Differences between Bucknell University and Colgate University

<p>My daughter is considering applying early to either Bucknell University or Colgate University. What are any differences in in student culture and student life between the two schools. Also, influence of Greek Life? (She knows higher percentage at Bucknell in Greek Life, but wondering about atmosphere?) She might be interested in sorority, but not wanting Greek Life to consume college life or crazy partying. Other differences?</p>

<p>Colgate a tad more prep and elite–but barely. Colgate in a very nice small town. BU is in a larger not so great larger town.</p>

<p>They are two similar schools:
Mid-Atlantic LACs;
very selective;
more pre-professional than some others;
more Greek participation than most LACs.</p>

<p>Have her go visit both schools and see for herself.
Many HS students seem to be keenly sensitive to subtle differences of atmosphere that parents don’t pick up.</p>

<p>We visited both and in interest of full disclosure my D is attending Bucknell (and decided not to apply to Colgate mostly due to her perception of lack of/very small theatre scene on campus). I agree that these two LACs are similar. But I disagree about Lewisburg being a “not so great” town - for a small town, the downtown strip is actually quite charming, many very nice boutiques, restaurants, coffee shop, frozen yogurt, Barnes and Noble – all adjacent to campus within easy walking distance. The “highway” with Walmart, grocery store, etc. is 10 min drive and University runs shuttles fairly regularly so even without a car D has been able to get anything she needs. Town of Hamilton seemed smaller and a bit more separate from campus to me but that’s just an impression from one visit. </p>

<p>Rather than talk about the strengths of both schools, I’ll limit myself to one of their weaknesses, particularly because your D has a disinterest in crazy partying. I’ve visited both. Both are pretty campuses, but Colgate carries the day. The students at Colgate seemed more interested in their studies, but both schools have a reputation for hard partying. The students at Bucknell, on both visits, went out of their way to convince us how important their fraternities, drinking, and hooking up were to their lives. I’m not saying it isn’t quite similar at Colgate. Both schools suffer from being rural, largely white, isolated LACs in the northeast, and the incidence of alcohol related problems in schools of this type is going to be higher than schools located elsewhere. I would examine carefully any school like these for their party culture, and I would ask point-blank questions of the administrators about what the university does every weekend to provide students with non-alcohol, non-sports activities to keep them from this kind of stress relief. There’s much they can be doing at both schools: organized kayaking, canoeing, hiking, skiing, climbing trips; community development; eco improvements; etc. Please ask.</p>

<p>I think if you are looking for a quiet intellectual non party/jockish school you would be better off looking at other schools with that identity. They are what they are and most that go to them are just fine with that. </p>

<p>^^I agree. Sounds like you’re more looking for schools like Bates, Colby, Hamilton, other NESCACs, Kenyon, Skidmore. Hamilton is 30 miles from Colgate, so if you’re looking at one, the other is an easy visit.</p>

<p>I have not been to the Colgate campus, but my daughter attends Bucknell. She does like Bucknell and feels that she is getting an excellent education. That being said, she did have a rough first year last year. She is not interested in Greek life and partying, both of those are extremely big at Bucknell. It took awhile but she did find some like minded friends and is having a good time this year. Lewisburg is small but charming.</p>

<p>I agree with Barrons that both Bucknell and Colgate have the reputations for “work hard, play hard” and you might be better served looking at schools that have a different vibe/identity. I am not so sure that Bates, Hamilton or other NESCAC are really going to give you a non-drinking, non-partying culture either though. </p>

<p>Virtually every college outside of BYU is going to have some sort of drinking and partying, it’s just a matter of how much. (And I’m sure you can find it even at BYU if you know where to look.) If you’re looking for a more restrained party scene, avoid those colleges that get listed in the Princeton Review as “Frats and Sororities Dominate Social Scene”, “Lot Of Beer Drinking”, or “Hard Liquor Is Popular”. Those should be red flags.</p>

<p>My son attends Bucknell, is extremely happy there, and is getting a top notch education with a lot of opportunities to conduct research with his professors. That being said, greek life does dominate the social scene on campus, no question about it. I’m pretty sure Colgate is the same way.</p>

<p>In terms of college town - my son decided not to apply to Colgate after we visited because there is absolutely nothing around campus. Not that Lewisburg is a booming metropolis by any means, but there is a nice area with shops, restaurants, and a movie theater within walking distance of campus. </p>

<p>I would definitely visit if I were you, but it sounds like your daughter may be happier looking in another direction. </p>

<p>Of course visits are important to guage the feel of the campus and its surrounds as well as the school’s course offerings and extracurriculars. Also, take note that the Colgate Greek scene is far less pervasive- 6 fraternities and 3 sororities- than that found at Bucknell with a more even balance of social alternatives.</p>

<p>I hope that no one is disparaging rural Hamilton, NY, the home of Colgate. It was ranked the 11th most friendly small towns in the country by Forbes in 2012- a source of continuing pride to Hamilton townspeople. It has 2 theaters, a nice shops including central NY’s largest independent bookstore, the Colgate bookstore, the iconic Colgate Inn and restaurants- Mexican, Chinese, Italian, pizza, whole foods, Indian, 2 American, and soon a Vietnamese.</p>

<p>For everyone there will be a new art center in Hamilton of 15,500 square feet for over $21 million. For those who enjoy athletics, Colgate’s D1 ice hockey is ranked at the top of the ECAC and top 7 in the country which brings out the best in school spirit. No ice hockey at Bucknell. In 2 years Colgate will deliver its new athletic facility for ice hockey, soccer and lacrosse, 97,000 square feet for $38 million.</p>

<p>Then there is Colgate’s endowment and third party rankings: makes for a very compelling outcome when comparing the two institutions. </p>

<p>Go 'gate!</p>

<p>I just checked about Greek life at Bucknell to see how important it is there. There are 19 houses for a student body that is roughly 700 students greater than Colgate’s 2900 students. That said, the Bucknell site also promotes the good deeds and sense of community engendered by Greek houses.</p>

<p>Now everyone will be on the same page. That’s 9:19.</p>

<p>Might look at Holy Cross-no greek life and only 1 hour from Boston. HC also meets 100% demonstrated financial need.</p>

<p>@MrMom62 - re posts #6 and #9: Bates, Colby, Hamilton and Kenyon all make the top 20 “Lots of Beer” Princeton Review list. Bucknell is also on the list.</p>

<p>I have the 2012 edition, those are not in my list. Colgate and Bucknell were listed at #11 and #12.</p>

Average GPA 3.54</p>

<p>Middle 50% SAT critical reading: 580-680</p>

<p>Middle 50% SAT math: 620-720</p>

<p>Middle 50% SAT writing: 600-690</p>

<p>Middle 50% ACT composite: 27-32 </p>

Average GPA 3.79</p>

<p>Middle 50% SAT critical reading: 660-750</p>

<p>Middle 50% SAT math: 670-760</p>

<p>Middle 50% ACT composite: 31-33</p>