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Hampshire College Reviews

Check out reviews left by other students or leave your own review. You could win a free scholarship.

  • 07/18/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    12 out of 13 people found this review useful. 1 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Nerds, Creative Types, Creative Nerds.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't be fooled by the overt Hampshire Stereotype. Hampshire may have roots in the hippie movement of the 1970s, but has really become more modern than you'd think.

    Bang for the buck

    Hampshire makes their system an expensive education for a number of reasons, but you really should take that as a motivator to work as hard as you can.

    Am learning a lot

    You'll be stressed, and getting through the Hampshire system does take a lot of work and patience, but if you put in the time you'll learn so much you can't even fathom it.

  • 10/31/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    10 out of 12 people found this review useful. 2 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Very liberal and care-free. There is no structure here so if you are self-motivated and have a clear and unique idea of what you want to study you will do very well.

    Tips for prospective students

    Your supplements are very important. No matter how awful your test scores are or your GPA if you can put together an intriguing essay you are in.

    Bang for the buck

    I feel like I am wasting away. The classes are not very challenging and the professors seem as enthused to be in class as I do. Class options are very limited and if you take a class at a 5 college it is very inconvenient.

    Am enjoying being here

    I feel like I am walking on egg shells every time I walk out of my room. If you do not enjoy doing drugs or smoking cigarettes in the gazebo finding friends is difficult and sometimes impossible. Being politically correct is the only way to get by at this school. The food at Saga (the cafeteria) is awful and the co-ed bathrooms take some getting use to. Hampshire is like a bubble. The public transportation is unreliable and getting anywhere but the school takes a while. Be prepared for a 4 hour trip to Target which by car would take 30 minutes.

    Am learning a lot

    Hampshire seems to be less about academics and more about self expression. Going to class seems to be optional since the only thing of importance is a research paper of your choice on a topic that is never discussed in class.

  • 06/07/2009

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

    6 out of 12 people found this review useful. 3 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    This school is for creative & passionate students.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't be afraid to be yourself.

  • 03/21/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 4 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Willing to experience ALOT of new things If you love to write. If you would rather have an education almost completely focusing on --what you be your major/ concentration

    Tips for prospective students

    If you come and visit don't expect the stereotypical college experience. make sure you have a sense of humor.

    Bang for the buck

    Hampshire does seem that it can cost quite a bit to come here but with personal experience I can say that the financial aid office is willing to help you at every turn. Hampshire is definitely worth the money it costs. Its system of education is something a student has to get used to but it is so much easier in the end as long as you are willing to put the effort into it.

    Am enjoying being here

    The way the campus is set up people are close to each other without being cramped in. The way it is has proven to allow people to become friends faster. The campus is close enough to Northampton and Amherst that they are only 5-15 minute bus rides away. You can find just about anything you need in these towns if you cant get it on campus. Overall on the subject of staff and professors, just ask them if you need something and they always seem to be willing to help if they can. I have yet to run into a member of the staff that is rude or stingy when asked for assistance. If you want to know about the food, its not as bad as people will say. People will tell you its bad but its not. Sure the dining hall lets us down now and then, but otherwise its an alright meal to have.

    Am learning a lot

    With the system that Hampshire is running you learn quite a bit. Even in just the second semester a student can have all of their classes focus on just one subject, or have classes be at multiple ends of the spectrum.

  • 06/30/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 5 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Self-motivated Passionate

    Tips for prospective students

    Be yourself! Hampshire faculty, staff, and students admire others with passion and commitment. Be confident in who you can be, because, even if you have no idea who are right now, Hampshire will help you figure it out.

    Bang for the buck

    Unfortunately, because Hampshire is such a new school, it has basically no endowment, which means very little financial aid.

    Am enjoying being here

    Hampshire wasn't my dream school, honestly, but once I got here, I realized that it is the perfect school for me.

    Am learning a lot

    Going to Hampshire is one of those experiences in life where you get out of it what you put into it. I have learned an incredible amount here, not just about the academic subjects in which I am interested (as well as material from some semi-random courses I took), but I am learning from my peers and learning about myself.

  • 07/11/2011

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 6 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Passionate, self-directed, motivated, interested in what they are doing, vocal, political and self-structured, creative and open-minded, tolerant, accepting, diverse.

