Bucknell vs. Hamilton vs. Colgate

<p>I am wondering if anybody can compare and contrast these three schools. Also, if you’ve been to any of these, I would love to hear about your experience. I’m trying to decide which one of these schools to attend but it is very difficult to decide since I seem to like all of them. Any advice or information that could help me decide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!</p>

<p>i visited all three schools in the fall of 2003, eventually applying to colgate and bucknell (hamilton seemed too small for me). i was accepted by both bucknell and colgate and, obviously, chose bucknell, graduating in 2006.</p>

<p>people can split hairs all day long about these three schools but, at the end of the day, any of the differences that arent obvious (such as the size of bucknell vis-a-vis hamilton) are going to be fairly insignificant.</p>

<p>on average, are hamilton students perhaps slightly less pre-professional than bucknell or colgate students? probably. however, bucknell actually produces phds at the highest rate of the three, both in absolute and per capita terms. colgate comes in second, producing about 10% fewer (per capita) than bucknell, followed by hamilton, which produces about 10% fewer (per capita) than colgate. again, though, a small difference. (and in response to the alleged 'competitiveness' over cooperation at bucknell and colgate, i can say its absolutely not the case at bucknell and probably not the case at colgate, either.)</p>

<p>greek life is probably largest at bucknell, with approximately 38% of students involved. that number is around 31% at colgate and 24% at hamilton. however, based on finaid and pell grant data, bucknell has the least wealthy student body, with hamilton in the middle and colgate on top. bucknell is also the least diverse, at about 86% white. both colgate and hamilton are around 77% white. hamilton is the most liberal with about five liberals per conservative, with colgate in the middle and bucknell the most 'conservative' of the three, with a liberal-to-conservative ratio closer to 2 to 1. </p>

<p>one of the major differences in the schools is the presence of engineering at bucknell. this draws a number of nerdier, geekier students to bucknell who i did not see at either of the new york schools and serves as a real counterpoint to the stereotypical 'greek' scene. it also results in very large math and physics faculties, which will prove highly beneficial if thats where your interests prove to be.</p>

<p>at the end of the day, though, for most students the ultimate choice should be based on fit. if your gut tells you to go to hamilton, go to hamilton. if it likes colgate, go to colgate. if it likes bucknell, go to bucknell. the prestige each degree carries is virtually identical and as such, theres no going wrong.</p>

<p>good luck, and if you have any specific questions about bucknell, feel free to let me know.</p>

<p>Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. That actually helped a lot, but a few other questions are still lingering in my mind regarding Bucknell. </p>

<p>I've heard that the greek scene dominates social activities and I am really not the person who drinks and likes to party. So, I'm wondering if that statement is true and if not, what else do people do on campus when they're not studying or partying?</p>

<p>Also, I'm curious to know how big sports are on campus. Do many people attend the games or do only a few attend? Are sports games big for socializing or are there other events where people can socialize too? I enjoy watching some sports, but I don't want everybody going to watch sports games while I decide not to.</p>

<p>I'd be interested in learning a little bit more about the people on campus as well. Many describe them as preppy but I'm wondering if they are any different from other small liberal arts school like Colgate or Hamilton. I would think that everyone gets along with everyone else though since no matter where a person goes to college he/she will find friends.</p>

<p>Which brings me to my last point; how cliquey is the school? With Hamilton, I'm told that everyone gets to know everyone else since the school is so small but with Colgate and Bucknell, cliques form and people may not include others into their group. I don't know how true any of this is, but I'd like to know a little more about social groups and basically just the entire social life on campus.</p>

<p>And actually I have a last last question.... You said you looked at Hamilton, Colgate, and Bucknell. Hamilton was too small, which is understandable, but Colgate is very similar to Bucknell. So what made you choose Bucknell over Colgate? Is there something Bucknell has that Colgate doesn't? Did you find that there was a different atmosphere at both schools? Were the curriculum requirements different?</p>

<p>Thanks again for your time. I really appreciate your responses and they are definitely helping me make my decision.</p>

<p>ericatbucknell ... a very nice, cogent case. thanks. insightful and helpful, and we'll be interestd to read your replies to the above.</p>

<p>sportsboy821: Although I am an adult, I recently visited Colgate University & Bucknell University; both have gorgeous campuses with highly intelligent students. For an unfair typicalization, when I think of Bucknell, my first reaction is business & engineering; when I think of Colgate, finance, preppy & athletic comes to mind. In reality, both are preppy with very attractive and intelligent students. With respect to Hamilton College, intellectual students and strong writing programs come to mind. All three schools are academically outstanding and the students at all three schools know how to enjoy themselves. Assuming that your major is available at all three schools, you can't make a wrong decision. As a final thought, both Colgate & Bucknell have a bit of a country club feel to them.</p>

<p>One significant difference between BU and others is a 4 letter word ... snow.</p>

<p>Not nearly so much of it in Lewisburg. And fall lasts a little longer, spring comes a little sooner; both attractive enticements imo.</p>

<p>I'm having the Bucknell vs. Colgate quandary too. However, since I haven't been accepted by either yet, it may not be an issue.</p>

