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Admitted Student Day - Class of 2023

MoonshinerMoonshiner 1 replies1 threads New Member
Totally unimpressed with the revisit.
Poorly conducted in many respects. Numerous on-campus protests complete with chalk scrawled profanity, displaying a lack of respect for the school. I get that this is a place where advocacy is accepted and those skills are honed, but couldn't they shelve their dissatisfaction for even 2 days? If only out of respect for the potential incoming students and families?

The lunch was inedible. Bland mac and cheese. The alternative/accompaniment was a salad. But it ran out, as did the forks and the salad dressing.

If you are getting need-based aid, perhaps the value proposition is justifiable. But for those who are being asked to pay full fare - Smith has to do a much better job of showing the value, in both the academics and the experience. Sure the academics are very important, and I presume they are excellent. But there are many aspects to the college experience.

It was explained to me that merit money is very limited. They seem to be focused primarily on need-based support. While this is admirable, I began to feel like my daughter was admitted not only on her merits but on the hope that our full tuition payment would be used to offset the need-based aid given to others.

No thank you to Smith. For the amount of tuition they are charging, they need to do a better job of welcoming admitted students.
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Replies to: Admitted Student Day - Class of 2023

  • swimmermom2swimmermom2 62 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Did anyone else attend this who can comment on their impressions? My D attended by herself and she is now on her way home.
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  • odannyboySFodannyboySF 443 replies12 threads Member
    Smith's food is notoriously bad. "No one comes here for the food." —my Smithie

    Yes, there were unexpected protests on campus. It's a natural activity at Smith. (And at many colleges.)

    While it's "need aware" Smith has a $2 billion endowment and a 30% acceptance rate (and falling). No one is being admitted just because they can pay. (More likely some people are being declined because they can't pay.)
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  • MoonshinerMoonshiner 1 replies1 threads New Member
    1). I don’t believe she was admitted just because we can pay. It’s that we were left feeling like she wasn’t really wanted, but rather - if she really wanted Smith they would let her in for the price of full tuition.
    2). As far as the food - we have a D at MHC up the road where the new dining facility and food is fantastic. No one goes to Smith for the food? Overlooking the nutritional needs of college students doesn’t seem like something that should be dismissed as of only secondary importance. It’s a shortcoming that should be acknowledged, addressed, and corrected, not just shrugged off as some sort of tradition.
    3). I understand protests and realize they come with the territory at Smith. But being around perpetually discontented people is not conducive to a positive atmosphere.
    4). Two days later we attended an admitted students day at another university and were amazed at the contrast. It was really a sad reflection on Smith.
    5). I’m sorry that our experience seems so negative. Perhaps you will just dismiss us as anti-Smith naysayers.
    But my intent is not to denigrate Smith, I’m just trying to objectively report what we saw and how we felt. I’m suggesting that maybe if others felt similarly, that maybe Smith needs to address some issues. Not for our sake - because we’ve moved on. But for THEIR sake and that of their future students.
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  • Idaho FatherIdaho Father 52 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @Moonshiner : sorry your experience was poor. I would offer that based on our experience with our older D, we've avoided going to admitted student weekends for the reason that they're so over the top sensationalized that you can't get an idea of what a normal weekend is at the school. I've read in multiple places in this forum that Smithies like to push the envelope a bit on this weekend, you had to bear the brunt of that, and for that I'm sorry. My wife and D went the previous weekend and had a very good experience--not hyped, just an average weekend where they got to visit with some faculty and advisors, have lunch with a few students and walk around campus and Northampton.

    I will make a specific note about the food. Our D is on a very restricted diet, and she found several good options at the dining hall she happened to have lunch at; further, Smith has a gluten-free hall and several halls have vegan and vegetarian fare. I believe all halls have a salad bar. I believe you got a less-than-true depiction of the school, and I know that's got to be frustrating, especially if the trip was an expensive one for you. Hope your D is able to find a good option for her. Lastly--if you have younger kids--I'd highly recommend avoiding the admitted student weekends and opt for a normal weekend visit instead, as you'll get a much more accurate feel for the students and the school.

