Williams, Vassar, or neither?

<p>I have most of my applications done but its getting way to expensive, (I'd have to pay about 345) so I need to cut a few schools off my list. </p>

<p>I'm looking for a school that is strong in my possible majors, biology or psychology, has good study abroad programs and is a very laid back, fun school. </p>

<p>Most of my friends keep telling me that I'll hate being in a school in the middle of nowhere and that the most fun I'd have is getting drunk, something I'm not planning on doing. </p>

<p>I really do think that I might have a great college experience going to either of these schools but I'm not sure. Can someone tell me details about each school and try to persuade me to apply to oe or the other. If you hate both of them, tell me why. I don't want to regret my decision if I choose not to apply to either. </p>

<p>Thank you!</p>

<p>Geography is destiny. If you're not into winter sports you will be a member of a distinct minority at Williams. OTOH, not being from New York would do the same thing for you at Vassar.</p>

<p>^I'm from Ct and I only play soccer so I don't suppose I fit into either category.</p>

<p>I just want to know why so many people love these schools and decide to go to them because I'm still not sure if they're for me.</p>

<p>Williams clearly benefits from its perpetual top position in the USNews poll which it maintains largely by spending a lot of money on a small number of undergraduates. There's no medical school, no major NIH funded labs, no think-tanks or other distractions to siphon money away from a small campus divided almost evenly between high-maintenance trust fund babies and kids on Pell grants. There's so little to spend money on they basically have to build and rebuild the same facilities over and over again every twenty years just to make it look as though they are an educational facility and not just a hedge fund with a campus. They have so much money they are tearing down a thirty year old library and rebuilding it (with no increase in size) just because they thought the old one was "ugly". Not even the credit meltdown is deterring them.</p>

<p>Vassar is not quite as rich as Williams so it sits a bit lower in the rankings. But, it is closer to New York City. People go there either because their parents still remember when it was part of the Seven Sisters, an all-women's version of the Ivy League, or frankly, because it has a reputation for lots of alcohol and hooking up (it's still just about 60% women.)</p>

<p>Williams has, relatively, a very small number of students on Pell Grants.</p>


Slander much? Remember, Williams is a LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE. The point of liberal arts colleges is to FOCUS ON THE STUDENTS-- is that really so bad?? There's not going to be incredibly huge research going on there, but that doesn't mean its nonexistent. Click</a> this to see what I mean.... Yes, and you're right, only the rich or the desperately poor go to Williams-- because no one else can afford the <em>gasp</em> TERRIBLE financial aid. I mean, at least Wesleyan abolished student loans....oh wait.... that was Williams....

There's so little to spend money on they basically have to build and rebuild the same facilities over and over again every twenty years just to make it look as though they are an educational facility and not just a hedge fund with a campus.

False. Absolutely false. If you haven't noticed, it's only in the past decade that Williams has been renovating its facilities-- and why shouldn't one of the top LAC's have-up to-date buildings in the new millenium--- hmmmm....? </p>

<p>And yes, Williams (at 1.3 billion) is sooo sooo rich compared to other top schools in the nation-- about 5 times as rich as Harvard at its (formerly) 30+ billion and Yale (25ish billion)

They have so much money they are tearing down a thirty year old library and rebuilding it (with no increase in size) just because they thought the old one was "ugly". Not even the credit meltdown is deterring them.

Two things:
1.The library is hideous.--- I mean, have you seen that thing??
2.This project is being put on hold, dumbass. </p>

<p>The sad thing about your argument is that it can be turned around fired right at your own precious little school.</p>

<p>Pawn_H7, johnwesley is probably not a dumbass. He's just bitter Wesleyan is no longer mentioned in the same breath as Williams. Poor thing. </p>

<p>I've seen the library on my college tour last year. It was perfectly fine the way it is. </p>

<p>His description is an exaggerated version of Williams, not too far from the truth.</p>

