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Amherst vs Tufts

yaboi99yaboi99 1 replies1 threads New Member
Hey I'm currently trying to decide whether to attend Amherst College or Tufts University
Some things that I'm considering are
-Socioeconomic Diversity
-Feel of the Campus (I've heard Tufts is preppy but I don't know about Amherst)
-Classes
-How the location affects the overall experience (close vs far from big cities)

Money Isn't an issue because I've gotten very good financial aid packages from both of them.
9 replies
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Replies to: Amherst vs Tufts

  • yaboi99yaboi99 1 replies1 threads New Member
    By the way, I'm considering majoring in political science or mathematics
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  • EconomathematicsEconomathematics 49 replies4 threads Junior Member
    edited April 2017
    Amherst is VERY diverse. I believe one of the most diverse of the NESCACs, in all aspects except for political orientation, lol. Amherst is preppy, but not as much as Tufts. Classes here are very engaging and are challenging, but also very manageable. They were easier than I expected. We are not near any big cities, I think a couple hours away from both NYC and Boston. That being said, all you really need is very close and within walking distance. I think being in a college town makes college life more exciting, and the campus more like a close-knit community.

    Both our mathematics and poly sci department are very good. I have taken classes in both departments, and have really enjoyed them.
    edited April 2017
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  • ThankYouforHelpThankYouforHelp 1294 replies1 threads Senior Member
    Amherst, along with Vassar, has the greatest socioeconomic and ethnic diversity of any top LAC. Although it has a preppy history, those days are long gone. The typical class will be smaller than the same class would be at Tufts, and the access to summer internships and unique career options will be greater. The alumni network is small but incredibly supportive.

    Tufts also is an excellent school, and if you require a more urban environment, it fits the bill. There is more research going on at Tufts, but there are more students competing to do that research, including grad students.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13238 replies247 threads Senior Member
    Will you be able to visit? That might clinch it.

    -How the location affects the overall experience (close vs far from big cities)

    Amherst has a lot more stuff in walking distance of campus than Tufts does, was my impression at the time we visited Tufts. We drove from there to a cool commercial area with thrift shops and restaurants about ten minutes away. Boston is close (30 minutes or so) though the Tufts tour guide we had said hardly anyone goes there regularly.

    The Amherst area has 5 colleges, 2 right in town and one of the two has 25,000 students so that makes it a very college-ey college town. Boston is 2 hours, NYC is 3 and there are buses that go to both every day, nonstop on weekends. Speaking of buses there's free bus service throughout the area linking the 5 colleges with each other, with shopping, etc.

    Amherst kids do summer internships in big cities. They don't really do them during the school year but that may be an option for Tufts re: Boston.

    -Socioeconomic Diversity

    Amherst wins this one. Tufts has more kids from the top 1% than the bottom 60% according to the NYT article: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/18/upshot/some-colleges-have-more-students-from-the-top-1-percent-than-the-bottom-60.html?_r=0

    -Classes

    What's your concern here? Difficulty, size, variety? Most classes at Amherst are small, all are taught by professors and you have the option of taking classes at any of the 5 area colleges if you don't find what you want at Amherst. that said, most Amherst kids stay at Amherst for class, more often kids from the other schools go there for classes.
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  • PasadenadadPasadenadad 12 replies2 threads New Member
    They kind of have the same mascot now.
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  • circuitridercircuitrider 4279 replies189 threads Senior Member
    Tufts is the big kid in your homeroom who everyone suspects is older than his birth certificate says. Unless you really crave being able to see the Boston skyline from the top of a hill, there's no special reason to choose it over Amherst.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13238 replies247 threads Senior Member
    Lol @circuitrider our Tufts tour spent a good fifteen minutes on that hill looking at that view, it was the grand finale where the tour guide took questions and ended the tour. I got my phone out and zoomed way in on the skyline and took a picture that was a great joke between me and my kid that summer.

    We had fun on some of those tours :)
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6895 replies10 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2017
    I think the biggest difference that might matter is the feeling of the community. While that may be the result of size and location, it's what is most likely to influence how you feel about being there every day.

    Most underclassmen at Tufts venture off campus infrequently. Upperclassmen tend to make much greater use of the city. I think the Amherst community may feel tighter and more cohesive as a result. To some, that clubbiness is a good thing. To others, not so much. You really need to decide which feels right for you.
    edited April 2017
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  • ReallyOkReallyOk 165 replies6 threads Junior Member
    The student bodies are similar. As noted, key differences are that Amherst is a small LAC in a charming town and Tufts is a mid-sized university with an LAC at its core in the suburbs of Boston. Both schools are very well regarded. 10 years ago, Amherst would have had an edge in overall prestige, but not anymore.
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