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Williams vs Northwestern

MrAustereMrAustere 346 replies18 threads Member
I know that the environment of these two schools are very different, but I would be happy at either one of these schools. I'm deciding which school to apply ED to. Which of these schools offers the best chance of getting into an Ivy League law and business school?
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Replies to: Williams vs Northwestern

  • merc81merc81 10947 replies179 threads Senior Member
    According to College Transitions, these colleges send "the highest percentage of their graduates to a top-ranked business school":

    Claremont McKenna
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  • nostalgicwisdomnostalgicwisdom 1298 replies49 threads Senior Member
    It's not the advantage these particular schools will confer but rather how you do in them which will determine your chances of a top tier law/business school. Pick the school in which you'll thrive more. Law school is more focused on GPA/LSAT, business school is more about having a decent GPA, good GMAT, and meaningful, relevant work experience.
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  • CorbettCorbett 3434 replies4 threads Senior Member
    If you do well at either Williams or Northwestern, you would be a strong candidate at any Ivy League professional school. I would not use this as a basis for choosing one or the other. There are other differences that would be far more significant.

    My guess is that Williams probably feeds a higher percentage of grads (relative to class size) to the Ivy League than Northwestern does, simply due to regional factors. Conversely, Northwestern probably feeds a higher percentage of grads to top Midwestern schools (e.g. Chicago, Michigan, WUSTL, or Northwestern itself) than Williams does. Neither school is regionally limited, it's just that Williams students are more conscious of the post-graduate opportunities at other Northeastern schools, and Northwestern students are more conscious of the post-graduate opportunities at other Midwestern schools.

    Incidentally, the President of Northwestern was formerly the President of Williams. Both schools like the color purple.
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  • CorbettCorbett 3434 replies4 threads Senior Member
    One other thing -- don't even think about applying to Williams ED unless you've visited and experienced the environment first-hand. Williams is a great school, but Williamstown is a very small community, a long way from the freeway. It's not for everyone.
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  • ThankYouforHelpThankYouforHelp 1294 replies1 threads Senior Member
    The answer to OP's question is probably Williams, although Northwestern does really well too.

    But as @Corbett correctly says, Williams is not for everyone. Many love it, but some find it too isolated.
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  • MrAustereMrAustere 346 replies18 threads Member
    @braxonj I wish!! My heart is torn between the two.
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  • ParcheParche 121 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @nostalgicwisdom -- well said. Go to an undergraduate school that you believe is the best fit, then go and do something in the real world for a few years. Get your hands dirty. Contribute to society. Learn to fail in something.

    Then apply to your graduate school.

    Unless your are going to be a doctor or an academic, stop thinking of undergraduate degrees as pre-work for an MBA.

    Even Medical schools are asking that applicants take a year and do something prior to matriculating.
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  • kimfuge88kimfuge88 159 replies17 threads Junior Member
    edited September 2016
    If you maintain a good GPA, you'll have great chances from either - they are also equally prestigious so really focus on fit. Large research university with a national reputation or the best liberal arts college in the land?

    Having said that, I think Northwestern provides some excellent resources for someone interested in business:

    Opportunity to take rigorous business courses via a top 5 business school:

    Take advanced courses via a top 7 economics department (the department made some big wins in hiring from Yale and Princeton and is expected to go up in the rankings from current top 7 status):

    other business resources:

    Also, business is increasingly becoming quantitative and computation, and Northwestern is doubling down on computer science:

    Finally, doesn't hurt to have top alums who are killing it in their respective fields:
    edited September 2016
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  • prezbuckyprezbucky 4323 replies11 threads Senior Member
    These schools are both outstanding academically. The main academic differences are:

    - Academic calendar
    - Number of available majors and courses (Northwestern has more of both)
    - Gen-ed class sizes (Williams' class sizes tend to be smaller.)

    Both will set you up wonderfully for grad school *or* the working world, assuming you put in the work in the classroom and in networking.

    The most impactful difference for those four years, though, will be the setting/environment.

    Both feature cold winters. That's about where the similarities end.