<p>I think they are both very good schools, but rather different (as LACs go--obviously, they are more like each other than they are like a big state school). To paint with a broad brush: Williams tends towards the preppier side (though they do have a good arts program), while Vassar tends towards the hipster/quirky side. As far as I know, both are rather fun and laid back within those catagories.</p>

<p>Although there are certainly people who would be almost equally happy at both, for the most part you should be able to tell what side you lean to. What other schools are you applying to? I see Vassar as more like Brown, Wesleyan, Oberlin and Williams more like Dartmouth, Middleburry, etc. All these schools have very smart and involved students, but with different "flavors."</p>

<p>It is true that people say there is a large drinking community at Williams because of the isolation, but there are some people on this board with more direct experiance who say its perfectly possible to enjoy the school without drinking. I never visited (I was all about the Brown/Wes side of things), but it seems like a nice school for the right kind of person.</p>

<p>I personally really liked Vassar, it was probably in my top 5 for schools. The campus is stunning! It's location isn't great, but you can get into NYC, and it's biggish for an LAC. The only thing that bugged me was the 60/40 female/male ratio. But I think you should apply if it seems like the kind of school you like.</p>

<p>PS. I think this infighting is silly. Lets just all agree that LACs rock and its awesome that people are considering them and trying to find the right personal fit? --A Wes student who knows people could pull out just as mean (and untrue) generalization/stereotypes of Wes, if they wanted to.</p>

<p>johnwesley's post is very funny, whether or not it reflects reality.</p>

<p>"People go there either because their parents still remember when it was part of the Seven Sisters, an all-women's version of the Ivy League, or frankly, because it has a reputation for lots of alcohol and hooking up (it's still just about 60% women.)"</p>

<p>Sometimes people go to Vassar because of the great academics? Or the amazing campus? Or fantastic students?</p>

<p>okay, in the interest of fairness (and, because I'm procrastinating), here's an answer to the question the OP hasn't asked, "Why So Many People Love Wesleyan":</p>

<p>USNews doesn't quite <em>get</em> Wesleyan and never has; it's neither fish nor fowl as far as that distinguished publication is concerned. Wesleyan was an early adaptor of affirmative action back in the late sixties, it was the first of the traditionally all-men's New England colleges to go co-ed and it's pretty much put every nickel it has into running itself as if it were a biopsy of Yale. </p>

<p>It runs six doctoral programs in the natural sciences, owns its own academic press, runs a think-tank for up-and-coming humanities scholars, and no professor --even the most junior --teaches more than two classes a semester. None of which gives it any traction with the general public or the USNews pollsters.</p>

<p>Instead, people flock to Wesleyan because Hayden Panitierre (of "Heroes" fame) got her B.A. there. Indeed, its relatively tiny Film Studies department has threatened over the years to subsume its the place in the sun from "Little Yale" to "Little NYU". It's an extraordinary gem, but, let's face it, the Wesleyan premeds, Wesleyan government majors, and Wesleyan econ majors are getting just a little bit sick of hearing about it.</p>

<p>Wesleyan has never moved from its original 1831 campus which has spread into the surrounding hoods of Middletown. Even the Admissions building was constructed from an old house. Some of this may just be a clever protective covering as the neighborhoods themselves turn more unruly -- particularly at night.</p>

<p>Still, you'd you'd be surprised by the number of people who like the whole post-modern, post-industrial, post-deconstructionist chic of living cheek by jowl with ordinary working-class New Englanders. A PBR, anyone?</p>

<p>The OP is already applying to Wesleyan or he's not interested. Period.</p>

<p>Oh, and Middsmith-- that was a joke (picture someone saying it in a very fruity voice).</p>

<p>But really, colleges build and expand all the time-- it's not like it's a bad thing and it's hardly unique to Williams.</p>

<p>Personally I'm applying to both Vassar and Weselyan but not Williams. Both campuses are awesome and I think that no matter what liberal arts school you go to you will get the attention you want from professors and you know that part of the great amount of funding the school gets will somehow reach you. I don't know your school record but I'd reccommend cutting out Williams just because they tend to get more applicantsa and its in the middle of flipping nowhere (while Vassar is literally a 45 minute train ride to NYC). Good luck!</p>

