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Whitman vs Bowdoin

r_zr_z 9 replies10 threads New Member
edited May 2013 in Whitman College
I've narrowed down my choices to either Whitman or Bowdoin, and I need help deciding. If any of you are familiar with both schools, what would you reccomend?
edited May 2013
8 replies
Post edited by r_z on
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Replies to: Whitman vs Bowdoin

  • STROPER22STROPER22 54 replies13 threads Junior Member
    I was waitlisted at Bowdoin, so I am a little biased, but I think the two schools are very similar. Personally I really like both, and the only difference I would say is that the students at Bowdoin seemed jocky, and stuck up. They seemed to have this attitude that they are better than everyone in the community. When I visited Whitman, the students seemed to be more relaxed and really just confident in themselves. I mean, come on, we are all looking at pretty much the same schools across the nation and our families are all well off...i really don't see the need to flash our wealth around. This was my only complaint about Bowdoin. A huge plus about Whitman was that all the professors were so friendly---at least the ones that I met. They treated me like another faculty member which was really nice. At Bowdoin the professors were a little harder to approach and they seemed to be more full of themselves. On a different level---the dorms at Whitman seemed to be much nicer than the ones at Bowdoin, but the food at Bowdoin was better. Hope this helped a little...I can continue as well if you would like with my feelings...
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  • catsmeow87catsmeow87 237 replies7 threads Junior Member
    obviously you need to consider how far you want to be from home, I'd say the schools are more or less comprable. I love Whitman but I also live like 3 hours away...
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  • r_zr_z 9 replies10 threads New Member
    stroper-if there's anything else, please continue. I haven't visited, so any more insights will be really useful. catsmeow-I live abroad, so distance from home is pretty much irrelevant. Wherever I go, it will be about a twenty hour plane ride back home. So if this wasn't a consideration, what would you go with? Do you guys think that Bowdoin and Whitman have pretty much the same reputation as far as grad schools go? Or is one more well-regarded than the other?
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  • allisonallison 89 replies0 threads Junior Member
    r_z - i'm sure bowdoin is a school that is not for a great number of people, but please take stroper's comments with a grain of salt - know that not everyone feels the same way about the students and professors being stuck up, and etc., at bowdoin. (at the same time, though, i'm curious to hear what he/she has to say also...)
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  • STROPER22STROPER22 54 replies13 threads Junior Member
    allison---i must let you know that these are my personal feelings that I had when I visited the school---I also applied to the school, which should tell you that i really didn't let the professors "bad-day" bother me too much. r_z, what will you be studying next year, do you have any ideas?? B/c i am thinking of going into molecular biology, and bowdoin doesn't seem to have the strongest program, which I realize until I looked at Whitman's course selections. I think Whitman is a little ahead in the science departments compared to Bowdoin, and they are very equal as far humanities, etc. goes. One thing about Whitman that also is playing a huge role in the decision process is that they make juniors pass an oral exam, as well as a written thesis in their major. I def. want to go to grad. school and I think this is an awesome idea, though will recquire work. As far as campuses go, Whitman and Bowdoin are pretty much the same; they both have the new england small college feel, even though only one is in new england. Bowdoin, on the other hand is freeeeeezing, comparable to Chicago, where as Whitman, even in the winters is in the 40s. Whitman is in the eastern part of WAshington as well which is arid, and I think I read somewhere on their website that they have 300 days of sunshine a year (so it doesn't follow the same weather patterns as Seattle). I am still deciding between U. Chicago and Whitman, though I must say I have been reading a lot lately and everything about Whtiman has been GREAT!! I think I will do better in an environment with peer support rather than a lot of competition b.c i place enough pressures on myself. Both my sisters prepped on the east coast, and said that everything was just soooo competitive, and when I visited U of C, they said the same thing. Oh, one more thing that set Whitman in front of Bowdoin for me was Whitman's library. It is just AMAZING. Its brand new and just a stunning place to study. And here we go...I just remembered another perk of Whitman was the fact that they didn't have a football team. This appeals to me b.c i don't really need a huge crowd to feel school spirit. Also within my research for the "right" school I came across the princeton review website, which rated all the colleges on a bunch of different aspects. Whitman seems to once again cover a spectrum of activities. Check out these two links:



    Check those out---that gives you a pretty good idea about the school and what is going on...I found it helpful at least. If you have any more specific question i would love to help b/c i am done doing work at school, and understand how it must be not visiting schools...anyways i need to get to class
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  • tbbbnbabtbbbnbab 2 replies1 threads New Member
    My son got into both of these schools, and after second-visits to both campuses, he chose Whitman. It really came down to the fit for him...he just felt comfortable with all the kids he met at Whitman, and really liked the vibe he felt there. The academic program also matched his interests very well. But it was difficult to say no to Bowdoin...it's a fantastic school with a great reputation, but reputation was not a deciding factor for him. Bowdoin seemed just a bit too jockish and east-coast-preppy for his tastes. He couldn't see himself there quite as much as he saw himself as a Whittie. Go for the best fit!
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  • bopambobopambo 1256 replies57 threads Senior Member
    You revived an old thread that I wish I'd seen when my S was agonizing over the same decision between Bowdoin and Whitman three years ago. Our S picked Whitman also, it didn't hurt that they offered him a nice chunk of merit aid, but that wasn't the deciding factor. He dithered right up to the May 1st deadline, making lists of pros and cons. Finally, in exasperation, I told him to forget being rational and to try to remember how he felt on both campuses, half an hour later he emerged from his room and said he'd decided on Whitman and he felt really good about it.

    He's having a truly great time at Whitman! The academics are demanding and he works hard, but he also pursues a bunch of other interests that are important to him, he has lots of fun too. And, we all love Walla Walla.

    Congratulations to your S, tbbnbab, he made a great decision!
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  • ardenatwhitmanardenatwhitman 43 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Also, side note--if anyone has to make this decision in the future, one of our AOs is a recent Bowdoin grad, and she could probably give you a lot of insight into how the two campuses are different!
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