If you have visited Hamilton or Bucknell or know students attending

<p>I am looking for parent's opinions on either Hamilton College or Bucknell University. While my daughter has visited both, I would like to see if others came away with the same ideas. </p>

<p>Also, if you know students that have attend these schools, I would lve to hear anything that might help my daughter make a decision. Of course, she has to be admitted first!</p>

<p>a friend attended Bucknell for two years then transferred to western wa univ.
She didn't like the town, said college/town relationship not good, too large emphasis on frats in social life.
Take in account she was from more laidback west coast, east coast may have been too big of change.
She was an international business major
this has more reviews
<a href="http://www.studentsreview.com/PA/BUU_c.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.studentsreview.com/PA/BUU_c.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Visited Hamilton 2 years ago. I loved the campus - thought it was very attractive (the 60's side of campus is not as attractive, but it's ok), very rural, very northeast - cold, snowy winters (these are all positives to me). They've done away with frat houses (turned them into dorms); seem to emphasize writing in all course work, close student-faculty relations, foreign languages seem to be very good. Don't know anyone who's graduated from there but am acquainted with three people who attended and transferred. Basically they were looking for more of something specific that was better served by other schools. Although I have nothing but positive impressions of the school, I know there are negative prejudices out there - that it's a school for rich kids who couldn't get into the Ivy league (and therefore aren't hard workers) or that there's a lot of drinking on campus. I do know they are explicit in stating that they take ability to pay into account in the last 5 or 10% of their admissions decisions (you should find that easily on their web site). Like all small, rural liberal arts colleges, a student has to want that kind of setting to be happy.</p>

<p>We visited Hamilton this summer and loved it. D's guidance counselor recommended she put it on her list, so we went to check it out, after reading a very positive review of it in the Fiske guide. It seems to have somewhat of a preppy reputation but the student that guided us around was anything but preppy. It sounded to us as if kids come in with their high school ecs, be they music or sports or whatever, and then get new interests by being supportive of their new friends and their new friends' interests, and thus all come out much more well-rounded than when they came in. The school also makes it easy for kids to start new clubs if their particular interest is not already set up for them. They assured us that there are research opportunities for undergraduates, and I was impressed with the research the professors are doing; they had a section in the bookstore with books written/edited by faculty members and a lot of them looked very interesting. And yes, they are very proud of the reputation they have/are getting for the excellent writing skills their students develop. We came across, or they showed us, a funny story having to do with Sam Dash talking to his class at Georgetown Law Center after returning a written assignment. He asked one after another, "What college did you go to?" They came from very prestigious colleges, but when one kid said, "Hamilton," it was then that Dash said, "And this student can write!" (Don't flame me; I know students from other colleges can write too; I'm just relating a story that Hamilton is proud of.)</p>

<p>Our tour guide at Cornell transferred to Cornell from Bucknell after his freshman year. He said Bucknell felt too small for him and he didn't like the town. He is really happy at Cornell.</p>

<p>The frat scene is BIG at Bucknell, regardless of what they tell you on the tour. I have a real problem with that. Also lots of very preppy, wealthy kids. Campus is pretty.</p>

<p>I will post in the defense of Bucknell, because I have a sibling attending. She loves it, she does not drink and is not involved in greek life and still has a great group of friends who are always doing things together. I personally love the campus. And to consider the students "preppy, wealthy kids", it just really depends what kind of socio-economic background you come from. Not to mention, that description implies a negative connotation. During my visits I've found the student body extremely friendly, even all the employees of the campus were extremely friendly.</p>

<p>My son was interested in Hamilton so we spent quite a bit of time researching and visiting. After he interviewed in the summer, he kept up an e-mail conversation with one of the admission officers and found her to be extremely forthcoming and helpful. </p>

<p>The college seems to be trying to upgrade intellectually; take a look at the course catalog for interesting and stimulating courses (or at least titles!). I believe they are serious about attracting smart, active students. They recently had brouhaha in which a much respected president was forced to step down due to plagiarism in a speech. He was on the right academic and social track and I hope the new administration follows his direction. The abolition of fraternities was very unpopular with alums but seems to have helped in re-focusing the social scene.</p>

<p>The campus is lovely -- the new part which they affectionately call The Dark Side is at least lively. The major problem is that there is nothing within walking distance. To get to Clinton, which is a charming village, you'd really need a car. We spent the night there and really enjoyed the atmosphere, but unlike Williamstown for example, the town is physically separate from the campus. There are lots of opportunities for outdoorsy activities in the Adirondacks. An interest in winter sports would be a plus as it's a long, cold winter.</p>

<p>My favorite part of Hamilton is their year abroad program in Antarctica. How's that for getting away!</p>

<p>Both schools are in the middle-of nowhere, if aplying to Hamilton why not Colgate. Other LAC'S with better locations, Holy Cross-1 hour to Boston, Trinity College in Hartford.</p>

