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Value of an Amherst degree?

minoafrauminoafrau Posts: 519Registered User Member
edited May 2011 in Amherst College
D. has been accepted to Amherst, which we are thrilled about. Still needs to ascertain it is the best fit for her, but trying to weigh the "prestige" factor.

Do you think a degree from Amherst is more "valuable" when it comes to grad school admissions, job opportunities, etc. than a degree from schools such as Colgate or Kenyon?

If any parent or graduate has anecdotal evidence they can share, it would be appreciated.
Post edited by minoafrau on
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Replies to: Value of an Amherst degree?

  • Anonymous315Anonymous315 Posts: 103Registered User Junior Member
    Significantly. They're not even in the same tier. I'm familiar with all three schools, having grown up a block away from one of them, and looked at the other two in my college search, and I would rank them very easily as:

    1. Amherst
    2. Kenyon
    3. Colgate

    In terms of prestige.

    I'm pre-med, so I can share those stats with you if you'd like, all of which agree with my rankings:

    Graduates of Amherst have over a 98% acceptance rate into med-school
    Kenyon's is around 90%
    Colgate has an acceptance rate of 65-80%
  • minoafrauminoafrau Posts: 519Registered User Member
    Med school acceptance rates can be misleading--those numbers can by skewed by the fact that the institutions "weed" out a great number of students or by only supporting a limited number of med school applicants.
  • RetterRetter Posts: 125Registered User Junior Member
    There's really no debate here.... Amherst is a top tier school, comparable with Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Williams, and several others. Every stat--not just med school ones--will support that.
  • Anonymous315Anonymous315 Posts: 103Registered User Junior Member
    I only quoted the Med school stat because it's the one I know. And it can be misleading, but I know for a fact that Amherst and its faculty provide the same amount of support for every student. They'll write students a recommendation regardless of where they fall, and nobody is "weeded out" by the college or faculty. The only thing that would "weed out" kids would be the pre-med courses like Orgo, but that's not intended to weed kids out, nor is it unique to Amherst.
  • kpng12kpng12 Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    Would anyone know the law school feeder rate at Williams vs Amherst?
  • willpostforfoodwillpostforfood Posts: 26Registered User New Member
    vs Middlebury?
  • Anonymous315Anonymous315 Posts: 103Registered User Junior Member
    I don't know the law-school acceptance off the top of my head, and didn't get any results with a really quick search, but I know Amherst and Williams are both top feeder schools to all post-undergrad experiences (law school, med school, etc.). I don't know the exact comparisons, but they're likely only marginally different.

    Middlebury isn't bad, but I doubt that it's got as much success as Amherst or Williams.
  • kpng12kpng12 Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    hmm, i've recently become enamored with amherst; but with the ultimate goal of going to law school, i dont know the relative value of a liberal arts schools vs a more standard school like duke or michigan or even dartmouth
  • Anonymous315Anonymous315 Posts: 103Registered User Junior Member
    Way back in 2003, the WSJ established a list of top feeder schools, and Williams and Amherst were in the top 10, along with Duke and Dartmouth. That's extremely dated, but should convey that LACs aren't at a disadvantage when it comes to post-grad opportunities.

    The smaller LACs like Williams, Amherst, and Swarthmore may have less name recognition among the general public (especially people in the west coast or deep south), but among the admissions at top Law schools and Med schools, they carry the same weight as Ivies. Scan through the forum a bit and you'll find those three LACs commonly mentioned in the same sentence as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.
  • Dad2Dad2 Posts: 532Registered User Member
    ^ True. And unlike the lesser ivies (those other than HYP), the students attending Amherst, Williams and Swarthmore generally want to be there ( not a default choice because they didn't get in to a "better" school)- i.e. they value the undergraduate emphasis with an amazing peer group, close interactions with top faculty (and not TA's or enormous auditoriums with CCTV).
  • RetterRetter Posts: 125Registered User Junior Member
    Well put, Dad2.
  • pleaseadvisepleaseadvise Posts: 417Registered User Member
    better value on the East coast, and w/alums. Often you will hear a West coaster say: "So, you went to UMass Amherst, what was that like?" Like going to Wesleyan- you gotta explain which of 20 Wesleyans to which you are referring. Sounds stupid I realize, but nobody mistakes Harvard or Princeton or Duke for anything other than what they are. Although occasionally someone will mistake Harvard as being located in Harvard, MA rather than Cambridge.
  • LoremIpsumLoremIpsum Posts: 3,471Registered User Senior Member
    Often you will hear a West coaster say: "So, you went to UMass Amherst, what was that like?" Like going to Wesleyan- you gotta explain which of 20 Wesleyans to which you are referring.

    My favorite is someone says they will be going to Harvey Mudd and the person responds: "Harvard Med? Congratulations! I didn't know you were planning to become a doctor!"
  • RetterRetter Posts: 125Registered User Junior Member
    Everybody in education knows the top LACs. Unless you're looking to impress some random person on the street, you won't have to worry about Amherst getting confused with UMass.
  • JudyLeeJudyLee Posts: 58Registered User Junior Member
    One of my relatives told me this afternoon, Amherst graduates are better than some IVYs in terms of medical school application. He was once at medical school review group (one of the top 5 medical schools). He spoke highly of Amherst even all his educations are at CA.
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