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Reject Train Going Full Speed

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Replies to: Reject Train Going Full Speed

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23388 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Amherst isn't small like other rural LACs. Of the 4 LACs in the consortium, I found it the most lively, right in the town, UMass in the same town, plenty of stores and activities. It would definitely be the easiest from which to take a class at UMass.

    Keep it on your list. If that is where you match, then you can decide (maybe after visiting?)
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 42145 replies453 threads Senior Member
    In terms of environment, UIUC is more isolated than Amherst, and while the college is small, you're near other colleges as part of the consortium. While there are more students on one single campus at UIUC and the campus merges more into town than Amherst's relatively self contained campus, I'm not sure the Small v. Big is as noticeable as v., say, Williams or Kenyon, nor the "college town" aspect.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13118 replies246 threads Senior Member
    @CottonTales might be able to give you some more info about pre-med at Amherst, @HKimPOSSIBLE

    It's a LAC but as others are telling you, in a vibrant college town with the state flagship down the street (and 3 other nearby colleges you can take classes at as well). Excellent pre-med advising that begins in the first weeks on campus. Brand new science center just opened this past school year. Very generous with FA, no loans.
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 378 replies27 threads Member
    edited October 19
    Thank you for the insight @twoinanddone and @MYOS1634
    I think more of what I was feeling was that it felt small that in it was a LAC with not many STEM students. Of course, everyone will probably be taking biology, chemistry, and etc, but it felt small in the sense of the people I might be able to connect/relate to.

    It was a very isolating feeling when I visited Lake Forest college, but this same sentiment is coming to Amherst, which is a college I haven't even visited. I think even Pomona, despite its small size, has a much more "relatability to me" kind of student body. It's hard to describe what I'm getting, but I am trying to use examples.

    I think where UIUC feels different is that it's such a big school with a big drive one STEM that it doesn't feel like an isolating bubble so to speak. Pomona doesn't give me this feeling either, nor do places like Bowdoin or Carleton. Hmph :( I have tripped again. At Amherst, I am getting this very restricted, liberal (as in liberal, not LAC) feeling by talking to my high school alumni who are at Amherst.

    I am seriously considering taking Amherst off since I don't think I can commit to it, but I still have time to think about it and consider my options at this point, and I'd like to hear/research more about Amherst and not be like "Oh darn, I should NOT have removed Amherst from my list".
    edited October 19
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4590 replies18 threads Senior Member
    I agree with this ^. You know what you want and that's OK. Can't wait to see where you land.
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  • MWolfMWolf 1805 replies12 threads Senior Member
    edited October 19
    @HKimPOSSIBLE In all honesty, I think that you'd do great at Amherst. It's challenging, diverse, and, as other have written, it's a lot less isolated than it seems. Lake Forest is isolating since it's in the middle of a very affluent residential area, with very few student-friendly location in the vicinity - most of the cafes and such are aimed at the Lake Forest residents, and there aren't many of those either. The only connection to the City is the Metra.

    Amherst, on the other hand, is a town with a college and a university, and has a student population of 35,000, in a town of 40,000. So Amherst itself is likely a lot more geared towards students than Lake Forest is. There are also many more places for students to go, see, etc.

    Also, as others have pointed out - in Amherst there are about 25,000 undergraduates, between the college and the university, so the possibilities of social life are far better than those determined by the 1,800 students of Amherst College. This is fewer than UIUC's 33,000, but it's still within the same order of magnitude.

    Again - if you don't like it, you don't like it. But I think that you may have a wrong idea of what it's like.
    edited October 19
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4590 replies18 threads Senior Member
    We got to get him to some bodies augmented reality headset and go to an app for that school. That way he can experience it... Sorta.... Just an idea. 🤔.
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  • aquaptaquapt 2102 replies39 threads Senior Member
    What is the time frame to rearrange and/or remove schools?

    If I were you, I would wait until the last few days before the deadline to give any consideration to removing schools altogether. In the meantime, focus on rearranging the order. Figure out how you really want to rank the 12 you've got. Then when you get down to the wire, look at the bottom of your ranked-order list and decide whether there are really any schools at the end of your list that you'd rather not match at all than leave the possibility of a binding offer open.

    I imagine you know that Amherst has a brand new (2018) science center on which they spent over $200 million. They already attracted plenty of STEM-oriented students, and more so given this investment. I doubt you'd feel isolated there given the lively area and the consortium that includes the state flagship. I'd think hard before taking a totally-free Amherst education off your list of possibilities; but moving it down in your rankings, if you like mid-sized universities like Rice and WashU better, is certainly a reasonable choice. Dartmouth is more isolated than Amherst IMHO, though it's true that Dartmouth-Hitchcock Med Ctr is right there, whereas UMass Med is in Worcester, an hour's drive from the 5-college area.

    Given your music comment about Columbia, I'd say that would also be a point in favor of Northwestern (which, I'm really rooting for you to get this top choice given the connection you already have there!) and USC, which makes music performance minors particularly accessible to students across the university. St. Olaf could also be a nice safety - amazing music, excellent STEM/premed, full-need-met financial aid for the vast majority of accepted students, and larger than most LAC's (~3K students). Maybe you'd still prefer UIUC given that you're not loving the LAC vibe generally, but St. O's music is so outstanding that you might weigh that in.

    But anyway, as I said, I'd try to focus on tweaking the rank-order and not jump the gun on actually eliminating any choices until you have to.
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  • CottonTalesCottonTales 1321 replies21 threads Senior Member
    @HKimPOSSIBLE, I sent you a PM.
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  • MeddyMeddy 516 replies35 threads Member
    I tend to think that if the visit doesn't seal the deal, then time to move on. It's still a wonderful school, but if it doesn't feel right for you, it's not for you.

    My daughter is in her second year at Amherst College and she loves it. As a parent, I am impressed with the academics and resources. There have been some challenges, but it hasn't dulled the magic of Amherst for her. She also had visited Pomona and for her it wasn't right. She is exactly where she needs to be and you will be, too.
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 378 replies27 threads Member
    So apparently there are fly-in programs that let prospective students visit...all their deadlines have passed. It seems like every year, I'm missing something. Last year was Questbridge, this year was fly-ins.

    It seems like an amazing experience.
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 378 replies27 threads Member
    @happymomof1 @Outlander
    Thank you both for the kind words and great information regarding the Fly-Ins. I was pretty bummed I missed out on them because everyone seemed to have a blast and all - and, of course, it makes it look like I wasn't demonstrating interest.
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 378 replies27 threads Member
    Seems like I missed the train again. Onwards to RD.
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 378 replies27 threads Member
    I guess my GPA is too low for anywhere great after all.
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