<p>im having the bucknell-colgate problem too. i was accepted by colgate already but still waiting for bucknell. i plan on majoring in chem and go pre-med so i was wondering if either of these schools has a significantly better science dept. id also love to know more about the student body at bucknell (preppy, athletic, artsy??)</p>

<p>sorry for the delay. in promixate order:</p>

<p>re greek life: yes, greek life is a pretty big part of the social scene. however, i do not think it is fair to say that it is dominating in any way. to put things into some context, there are approximately 300 more non-greek students at bucknell than there are students (greek or otherwise) at hamilton. yes, some non-greeks party every friday and saturday night. but at the same time, some greeks dont. regardless, there are a ton of students looking to do other things and as such, there are plenty of concerts (both classical and contemporary), comedians, free or $1 movies, and other non-alcoholic activities every friday and saturday night. and, of course, there are plenty of nights where people are tired and just want to hang out and watch a movie with friends. </p>

<p>speaking from experience, i rarely went to frat parties. i had no problem with them (they can be a fun release), but far more often i chose to hang out with a few friends, whether we drank or not. </p>

<p>re sports: the only event that draws consistently large numbers of students is mens basketball (and even this wasnt particularly true prior to the big victories over pitt, kansas, syracuse and arkansas in 05 and 06). students will go to football games when the weather is nice, but relatively few attend the entire game (you might meet a few friends there at halftime, watch a bit and then decide to do something else). in terms of other sports, you might go to an occasional swim meet or soccer match to root on a friend or hallmate, but students typically dont attend in large numbers.</p>

<p>re students: as i have said many times on this board, bucknell students are the NICEST group of people i have ever encountered. was there the guy on my freshman hall who thought he was a bit special? sure. did i find a few hallmates a bit annoying come may? yep. but EVERYONE was uniformly nice. </p>

<p>to address the 'preppy' moniker, its hard to address because 'preppy' has become such a loaded word. does it refer to people who actually went to prep schools? people who are upper-middle-class and wear collared shirts? people who are wealthy, wear collard shirts, play sports and have no real motivation in life? frat boys? frat boy business/poli sci/econ majors? who knows. what i do know is that terms like 'preppy' have little meaning to me now that i have graduated from college. though i dress like one, i am far from a prep. and i can say i met people with all the above characteristics who were really cool and met people with few of them who werent. youll find the same to be true at colgate and hamilton, which both often find themselves with the same 'preppy' tag.</p>

<p>also keep in mind that bucknell has its share of 'engineering geeks' and 'artsy' kids. everyone gets along and, out of 3500 smart students, its hard to not find MANY with interests similar to yours. how i survived in high school, with perhaps 80 students (9-12) qualified to get into bucknell, im not sure. </p>

<p>my battery is dying... more to follow.</p>

<p>great post ericabucknell. agreeing on a current definition for preppy isn't easy. back in my day, circa 1971, preppy meant guys who went to peddie, georgetown prep, phillips exeter/andover, etc. they typically wore blue bengal striped button down oxfords from brooks brothers when they played touch football or frisbee, and didn't care if they got ripped up or dirty. they had already read beowulf, studied latin, tinkered with an old mg or jag that didn't run on weekends, and weren't terribly concerned about getting a job when they graduated because their family owned the company where they would work.. </p>

<p>today is seems to mean more about who shops at jcrew or abercrombie & fitch, and has little to do with where one actually prepared for college. </p>

<p>all three schools being discussed here are great and the idea of joining a fraternity/sorority is just one of the major questions each matriculating freshman will face come fall...</p>

<p>my d is waiting and the wait is tough of us too. seek out the yale daily news insider guide to colleges. it may be a tough book to find but so far it has nailed the idiosyncracies of every campus we've toured. it is written by students from the respective school and compiled by undergraduate 'elis'.</p>

<p>best 'o luck!!!</p>

<p>the continuation of my post above....</p>

<p>re cliques: as i said in my previous post, everybody gets along. i really mean that. that doesnt mean that everbody is best friends with everybody else. that is an obvious impossibility. it does mean, though, that there are absolutely no cliques, at least not in the exclusionary high school sense. what i did find was that freshman halls do tend to subdivide into a few smaller social circles. this is partly due to necessity (20-30 people cant go to dinner together every night) and partly a natural social outcome. the kids who party together on friday and saturday nights often become closer to one another. those who would rather hang out with one another on the hall tend to become closer as well. its just not stiff in a high school clique kind of way, but rather the exact opposite. loose and fluid are very appropriate words.</p>

<p>edit: oh, and keep in mind that at least at bucknell and colgate (i dont know about hamilton), freshmen are not allowed to pledge/rush for fraternity/sorority membership. this results in freshmen halls tending to be very close and provides an opportunity for students to really learn about greek life before feeling pressured to make a decision about joining. and it really is a decision for all students, as there really is a greek organization for every student. even my geeky, nerdy freshman roommate considered joining a frat, as, contrary to stereotypes, bucknell has a frat comprised of many geeky, nerdy science and engineering majors. (i stayed independent as well and, except for rush week, when my greek-affiliated friends were busy, i never really felt it mattered.)</p>