I might add)! My roommate took a meager job at the lane center that payed just enough to afford him 1-2 books for his classes and a couple of cheap beers on the weekend. Another friend drove back and forth to Cumberland to work part time as a computer repair tech for $10 per hour while juggling a heavy course load. Others were on scholarship and/or had parents that were very well off. This was during far better times, so I don't even want to know what the situation is at this point up there. It was not the easiest place to make a living back when the economy was actually booming, so good luck if you make the move.
Good post.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Back and Forth FRANCE
2,714 posts, read 2,684,361 times
Reputation: 1477
Thanks for the replies everyone! Kinda surprised about some of the opinions about Frostburg State I thought it was more highly regarded. Looking into Cumberland, now lol.

I'm think of University of Maryland.
What I've heard about Prince Georges County (College Park)has not been great, maybe I'll be able to find a quiet area.

PG is definitely more convenient transportation wise though.
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