    Tips for prospective students

    #1. KNOW what you want to do before you even get into Hampshire #2. Have deep pockets.....see bang for the buck. #3. Be pro-active and aggressive about getting your academic plan together, know the professors you want to work with, and keep yourself motivated from start to finish over the entire four-year period. #4: ALWAYS expect and prepare for constant revising and re-thinking. Become your own educational strategist. Be a strong advocate for creating your own educational plan and communicate it to anyone who will listen and help you achieve your goals while you are there.

    Bang for the buck

    Hampshire aint cheap, and tuition/living expenses goes up EVERY year. Unless they give you a decent amount of financial aid, Hampshire is a prohibitively expensive school. Luckily, I had good financial aid, and good familial support.

    Did enjoy being here

    Yes, overall, I always felt safe and protected on the Hampshire campus. It's a very safe environment, and the Five-College area in general is pretty safe.

    Did learn a lot

    Absolutely! A positive college experience should teach you about your strengths and weaknesses, about what it is you want to do in the world, and most importantly, should teach and educate you about the larger world, and the society we live in, and how to function in it, and think critically. Hampshire actually does do that for their students, and although the educational structure can be a bit confusing and overwhelming at times, once you've navigated it, it's something you can definitely be proud of.

  • 06/14/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 7 of 25

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Hampshire is a very active campus with several activities going on each day. There are over a hundred different clubs and students groups, making it easy not to get bored. If one desires to leave campus, there is the town of Amherst and Northampton which offers a variety of shops and restaurants. The hampshire mall also has a skating rink, laser tag and a movie theater.

    Food and Dining

    Many students complain about the cafeteria at hampshire though honestly it isn't quite that bad. There is a lot of fresh vegetables that come straight from the hampshire farm and always the option of making stir fry, salads, wraps and sandwiches if the meal of day isn't your cup of tea.

    Dorm Life

    While the dorms are not the most modern at Hampshire, the majority of students get singles which can be nice on cold winter nights when no one really wants to walk to the library to study. Students in the dorms tend to spend time in the lounges, some of which are equipped with cooking supplies. After their first year, students are eligible to live in various areas on campus in houses or what we call mods. The advantage to living in a mod is they are usually small (4-12 people) and have kitchens which allow you to get off the meal plan.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes at Hampshire are more conversation based than lecture based.Professors barely use powerpoint presentations and classes typically focus on the reading assigned the previous class. Because Hampshire does not have grades or tests, it is very reading and writing intensive. Professors assign papers for finals which sometimes can be a bit much if one is not taking a class at one of the other colleges.

    Tips for prospective students

    Hampshire is what you make of it. Some students can get by without challenging themselves and others can do great things. Faculty and various centers on campus are available to help you in any way you may need, you just have to speak up. Students should also make sure to take advantage of the four other colleges at the consortium. Each college has a different way of teaching and resources that should be taken advantage of.

    In three sentences

    Hampshire may not be the right place for everyone, students are typically very independent, self-directed, and interested in hands on experience. The curriculum is set up in such a way that allows students to experiment in various areas of interest, building up to a deeper understanding of concentrations and later on a one year project on the subject matter. Students are different, interesting, accepting, and artsy.

  • 12/19/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 8 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I have never felt unsafe on campus, ever. We have excellent EMTs and campus police officers that are always there to help you, whether its a medical emergency or you're locked out of your room. Most importantly, this campus is based on mutual respect. Students are taught during orientation what is expected of them and what will happen if they break the rules. I feel like that is why Hampshire has such a low instance rate of sexual assault, unlike some other campuses.

    Greek Life

    No greek life here. That's very un-Hampshire.

    Clubs and Activities

    I can definitely say there is something for EVERYONE at Hampshire. There are clubs centered around spirituality, academic interest, literature, student publications, and even sexuality. There is something called HampFest at the beginning of each year that allows students to take full inventory of all the clubs/activities available to them too, kind of like a club rush. Although Hampshire really doesn't have many sports (except for ultimate frisbee and soccer) we do have things called OPRA classes where you can learn to rockclimb, mountain bike, hike, spinning, swimming, etc. We also have a tiny gym on campus.

