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Main differences between Vassar, Hamilton, and Middlebury

Molly223922Molly223922 0 replies1 threads New Member
I got accepted to these schools, but I'm not sure which would be best for me. I'm interested in neuroscience and do a lot of volunteer work. I also like to ski. I'm pretty conservative but not vocal about politics around my peers. I'm just wondering what the differences are in the social atmosphere.
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Replies to: Main differences between Vassar, Hamilton, and Middlebury

  • merc81merc81 11643 replies199 threads Senior Member
    Hamilton's social atmosphere benefits from its spatial range. You will find three residential neighborhoods, each with its own architectural and social character. Hamilton also offers two main dining halls along with five other places to eat. By choosing where to eat and live, your social experiences will have desirably fluid aspects there. Another social aspect to consider might be gender ratio. Hamilton's balance in its last enrolled class settled at 50/50.

    Hamilton offers nordic skiing on campus and alpine areas within range for evening skiing.
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  • joecollege44joecollege44 406 replies19 threads Member
    if you are pretty conservative i would prob move vassar down your list and favor the other 2.
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3568 replies85 threads Senior Member
    I think overall that all three are fairly liberal schools. If you're conservative, check the student groups to see if they have Republican or conservative clubs. Vassar usually has one and even had a conservative newspaper back when there were papers at least! But it generally is on the liberal side of things. Skiing in that region is more difficult compared with Hamilton and Middlebury. Vassar is known for being relatively arty (theater is big, creative writing) but it's sciences are also very strong and it offers greater access to NYC--it's a 90 minute train ride to the city and you can go for day trips. This is a big deal if you want to see museums, go to plays, hear music, and do internships. Poughkeepsie also has opportunities for real work and internships,, and music venues even though the school is located mostly in a suburban area. Academics in all three schools are excellent. Hamilton and Vassar are known for writing. You will graduate knowing how to write well from either institution.
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  • PublisherPublisher 11086 replies145 threads Senior Member
    Vassar & Middlebury are more liberal than is Hamilton College. But, in my view, Vassar & Middlebury are more interesting schools.
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  • brantlybrantly 4228 replies75 threads Senior Member
    Middlebury has its own ski slope! And, of course, it's in Vermont. Most students are liberal, but when we toured the tour guide was president of the Republican Club.
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  • merc81merc81 11643 replies199 threads Senior Member
    Btw, you are one of several OP's with multiple choices from this Forbes article:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/nataliesportelli/2017/04/26/10-expensive-colleges-worth-every-penny-2017/

    Not bad . . .
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  • merc81merc81 11643 replies199 threads Senior Member
    Publisher wrote: »
    Vassar & Middlebury are more liberal than is Hamilton College. But, in my view, Vassar & Middlebury are more interesting schools.

    Is there a small college with more interesting and influential alumni than Hamilton? Consider graduates Bristol and Myers (who established their company in Clinton), Elihu Root (cabinet member and Nobel Prize winner), Ezra Pound (poet with few true peers), Charles Webb (Our Town newspaper editor), Alexander Woollcott (Algonquin Round Table), Alex Osborn ("brainstorming"), B.F. Skinner (pre-eminent, maverick American psychologist), Thomas Meehan (Annie playwright), William Masters (sex researcher), Paul Greengard (Nobel Prize winner), Melinda Wagner (Pulitzer Prize winning composer) et al.
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  • merc81merc81 11643 replies199 threads Senior Member
    Regarding a key omission from the list above, Robert Moses should be included for his importance to the civil rights movement.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/books/ct-prj-robert-paris-moses-laura-visser-maessen-20160504-story.html
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  • oceanrunneroceanrunner 8 replies0 threads New Member
    When when i toured both Middlebury and Hamilton, i got pretty similar vibes from each. The campuses are beautiful and seemed to have similar student bodies (prep school type, like the outdoors, etc). All the schools you mentioned are pretty liberal, but Vassar is particularly artsy. I am aware of a (small) conservative presence at Middlebury. Middlebury also has its own nordic and alpine ski areas.
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  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College 2259 replies104 threads Forum Champion
    Congratulations! Great choices!

    You can’t go wrong here, and I would argue that the three are more similar to than different from one another.

    Vassar:
    1. Artsy, liberal vibe. Great theatre. Famous alumni in the performing arts.
    2. Lovely buildings and grounds.
    3. Coed now, but its history as a women’s college still affects the feel of campus, from the male-female ratio to a female empowerment vibe.
    4. Suburban, whereas the other two are rural.
    5. Nearest of the 3 to a major metropolis (NYC), but still not very close (approx 2 hours).
    6. Specific academic requirements are pretty loose/ flexible, although not as much so as Hamilton.
    7. Nice socially, making a home away from home, due to living in the same dorm for three years.
    8. My spouse is an alum. He loved it! He has maintained friendships all these years.

    Hamilton:
    1. Seemed to have the friendliest folks of the three on first impression, although you will find friends at any of the three.
    2. The “dark“ and “light” sides of the campus (dark is modern building old Kirkland campus, light is classic architecture old Hamilton campus) are also reflected in a student body that reflects both an artsy side and a jock/frat/prep side.
    3. It is the only one of the three choices to have fraternities and sororities. That may be a plus or a minus for you.
    4. Probably the most comfortable for a conservative of the three, although all three are more liberal than not.
    5. The only one of the three, and indeed one of the few colleges in the nation, with a completely “open” curriculum. A major plus!

    Middlebury:
    1. The mountains!
    2. Arguably the most breathtakingly beautiful, and indisputably the best-maintained campus, of the three.
    3. Most isolated of the 3.
    4. The most distribution requirements to meet of the three colleges.
    5. Want to major in a foreign language? Go here!
    6. Best dining/ food of the three.

    You can’t go wrong with three such great choices. Make a choice and don’t look back. Good luck!
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  • CairochrCairochr 3 replies0 threads New Member
    edited April 5
    Well done - you can't go wrong with all three of your choices.

    As a plug for Vassar, I just wanted to highlight some of its interesting and influential alums. If we exclude alumnae/i from the 19th and 20th centuries and only focus on classmates from 1990/91 (when I graduated) following is a pretty impressive sample:

    - Jonathan Karl – ABC Chief White House Correspondent (and editor-in-chief of the conservative Vassar Spectator)
    - Caterina Fake – Co-founder of Flickr and Silicon Valley entrepreneur
    - Jeffery Brenner – Physician and MacArthur Fellow "Genius Award"
    - Ilyse Hogue – former president NARAL
    - Mitch Truit – Co-CEO Apax Partners
    - Ebony Boulware – Vice Dean, Duke Medical School
    - Danny Jones – Guggenheim Fellow, Drama
    - Elizabeth Murdoch – media entrepreneur
    - Jason Blum – Oscar nominated producer – Whiplash, Get Out, BlacKkKlansman
    - Noah Baumbach – Oscar nominated writer/director – The Squid and the Whale, Marriage Story
    edited April 5
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