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Student Reviews

Amherst College Reviews

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  • 10/31/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    28 out of 28 people found this review useful. 1 of 8

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    If you love meeting people who have different perspectives, you'll love it here. I've had so many interesting lunchtime discussions in the dining hall with students from South Africa, Myanmar, and the Philippines for so long I almost forgot to go to class...I love it here and I can't imagine what it would be like if I had gone to a UC where the student population was mostly Asian...it would be like my high school all over again and I wouldn't have had as diverse of an experience.

    Tips for prospective students

    On applying: There are so many articles out there. Read them all. Don't write a resume-recap-essay. Do be unique. Yada yada yada... On deciding: Amherst is the best college ever. Public schools will be like your HS all over again and Amherst is actually cheaper for me since I got great financial aid. Private universities, even the elite ones, are more diverse, but there are still tons of HUGE intro classes taught by grad school students. Liberal arts colleges have the diversity of elite private schools but have small class sizes. Within the liberal arts colleges, most are in the middle of nowhere (Williams, Middlebury), and then a 1200 student body might get too restricting. Amherst is in the Five College Consortium, so there are four other colleges nearby and always new people to meet. So basically, we rock. :) If you come here (which you will): Go to everything during orientation. Avoid forming cliques early.

    Bang for the buck

    Expect to budget for miscellaneous things: printing short excerpt reading for courses, laundry, etc. Otherwise, the financial aid is amazing. There is great socio-economic diversity here. :)

    Am enjoying being here

    I love this school. It's so spontaneous. We have unplanned things all the time: trips to the hill to go stargazing, night hikes through the bird sanctuary, jumping on leaves (which is a big deal for me since I'm from the West Coast), etc. I've made apple pie and carved pumpkins for the first time, randomly started a sing-a-long in the common room that had kids flowing in from other dorms, and watched several foreign language films. I'm also getting into Latin dance and classical Indian dance. :)

    Am learning a lot

    I love my classes. Our class sizes are REALLY small. My class sizes range from 8-25 students. Professors put you on the spot and ask you if you're sick if you missed class, and they know you by name the second day of class. We're reading original source scientific documents when studying genetics.

  • 12/29/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    27 out of 27 people found this review useful. 2 of 8

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students that like small classes and thrive in a hands on environment. This school is also good for athlete because there are many resources available for them and many students on campus play a collegiate sport.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you do as much research as you can. Look at the types of classes and clubs the school offers and see if they interest you. I also suggest staying the night for a visit, that is what made me decide to stay.

    Bang for the buck

    The school is a bit expensive, but I feel that you get what you pay for. The education and experience you receive is tough to be matched. The school also offers great financial aid packages for those who need it.

    Am enjoying being here

    I enjoy the small town feel, because there is still a lot to do with the four other surrounding colleges. Especially with the large state university U Mass. I also feel that the people are generally friendly. You can find yourself having a long conversation in dining hall with someone you've only met once before.

    Am learning a lot

    The teachers take a great investment in your education. I am able to meet with them whenever I need extra help. They make time for students and have set office hours. Where the teachers, not the TAs assist you. The small college feel fosters an environment where students strive to excel, yet are not highly competitive against each other. Most students about worry their own grades as opposed to others.

  • 07/26/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    12 out of 12 people found this review useful. 3 of 8

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students who enjoy small, discussion based classes, close relationships with professors, the outdoors and athletics. Not a lot of lecture courses past the introductory courses. Expect to be called on in class and known by name - they'll notice if you don't show up. You really have to read the material and actively participate in class.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you go to office hours! The professors are very receptive and will often help you organize your papers or tell you what they're looking for. It's an easy way to boost your grade, and make contacts for future letters of recommendation. Go to Judie's and get the popover with apple butter sauce (it's delicious) Make use of the career center, and the dean of students office - they're incredibly nice and helpful. Try a club sport - it helps you meet people and get outside for some easy, relaxed exercise and it's a great way to get your mind off work for a little while.

    Bang for the buck

    I personally am not on financial aid but I have heard that the financial aid office is very friendly and helpful. If you don't have your own printer, do expect to be charged for printing in the library, and you'll have to print out a good amount for class, which can add up. But it's mainly a walking campus, and the bus service is free, which is great. And you'll have great networking resources for internships and after college - the career center is very helpful. You get the education you paid for, but you also make connections and open doors for your career after you graduate.