    Great for these types of students

    Self-directed students will thrive here. If you're not sure what you want to do, Hampshire can helpful or hurtful. There is a lot of room for exploration, however, you can start to feel aimless if you just take what interests you and still feel like you have no set track you're on. You also must be politcally correct and informed to go here, or you will learn the hard way. I guarantee you will have at least one unpleasant run-in with a politcally correct feminist, queer-activist, environmental-activist, or any number of a host of social justice warriors concerned with race, sex, gender (ESPECIALLY GENDER), classism, ableism or whatever ism you can think of. These students think its their job to school you in their politics. This school might also be difficult for students who are conservative in any way. People love to talk about their radical ideas, sexual identities, and the like here.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We have three major social events on campus through the year: Tour de Franzia (a bike tour where the students stop at the various gazebos across campus to get cups of wine), Hampshire Halloween (the college's most famous event, which includes a ton of live music and people, including students from the other 5 colleges) and the Easter Keg Hunt (self explanatory). As for strange locations, we have the Hampshire Tree, and the zen garden in the forest!

    Bang for the buck

    This is not a cheap school. I received a really good amount of aid this year, which is what it made it possible for me to attend Hampshire. However, I know a lot of kids who applied and didn't get as much aid as they would have liked. Luckily, the financial aid office is pretty good about appeals, and they will likely give you more money if you ask. That being said, it depends on what you expect to get for that money that determines whether its worth what you pay. If you're looking for academic freedom, self-directed learning, interesting and unique classes, cheap drugs, ugly buildings, nice-but-awkward students, and a somewhat quiet college experience, then it's totally worth it! If you're looking for more direction, a beautiful surroundings, happening nightlife, or anything that can be deemed more traditional you might want to think twice.

    What to do for fun

    The night life is pretty dead in Amherst. There aren't really any bars, and there are some in Northampton but they're really strict about carding. Fake IDs are taken really seriously in this area (there are so many college kids because of the 5 college consortium, so authorities are hyper aware of it) and if you try to use one it won't work. Parties at Hampshire are the same every time. They begin at 11 pm and end at 2 am, period. They usually consist of lot of sweaty, awkward, (mostly white) kids dancing in a small living room in one of the mods to loud music. There's usually only one per weekend, sometimes two if you're lucky (one Friday and one Saturday). Once the party is over there's not really much to do. Although drugs and alcohol are very popular on campus (especially psychedelics), you won't ever be pressured, and there are plenty of people who don't partake in those things too. The surrounding towns are good for shopping or going out to eat, but you'll get bored of them pretty quickly. At least that was my experience. A lot of the time it can feel like you're stuck on campus.

    Food and Dining

    The food in the dining hall (SAGA) sucks. You'll get through it, though. Anyone living in the dorms is required to have a full meal plan with SAGA. Farm shares are available to students living in the mods, and you can be on a partial meal plan in the mods if you wish, or you can have no meal plan.

    Dorm Life

    I would like to put it out there that the buildings on campus are extremely ugly. The architecture is clearly 1960s and the interiors are depressing and heinous. However, the dorms in Dakin aren't so bad, in fact I would say they might be better than most dorms. Most kids here are in single dorms their first and second year, and then usually live in one of the mods as upperclassmen. There are double rooms available in the dorms too. Mods are apartment style living and usually house 4-12 students per mod, and you choose who you live with. The dorms are pretty nice, but like any dorm they can get smelly, loud, or what have you. The co-ed bathrooms can be weird for some people. You can elect to live in an all-womens' hall or a quiet hall if you want to.

    Academic Rigor

    Although Hampshire students don't take tests or receive letter grades (instead we receive narrative evaluations at the end of the semester) there is still plenty of room to be stressed. Students hand in portfolios at the end of each semester, which is time consuming. A lot of classes require long term projects that can take a lot of REAL effort and thought. However, if you get your work done on time this school can also be really easy. Most classes require a lot of critical thinking, but if you're good at analysis and independent thought/are creative, you will be fine at Hampshire. Students do not pick majors, but we go through Divisions that gradually get more and more specific until you graduate with a degree program that was completely unique to you.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be creative and sincere with your supplements and college essay. Hampshire cares more about the students themselves than their grades or test scores (we don't even take tests or get traditional grades here). BE SURE to visit before you decide to come, too. This school is VERY unique and is definitely not for everybody.

