Hampden Sydney vs Auburn University

<p>My son has been accepted into both schools and really isnt interested in the social scene. His desire is to gain the BEST academic education and chance for admission to an Ivy league law school. He is an academic over-achiever witha 5.0 weighted GPA out of 4.0 and very involved with his community/civics (unfortunately he doesnt do standardized test well and only scored in the 1300's on Critical reading and Math part of SAT..made 790 on writing but the schools dont count that part!) I have read good and bad things regarding both schools. What I want is an honest, unbiased, view of which school has the most offering for academic rigor, future placement potential, and success rates. So disregarding social climate (conservative vs liberal) does anyone have input on the QUALITY of education and Law School admission rates for HSC graduates vs Auburn graduates?</p>

<p>With stats like that, your son should be interested in some higher quality schools (i.e. UVA, University of Richmond, Wake Forest, Emory, etc.) I have two relatives who both went to HSC. From what I have been able to piece together, It is very easy to get into HSC but hard to stay. Parties rule the school as well. I do not really know anything at Alabama.</p>

<p>I've stayed out of this thread because I know little of HSC and nothing of Auburn but I agree with DCPTWO in that her son (and mine) have no hope of getting into UVA, Univ. of Richmond, Wake, Emory, etc. with a great GPA and these kinds of test scores. That is exactly why we are looking at schools like this.</p>

<p>I have also heard that it's an easy school to get into, a hard one to get out of. Rhetoric seems to be a killer of many. I don't know that what I've heard says parties rule the school, either. I have heard that the party scene is there for those looking for it but there is plenty of other stuff too.</p>

<p>I have more knowledge of HSC than Auburn, but they appear to be very different schools. Is your son looking for a larger school, or a more intimate experience? (For example, Auburn is #9 on PR's "Least Accessible Professors" list; HSC is #5 on the "Most Accessible Professors" list.) How does he feel about HSC's single sex aspect? For Auburn, 36% of freshmen graduate in 4 years; it's 60% for HSC. Numbers on % of graduates going to law school are similar (6% for Auburn; 5% for HSC).</p>

<p>Has he visited both and asked these questions?</p>

<p>Our son is similar to the opening post. He is trying to choose between UNC CH and HSC. Has your son made his final decision and if so what and why.</p>

<p>Our son liked the idea of an all male school in terms of less distraction - he is big into study and learning. He came away from capmus visits very impressed with the professors he spoke to. Having gone to a very large univerisity myself - the small class size and ability to do research even as a freshman with a full professor is impressive at HSC. </p>

<p>He has gotten some grief from others at his high school who think that HSC is not rated academically on par with him. I did not get the impression from visits that it was a "skate through" school.</p>