    Am enjoying being here

    I could not have found a better college. The location is great - you're close enough to Boston or New York that you can take the train in (the station is literally a 5 minute walk from campus), or you can just go into the town of Amherst for tons of great local restaurant options. If you get a little tired of Amherst, Northampton is just a 30/45 minute bus ride away. In addition, the fact that it's part of the 5 college consortium means you can take classes at any of the other colleges, and students from those schools may end up in your classes at Amherst as well. It's a great way to meet other students in the area, and gives you a little breathing room if you find Amherst becoming a little small (although I promise you won't!). There are so many opportunities to go hiking, bicycling etc and the view is GORGEOUS. My freshman year I had a view of the mountains right out of my window - imagine waking up to that every morning. The facilities are great, the people are incredibly friendly, and the student body is very active and diverse. I have met so many different people, especially international students. Everyone here loves learning for the sake of learning - I'll frequently find myself having discussions/debates about current events over lunch or dinner.

    Am learning a lot

    The thing I love most about Amherst is the relationships you can have with your professors. You hear about professors at small liberal arts colleges who go out of their way to help students, and form personal relationships with them, but you never quite believe them. Well, here you should believe them. I've had professors have me over to dinner, I've had professors offer to skype me from South Africa to help me with my papers, I've babysat for my professors, and I've had professors drive home and back again to get a book for me that they thought I might enjoy on a subject related to class material. The professors are an amazing resource if you reach out to them. They really want you to succeed, and care about you as a person as a whole. In addition, the personal attention ensures that you are pushed to do your best work. But the professors know you and mainly grade you according to their expectations for you personally. They hold you accountable, as well. If you are sick or miss a class, professors notice. Overall, I find it is an amazingly supportive atmosphere that allows for creative exploration and personal growth while also offering so many different areas of study. One of the classes I took last year is called Witches, Vampires and Other Monsters (it's an art history course and is amazing) - look it up on the website!

  • 10/24/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 out of 6 people found this review useful. 4 of 8

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I wouldn't really know about this, relative to other colleges, but I feel safe and campus police are everywhere. Everywhere. They also have ACEMS, which is an emergency medical team that is available immediately for any kind of danger you are in. They're student run, and they have some sort of amnesty policy too.

    Greek Life

    None.

    Clubs and Activities

    So many- look them up. If anything, it's overwhelming!

    Great for these types of students

    Intellectually curious, self-motivated and generally interesting.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Really great A Capella groups, huge rivalry with Williams, TAP's, GAP's etc.

    Bang for the buck

    It's expensive- but Amherst may be one of the BEST colleges in the world about letting really great students attend, who wouldn't have been able to if it weren't for FA. In fact, I applied for FA after I got in, and they were very generous! Really, incredible FA, and if instead of student loans, they meet all of your demonstrated need with grants!

    What to do for fun

    Socials. It's a small town, but there's a mall nearby, some nice restaurants, North Hampton, Hadley etc. Sometimes concerts come in and that's nice too. Other than that, on campus, there's a campus center with ping pong, pool and games- but they're fun clubs and sports teams like Frisbee and intramurals.

    Food and Dining

    Yeah, this is one thing that's universally agreed upon. There's only one dining hall, and it's okay. The food is often pretty good, but sometimes it's quite frankly not appetizing at any level. However- they do have a panini press, salad bar, pasta, pizza and stir fry station for you to use whenever which is perfect if you don't necessarily want the hot meal they provide it. Schwemm's is in the campus center and they have good sandwiches- but you have to pay.

    Dorm Life

    I live in Charles Pratt. Look up pictures- I can't ask for anything more. Rooms are big but most people, if not all, get roommates as freshmen. The only thing that I could complain about is the fact that on the weekends, the dorm buildings are not in the best shape (haha).

    Academic Rigor

    I am swamped every day- and I love it! This entirely depends on the courses you choose, but every course will have you working and writing actively every single day. It's also a different way of thinking- you need to really study diligently and actively. By that I mean you must know your material for the sake of learning- and let your grades come naturally- and not because you are defensively stressed about a test, paper, quiz etc. If you do this, you'll be stressed and significantly more unhappy every day.