    In three sentences

    This is a school for unique, self-motiviated, and brainy students. You will meet a lot of artists, nerds, political activists, and freaky sort of students. It's a very welcoming school that can be as easy or as rigourous as you choose to make it.

  • 05/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 9 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus police are very nice and very helpful. Most people feel safe at Hampshire, and if incidents happen, there are often community discussions about it. EMTs and counselors are always available too.

    Greek Life

    No Greek Life. We're too cool for that.

    Clubs and Activities

    If they don't have it, you can make it. We have all sorts of clubs and student groups, everything from Shake and Bake (reading Shakespeare while baking together) to the ISO (International Socialist Organization) to The Red Scare (our ultimate frisbee team).

    Great for these types of students

    Activists, hard workers, students who can't decide WHAT they want to do, artists, scientists, hipsters, friendly people.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    -When you pass Div III, you get to ring the Div Free bell to let everyone on campus know that you have succeeded. During the last weeks of the semester, the bell can be heard all over campus as students finish their finals. -The Yurt is the result of a class called Experiential Education, which built the little space as a place for students to come together. It now serves as the home base for our radio station. -Roberta is the card-swiper at Saga who loves to tell fun stories to students as they come through. She's a bit eccentric, but well loved.

    Bang for the buck

    Hampshire is VERY expensive, but it is so worth the cost. You walk away with an incredible education and you learn so much.

    What to do for fun

    There are always lots of student groups and events at Hampshire. On any given night, you can find sports in the recreational center, film screenings, guest lectures in a variety of fields, plays, games of Mythos (live role playing games), or cooking parties. People also enjoy getting together to play games in the quad, jam on instruments, or make public art.

    Food and Dining

    You have three choices: Saga, our main dining hall, doesn't have a lot of options, but there is always a salad bar and vegan/vegetarian/gluten free options to try to please everyone. The food there is far from the best, but it's better than some of the other colleges I've eaten at. There is also the Bridge Cafe, a cool little spot where people tend to study and eat. It's a bit pricey, but the food is good. Then, a few nights a week starting at 11pm, there is The Night Truck, a sweet little food truck that sells sandwiches and snacks to people who are up late studying. The food is the best, especially when you're hungry in the middle of the night.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are pretty cool. Not the cleanest or quietest, but there tends to be a lot of friendships formed in the dorms. There are shared lounges, some with kitchens even, and almost all of the lounges have balconies. And over 80% of the dorms are singles, so you have your own space if you choose.

    Academic Rigor

    Many people think that Hampshire is easy because we don't have grades or GPAs, but really it's a pretty tough school. The expectations are high and there is a great deal of reading, writing, researching, and discussing the class materials. You can't get by on sheer memorization. We also have an intense divisional system that requires students to be doing grad-school-level work by the end of their undergraduate career.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you aren't self-motivated, this school is not for you. Typical Hampshire students love what they do and don't let anything stand in the way of success. Hampshire students are dedicated to their educations, not their grades. If GPAs are what motivate you, then you probably won't thrive the way Hampshire students do, because we don't have grades or GPAs. Hampshire students have more internal motivation that external motivation.

    In three sentences

    Hampshire is a place where you can be yourself. You can create your own field of study and you aren't held back by requirements, grades, or any of the the various academic norms that you find in other colleges. This school is the best because you have unlimited options and freedoms to explore your passions.

  • 06/01/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 10 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Its great. People really trust each other and people really trust campus police.

    Greek Life

    No greek life..

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many. You will certainly find most anything you are looking for. If not, it is easy to create your own.

    Great for these types of students

    Self-motivated and open minded. Be willing to explore and ultimately take charge of your education.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Don't worry, there are plenty.

    What to do for fun

    One of the perks of being in a college town is that one is always surrounded by young people. There is usually something to see or something to visit if you go down to Amherst or North Hampton (both of which are a FREE bus ride away) Going to the colleges themselves is also fun on the weekends or during the week if you want to visit some friends. There are always parties going on somewhere and lots of cool people to meet.

    Food and Dining

    The Dining Commons wears on you. I was kind of digging it for the first two weeks but not so much after that. Actually, one of the reasons most people say they want to move from the dorms to the mods is because the dining common food is so bad and expensive...

