More challenging Midd or W&M?

<p>Which is more challenging academically Midd or William & Mary? My son loves both schools and sees pros and cons for each. He has decided he should pick the one that is most academically challenging. He is thinking about majoring in International Relations and possibly Theater as a double major or minor. </p>

<p>Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated -- he must decide this week!</p>

<p>I don't know anything about William and Mary, but Midd is more selective and that may indicate something about the quality of students which tends to translate into rigor-- although I know this isn't always true. Maybe more importantly, it has both international relations and international studies as majors, a student body that is very enthusiastic about languages and international issues and super faculty in those areas.</p>

<p>I'm not too familiar with W&M either, but I know that PR regularly lists Middlebury among the schools whose students study constantly. Additionally, while W&M may be a fine school, Midd is certainly perceived as "better" academically.</p>

<p>Unless he prefers a more urban atmosphere, it's Midd. Midd also has a Washington DC semester study option, and their IR program is considered one of the very best.</p>

<p>Midd is much more selective, and students HS grades and test scores are higher, for whatever that is worth.</p>

<p>My S is a poli sci/econ student there and finds the work/caliber of class discussions much higher than at the school he attended as a non-matriculated student last Fall(he is a Feb)PM me if you want to know more.</p>

<p>A family friend loves W&M, but she was a more high B type student in HS, and went there for Historical Restoration.</p>

<p>
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Midd is much more selective,

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</p>

<p>Not exactly. Midd accepts 14% fewer students, but 94% of W&M admits have an A- or better. Midd doesn't publish GPA stats. Middle 50% SAT scores are very close.</p>

<p>W&M (the second oldest college in the country) is a cutting-edge research university and all that entails. W&M was ranked sixth by USNWR in a new national listing of the "Best Colleges for Undergraduate Teaching" </p>

<p>Both are great schools.</p>

<p>.</p>

<p>Did your son visit each campus? Different environments. One rural, the other not. Visit, visit, visit.</p>

<p>Crewdad, to be fair, to say that W&M is sixth on that list is great for W&M, and something W&M should be proud of, but it offers no insight into the comparison between W&M and Midd. Comparing undergrad education at a research University and an LAC is possibly the epitome of comparing apples and oranges. The best research university undergrad education might not be in the top 50 among LACs - where the focus is undergrad education. However, I agree, both are great schools. I just happen to think Midd is better academically.</p>

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Comparing undergrad education at a research University and an LAC is possibly the epitome of comparing apples and oranges

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<p>Actually, my response to OBD was to dispute Midd is "much more selective" than W&M- not compare fruit.
In hindsight, it would have been wiser to leave USNWR out of the discussion</p>

<p>That aside, I understand your point but don't necessarily agree. Dartmouth and Midd are regularly compared to each other. A significant number of Midd applicants also apply to Dartmouth. No one would argue Dartmouth's undergrad education is not equal to the top LACs. </p>

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The best research university undergrad education might not be in the top 50 among LACs -

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</p>

<p>That's true, but I wasn't comparing a generic research university. I was specifically addressing the quality of the undergrad education at W&M. Actually, all universities are research universities. Some more than others.</p>

<p>There's no need to belabor the point. We both agree Midd is one of the finest LACs in the country. Peace!</p>

<p>Honestly, we all know they are both great schools and very unlike. The OP asks which is more academically challenging.
I vote Midd because of :smaller class size, more engaged faculty, more opportunities for interdepartmental collaboration-any small LAC is going to be better at this than any large institution, more selective, and more intellectually oriented student body.
Crew Dad may disagree, but many of his points stray from the original question.</p>

<p>
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I vote Midd because of :smaller class size, more engaged faculty, more opportunities for interdepartmental collaboration-any small LAC is going to be better at this than any large institution,

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</p>

<p>What makes you believe W&M, Yale, Harvard, etcetera, have less engaged faculty or less opportunities for interdepartmental collaboration than Midd? My sister-in-law is a tenured med school professor at one the top three Ivy's ( she teaches undergrad as well) and, frankly, would be insulted your remarks. On the other hand, if what you say is true, I suppose your son was fortunate he was rejected by the Ivies. For that matter, why did he even apply to Harvard or Princeton?
I can guarantee my professor friends at Midd would take exception to your remarks, as well</p>

<p>
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Crew Dad may disagree, but many of his points stray from the original question.

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</p>

<p>Because your assertions anent selectivity and high school achievement between the colleges were false. The OP deserves nothing less than honesty when attempting to make such a difficult decision.</p>

<p>Tell ya what Doc, I'll soon be playing in the Finger Lakes region. I'll treat you to some fine NY wine-if there is such a thing- and we can contiunue this discussion with a bit of a buzz. We might find agreement easier. :)</p>

<p>Excuse me, but what has my S got to do with it? i think you are out of line here.</p>

<p>How can anyone know which is more challenging if you haven't attended both? You can read about scores and cross admits, and you can read about personalities of the schools, but to definitively say one is more challenging than the other is not a real question. Both are very well respected and very different from one another. I don't even think you can compare admissions statistics because really? Someone can apply to every single Ivy and get rejected by some, accepted by some and unceremoniously rejected from all. I honestly believe if you're down to two schools, you just have to go and visit and then decide. I mean really... beyond the money question and maybe choice of majors... doesn't it all come down to a gut feeling at some point?</p>

<p>I know W&M is known for rampant grade deflation. In that respect, it may be "more difficult." Frankly, I think the answer is irrelevant.</p>

<p>So? Which did he decide to attend? Don't leave us hanging.</p>

<p>Well, it was a tough decision and it finally came down to money. Since he would receive no financial aid at Middlebury he decided to attend William & Mary. He thought that putting himself in so much debt by attending Middlebury would never allow him the opportunity to attend a top notch graduate school. It sure is hard to be a middle class family with two working parents trying to afford living in the DC area--he still did not qualify for financial aid. I feel guilty that he wasn't able to attend his dream school despite our saving money for his education for 18 years, but I know he will love William & Mary.</p>

<p>Thank you for your responses. It was interesting to compare what was said on the Middlebury board as opposed to the William & Mary board.</p>

<p>Hey Kap, it's all good, I'm sure he will be a credit to his parents and himself. </p>

<p>Saving money just means you qualify for less aid for those of us in the middle-too rich for aid, too poor to write a check-or cash in annuities or whatever...</p>

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kap10 wrote:
It was interesting to compare what was said on the Middlebury board as opposed to the William & Mary board.

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^^LOL. I have to agree.</p>

<p>He will love W&M. What a great choice to have. Congrats!</p>

<p>W&M is a fantastic school among a number of wonderful schools in VA. It's great that he will be able to spend four years there. Congratulations!</p>