I was admitted to Hampden-Sydney earlier this year. I also applied to Washington and Lee University (which was my number one school at the time) under early decision and was admitted, but financially it didn't make since to go there. W&L would be $220,000 while Sydney would be about $35,000 for four years with my scholarship. This was not only a financial decision, my parents were perfectly ok with paying for me to go to W&L. W&L didn’t feel like the right fit to me when I was admitted. When I first visited H-SC the motto on the gates that says “enter as boys leave as men” stuck with me and was my ultimate reason for not going to W&L. Although it was the lack of finaid that made it legal for me to get out of this binding agreement.
I have also been admitted to Tulane and am positive that I will get into William and Mary too, but Hampden-Sydney is where I want to attend for many reasons. H-SC is a very socially conservative school that is not for all people (especially gays), I am a very conservative person so this suits me well. The teacher to student ratio is extremely small as stated before. The education that the students who challenge themselves to take with hardest courses and teachers are on par with top liberal arts colleges such as W&L. The grad school and law school rates are the same if not better than most other top liberal arts colleges. The academic atmosphere in an all-male college is an unparallel learning experience to that at any other college. I could go on and on about why I will choose to attend Sydney over any other top university that I have been admitted too, but one last thing I will share is this, I have talked to many many students at all types of colleges and no one has been as passionate about their college/university as H-SC students. H-SC is a transformational college, the sat scores may not be as high as a W&L or William and Mary but when a man who entered H-Sc as a boy graduates he is more prepared to handle the ever competitive job market or grad school because he has superior writing and speaking skills in addition to his other academic concentrations, he will be a well rounded man, that's a guarantee.
Finally, not being an athlete is not a big deal at all, I think about 25% are varsity athletes and the rest do as they please. I have been recruited for D1 track but I plan on joining the Fire Department as my main activity at Sydney. It is definitely true at this small school that the more involved you are they happy you are. I hope this helped you.