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is fun. Since Hampshire is a pretty small school you get a nice community vibe and everyone just kind of hangs out in the quad when its warm so far as I have experienced.

    Academic Rigor

    Many might assume that Hampshire's evaluation and final project--as opposed to letter-grade assessment and final examination--process might lead to students slacking in classes because of the different structure and �lack� of assessment, but--and this I say from personal experience--this process has generally shown to actually give greater incentive for students enrolled in said classes, because their evaluations are more in depth and portray more of the specific accomplishments and shortcomings displayed throughout the course and because the final project provides a much more substantial method of retrospection on the semester's work than any test or letter grade could do. Of course, it also depends widely on the motivation of the student in these classes and the learning styles with which they are most comfortable. In addition, Hampshire's course work is reading and writing intensive to a degree that I have not seen in any other college so far. Perhaps most importantly, Hampshire's radical political stance will provide a challenging take on world issues that will cause its students to reflect on their own beliefs and rethink the hegemonic narrative carried through widely by the mainstream public educational system. Certainly there are plenty of institutions like it, but this shimmer deserves to be recognized as a challenge to the mass zombification effect of modern media, the single mindedness an educational system whose textbooks are written by corporations. And as if this was not enough, the college's participation in the area's five college consortium provides a space for students to explore 4 other pedagogical methodologies and philosophies, all of which include within them the own takes on education of each of these schools' professors and instructors. Hampshire's divisional system is also extremely worthy of notice, for it is, I would say, unorthodox and revolutionary. During their first year, students must take four requirement courses and three electives. The four requirement courses must each be taken within four of the five different schools and push students to explore different areas of study. The students must also fulfill cumulative skills requirements and engage in community oriented learning both their first and second years. Division 2 and 3 consist of creating and fulfilling the requirements for a concentration and completing a considerably rigorous year long final project.

    Tips for prospective students

    Use the structure given to you during your first year to really explore all the possible fields you can. You will be very surprised to find a plethora of new interests to which you had never before been exposed. You will see that the requirements needed to pass division one are more of an opportunity to really make sure you are pursuing what you want to pursue and less of a tedious government imposed set of mandates to be fulfilled.

    In three sentences

    Hampshire College is a remarkable institution in which I have been able to explore my interests and discover new passions that I would not have otherwise discovered. Their innovative take on learning and teaching allows the student to pursue education on an individualized basis, making each experience idiosyncratic to each student. This, combined with their renunciation of the obviously flawed letter grading system, allows the student at Hampshire College to form their own curriculum, shaped according to their needs, and evaluated on the basis of human observation rather than blind mathematical computation.

  • 03/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 11 of 25

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    there are plenty of things to do for fun based on someones interest. there are great things to do other than sports. it is as simple as going for a relaxed walk through the woods or getting on the bus into town where there are theaters, etc.

    Food and Dining

    what i like the most about the food and dining commons is that there are always options and even if the students do not like the food that has been cooked, the students can cook things themselves. however, the food has improved. dining areas are usually always kept clean which is a bonus.

    Dorm Life

    dorm life at hampshire has been a great experience for me being that majority of the dorm rooms on campus are singles. i was able to get a single and this has really taught me what it is to be independent.

    Academic Rigor

    classes at hampshire are great in my opinion. many of them are very focused and detailed which helps the student become very familiar with one thing instead of being slightly familiar with multiple. faculty and teaching assitants are very good to talk to and meet with as long as the students ask questions are attend those meetings.

    In three sentences

    hampshire college is a private and small liberal arts school with great programs. it is rich in diversity and is very unique.

  • 11/05/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 12 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    None.

    Great for these types of students

    The weird ones.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    You can know these when you get here. ;)

    What to do for fun

    Go to every event and group you can on campus and in town. Go to Atkins for cider doughnuts.

    Food and Dining

    SAGA is decent. The Bridge Cafe and the Night Truck and off-campus food are rather good.

    Dorm Life

    The freshman dorms are not as bad as some might say. The mods seem pretty neat.

    Academic Rigor

    The relative lack of structure in Hampshire's academic philosophy makes it harder, not easier, at least for me. It is certainly different and will challenge you in ways you were probably not challenged in high school.