    Good luck!
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  • swimmermom2swimmermom2 62 replies2 threads Junior Member
    My D enjoyed the Discovery weekend, attended interesting classes with engaged students, met faculty and attended a couple of performances (acapella and theater). Yes, she mentioned the protest but did not view it negatively. She thought the food was pretty good. She connected with some current students and “prospies” and had an overall positive experience.
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  • AtyrauloveAtyraulove 132 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I have a child at Smith, and am sorry about your experience @Moonshiner . I don’t believe you had the opportunity to see the real Smith.
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  • starkfly1545starkfly1545 4 replies1 threads New Member
    edited April 2019
    I was at the Admitted Students Day last weekend and the events that transpired on campus are what convinced me to go there.

    As a transfer student, I’d much rather have an active campus with a student body who takes a stand for something they believe in. I’m coming from a school with little to no political activism, camaraderie, or student engagement. The protest that occurred at Smith showed me that students care and that they’re passionate. That’s what I want from my education.

    In terms of the food I agree it wasn’t great but honestly it’s college food. No school truly has too-tier food (speaking from experience). There’s also great options off campus in Northampton in regards to food.
    edited April 2019
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  • Akqj10Akqj10 276 replies19 threads Junior Member
    odannyboySF."No one is being admitted just because they can pay. ( More likely some people are being declined because they can't pay )' It's a zero sum game. If you have ten marginal applicants, half can pay and half can't, and you are going to accept 5, if you decline 5 because they can't pay, then the 5 you accept are because they can pay.
    Most schools with an endowment that large per student, ( if not all ) are need blind. With a 2 billion endowment shouldn't they be need blind?
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  • akin67akin67 179 replies8 threads Junior Member
    I respectfully disagree with the original post. College is not a country club and nor should it be. Furthermore, admitted student days should not be about bribing students to attend, but rather as accurate a depiction of the real conditions students are likely to experience while in attendance. We have been to Smith for several overnights as well as the admitted students days, and were very impressed with the education and life experience Smith would provide our daughter. While there, to get a good idea of the dining experience we ate at the Vegetarian dining hall (Northrup & Gillete Houses) and were thoroughly satisfied. We had children attend Hamilton, Dartmouth and Richmond, and we usually ate the dining halls of the a dozen or so colleges we visited. The food at Smith was just as good as any of them. Also, the meal plan at Smith allows students to go to any of the 15 or so dining halls across the campus as often as they like with no swipe limits. The fact that they have 15 dining halls for such a small campus is great. It allows students to get a quick bite no matter where on campus they happen to be during lunch time.

    I like the fact that Smith is not wasting money on providing a country club type experience during admitted student days. I like that they would rather spend that money on academics and financial aid for students. At Smith over 60% of students are on financial aid, a higher percentage than most similar colleges.

    Lastly regarding the protests, Smith is actually has far more progressive policies than most colleges. Despite such policies, their students were protesting for even more progressive policies. They are known to attract a very vocal and active student body. So if you don't want students who are progressive activists then Smith may not be the right place for you.

    Overall we were very impressed with Smith in general. And more importantly it was an excellent fit for our daughter. She will be attending Smith in the fall.
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  • jenjarleyjenjarley 1 replies0 threads New Member
    I had a very different reaction to Admitted Students Day. We have visited many schools over the past three years, and every time we have visited Smith, I have come away impressed. The students have always been extremely friendly and engaged and passionate, the professors and staffers informative and helpful. Everyone seems to go out of their way to help. One of the things I appreciated the most was how honest and transparent people were. On Admitted Students Day, there was a protest occurring on campus. Parents asked about it, and every time someone asked, the response seemed truthful and informative. (I already knew the background from the Smith Facebook page.) Not all other schools handle information this way. We have been at a few where the answers to questions seemed evasive and unhelpful.

    I appreciated the mac and cheese because it was a cold, raw day, and warm comfort food appealed to me after walking around campus all morning. But college food is not really one of the things I concern myself with. Smith has something like 17 dining halls. This seems more than sufficient, and I’m sure the food quality is much better than when I was in school.

    I liked how eager people were to share information. Professors, administrators, students were there to answer any question. They sat at every table during meal time. Every student I talked to during our several visits reminded me in some way of my daughter. (This did not happen at even one other school.) I felt that my daughter would be at home on the campus.

    The first time we visited was on a warm day in February, a day that I still refer to as “funny-hat day” (even though I now believe it is called Rally Day). I fell in love with the students, culture, and community engagement. I talked to an inordinate number of students that day because they were everywhere on campus.

    I do, however, feel your financial pain. We have been saving for 17 years, and still it is not enough. I think I am going to have to take a second job, and my husband is going to stop funding his retirement. We are in our sixties, and would like to retire some day. It doesn’t look like this will happen any time soon.
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