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Wellesley vs. Smith

precollegescareprecollegescare 2 replies2 threads New Member
edited August 7 in Women's Colleges
Hello everyone. I am a high school senior that has been accepted to both Smith and Wellesley college. Rapidly one of the best things that has ever happened to me is becoming its own kind of hell as I have no idea how to choose between the two. I fell in love with Smith, and still feel drawn to go there, it's just very hard to think about turning down the chance to attend such a prestigious institution as Wellesley(#24 in best US colleges WSJ ranking, while Smith is at #41).
My current plan is to double major in a science (some form of biology) and a humanities major (peace and justice, poly sci, or government), then attend law school, before going into environmental law. I am wondering if either institution would be better for me to attend as someone planing to double major, as well as go on to law school after graduation in particular? Any thoughts?
I'm also wondering about the atmosphere of both places. When I visited both schools it was during the summer, so I didn't really get to see each place in their natural states, but from everything iv'e seen and heard during my research, it seems as though Wellesley is quite a bit more tense and competitive, while Smith is a little more nurturing and relaxed on a daily basis. Smith definitely seemed more warm and welcoming when I visited, and though that could have just been due to my interactions with certain people there, iv'e heard similar thoughts from quite a few people, so I don't know. I would greatly appreciate any information anyone has on the prevalence of stress culture at either school, as I can cope fairly well in that type of environment, but prefer not to have to be locked into study mode at all times.
I am also curious as to how the housing compares. I know that Smith has their unique housing system, while Wellesley has more traditional dorms, but in actuality, how do they differ? Are the accommodations larger at Smith, is it more common to have your own bathroom, or a single rather than double???
Please help me to figure out some of this so that I may make a more informed decision. I was relying on admitted student days and activities to help me make up my mind, so now I don't really know what to do.
Thank you so much for any insights you may have, they are greatly appreciated.
edited August 7
1 replies
Post edited by CCAdmin_Vic on
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Replies to: Wellesley vs. Smith

  • skycryskycry 56 replies2 threads Junior Member
    edited April 12
    @precollegescare, congratulations on getting into both Wellesley and Smith! Those are two amazing choices!

    I'm currently a Smith senior and am very happy with my choice. But four years ago, I had a tough time trying to decide between Smith and two research universities. I was also waitlisted at Wellesley. Writing out a pro-con list and ranking what factors were most important helped me decide. Once I paid my deposit at Smith, I thought about whether or not I'd accept a hypothetical offer from Wellesley, so I do have some experience weighing the two.

    I also only visited Wellesley during the summer, so I'm not sure what the campus culture is like, but I can speak about Smith.

    *Academics*: The only humanities major Smith offers out of the ones you listed is government. I've liked having no distribution requirements at Smith. It makes it a lot easier to take classes in disparate areas and double major.

    *Housing*: At Smith, almost all juniors and seniors, as well as a sizable number of sophomores, get singles. You would be sharing a bathroom every year. Houses form an additional community.

    *Preparation for law school*: Smith and Wellesley admit rates to law school seem comparable: Smith's 82% (source: https://www.smith.edu/smith-success-stories) vs Wellesley's 83% (source: https://www.wellesley.edu/sites/default/files/assets/departments/admission/pdf/admissionreport2012.pdf), though these are both old numbers.

    Do you have a STRIDE/Zollman or AEMES at Smith? Played right, these early research programs are quite valuable as they get something solid on your resume early on and enable you to build a relationship with a professor, who can help with the letters of recommendation you'll need for law school. On the other hand, Wellesley does not offer merit aid.

    *Atmosphere*: While it depends on your department and who you hang out with, I would describe Smith overall as moderate in academic competition. Students are engaged with their studies, care about their grades, and aren't afraid to advocate for themselves. However, I don't typically see students try to sabotage one another. If collaboration is allowed on assignments students do work together. Most of my professors are warm and friendly. You will not be "locked into study mode" all the time at Smith. The rumor is that Wellesley is more competitive than Smith, but I cannot verify if that's true or not as I don't know enough about Wellesley.

    *Other Potentially Relevant Factors*:
    Name brand recognition: Wellesley has better name brand recognition than Smith, especially the further out you travel from the New England area.

    Location: Wellesley is much closer to Boston than Smith is. Wellesley, the town, is upscale and suburban. Northampton is a vibrant, cute, and hipster town.

    Happy to answer any other questions you have!
    edited April 12
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