    Tips for prospective students

    Figure out how you best manage your time and workload. Check out every event and campus group you can.

    In three sentences

    Hampshire College gives you a life-changing academic program and community. I might even say you will learn as much or more from immersing yourself in the community as you will in your courses. It's not for everyone, but give it a chance.

  • 02/16/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    13 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    safe, but not smothering.

    Greek Life

    greek life doesn't exist.

    Clubs and Activities

    if there isn't one you like, make one.

    Great for these types of students

    great for all types of students. the access to umass, amherst, mt. holyoke, and smith makes hampshire a place for everyone.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    our halloween is called trip or treat. it's a giant concert outside on the lawn. every easter we have a keg hunt. our radio station is run from a yurt.

    Bang for the buck

    at times it can feel like you're paying too much. that's only if you're not using the resources available to you.

    What to do for fun

    dance until you wake up in the woods.

    Food and Dining

    great for vegans, bad for carnivores.

    Dorm Life

    everyone can have a single room! great parties with great people.

    Academic Rigor

    our motto is to know is not enough.

    Tips for prospective students

    be outgoing, but don't try to hard. be creative with your education. go on the easter keg hunt.

    In three sentences

    this is the place to go if you want something different. hampshire opens every door. this place is the best.

  • 05/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    14 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Occasional theft, but little to no violence. Overall a very safe place.

    Greek Life

    HA. That doesn't exist here. The closest thing we have to a frat is Frisbee Mod. (A mod is an on-campus house.) Don't be misled, there's plenty of drinking and usually parties. However, as someone told me the first time I visited, no one wants to get you drunk but you. Meaning there's minimal pressure to partake and no one's gonna be handing out free booze.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are soooo many to pick from. There's everything from blacksmithing to socialism, figure drawing to pastry making, Shakespeare to hip hop, and feminism to permaculture. Get involved - it's one of the best ways to meet people and very rewarding.

    Great for these types of students

    Self-directed, assertive, curious, kind, free-thinking. The more passions/interests you bring, the better. You've gotta be creative and willing to adapt. Hampshire is a funky place, but if you love being there, it's hard to imagine being anywhere else.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There are lots of favorite spots in the woods - the Zen Garden, the Hampshire tree, the trampoline, etc. Hampshire Halloween and Spring Jam are big parties put on by the institution that happen in October and April, respectively.

    Bang for the buck

    Soooo expensive, but OK financial aid. Also, there's not another place quite like Hampshire... so what it lacks in practicality, it makes up for in uniqueness.

    What to do for fun

    I spent a lot of my first year playing outside and exploring the woods. Amherst and Northampton are college towns, so there's some book shops, restaurants, record stores, and small music venues... but don't forget that Hampshire is still basically in the middle of nowhere. Most of the fun gets made by the student body.

    Food and Dining

    SAGA (our name for the dining commons) is pretty bad. By the end of the first week, everyone will be complaining about the food. It's catered by Sodexo - the company that supplies food to most U.S. universities AND prisons. The students have lots of ethical as well as quality complaints about Sodexo. There's not really anywhere else on campus to eat, either, since the only cafe is also run by them.

    Dorm Life

    Most people have singles their first year, BUT the rooms aren't very big. There are four floors and no elevators - you'll get a workout, but grow tired of all the stairs. The bathrooms are all gender; you get used to it right away.

    Academic Rigor

    Hampshire classes range in difficulty as much as any school, but on a whole they are more challenging than most of the classes my friends took at other (private and public) colleges. Prepare to do a LOT of reading and writing. No tests or grades means SERIOUS papers. Written evaluations are wayyy more useful feedback than letter grades.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you're trying to figure out if Hampshire is the place for you, ask yourself why you're going to college. If the answer is just to get a job as soon as possible, maybe you should look elsewhere. Hampshire gives you an incredible opportunity to explore for a few years. You can study anything and combine interests in endless ways. If you want to go to a college that will push you to grow and expand your comfort zone, this might be the place for you. But you've gotta be willing to push yourself, too.

    In three sentences

    Hampshire is a great place for people with a passion for learning. You can create an educational path that nurtures your interests, instead of having to sit through classes you don't care about just to get your degree. To be successful here, though, you have to be extremely self-directed and independently motivated.