<p>Vassar is considerably more than a 45 minute train ride from NYC. If you check the Metro North schedule, most Poughkeepsie-GCT trains take around 90 minutes, some trains even more; Amtrak trains are also around 90 mins. I agree that Vassar and Williams are both excellent schools, but very different - very different atmospheres. You should visit both to see which one "fits" you better.</p>

<p>^My mother said she'd only allow me to visit schools I got excepted to. Something that made it really hard to figure out where I'd even try to go.</p>

<p>I am applying to Wesleyan so thank you for the information about it but I really want to hear more about Williams and Vassar.</p>

<p>Dreaming, My son is a graduate of Williams. He had a wonderful experience there and would do it again in a heartbeat. He received a phenomenally good education, made life-long friends, had a great time socially, tapped into the Williams network for a post-graduate job and is in the process of leveraging his Williams connections for graduate school.</p>

<p>He was also interested in Wesleyan, Kenyon, Hamilton, Brown among others. For various reasons he didn't apply to Vassar, or visit, so I can't give you a comparison.</p>

<p>It's difficult to predict whether you would enjoy the rural insularity of Williamstown. Those who like it, love it and consider it one of the best aspects of the college. There's plenty to do on campus, lots of access to nature (including snow sports), a close knit community of smart, happy, multi-faceted, active kids. Kids drink, but many, like my son, are light or non-drinkers. They fit in fine.</p>

<p>I would suggest that you apply to Williams and if accepted definitely visit. You will know immediately if the environment is for you.</p>

<p>Hey there... I'm a current Vassar sophomore from Connecticut, as well. This might work best if I start out with my perception of the school and then go into a few of the things that I particularly like about it.</p>

<p>One of the things I heard a ton about Vassar students when I applied was that they were "unique" individuals. At the time, I found this to be cliche; however, after a year and a half at Vassar, I would say that this statement is pretty much true. From what I've seen on CC, Vassar students are usually described as "hipster," "uber-liberal," and "artsy." Although there are certainly plenty of hipsters and artists on campus, there are also all other types of students. Most tend to be liberal, however, other than that, there's a ton of variation in student interests and "types" (if you want to classify students): if you attend Vassar, you'll find yourself surrounded by a mix of athletes, activists, artists, scientists, musicians, dancers, hipsters, hippies, actors, and everything in between. </p>

<p>One of the things that is so fantastic about Vassar is it's academics. Vassar offers students an open curriculum, which means that there are very few requirements for graduation: the only courses you need to take during your time at school are a freshman writing seminar (taught in a variety of different departments), a language course (which can be avoided through several different ways), and a quantitative course (these are offered in a variety of different departments as well). Thanks to the open curriculum, Vassar students have an opportunity to actually pick and choose what they'd like to take. </p>

<p>This is particularly useful when one considers the amount of different departments at the school. When I was looking at schools (mostly LACs), I noticed that most of the ones on my list had between 20 and 30 majors. Vassar, on the other hand, has over 50, meaning that you not only have a wider selections of options for a major, but also a greater variety of different types of courses to take. In my three semester at Vassar, for example, I've had the opportunity to take courses in ten different departments thanks to both the amount of options I have and the lack of restrictions the school puts upon students.</p>

<p>Another aspect of Vassar which I particularly like is the amount of activities available on-campus. Poughkeepsie is by no means the most entertaining place to be; however, the amount of things to do on-campus still allows for there to be plenty of things to do. Between dances in the Mug (the student club on-campus), lectures during the week, movie nights, club-sponsored themed dinners, theatrical/musical/dance performances by both students and outside artists, themed all-campus parties, and over 100 student clubs to get involved in, there's plenty to keep one busy. And, if this isn't enough or there's nothing of interest going on on a particular weekend, there's always the option of taking the ~90 minute train ride into New York City. The average Vassar student doesn't do this every weekend; however, it is an occasional thing that many students like taking advantage of.</p>