Is Middlebury a good choice for Vermonters? (Middlebury vs. NEK)

<p>My guidance counselor told me to look into Middlebury because of my grades and motivation to learn. I've been told by many that I could get in. But when I looked through the website, I found an article about hunters on campus and the hatred directed at them by "environmentalists" on campus. (A true steward of the environment would understand the importance of hunting today to maintain balance in an ecosystem) It seemed like a lot of the students were urban and upper class, and had no concept of how things are in Vermont. I don't know if I'd fit in on campus. However, the academics are what I'm looking for.
A lot of people on this site who give opinions about the college are not from Vermont, (and that's ok) but I would like to know how the experience is for Vermonters. I know it seems "small" to many people, but Middlebury is huge to me. I live in the NEK, so my town is really just a few hundred people in the woods. The rigor and independence in academics draw me to consider it, but then I hear that it is full of "rich snobs". Also, how many scholarships are available? Are there any for Vermonters?
Will I feel out of place? </p>

<p>Well, my step dad fixes boilers and my mother is an office assistant, and I am (probably) heading to Middlebury. I am from rural-y Massachusetts. Not exactly urban or middle class. Remember, almost half of the class in on some form of financial aid. Six percent of the student body is from Vermont. </p>

<p>Redshift, good question. I think every student finds that any college is unlike their hometown to some degree, whether they come from the suburbs, a small town, or overseas. That said, the town and campus is welcoming to all. I’m from upstate New York (and now have a Vermont hunting license) and I’ve found Midd students to be acceptable to hunting (and just about every other outdoor activity). </p>

<p>The people who end up here are really good at embracing Vermont and Addison County. I’ve gotten involved in a couple of town committees and found local residents to be equally excited to have college student participation. </p>

<p>To answer your scholarship question, this is how it works (I think): First, Middlebury doesn’t pay attention to a student’s ability to pay when he/she applies. Second, once you’re admitted, the college will give financial aid to meet 100% of your demonstrated financial need through grants (scholarships), a work-study on-campus job, and a loan capped at $3k per year or less). The greater the need, the larger the grant, with the intent to make it affordable and minimize debt. This applies whether you’re from Lyndonville, Vermont, or London, England. So although Midd has a high sticker price, it is generous with financial aid. </p>

<p>Although I grew up across the state line and can only speculate, I think Vermonters love being at Middlebury, and I know that MiddKids love Vermonters. Sorry for the long post- hope this helps.</p>

<p>Battenkill- Thanks for such a good response! I understand that anywhere I’ll go will be an adjustment and bigger than my town. I was hesitant about more elite schools when my friend who went to Harvard said they felt out of place and uncomfortable and were “surrounded by prep school kids” who were hard to connect with, but Middlebury seems to have a different atmosphere. I just came back from a visit and the whole place was very friendly and I liked the feeling of the place.
Also, thanks for the scholarship and financial aid information. That was the biggest issue for me with Middlebury. (the price!) On the visit I found out that it may be cheaper for me to attend Middlebury than UVM or even a state college, because of all the grants I can qualify for. </p>

<p>For international students Middlebury is needs aware meaning that it pays attention to an international student’s ability to pay</p>

<p>The Midd magazine just ran a feature on students that are hunters.You might want to read it.It’s actually a common activity for a substantial group of students. You have to keep your gun at Pub Safety, but that makes sense of course. </p>

<p>lime- I am not an international student, I live in the NEK. I wonder if there is an instate price? I don’t think so, because it’s private, but maybe there are specific/local scholarships? </p>

<p>@redshift802 Middlebury is not a state school, so there is no “in state” price. However, they do base your financial aid package on your parent’s income. Check out the Net Price Calculator here: <a href=“http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/support/sfs/npc”>http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/support/sfs/npc</a>. If your parent’s income is not too high, then Middlebury will give you a very favorable financial aid package. </p>

<p>Will you be comfortable there? There will be some students there that come from families that are VERY wealthy, no doubt about it. They won’t all be rich, but there will be plenty there that are well off. Can you deal with that? If you can, then Middlebury will give you some great opportunities and allow you to meet a lot of people that you wouldn’t ever run into in the NEK. If your reaction is, “what a bunch of snobs”, then this is not the place for you. </p>

<p>You have to remember that in the lottery of life, some people win and are born into wealthy families. It doesn’t make them better or smarter or more accomplished, just luckier. So how you deal with people like this is entirely up to you. By the way, do you go to St J’s?</p>

<p>Do a school tour during your April break and visit both UVM and Middlebury. Both have a lot to offer and it would be good for you to compare them.</p>

<p>When I talk about feeling comfortable, it’s not that I would feel uncomfortable around wealthy people, but that I may not be accepted by them, or be directly teased or harassed. The reason I began this thread was because of several people who warned me to avoid elite schools because of “snobs”. A friend of mine went to Harvard and found the people in their dorm to be rude, snobby, and thought of others as lesser. (Also, my friend was harassed because of their background) I’ve encountered people who look down on “the rednecks” and treat them like trash. I’ve even been directly harassed by wealthy tourists. Still, most rich people I’ve met were very nice, but I hear differently when it comes to colleges. </p>

<p>I know I can not avoid unkind people in life and that I must deal with them- we all have to. But the best educational environment for me, and for most people, is a welcoming and friendly one. A friendly environment and campus vibe is an important factor in choosing a college for me. (Maybe even the top factor) I don’t care how much money other student’s parents make. I care about whether or not I’ll be respected, feel at home, and have things in common with others. I know any college I go to will be different from my town and not exactly like home, but I’d like it to be a comfortable place to live, considering I’d be living there for a few years. I hope that’s not too much to ask. </p>

<p>I went to Lake Region for a year, then North Country. </p>

<p>Oh, and I’m in grade 11. I want to switch to the Lyndon Institute or St J’s for my senior year, but I’d have to board during the week so I probably can’t. </p>

<p>Redshift, I simply can’t imagine Midd students looking down on or harassing a fellow student. Yes, there are lots of different backgrounds, but you all have one thing in common - you were admitted at Middlebury. That’s quite an accomplishment that all students will appreciate. You may still have differences of opinion, but respect will already have been earned. </p>

<p>@redshift802 If you want to go to St. J’s or Lyndon Institue, you need to call their admissions department ASAP. Tell them your situation and ask about applying and scholarships. Ask if there are any scholarships for students from your county. </p>

<p>Regarding Middlebury, the vast majority of the students will be respectful to you and won’t care about where you came from. There will always be a few jerks, but you will find them ANYWHERE you go to school. </p>

<p>Again, go tour the college, preferable while school is in session. You have a school break coming up.</p>