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How prestigious is Middlebury College

Grape33Grape33 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
edited December 2015 in College Search & Selection
My daughter is starting to look at colleges and she likes Middlebury. We visited and it's a beautiful campus but I didn't get a sense of how prestigious the school is. But, she's a 4.0 student and got a 2200 SAT the first time she took it and she plans to retake it. While I realize that the fit of the college and weather she is happy there should determine weather she wants to go, I'm also concerned with the prestige of the college she goes to. I want her to go to a very good college, the best college she can get into. I also want it to be easy for her to get into graduate school afterward. She's also pretty nerdy, so I want her to go to school with other smart kids so she can fit in and won't be teased for studying a lot. So how good is Middlebury? How does Middlebury compare with the Ivy League?
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Replies to: How prestigious is Middlebury College

  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,989 Senior Member
    Middlebury is a highly ranked LAC, very well respected. She will be with a lot of other students like herself. It is tied for fourth in the US News liberal arts college rankings. Her stats (test scores) are average or below for the Ivy League, a bit above the Middlebury average but not even at their 75th percentile. I would say Middlebury is a match, BUT their acceptance rate is only 17%, so that is probably a high match because of that. If she likes Middlebury, she might also like Williams (a bit higher ranked, probably a low reach), Bowdoin, Wellesley, Hamilton, or Vassar.
  • WasatchWriterWasatchWriter Registered User Posts: 2,528 Senior Member
    Like a lot of LACs, its in the Northeast, so its reputation among employers is strongest in the east. For graduate school, no problem. Academics know what the good schools are, and a degree from Middlebury will open doors.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,646 Super Moderator
    MIddlebury is a very well-respected, prestigious LAC.

    I will say, though, that you don't have to go to a prestigious college to get into graduate school (or even for it to be easy to go to graduate school). Admission to graduate school is much more about what you do in college, not where you go.
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 6,714 Senior Member
    Admission to graduate school has to do with what you do in college and little to do with its level of " prestige." If your daughter does well on the GREs, maintains a high GPA, takes advantage of all opportunities that her school provides, develops close relationships with professors who will write her letters of recommendation, etc, she should be able to get into a graduate school program. Many schools have " nerdy" smart kids and I doubt that your daughter will be teased for studying. Middlebury is a well respected LAC. Good luck!
  • ferrarepatrick73ferrarepatrick73 Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    edited December 2015
    @grape33 If your daughter is not an athlete the acceptance rate to Middlebury as well as its peers in New England is far lower than the published rate of 17%. It could be as low as 10% for a white female from the East. The class size is only about 500-600 students, and athletes take a lot of seats.

    Don't be complacent on applying to eastern LAC's. Middlebury received 8,200 applications for a class of 580 last year.
  • circuitridercircuitrider Registered User Posts: 3,093 Senior Member
    Middlebury's a great place from which to get your diploma. You can look Harvard and Yale grads straight in the eye and never have to stoop to dropping the name of the college town instead of the college itself when talking about where you went, a practice that drives me crazy when Ivy grads do it (as if no one can possibly guess what they mean when they say, "I went to college in New Haven." Duh.) All the selective LACs have the advantage of being known by the right people without the heavy baggage of having to live up to (or, live down) some sort of popular stereotype.
  • porcupine98porcupine98 Registered User Posts: 1,613 Senior Member
    Yeah, the "I went to college in New Haven" thing is annoying, but so is the reaction you get if you say "I went to Yale," which is why people do that in the first place -- hoping to deflect the reaction. No way to win that one.
  • LoveTheBardLoveTheBard Registered User Posts: 2,025 Senior Member
    Middlebury is a fine liberal arts college, and is exceptionally strong in languages.

    Intparent has given you some other good choices, to which I would add Wesleyan, Amherst, and Swarthmore, with perhaps Sarah Lawrence as a safety. And - if she is okay with women's colleges, she might want to look at Wellesley , Bryn Mawr, and Smith. In the midwest, I'd look at Oberlin, Grinnell, Carleton, and Macalester. If the west coast is a possibility, the Claremonts are quite good.
  • BrownParentBrownParent Registered User Posts: 12,776 Senior Member
    edited December 2015
    I would try to steer my kid away from the adolescent peer pressure need that requires 'prestigious' colleges to impress friends. Even parents are very guilty of that many times. Grad school has nothing to do with that. Middlebury and similar colleges have superb undergraduate education with personal attention from professors who are stellar in their field as well as being chosen for their interest in teaching and mentoring undergraduates, who you can get to know and personally teach and research with you, hang out in the office for drop in hours etc. Those kind of relationship are very helpful with very personal grad school Letters of Recommendation which are quite important with grad school acceptances. These schools often have profs that will be able to send you to a conference and suggest other activities for your academic development.

    Midd itself has a great graphic that highlights some results for grads '14
    http://www.middlebury.edu/media/view/483229
  • circuitridercircuitrider Registered User Posts: 3,093 Senior Member
    @porcupine98
    Yeah, the "I went to college in New Haven" thing is annoying, but so is the reaction you get if you say "I went to Yale," which is why people do that in the first place

    I'm not buying it.

    I think there's a certain amount of self-fulfilling prophecy going on in many of these situations; there's so much social signaling going on that they can't be anything but awkward. I would say that unless you are speed dating or are stuck at a party with people you absolutely don't wish to know (in which case, you should ask yourself why you're there in the first place), there's no reason to be coy about where you went to college. I recently made friends with someone who happened to be an MIT alumnus, but I didn't find that out until many months into the friendship. He was obviously well-educated and from what he told me of his family, could have afforded full tuition at the most expensive colleges in the country with no problem. The surprise would have been had he NOT graduated from a very, very good college, including Middlebury.
  • merc81merc81 Registered User Posts: 9,107 Senior Member
    "I went to college in New Haven" uses seven words and still does not tell me which of Albertus Magnus College, Southern Connecticut State or Yale the respondent has attended. If there were only one college in New Haven, however, as was the case at one time, the statement would be adequate. Its usage may be traditional from that era.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,796 Senior Member
    merc81 wrote:
    "I went to college in New Haven" uses seven words and still does not tell me which of Albertus Magnus College, Southern Connecticut State or Yale the respondent has attended.

    Yes it does. It's the kind of faux modesty that Gladwell writes about in "Getting In" (a pretty fun little read):
    You can imagine my confusion, then, when I first met someone who had gone to Harvard.

    There was, first of all, that strange initial reluctance to talk about the matter of college at all—a glance downward, a shuffling of the feet, a mumbled mention of Cambridge. “Did you go to Harvard?” I would ask. I had just moved to the United States. I didn’t know the rules. An uncomfortable nod would follow. Don’t define me by my school, they seemed to be saying, which implied that their school actually could define them. And, of course, it did.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,989 Senior Member
    Can we just answer the OP's question and not get hung up on New Haven?
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,796 Senior Member
    Good call, @intparent

    I'd say Midd is quite prestigious. Midd kidds get recruited by Wall Street, for one (not something I care about, but then again, neither is prestige). Usually seen as a small step below WASP, Midd is universally acknowledged as one of the very best LACs, and that assessment is accurate.
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