William and Mary vs Gettysburg

Looking for any insight on these 2 schools which my son has narrowed down as his top choices for the fall. He has received some aid making the difference in cost about $30k more for William and Mary (we are OOS) over 4 years which we could manage if we truly thought that is the best place for him. He is undecided on a major and wants to continue theater productions for fun (not for a career choice.) He will need career guidance, but considering law school after college.

Other info- he has always said he wanted a smaller school. He is a good student but concerned about the coursework stress and grade deflation at William and Mary- unclear if this has any validity. He is not sure about Greek life, but has the impression not necessary to participate in either school if not interested.

Thanks for your input!

William & Mary doesn’t have grade deflation in any objective sense. Like almost all colleges it has had grade inflation (rising GPAs over time). Average GPA at William & Mary was 3.33 in 2014 according to gradeinflation.com website. That is fairly high among public universities. In comparison, Gettysburg was 3.17 in 2015.

Both schools have about the same percentage Greek, but my impression is it is a bit more central to life at Gettysburg. You may want to research other sources like Princeton Review which are based on surveys. They also look at things like student satisfaction, quality of life, classroom, etc.

You’ll need to make the decision based on costs and your finances, but keep in mind the ROI may vary and you should factor that. The biggest factor in ROI will probably be choice of major but expected ROI can vary by school considering majors. This website below provides a comparison of actual earnings compared to projected earnings based on the percentage of graduates in each major (e.g. engineering majors typically have higher initial earnings than humanities). William & Mary comes out ahead in that analysis by about $2,700 per year.


Thank you for your perspective and for the link. Very helpful.

I have only officially toured Gettysburg with my daughter (walked around W&M’s campus a few years ago during a visit to the area) but it seems that the general collective wisdom on this forum says that W&M students tend toward slightly more quirky personalities (sort of friendly individualists who can be sociable but also spend quiet time on personal pursuits) whereas Gettysburg tends toward more mainstream to preppy students. Of course, that’s a huge generalization and I’m sure there are many students at each school who don’t fit these stereotypes.

I know nothing about theater at either school.

Did you or your son get to visit?

I’ve known W&M folks and they seem to be achievers and fun and interesting, and creative. Also, though demanding generally they liked their time there.

Where did your son end up attending? We are choosing between the same 2 schools.

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The OP has not been on CC for almost two years. Please do not reopen such old threads.