The Sims 2: University is the first expansion pack (EP) for the Sims 2 base game. You must have installed Sims 2 for this expansion pack to work.
It shouldn't be surprising to find that the University EP is primarily about University. The EP has three univesity campuses that you can add to your neighborhoods, plus the option of designing a custom campus if you wish. Teenage Sims from your neighborhood will have the option to start university any time they like, but they must start before turning adult. There are a number of benefits for a teen to go to university: there are 4 new careers - show business, paranormal, natural science and artist - that you must have a degree to obtain, they gain two additional want slots and one additional lock to hold a want or fear in place, and they can change their aspiration wants once.
Other things the EP will add to your game; pranks and new interactions such as hanging out or playing kicky bag. There are new clothes for young adults, and kiosks that sell cell phones, mp3 players and handheld games. Other new items include more music instruments, new exercise equipment, arcade games, pool tables and more. The kiosks and other new items can be placed in any of your neighborhood shops, they don't have to stay on campus.
When you have just installed University for the first time, you may want to either create your own students or play one of the ones already on campus to get a feel for how university works. Don't make the mistake I did and move teens from your families into the campus from the campus view. Have them ring from home first and apply for scholarships. SnootySims has the complete list of scholarships and values. Teen sims with no scholarships get §500 to start their university life. Not a lot of money, but they don't need a lot to survive.
Choose between living in a dorm, living in a house or joining a Greek house.
A semester lasts 72 hours. During that 72 hours, your student needs to gain any skill points related to the major and learn enough of the topic to pass the class. The game will warn you not to miss the final exam or the student's grade will suffer. Heed that warning, I had one student miss a final and had a C for the semester. On reload, she made it to the final and got an A. There are a total of 8 academic semesters, plus a lot of 72 hours for a graduate to leave the university campus. All up, it takes some time to put a Sim through University.
There are many ways for a student to pass a class.
Not only is there scholarship money for qualified students, but if you are sending teenage Sims from your family to University, you could give them some valuable or useful items to take with them. Useful items to give to your students include a bed, desk, chair and computer. Valuable would be expensive artwork or electronics that they can sell as a profit.
While on campus, there are three primary methods of earning money. The first is easy, a student gets money from the University at the end of every semester if they have a passing grade or better. The money increases for higher grades and a 4.0 earns §1200. The second method is to take a temporary job. You can work as a bartender, cafeteria cook or barista. The job lasts as long as you want, just leave and the regular person comes back. The third method is to earn tips via musical instruments or freestyle. Highly creative students will excel at this and make excellent tips.
If a student fails a semester twice, they will get kicked out of school. They can also call the college to quit school.
Once they leave, that's it. They become normal adult sims and will be in the Sim bin ready to move into a new home. If they had more than §20,000 at the time they left, that's the cash they will have. If they had less, their cash supply is increased to the §20,000 mark.
Semester time passes as long as the student is anywhere on campus. If you want to stop the clock for them, have them call a taxi and go to one of the community lots in another neighborhood.
Extremely important tip. University graduates should not use the paper to find a job. Use a computer to find a job. The computer will allow them to get a job at a much higher level, the newspaper only shows the entry level jobs. A graduate, who has a 4.0 GPA and has maxed the correct skills, can find employment at level 9 of 10 in fields related to their major. If reaching the top of a profession is their life time want, they will be able to fill that want in no time.
There is an annoying bug that causes the academic progress bar to be glitched for some students. You can tell if their academic progress is ok by taking them to a community lot. I have a couple of students that I need to send to a different lot in the last 12 hours before finals to ensure they are ready.
On the official bulletin boards for Sims 2, some people state that this is their favorite expansion. It's not my favorite, the eight semesters gets a bit tedious once you work out a good pattern. But Sims who go through University will have such an advantage in life. They have more time to build skills, make friends and have a lovely diploma at the end of the experience. So all of the teenage Sims from my favorite families will go to University. Many times, they want a friend as well and I'll put the friend through too.
I find it amusing that on the Sims 2 BBS, many people complain about the quality of the Maxis dorms. The rooms are quite small and not decorated. I've lived in a dorm and the rooms are pretty spot on for the type I was in.
You can find my Sims 2 page here.