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Seven Sister Rankings

KhipperKhipper Registered User Posts: 193 Junior Member
I thought I would pose this question: how are the Seven Sister College seen and ranked by the members of CollegeConfidential.com.

The way I understand the reputations of the colleges: Bryn Mawr is the strongest college of "Sister Colleges" academically. Mt. Holyoke is slightly behind Bryn Mawr, but has better science programs. Wellesley and Barnard would be in the middle of the pack, with Smith and Vassar at the bottom. However, Smith and Vassar are considered to be very strong in the humanities and social sciences, but somewhat weak in the natural sciences. Or least this is what I have gathered.

Anyone who anything to add or contribute, please feel free.

BTW, the seventh Sister was Radcliffe College, which has been fully integrated into Harvard University.

BTW II, yes, I know ... Vassar accepts male students.
Post edited by Khipper on

Replies to: Seven Sister Rankings

  • bee3bee3 Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    The 2008 US News rankings (I know, I know - but they're a point of reference, if nothing else) place them as:
    1. Wellesley (4 overall)
    2. Vassar (11 overall)
    3. Smith (17 overall)
    4. Bryn Mawr (24 overall)
    5. Mount Holyoke (28 overall)
    6. Barnard (30 overall)

    USNews.com: America's Best Colleges 2008: Liberal Arts Colleges: Top Schools

    Like I said, just one limited point of reference.
  • UCBChemEGradUCBChemEGrad Registered User Posts: 10,262 Senior Member
    The Simpsons did a great scene parodying the Seven Sisters.
    It went like this:

    Seven Sister Colleges parody:
    This episode is noted for its parody of the Seven Sister Colleges (as they were prior to the 1970s; Vassar College is now coeducational and Radcliffe College merged with Harvard) who appear to Lisa in a dream:[1]

    Barnard College: (wearing glasses): We are the Seven Sisters. And you can attend any one of us! Like Barnard, Columbia's "girl next door."
    Radcliffe College: Come to Radcliffe and meet Harvard men.
    Wellesley College: Or come to Wellesley and marry them.
    Mount Holyoke College: (slurring, champagne glass in hand) No. Party with me! (Falls face first.)
    Vassar College: Or nonconform with me! (Raises arms, reveals hairy armpits.)
    Smith College: (muscular, carries lacrosse stick, husky voice) Play lacrosse with me!
    Bryn Mawr College: Or explore with me! (She and Smith kiss with passion.)[2]
  • ThatsWhatSheSaidThatsWhatSheSaid Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    I disagree with the first post. I kind of think you have to exclude Vassar because it is no longer a women's college. But I would definitely put it on the same level academically and reputation-wise as Barnard and maybe Wellesley. All of them are great schools. Wellesley, however, is probably thought of most highly, followed by Barnard, then maybe slightly down Smith, then Mount Holyoke, and I would actually put Bryn Mawr last. Of course, to reiterate, they are ALL GREAT. These are very small differences.
    And I don't think any of them are weak in the sciences - better known for the humanities, sure, but I would bet they all have top notch science programs.
  • ilovebagelsilovebagels Registered User Posts: 3,499 Senior Member
    I think the ones that would fare best are the ones that offer the most opportunities with other nearby schools. I know Barnard has Columbia and Bryn Mawr has the Bi-Co/Tri-Co/+Penn.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 34,348 Super Moderator
    Smith has Amherst and Mt Holyoke among the five colleges.
  • speakout93086speakout93086 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    Wellesley has the most money.

    And for an undergrad institution that means a lot.
    Take it from a current student: the resources rock.
  • speakout93086speakout93086 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    Also, from what I understand Wellesley has the best reputation with graduate schools, especially med schools.

    Out of my friends alone I know one that's going to Penn Medical School and one that's going to Harvard.
  • Native NJNative NJ Registered User Posts: 259 Junior Member
    Vassar now guarantees full funding with no loans where families have gross income of $60k or less...
  • brillarbrillar Registered User Posts: 1,089 Senior Member
    Bryn Mawr has been hinting at going no loans next year- Swarthmore and Haverford already did, so it's just a matter of time (hopefully, haha).

    I think they're all pretty similar but I like Wellesley and Bryn Mawr the best, even though I didn't apply to Wellesley. I also used to really like Vassar but my attitude has been changing about it since Februaryish.

    Gah! I just shouldn't post because I am absurdly biased. They'll basically all good and the differences between them are more by what type of atmosphere you want- obviously Vassar and Barnard are completely different, etc.

    (Note: I managed to finish this post without going on a BMC rant, hurrah!)
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    Rather than trying to rank them, I would recommend trying to understand the differences and what makes each one unique. They are all excellent schools, but offer somewhat different pluses and minuses.

    Wellesley and Bryn Mawr are breathtakingly drop-dead beautiful in the most expensive old neighborhoods in Boston and Phila respectively. Does your college town have a Ferrari dealership? Bryn Mawr does. 10 miles to downtown Philly on the train. Try pricing a house in Wellesley or Bryn Mawr. Ouch.

    I actually think that, with its ritzy Boston suburb campus and massive endowment, Wellesley would be the most selective LAC in the country if it had always been co-ed.

    Smith is the largest of the schools, with the most offerings and the most happening college town. Probably the most distinctive personality of all the schools.

    Vassar is coed. Quite a good school. I'd certainly recommend it.

    All of the Seven Sisters are good admissions values. Not being co-ed reduces demand, making admissions somewhat less selective than it should be given the quality and resources of the schools.
This discussion has been closed.