<p>About 5 years ago I worked with a guy who was a Bucknell alum. He was VERY bright and well liked. "Todd" (that was his name-I forget last name) . We were rather young (in the grand scheme) so I imagined that wasn't all that tainted by Corp life, yet. He was one of those kids who got hired and whizzed right on up the ladder, out of sight from the rest of us "climbers". </p>

<p>They need a little help w/ Diversity though</p>

<p>Friends son attends Bucknell. Smart waspy kid. He didn't drink when he left, and didn't think he would start. However, frats are big, he joined one, his nickname is something like Blackout. That's pretty much it's reputation. Hard to get in, expensive, not diverse, Abercrombie and Fitch, lots of frats. Oh, yeah and friend's son loves it.</p>

<p>yes....Abercrombie....good description Kathie P. That's the impression I got as well....smart waspy kids. I hate to generalize based on my limited experience...so I won't. But, a look at their diversity stats tells the tale.</p>

<p>It not unusually for a teen to beging drinking at college, with or without frats. These kids are off alone without mom and dad checking up on them, asking where they have been and with who. It takes a strong kid to keep away from the vises of college.</p>

<p>As far as diversity, neither Bucknell or Hamilton ar diverse; many of the LAC are not diverse. It is very hard to find a group of colleges that can fit all one childs needs and wants. Sometimes you have to pick and choice what works best for the child. I hate hearing parent comment on where my other kids or there friends attend college; things like, "Isn't there a lot of alcohol on that campus?" "I heard about the student that committed suicide on campus." or "That school is only a safety school." Just because my child attends a school with some reputation, it doesn't mean he drinks, does drug, went there because he couldn't get in anywhere else, or is mentally unstable. Any school is what you make of it. I think many of the kids undertand this, I just wish some of the parents did too.</p>

<p>Sorry. Don't buy it. The culture of a campus, and as set by its administrators and tradition, sets the tone for the college experience. If this was not the case, the experience of HYP, AWS and students of dozens of other places would simply be clones of each other - after all, they are accepting the very same students. And yet, from campus to campus, with students from the same pool, one can find huge differences in binge drinking, drugging, sexual harrassment, hazing, time spent in the library, support of the football team, etc. Yes, ultimately, the decisions are those of the kids, but they also see their campus as encouraging or discouraging particular choices, and can choose according. Once you accept that BYU and Yale have different binge drinking rates, the rest is all a matter of degree.</p>

<p>No student has to drink at any college, and there is drinking at every college. Most people agree with that. Nevertheless, some schools have a more dominant frat-type drinking culture than others. For some non-party kids, that would be a turn-off. Some wouldn't mind. It doesn't mean that the kid will necessarily start drinking there, just that they'll have to maneuver around the dominant campus culture. My D started at a school like that and was miserable there. I don't know if Bucknell is similar, but that is its rep.</p>

<p>Bucknell is just the right size -- not too big that you become another statistic, not too small that you get tired of seeing the same old people. The campus is beautiful. The new athletic center is impressive. Classes are small with accessible faculty. Wireless internet connection is available throughout the campus. The residential theme housing fosters a lot of instant friends. If you are concerned about alcohol use etc., substance free housing is available. Most of the students look normal (in other words, they don't wear their pants halfway down to the ground or have excessive tattoos and piercings). Bucknell has a safe and secure feel to it. It's hard to find much wrong with the school.</p>

<p>My son visited Bucknell. The campus is absolutely beautiful, and the academics seem sound. But the other posters' experience was similar to ours: the school is definitely small town, with all that's good and bad about small towns, and the emphasis on frats was quite apparent. My son felt that it was too much in a bubble: life would revolve around parties and the school itself, and it was too divorced from the real world. However, for those attracted to LAC's, that's already been taken into account. One thing about the frats, though, is that the students join them in sophomore year, rather than as freshmen. Bucknell indicated that took some of the pressure off the frats as being the focus of student friendships. Although I take their point, and it's a good one, I also felt that they had to do that to keep the frats' influence down to manageable proportions. After all, you don't pass a law to contain frats, unless the frats needed containing.</p>

<p>Just another view here:</p>

<p>My son is at Bucknell this year and loves it! Freshman do not rush, but I doubt that he will join a fraternity next year. He has plenty to do as a non-Greek. He is more on the "grunge" side....but does not feel that it is too "preppy." We are from south Texas. It was his favorite campus from all of his visits. We are middle class, and he is receiving 1/2 tuition.</p>

<p>His classes are small, the largest is a Biology lecture with 45 students. He has already joined a political group, the debate club, and is writing for a campus publication. </p>

<p>Drinking continues to be an issue. They have a mandatory alcohol awareness class for freshmen and a point system for alcohol infractions. </p>

<p>The campus is lovely.</p>