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Smith/Wellesley/MHC/Spelman

CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 5346 replies104 threads Senior Member
edited March 2011 in Women's Colleges
I'm going to apply to all four, and I'd like opinions on all (mainly smith since I don't know much about it). Financially, Spelman is the least expensive without scholarships than any of the others WITH scholarships (ie $20,000 per year ones).
Has anyone here graduated from any of these schools? How's the location/non-academic life at smith (and the others)?

In case anyone is wondering:
I'm an AA junior, taken all AP/Honors courses, when I graduate I'll have 7 APs under my belt, straight As since freshman year, taking classes at community college as well (computer programming and maybe cognitive science). I want to do the 3+2 dual degree engineering program, I am most certain all of those schools have them. I will major in computer engineering/computer or cognitive science(or psych, etc)

I'm applying EA and RD, not ED.
For EA, you have to let the school know your final decision by may or something right? Along with RD? I hope so. Thanks!!!
edited March 2011
8 replies
Post edited by CPUscientist3000 on
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Replies to: Smith/Wellesley/MHC/Spelman

  • CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 5346 replies104 threads Senior Member
    Also** rank 9/278(as of sophomore year, they don't refactor until 3rd marking period=\). Simple GPA 3.97 also as of 10th I believe, but I know that and the weighted one went up because I still have As and A+s in my APs
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  • college_querycollege_query 4502 replies366 threads Senior Member
    I'm a parent of a daughter at one of the schools you listed. Something we learned in the admissions process was about how different schools approach financial aid differently. Wellesley, Smith and Mt. Holyoke meet "full need" of admitted students (as they determine it, not necessarily your EFC from the FAFSA). Smith and Mt. Holyoke also award some merit aid (not need-based). So, for us, because of our income/calculated need, it ended up being less expensive for our daughter to attend one of the top schools in the country than to attend our state university where I work and would get half-off her tuition.
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  • CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 5346 replies104 threads Senior Member
    Thanks. This is all so confusing and frustrating.
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  • SmithieandProudSmithieandProud 3012 replies26 threads Senior Member
    Deep breaths, you'll get through this.

    I went to Smith (obviously) but I visited Spelman. It's much different than Wellesley/Smith/MHC in terms of location as well as price, but as others have noted, the financial aid at Wellesley/Smith/MHC (I only know Smith from experience, but the others by reputation) is very good IF you think your family will qualify for need based aid especially. The merit aid at those three schools is also good, but there aren't as many merit awards compared to number of students and there's a very high number of meritorious applicants, so the competition for merit aid can be fierce.

    I think with EA you have to still give them your decision early (earlier than May) but the acceptance is not binding, meaning that if you are accepted EA you aren't required to attend and you can apply EA to more than one school (Smith I know does not have an EA option, only ED and RD. Not sure about the others). You can find this out easily by checking the admissions websites of the various schools. The downside of EA/ED is that you don't get as much opportunity to compare financial aid offers, and also it may be harder for you to qualify for some of the merit aid scholarships (a lot of schools save the best merit aid scholarships for RD applicants, because they know RD applicants will be comparing many offers from many schools and they want to entice the RD kids to come to their school. ED kids are required to attend if accepted, so it's not neccessarily worthwhile to expend all of your best merit scholarships so early).

    As for differences, I don't know if all of these schools have 3/2 engineering programs (they may, I'm just not sure). Smith is the only women's college that offers engineering as an undergraduate degree, and it's a great, very well funded program, with special merit scholarships attached to it that are just for engineering students. Smith also has an almost brand new engineering bio-molecular sciences building. However, all of the women's colleges are very strong in the sciences.

    Spelman again is in a very different location than the other three. When I visited Spelman it felt way too urbanized for me (I was not that interested in going to school in a big city) and Atlanta did not really appeal to me as a homebase anyway. But almost no other women's college (except Scripps maybe) can boast so many young men immediately across the street. Wellesley has a bus that will take you into Boston, which can be a nice balance between rural and urban. I love Northampton, where Smith is located. It's a really cool, fun, hip town with tons of good shopping and restaurants, great music scene (lots of concerts), cool coffee shops, etc. I grew up in a big city and I didn't feel like Northampton was boring at all, I always had plenty to do on and off campus. And I wanted to go to school in a place where people did things at the college on the weekends, and didn't just run off to other schools or the attractions of the city. I didn't want campus to be dead Saturday and Sunday, basically, and I got what I wanted. If I ever did get bored, I could take the bus for free to one of the other Five Colleges in the area.

    Smith (all the women's colleges but I can only speak from experience at Smith), is a really tight knit, super supportive community of women who graduate into every walk of life and after they graduate are really excited about helping other Smithies. I felt like my college was my family, my housemates really cared about each other and helped each other like a family would (I know, it's cliche, but it really is a sisterhood in the best sense of the word). That was important to me because I went to college so far away from home. I think if you asked Wellseley grads or MHC or Spelman grads they would say the same.
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  • CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 5346 replies104 threads Senior Member
    Thank you^
    That was really informative. I guess I'll have to visit first before I make drastic decisions
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  • SmithieandProudSmithieandProud 3012 replies26 threads Senior Member
    Visiting is always a good way to narrow things down. Some of this stuff can be really subjective. If you have any more specific questions I would be happy to help answer them, but once again I can really just talk about Smith, I don't have first hand experience at the other schools.
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  • CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 5346 replies104 threads Senior Member
    thank you so much!
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  • greenchild27greenchild27 1 replies0 threads New Member
    Hi! I'm an AA junior at Wellesley.
    First, I'd have to agree with SmithieandProud- it's really important to visit and see which college "feels" right. When you're accepted- (from your description of yourself I'd be that you will be or already have been!), Wellesley will pay for you to visit, so I look forward to meeting you soon.
    I've visited Spelman, and the most noticeable difference between Wellesley and Spelman is the atmosphere/social life. I mean... we are talking about entirely different worlds, both of which have their benefits. Spelman, of course, is located in the city and is literally across the street from other schools. There are more places to go, more (and different) parties, and a visible sorority presence. There are also men nearby and all over campus, which makes a difference whether you are heterosexual or just like to have male friends.

    Wellesley on the other hand, is a quieter place in the suburbs (the campus is absolutely gorgeous, I must say.) It's top rated for diversity, but being at a PWI is a completely different experience. There is a bus that goes into Boston (free during the week and $3 on the weekends), which is the ultimate college town, so you can definitely network and have a social life in the city if you want. Most student spend a good amount of time at MIT. We have NPHC sorority members, but they are part of "city-wide" chapters. There's always something happening on campus, but if you are big into parties, you might be disappointed. We have a close knit black community on campus, and a powerful, well funded, and influential umbrella black student organization, an org for Carribbean students, and an org for African students. It's also important to point out that we have an exchange program with Spelman, and students who want to have the Spelman experience can do so for a semester.

    As far as academics- well, Wellesley is the top women's college in the world and in the top five of American liberal arts schools. Considering your interest in engineering and computer science, I would definitely go for Smith or Wellesley. SmithieandProud has already talked about engineering at Smith... Wellesley has a strong computer science department, it was one of the first liberal arts colleges to develop one. We don't offer engineering in-house. However, we do have cross registration with Olin College, which is the #8 engineering college in the nation. Wellesley students can earn a certificate in engineering there, essentially double majoring, and I know some who have. We also have cross registration with MIT, which is well... MIT.

    Let me know if you have any more questions!
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