<p>Disclosure: I am a recent graduate of Hampden-Sydney who has had a successful professional career to date and is currently preparing to apply to a handful of Ivy League business schools. I know you asked for an unbiased response, so please forgive me for violating your first wish. That withstanding, I would like to correct a few inaccurate statements made in this thread and answer a few questions posed herein.</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Academic rigor - It was correctly stated that HSC is easy to get into and hard to stay. As a component of fulfilling the college's mission "to form good men and good citizens in an atmosphere of sound learning", the college does not require a 1300+ and a 4.0 to win admission. The college is much more concerned with the product leaving the school than the product entering the school. Because of the college's focus on the final product rather than merely SAT's and GPA's entering the freshman class, the curriculum is designed to put maximum focus on enhancing the students' learning experience. Due to the small class sizes (student to teacher ratio ~ 10:1; average class size ~14), students must keep up with work and readings. Furthermore, classes are structured as more of a Socratic dialogue than a lecture. This set-up allows young men to develop the ability to think on their feet, develop logical solutions to problems, and express those solutions in a persuasive, concise manner. </p></li>
<li><p>Placement success - The average acceptance rate to graduate schools is around 50%. HSC men gain acceptance 80% of the time. Why is it so much higher than the national benchmark? The knowledge gained through the HSC experience parallels the competencies needed for success in the graduate school admissions process.
The first component of graduate school applications is the LSAT, GMAT, MCAT or GRE. HSC men excel on these tests because of the robust, well-rounded nature of their liberal arts education.
The second component of the graduate school application process is the application itself. Because of our rhetoric program, which teaches men how to write gramatically and persuasively, our men write very compelling essays.
Finally, the third part of the application process is the interview. HSC men really shine in interviews because they are able to speak from a much more diverse set of experiences than applicants from other schools. Though HSC is small (~1,100 students), it still has all the leadership positions that a larger school would have. Therefore, you have much greater opportunity to step forward and take on leadership challenges. And, because the community is small, you are able to see your initiatives through to completion and watch real change take place as a result of your efforts. It is much more difficult to plan, execute, and effect real change at a large school with many thousands of students and lots of red tape. Rhetorically speaking, which of those two alternatives do you think provides a young man with real, tangible experience developing his own self-confidence and leadership abilities?</p></li>
<li><p>UVA, U of R, Wake, Emory, etc. are all excellent schools. However, HSC was recently ranked higher than all of them. Go to Forbes.com and search "best colleges in South". Now, the Forbes rankings are different than Princeton Review and others. Whereas Princeton is primarily concerned with what goes into the school - GPA's & SAT's - Forbes is concerned with output. Intuitively, I think this makes sense. Do you pay for your kids to go hang out with other really smart kids, or do you want to pay for them to learn? Forbes takes the latter approach and considers the debt levels kids have upon graduation, job and graduate school placement rates and alumni giving (i.e., did you think highly enough of the school to give back?) among other relevant, output focused factors. </p></li>
<li><p>Someone mentioned that the four year graduation rate is 60%. Actually, it is a bit higher. Historically, it has floated between 66% and 68%. As some of you may be aware, girls are currently kicking boys' butts in the classroom. Overall, 57% of undergraduate students are women compared to only 43% men. The split is even more pronounced at liberal arts schools. The 4-year graduation rate for men is also considerably lower than that of women. HSC's 4-year graduation rate is in line with national averages (despite being 100% men) and significantly higher than the national 4-year graduation rate for men.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>I hope this is helpful to you and your family as you weigh your options. Please congratulate your son for me - having options is a GREAT thing. I hope that he will elect to join the HSC brotherhood! If he, or you, would like to chat, I'd welcome an email: <a href="mailto:matthewjguill@gmail.com">matthewjguill@gmail.com</a>.</p>

<p>As an HSC grad from the Midwest who attended an Ivy law school (Harvard) and had a classmate attend an Ivy business school (Harvard again), I agree with mattguill's general assessment. I would recommend reading the current Wikipedia on HSC for details on the Honor Code, the etiquette book given to every student (To Manner Born, To Manners Bred), and the long history of the college. If you want to party, you can find (or start) one on any campus, even "dry" ones, and HSC gents can host with the best of them. But they are optional. In my experience, we worked hard during the week, and played hard at week's end, but the Library was busy and the campus quiet Sunday afternoons. Students are expected to make good decisions. As I have commented elsewhere, HSC's proximity to predominantly female colleges and the significant population of Virginia residents with friends at other Virginia schools can result in an influx of students from other colleges for HSC weekends, making parties bigger than mere HSC participation might suggest. HSC is known for turning out professionals (doctors, lawyers, ministers, professors, business leaders, etc.), for more than two centuries. Union Theological and the Medical College of Virginia were started at HSC, but moved to Richmond. HSC has maintained its mission. The Rhetoric program, challenging but a real gem, like that firm teacher you hated while in school but loved later, is frequently cited by grads as instrumental to their success in whatever their chosen field of endeavor. Not every young man is cut out to handle the freedoms, responsibilities and expectations of attending HSC. I knew a brilliant merit scholar in the excellent Honors Program who did not survive the first year. HSC will test your mettle, in a loving and supportive, but equally demanding, environment. Can a slacker make it through HSC? Perhaps (although I'm skeptical). But he only cheats himself.</p>