    Tips for prospective students

    Extremely competitive. Based on my short experience with the student body here, Amherst is looking for a student that will really fit into the Amherst way of life and thinking (I know that sounds vague, but let me be more clear).Amherst, as I stated earlier, is the type of school, due to the no-requirements system, that really puts faith into its students for creating their own perfect and personalized education. What this means, in terms of applicants, is that they really look for a student who did as much as they could with the resources and background they had. The overarching theme here seems to be that you must develop your skills in thinking, in interaction, and in community so that when you graduate, you can take on any profession with these fundamentals for success. This means they want students who are extremely engaged, intellectual and not all numbers. In other words, they're looking for incredible people, not necessarily just for incredible students. If you can define yourself and your character in a few lines in a resume, they will see that and it's not what they're looking for. I also think a prospective student should acknowledge reality. Amherst traditionally loses accepted students to colleges like Harvard, Yale, Princeton etc., so if you fall in love with Amherst- consider applying early. It not only looks good for them (since their matriculation is higher, and especially if you're a particularly strong student), but it will give you a slight slight edge in terms of acceptance.

    In three sentences

    You learn more about the world and yourself than you can possible imagine. Intellectual diversity and curiosity are cornerstones of Amherst and are ingrained into every aspect of daily life. It's a college that both allows and trusts you to be self-motivated and take as much as you can from the amazing resources and faculty at your disposal.

  • 08/08/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 5 of 8

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    If you have great self-control and can stay on track with your educational plan, go for it.

    Tips for prospective students

    As I'm sure you've heard from other schools, make sure you take the most rigorous classes available to you. That and be involved in your school and community.

    Bang for the buck

    Amherst has a financial aid package to rival some of the Ivy League schools. They guarantee that their students will graduate debt-free.

    Will enjoy being here

    Just from my tour alone I love the people! My tour guide was great, the students in the Admissions office were great, the Associate Dean of Admissions who did my information session was great. So incredibly not pretentious. The town of Amherst itself is so quaint. It's rather non-hokey for western Massachusetts.

    Will learn a lot

    Amherst has great academics, if you can focus. The no-requirements curriculum can be your undoing if you're not a very self-controlled student.

  • 10/15/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 6 of 8

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Sororities and Fraternities are not allowed.

    Great for these types of students

    Intellectual and focused on studies.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There is a rivalry with Williams

    What to do for fun

    There is a mall not too far away, there are many coffee shops and book stores. There are also ultimate Frisbee teams that compete often.

    Tips for prospective students

    It's very far from a big city, so you have to be comfortable living in a rural setting. It's also very difficult to get in to, so be sure to work as hard as you can during school to improve your chances.

    In three sentences

    This school has a great atmosphere for learning, their resources are top notch, and the student body is very intellectual.

  • 01/19/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 7 of 8

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Amherst is 100% safe. I have walked by to my dorm at crazy hours and was never afraid. Moreover, the campus police does rounds around the campus periodically.

    Greek Life

    There is no greek life.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many clubs and a lot to choose from. My favorite are the hip hop dance clubs.

    Great for these types of students

    Everyone at Amherst is different. There are no distinct emerging types. Everyone fits in and finds their own niche within the community.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Sliding down memorial hill on Val trays in the winter.

    Bang for the buck

    Amherst is more than worth your money. It provides you with such a great experience and a diploma from one of the country's most reputable institutions.

    What to do for fun

    Hang out with my friends, watch movies, go out to the parties on campus, go to the gym, go to the local cute restaurants and starbucks.

    Food and Dining

    We have a single dining hall -Valentine (Val). The food can be AMAZING, but it also has its wwww! days. Overall Val is nice, and allows you to mingle with everyone despite being from a different glass group

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are really nice. Big rooms, nice bathrooms.

    Academic Rigor

    The work can be challenging, but the teachers always make themselves available; and if necessary would go back through the work.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are looking for an academically challenging setting, but also enjoy sports and any other random activity or just plainly having fun, Amherst is the place for you. The amherst moto ought to be changed to Work Hard, Play hard.

    In three sentences

    Amherst is a one-of-a-kind place and I could not picture myself anywhere else. Of course there are ups and downs as anywhere else, but I guarantee you will fall in love with this place once you settle in.

  • 07/24/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    8 of 8

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There isn't really much to do for dun besides TAPs, which are short for the Amherst Party, basically parties sponsored by the school once a month with a theme. Those are really great but besides that the only other ways to have fun are to join a sport or many of the other student activities on campus.

    Food and Dining

    There is a fantastic pizza shop located nearby that is just amazing. There are also a lot of quaint little eateries in the town of Amherst. There is a place that sells ice cream to die for.