Hartwick College Visit Report by foolishpleasure
Visit to Hartwick College in August 2009 by foolishpleasure(Parent of Student, HS Class of 2010)
(Member since November 19 2007 with 895 posts)
4 of 4 people found this visit report helpful
Admissions Interview: Yes - The adcom was very personable and chatted with me 30+ min after interviewing D.
Campus Tour: Yes - Very pretty campus - - but VERY hilly.
Friendliness/Courtesy of Students:
Friendliness/Courtesy of Staff:
Appearance of Campus:
Overall Campus Impression:
Area Immediately Around Campus:
Campus Visit Notes for Hartwick College
Hartwick is located in Oneonta, NY, about 90 minutes west of Albany. The immediate area surrounding the campus is residential, but there are many little shops/restaurants nearby, a public bus system and a SUNY campus a couple of blocks away . Overall, the area has more of a “college town” feel and seems less remote some of the other LAC campuses we visited (Wheaton, Hobart, Bennington). Also, if Hartwick isn’t hosting an event, SUNY-Oneonta is, so again, more social options than at schools with no college neighbors.
One of the more notable aspects of our visit was the faact that the admissions reception area was staffed entirely by students! The students were chatty and friendly, and appeared genuinely eager to engage prospect families - - applicants and the parents alike. The Hartwick admissions office (the students, and the adcom who interviewed D and then chatted with me) was hands-down the friendliest of the 10+ schools we visited.
One very interesting fact was that Hartwick had not been the #1 choice school for any of the students working in the office. I was surprised by how unselfconscious the students were in discussing why they enrolled at Hartwick (for several, it was merit money; other admitted that they had not been admitted to “reach” or first-choice schools). One thing was constant, however, what ever path led the to Hartwick, each of them was delighted with his/her Hartwick experience.
The campus is lovely, but on a steep hill; an earlier visit report accurately described the campus as “terraced.” There are A LOT of stairs - - so many that our guide joked that the “freshman 15” is nonexistent at Hartwick. (I’d like to visit in the winter and see how students negotiate a snow/ice covered campus.)
There was nothing remarkable, either negative or positive, about the campus buildings. The dorms were fairly standard (the only school we visited with terrible dorms was UVM). I didn’t see any signs of disrepair or neglect.
Hartwick has a separate environmental campus about 8 miles away from the main campus and a shuttle runs between these two campuses. The environmental campus was described as rustic (we didn't visit). Classes are occasionally held on the satellite campus and a few student live there instead of at the main campus.
Hartwick has a mandatory January term (J-term) during which students can take a class on campus, work at an internship or study abroad. There’s no extra fee for the on-campus classes, but study abroad programming comes with a hefty price tag - - usually about $4k. There was no mention of financial aid for J-term study abroad.
The college offers a number of merit scholarships and about 25% of the students receive non-need based aid; the college will even consider, on a case-by-case basis, scholarships for students who do not submit SAT scores. Also, Hartwick’s sticker price is about $4k lower that the COA a number of the LACs D is considering.
Sadly, for those of us seeking need-based aid, Hartwick does not guarantee to meet 100% of demonstrated need. According to Student Aid on the Web, Hartwick meets 100% of need for only 12% of those receiving aid, and on average Hartwick met only 74% of demonstrated need (average grant $18k). I found this to be a bit lower than some of the Hartwick peer schools D is considering.
CONCLUSION; This school is every bit the hidden gem that CC posters make it out to be: the campus is lovely, the students are friendly and it's solid academically. Despite her complaints about walking up the hills, D could be happy there and would, no doubt, get a good education. D will definitely apply and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for a good finaid package.