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Cornell vs. WashU. vs. Middlebury

decidingtwenty22decidingtwenty22 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
These threads can be a bit annoying, I know, but I was lucky enough to be accepted into these three very different schools, and am now pretty torn up trying to decide which to attend next fall. Any input from current/past students is greatly appreciated! Pros and cons encouraged.

For context, here are some things I'm looking for:
-Lively theatre scene, both inside the classroom and out
-Strong English/writing program
-Less competition, more collaboration among students (HAPPY students)
-I'm not a city person, but I'd like to be somewhere that's not suffocating. I do love the outdoors, though!
-Diverse, accepting student body
-Intimate classes/professor accessibility

Thanks so much for any input!

Replies to: Cornell vs. WashU. vs. Middlebury

  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 4,543 Senior Member
    Is cost a factor ?

    Cornell has some competitive students. Middlebury College probably has the most relaxed environment among your three choices. WashUStL is in an urban environment. Beautiful campus. Bright energetic students.
  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College Posts: 1,863 Forum Champion
    Three great choices! You can’t go wrong here, as you will get a top-quality education and have smart and talented peers at any of the three. Go by which “feels” best. Visit if you can, and if not, read several guidebooks like the Insider’s Guide to Colleges, Fiske, Princeton Review, and the Ultimate Guide to Colleges.

    I admit I have a bias in favor of small liberal arts colleges, because my son, husband and I all chose these for our own education. But it does sound like Middlebury is a good match for you.

    Middlebury has small classes right from freshman year, and students enjoy close relationships with professors and great research opportunities which all go to undergraduates. It has plenty of theatre opportunities, and a great English department, with the Breadloaf Conference that attracts strong writers over the summer.

    Middlebury and Cornell are both in gorgeous settings with incredible opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking. Each has a breathtakingly beautiful campus. Cornell is lovely, with the gorge right on campus and a view of Lake Cayuga. Middlebury gets my vote for the prettiest college I have ever seen, with its matching but varied gray stone buildings in perfect condition, across huge green lawns from one another, with expansive views of both the Adirondack and Green Mountains.

    Middlebury is not the most diverse college in the world by numbers, but its diversity benefits students in their daily lives and is not just on paper. Of all the colleges where we ate in the dining halls (and we visited 21), we were the most impressed by Middlebury, because there was actual integration as opposed to the race-segregated tables we saw at many other colleges. At Middlebury, we saw many tables where students of various races and appearances were sitting and talking and laughing together.

    Congratulations on having three great choices. There is no wrong choice here. Pick a favorite by feel and don’t look back!
  • rphcfbrphcfb Registered User Posts: 178 Junior Member
    I stayed in St Louis for 3 weeks and drove by WashU many moons ago. That’s about the extent of my knowledge about that U :)

    When we were looking for colleges, Middlebury and Cornell were on on top of her list. Both offer excellent liberal arts education. We toured both.

    We thought Cornell is in the middle of nowhere until we visited Middlebury. We love Vermont but Middlebury is quite remote. It makes Ithaca look like a large city. Lots of outdoor activites. You’ll have plenty to do. It is difficult to say how happy students were on one tour. D would have gone there had she been accepted.

    D was accept to Cornell/CAS. She loves it. Each language dept is relatively small. Her biggest class was about 50 students but on average, it is about 15 student per class. D knows every professor in her dept and they are very friendly and supportive. Stress comes in waves, usually right around prelim (test) times. When people say Cornell students are unhappy, that’s a generalization that can apply to any competitive college.

    The student body at Cornell seemed more diverse than Middlebury. D has made many friends, male and female, from many states and countries. We have eaten in the cafeterias several times. Students sit and eat with their friends, not by race or ethnic groups. I’ve read in CC more than once that Cornell students appeared to sit segregrated in the dining halls. That’s not what we have observed.

    Ithaca is a beautiful city by Lake Cayuga. There are many outdoor activities for you. It also has Ithaca College which is well known for its performing arts.

    It would be great if you could visit them. Cornell and Middlebury are about 5 hours apart. As others have said, all the choices are great.
  • grahamcracker123grahamcracker123 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    I currently live in the St. Louis suburbs and grew up in New England. Based on your description, I think Middlebury would be a great choice for you. It's not in a city (or even near one), has a really strong English program, and is probably the most collaborative of the three.

    Wash U is technically by St. Louis, but it's actually not city-like at all. It borders Clayton/U-City, two nice, trendy areas. Students are largely pre-professional.
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