Diverse. There is the preppy chunk, but there are also the hippies, the jocks, the artsy ones. Often times these categories intermingle as people can belong to several groups. There are days when I walked in with a nicely ironed polo but the next a t-shirt that looked like a rag.
I think that if Tufts could be lumped into one category, the way Trinity or Dartmouth are into "preppy", it would be "save-the-world". I would say preppies are definitely in the minority at Tufts and with the fledgling Greek system, they'll be even smaller as years go by.
I mean, there is a fair amount of kids that wear Lacoste polos and whatever, but it might be unfair to categorize people that way. I've known some people who dress really preppily, but spend all their time doing volunteer work and don't drink. Meanwhile there are some seriously alcoholic hipsters, lol.
But yeah, like snuffles, I'll wear a polo shirt one day and a tunic with leggings the next. It's tough to put blanket labels on people, b/c they'll often surprise you.
I was ****ed off, though, when I was telling my friend to apply to Tufts and he was like "No. It's a JEW SCHOOL." That really bothered me, b/c I know there's a happy and thriving Hillel population, but there are a ton of nonpracticing Jews and people who follow other/no religions.
I was thinking that a lot of the kids who go to Tufts are rich. Maybe not preppy, but rich. Because it gives no merit awards, so the smart but not eligible for need based aid kids who get in here are kids whose families can pay for the full ride at Tufts. This was my impression on our Tufts tour, too - what do you think?
I'd say that the majority of Tufts is upper middle class, but it may actually work in reverse. Instead of "we go here because we can afford it," it may really be a symptom of how the surplus of qualified, upper-middle class kids who did not get into the top ten schools have to go somewhere...what I mean to say is, a school with 1500 spots in its class can only accept so many pretty-well-off kids from Connecticut, NY, NJ, Mass, and California. The rest of the spots are awarded to kids from more underpopulated states and kids who need aid, in the interests of diversity and such. (nothing wrong with that, by the way.) So all those leftover people from Long Island and Fairfield County in Connecticut need SOMEplace to spend their 40,000 a year, lol.
The thing is, "rich" has many facets. I didn't know, growing up, that my family was pretty well-off, and I grew into a ridiculously frugal person. I hate spending money. I mean...seriously, I order a bunch of my stuff in child sizes because it costs half the money. I have some friends at Tufts who are absolutely LOADED, and I didn't learn this until well into our friendships - and was extremely surprised when I did - because there are some people who flaunt their wealth and some who don't, and just use it for the bare, useful necessities.
The other thing is, I'm wondering how yall marked the rich kids on your tours. I know, for example, that much of the Tufts female population walks around in Uggs and North Faces, but to be honest, that's kind of...practical. For the freezing weather we have. I spent freshman year in inadequate shoes and clothes and constantly got sick. This year I wasn't fooling around - I bought the much-loathed Uggs because, let's face it, they're warm (AND I GOT THEM IN KID'S SIZES TOO! haha. half price!). And I got a giant Calvin Klein down parka (FROM A DISCOUNT STORE!) that is essentially a tailored sleeping bag. When spring came people asked me things like, "Renee, where's your caterpillar?" or "I miss seeing you tottering around campus in your giant SLEEVE." Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, those particular things may not indicate wealth. I have some friends who work to pay for absolutely everything and they still have Uggs and North Faces.
My D reports that it seemed that about 1/3 of the students were on major financial aid, 1/3 were well off and the tuition was no big deal and 1/3 were pretty much kids whose parents were working hard to make Tufts work with loans, jobs etc. We bought a Northface for D, but not because we are "rich" but because it made sense to buy one really good coat. Same for the "ugg" type boots. On the other hand, D wont get to fly home for Thanksgiving 'cause it's just too expensive to fly cross country for 3 days.
Did the OP mean preppy as in prep school background or preppy as in clothing?
When we toured colleges last year, it almost seemed as if some schools had a preppy, Abercrombie-ish dress code (BC was one), while at other schools, usually small LACs, we got the impression of lots of prep/boarding school kids, who looked like they probably played lacrosse or ice hockey... (of course these are just generalizations!) Tufts was appealing in that there seemed to be a nice casual mix rather than any overwhelming type.
There is definitely a large, very active Jewish population at Tufts. One in every 3 or 4 people you meet at Tufts self-identifies as Jewish. I remember sitting in my Sociology recitation talking about Christmas/Hannukah issues, and most people said something along the lines of either "I'm Jewish..." or "I come from a school with a large Jewish population...." It's not that big a deal and has little bearing on the full Tufts experience, but since I wasn't expecting that at all, it was a little disconcerting at first since I don't come from a school with that much Jewish representation.