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Hamilton vs Smith

luckygranolaluckygranola 9 replies5 threads New Member
I just got accepted to both Hamilton college and Smith college as a transfer student. I'm struggling with choosing between either of them.
My major is econ and my goal is to go to graduate school so I want a really good gpa and extracurriculars. I heard that at Smith its really hard to get a good gpa and you have to work really hard, but its located in a great college town so I know there would be a great chance to get good extracurriculars.
At Hamilton like 40% of people get onto the Dean's List so I know itd be possible to get a good gpa, but its located in a dead, middle of no where town so not a lot of chance for extracurriculars.
Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on what would they do?
edited June 24
33 replies
Post edited by CCEdit_Suraj on
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Replies to: Hamilton vs Smith

  • PublisherPublisher 11376 replies152 threads Senior Member
    Do you prefer to study in a single sex environment or at a co-ed school ?
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  • merc81merc81 11810 replies201 threads Senior Member
    edited June 3
    Hamilton offers one of the country's finer economics departments, and it compares favorably with Smith in this area based on faculty research and scholarship: https://ideas.repec.org/top/top.uslacecon.html. Hamilton also would serve as an excellent base from which to obtain summer internships. In further comparing your choices, their student profiles are too different statistically to suggest that Smith would represent the more challenging academic environment based on respective Dean's List representation (e.g., Smith's middle-range ACT spans from 30 to 33, while Hamilton's spans from 32 to 34).
    edited June 3
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  • luckygranolaluckygranola 9 replies5 threads New Member
    @Publisher I have no preference really, plus smith has the 5 college consortium so I can take co ed classes at other colleges
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  • PublisherPublisher 11376 replies152 threads Senior Member
    edited June 3
    You prefer Smith's location & you are comfortable in a single sex environment, so Smith College appears to be your first choice. The only hesitation is due to possible grade deflation in light of your desire to attend grad school.

    Your reservations about Hamilton's location should be given serious thought.

    Based on the brief info, that you have provided in this thread, Smith College is where you will be happier.
    edited June 3
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  • apple23apple23 541 replies16 threads Member
    Have you researched Hamilton thoroughly? It certainly doesn't lack with respect to opportunities. For example, you could spend a semester in New York City with an associated internship and independent project.

    https://www.hamilton.edu/academics/offcampusstudy/nyc
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  • luckygranolaluckygranola 9 replies5 threads New Member
    @merc81 I'm sorry im a bit confused are you saying the academic rigor at hamilton would be harder?
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  • luckygranolaluckygranola 9 replies5 threads New Member
    @Publisher im just worried because based on past threads it seems like itd be very difficult to get a a good gpa and like you said I'm concerned about getting into grad school, although i prefer Smith's location, I want to make sure i wouldn't have to fight tooth and nail to get a good gpa
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10848 replies588 threads Super Moderator
    I agree that Smith is your best choice.
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  • luckygranolaluckygranola 9 replies5 threads New Member
    @apple23 but that would require me to leave college and go to a new city, Smith has many chances for students to be involved in its college town (Northampton) so I wouldn't have to leave campus. I want a school whose town provides a lot of opportunities
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  • circuitridercircuitrider 3909 replies182 threads Senior Member
    This is the first I've heard that Smith has grade deflation. Very often it's useful to ask whether the course work is any more rigorous or whether the students' expectations were just not managed very well before they got there? IIRC, Smith has a much more diverse student body than Hamilton's.
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  • merc81merc81 11810 replies201 threads Senior Member
    I'm sorry im a bit confused are you saying the academic rigor at hamilton would be harder?

    This would be difficult to respond to without relying on at least one statistic. Hamilton's 25th percentile SAT score of 1410 places its student body among those of the top few dozen colleges in the country by this standard. You should expect the students at Hamilton to be highly academically prepared and motivated and, for this reason, you should not be surprised that many of them make Dean's List. That noted, based on the evident strength of Hamilton's economics and math departments, I can't think of a better college at which to prepare for graduate school in the field of economics. However, you would need to be completely honest with yourself as to whether you would want to seek this degree of academic challenge. If not, then I think you would feel more comfortable within the more academically wide-ranging student body of Smith.
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  • PublisherPublisher 11376 replies152 threads Senior Member
    OP: Are you willing to share the name of your current school ?