    Williams is rural and in the middle of nowhere, while Northwestern is situated in the third-largest metro area in the US. Thus, the environments, aside from the aforementioned weather, couldn't be much different. If you are serious about applying ED, you really should visit both.
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  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing 2226 replies104 threadsForum Champion Williams College Forum Champion
    Both would provide a great education. You will need to figure out which type of environment you prefer. Personally, I believe that a small liberal arts college is a superior experience to a large university (but of course I have only experienced a large university as a student at the graduate level and through visiting friends as undergrads). Small classes, great discussions, usual for professors to get to know students really well/ invite them to their houses/ etc., research opportunities go to undergrads not grads, community feel, etc. I went to Williams and loved it.
    Some posters above bemoan its location, but I never felt a lack of entertainment. There were always activities on campus. Back in the day, I enjoyed speakers ranging from Rosa Parks to Bernie Sanders (before he was a presidential candidate) to the governor of Massachusetts. There were music and theatre performances, trivia games, sporting events, etc., and don't forget hiking and canoeing!
    The entry system at Williams creates an instant community- 20 students and their 2 junior advisers living together. You can have a single every year if you want it- and after freshman year pretty much everyone has one. There are no artificial divisions- no fraternities, no theme housing; every housing unit is a microcosm of the community. Intellectual conversations spill over from class into dorms and dining halls.
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  • MrAustereMrAustere 346 replies18 threads Member
  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad 6202 replies163 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2016
    Between these schools, which school you pick matters 1% and what you do at whichever school you end up at matters 99%. These schools are very very different.

    I really think you ought to be spending time introspectively looking at yourself and considering which environment is more likely to lead YOU to excel. Trying to answer the question you asked is foolish, IMHO.

    The school is just going to provide you a stage. You have to do all the work.
    edited October 2016
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  • urbanslaughterurbanslaughter 1137 replies68 threads Senior Member
    @kimfuge88 you wrote, "the best liberal arts college in the land?" I think you're confused. The student isn't asking about Middlebury. Rather, they asked about Williams College. :))
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  • MrAustereMrAustere 346 replies18 threads Member
    I know that neither of these two schools can be classified as conservative, but which of them would you say is more conservative in nature?
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  • ThankYouforHelpThankYouforHelp 1294 replies1 threads Senior Member
    You are correct that neither is conservative, but Northwestern is more "pre-professional" and Williams is more "intellectual." Generally speaking, pre-professional usually correlates to "slightly more politically conservative."

    Neither will be socially conservative.
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  • CorbettCorbett 3434 replies4 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2016
    No significant difference in terms of student body average. I would imagine that only a small percentage of students at either school identify as socially or politically conservative.

    However, in terms of absolute numbers, there are probably far more conservative students at Northwestern than at Williams -- simply because there are far more students of all kinds at Northwestern (undergrad enrollment = 8,000 vs 2.000). It wouldn't surprise me if the conservative organizations at NU are more active and visible than at Williams, because they might have a certain "critical mass" of actively involved members that might not be reached at a much smaller school.
    edited October 2016
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  • MrAustereMrAustere 346 replies18 threads Member
    @ThankYouforHelp Which one do you think has more "raging liberals" for lack of a better term?
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  • PostmodernPostmodern 1160 replies91 threads Senior Member
    @ThankYouforHelp Which one do you think has more "raging liberals" for lack of a better term?

    Agree there has to be a better term. Not sure there truly is a lack of them.
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  • CorbettCorbett 3434 replies4 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2016
    Which one do you think has more "raging liberals" for lack of a better term?
    No significant difference. Raging liberals prefer Wesleyan over Williams. In absolute terms, there are probably more "raging liberals" at Northwestern because it is a much larger school, just as there are probably more conservatives at Northwestern.

    In my opinion, you are focusing on the wrong things. This is like trying to choose between a BMW sedan or a Jeep Wrangler based on the color of the upholstery. There are far larger and more consequential differences.
    edited October 2016
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  • MrAustereMrAustere 346 replies18 threads Member
    @Corbett The family I was raised up in is very political. I don't want to go to a school that's flooded with liberals. I have nothing against them in any way shape or form. It's still important to me though. Like I'd never go to Berkeley for example.
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