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U Mass Amherst questions

3mamagirls3mamagirls Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
My D got accepted yesterday with a scholarship. I know nothing about this school except for some reviews from Niche and Student Reviews. I have another thread that discussed the differences between Michigan State and CU Boulder. Can anyone give me any thoughts on Amherst, and possibly comparing them to these other two schools? She has not visited, which may be one reason she is not overly excited, but I wonder if it's worth the $$ to visit. With the scholarship, it does make a solid difference in money, but money aside for the moment - what is this school like in your opinions? I hear it's a big party school, but so are the others.
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Replies to: U Mass Amherst questions

  • ScaredNJDad1ScaredNJDad1 Registered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
    Where are you from and what does she plan to study?
  • 3mamagirls3mamagirls Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    California. And for the moment - political science.
  • ScaredNJDad1ScaredNJDad1 Registered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
    edited January 2016
    Amherst and the surrounding towns are very nice. It would be a nice experience for someone from California to be in New England. I have never been on campus but I have been to the town and Northampton, both have that Currier and Ives feel. Amherst College is there as well and I believe she can take classes there. That would be very nice.

    Since U Mass is cheaper, I would go with that.

    Reputation-wise they are more or less equal.
  • 3mamagirls3mamagirls Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    I do like the fact that she can take classes at 5 other schools, and I have heard that Amherst itself is really nice.

    Reputation wise - more or less equal with both MSU and CU Boulder? My understanding is that the "Zoo-Mass" reputation is going away - but I live really far away and people in the New England area might know more than me.

    Any other thoughts on the general atmosphere/reputation of the college itself?
  • JamieHJamieH Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    I visited the campus of UMass last fall and fell in love with the school! I live about 40 minutes away and know a few people who currently attend. There are definitely parties, like most other colleges, but it's easy to stay away from it if that's not what you're interested in, and I've heArd that the different areas of residence halls have very different personalities.
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 14,118 Senior Member
    It is hard to shake the ZooMass reputation though.
  • 3mamagirls3mamagirls Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    @TomSrOfBoston . I take it you are from around there then. Is it getting any better? It "seems" that way from what I read, but I am far from Mass and you all back east would know of the reputation more than I do.
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 14,118 Senior Member
    UMass has been trying to shed the ZooMass reputation for a long time. It has succeeded to an extent. The Honors College was built to virtually isolate the top students from the rest of the campus. Some of the residence complexes are still party central. It is no different in that respect than say Penn State. It depends on your student if he/she is able to avoid that scene.
  • DonnaEvDonnaEv Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    edited January 2016
    @3mamagirls we visited Umass Amherst in the Spring. It is in a beautiful area and the campus is spotless. Btw it's also a non-smoking campus. We were very impressed with the whole tour, from the introduction we got from admissions to the student led tour. My S was accepted yesterday, though not into the major he applied for. He has already gotten accepted into his major in a prominent private college in Massachusetts. Umass Amherst is high on our list of preferred schools. In the end, we need to look at the whole picture and decide what to do, but in the end, I think this school will be our top choice. (We are in-state)
  • 3mamagirls3mamagirls Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    Thank you all.

    Does anyone know about school spirit? I see it's a D3 school, so no big sports which is fine.

    I think we need to take the plunge and go visit at least because of this unexpected scholarship money. Totally shocked.

    My D is middle of the road. She can avoid the massive party scene, but doesn't want to sit in her room either. VERY laid back.
  • DonnaEvDonnaEv Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    @3mamagirls i joined their Facebook page to get a feel for what goes on there. My colleagues from Ma who send their daughters there have nothing but positive things to say re Umass Amherst. My son is quite laid back and not a partier. Every college has it's population of partiers. From what I see and have heard, there are plenty of opportunities on campus, so I doubt my S will be bored.
  • MADadMADad Registered User Posts: 2,007 Senior Member
    3mamagirls--

    UMass is a D-1 school. Basketball has been decent in the recent past. Football recently moved to FBC and has been atrocious. They play half their home games 80 miles away at Gillette Stadium, home of the NE Patriots. Attendance has been woeful. The on campus stadium holds about 17K and attendance for the on campus games has been good.

    UMass also plays D-1 ice hockey. BB and hockey play in a 10,000 seat arena that is maybe 25 yrs old.

    Maybe you were thinking of nearby Amherst College, which is quite small, old money, and D-3.
  • 3mamagirls3mamagirls Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    @MADad - thanks. After looking further I realized that. I can't say I have heard much about their sports, though! My D is a sports "nut" in some ways, but really is looking more for school spirit than to attend all the games. School spirit and sports often go hand in hand. She wants a different experience (snow and a different part of the county) which is why she is leaving CA. Hockey definitely would interest her!

    So, it sounds as if many people think this is a good school - the reputation is there but getting better. My D is also looking at CU Boulder which has its own reputation, Michigan State, and waiting for one more school which should come out by the end of the month.

    Like I said - this scholarship threw us all for a loop - in a good way! It really wasn't on MY radar very much, and not even sure why D picked it - but she did. She only applied to 7 schools, so was very focused on what she wanted.

  • studiesandlistsstudiesandlists Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    Current student here! and an OOS Poli Sci major at that. UMass is a great school, and while there are parties if she wants them, I would no longer define it as a "party school". Also, Poli Sci is fantastic here, one of the best places she can study it in the country. UMass has turned out a number of notable alumni in this field.
  • 3mamagirls3mamagirls Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    @studiesandlists OH - I am glad someone likes the Poli Sci program there! Is it a fairly popular major, or on the smaller side? I see that there are some RAPs connected to Poli Sci - did you do any of those?

    I'll have to get my D on board now and fly out - I think I have enough info to decide it's worth coming out and looking! Admitted students day is in Feb - so I guess we will come in the middle of the snow storms!
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