    I ask because you seem to be a bit too concerned about the difficulty of earning high grades at each school. Neither school--to the best of my knowledge--has a reputation for grade deflation.
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  • merc81merc81 11810 replies201 threads Senior Member
    edited June 4
    Based on your goal of graduate school in economics, consider a math minor with courses in these topics at whichever college you choose: multivariable calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, probability theory, real analysis.
    edited June 4
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  • warblersrulewarblersrule 10235 replies176 threads Super Moderator
    My major is econ and my goal is to go to graduate school so I want a really good gpa and extracurriculars. I heard that at Smith its really hard to get a good gpa and you have to work really hard, but its located in a great college town so I know there would be a great chance to get good extracurriculars.
    If your goal is a PhD program, they don't care about extracurricular activities; they care only about your academic and research background. PhD programs are not as picky about GPA as medical and law schools -- a 3.3+ overall GPA and 3.5+ GPA in your major is perfectly sufficient for good programs.

    You're likely to do well where you're happiest. If you think that's Smith, I'd go and not look back. It's a great school, and I'm sure you could do well there.
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  • luckygranolaluckygranola 9 replies5 threads New Member
    @circuitrider Im so sorry I think thats what I meant. I was wondering about the academic rigor at Smith. Based on previous threads they mentioned that it was hard to get a good grade and at my current college I have a good gpa so I'm still confused on what decision to make. I think I was wrong on using the word grade deflation, I was just wondering about the rigor of classes and how students felt about the pressure.
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  • luckygranolaluckygranola 9 replies5 threads New Member
    @warblersrule really they don't care about extracurriculars? Even for a masters program?
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7902 replies84 threads Senior Member
    edited June 5
    Not ECs in the HS sense of the word. Your coursework, your LoRs, your Statement of Purpose (why this degree & why this program for this degree), and relevant expertise are what matters. Depending on the field the 'relevant expertise' can be internships, content you have created, work experience, etc.

    edited June 5
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  • luckygranolaluckygranola 9 replies5 threads New Member
    I had a previous thread on this but I incorrectly used the term grade deflation. I was actually worried about the academic rigor at Smith college. How hard are the classes? What's the academic climate like? How many students make it to the Dean's List? Is it really hard to get a good gpa (3.6+)? If anyone went to Smith or know someone who has and has input that would be extremely helpful.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10848 replies588 threads Super Moderator
    Smith is going to have plenty of rigor. It’s not like you’re asking about Hamilton versus Directional State U. The users commenting on this are very experienced so I feel confident in saying you should trust them. Both schools are going to prepare you well for grad school. Both are rigorous. Both are highly regarded.

    It almost sounds as though you want to say yes to Smith, but are looking for reasons not to. It’s a great school. Go and thrive.
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  • merc81merc81 11810 replies201 threads Senior Member
    Lindagaf wrote:
    It almost sounds as though you want to say yes to Smith, but are looking for reasons not to. It’s a great school. Go and thrive.

    Yes, why not go to Smith? As an additional opinion, I think it would make the better choice for you based on everything you have posted thus far.

    Nonetheless, I'm much less inclined than other posters to suggest that a school that ranks 32nd by faculty publishing in economics (Smith) would offer you equivalent opportunities to one that ranks 8th (Hamilton). In their paper, "Economics Research at National Liberal Arts Colleges," Hartley and Robinson commented on the importance of faculty to the student experience:
    Teaching the latest discoveries in class, supervising student theses, and preparing students for graduate school are some of the teaching activities that may be enhanced by faculty research.

    The above noted, since literally no one on this thread has recommended that you should choose Hamilton, you would need an independent streak not to favor Smith, at least in this context.
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