  • 06/03/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    15 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very safe.

    Greek Life

    Non-existent.

    Clubs and Activities

    sooo many clubs and activities. You can also start your own clubs and activities on campus. So virtually, anything has the potential to become a club or activity.

    Great for these types of students

    Artistic, free thinking, earthy, interested in social justice, wanting to try something new, students.

    Bang for the buck

    Financial Aid at the school is tremendously helpful, so yes, you definitely get your bang for the buck; especially since the education is so individualized and engaged.

    What to do for fun

    There are many different activities that take place on campus; there are a lot of groups that do activities like biking, hiking, fencing, ultimate frisbee-ing, kayaking, etc. not to mention the various cultural and arts groups on campus. Amherst is also a very cool town so there are always things to do.

    Food and Dining

    Very good. There are vegan and vegetarian options, and a lot of different options.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are nice, first year students get their own rooms, which is fantastic. Bring mattress pads because the mattresses themselves are not great.

    Academic Rigor

    It depends on the classes you take, but it has the potential to be extremely challenging.

    Tips for prospective students

    Have superior writing skills, it will come in handy. Explore different areas of interest so you can have a greater idea of what you ultimately would like to do.

    In three sentences

    Hampshire gives their students freedom in the kind of education they pursue. You have copious amounts of resources because of the 5 school consortium. The campus is beautiful and the area is great.

  • 11/15/2012

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

    16 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I felt very safe, they have blue lights, and campus police.

    Greek Life

    Not at all.

    Clubs and Activities

    All of them. Metaphorically.

    Great for these types of students

    Those that want to learn in interesting new ways, and gain knowledge, not just information.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Easter egg hunt. It's awesome.

    Bang for the buck

    A great way to get an education, but the name value isn't entirely there.

    What to do for fun

    Ultimate frisbee, basketball, chilling.

    Food and Dining

    Tasty meal plans, but only one option.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are of good size, and comfortable.

    Academic Rigor

    You will have to learn because you love to learn, as opposed to learning for a grade.

    Tips for prospective students

    Round out your test scores and GPA with extracurriculars and community service. Demonstrate your ability to learn.

    In three sentences

    A great school that follows the New College Plan. Definitely a great school for the liberal arts. Reccommended for students looking for an innovative way to learn.

  • 01/01/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    17 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I feel very safe walking around this campus late at night, by myself. We have blue emergency boxes, though not in the most convenient locations. Campus Police is generally responsive. The most offenses here are being too loud or stolen bikes.

    Greek Life

    Non-existent.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are a wide variety of clubs for the unusual Hampshire interests, including circus, acapella groups, and identity groups. Starting one is more difficult than admissions may make it out to be. There are also EPEC's (classes taught by students on particular interests) if you want to learn from peers. However, not all groups are super consistent in meetings (usually because of Hampshire students' many interests) and many can be not inclusive.

    Great for these types of students

    Artists, anarchists, thinkers.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Div-Free bell outside the library is rung when a student completes their Div III (senior thesis project). If you ring it before you complete Div III, you will (supposedly) never graduate.

    Bang for the buck

    A downside is that Hampshire is very expensive. We are a new school and don't have a large endowment. However, the school does try to make it possible for students to go. The resources available at the other 4 colleges in the area (UMass Amherst, Amherst College, Smith College, and Mt. Holyoke) are great, and you can take classes there too if you're in need of a more traditional approach to your education once in a while.

    What to do for fun

    With the other 4 colleges in the area, there is almost always something to do. Northampton and Amherst are also only a bus ride away if you want to do something off-campus. On-campus, there are usually plays, galleries, and the occasional party, though parties at Hampshire are more like a group of friends hanging out together.

    Food and Dining

    A downside of dorm life is that you are restricted to the single dining commons known as SAGA. It's decent in that it's pretty consistent, but that consistency is meh and it's not particularly health-conscious. It's just a little boring and repetitive after awhile, but there's always cereal and salad. There are also wok's that students can use to create stir fry, lunch specials, and a panini press. There are often a few vegan options and always gluten free options as well.

    Dorm Life

    Most freshmen have singles in the two dorm buildings of Dakin and Merrill. Usually you find that particular halls have particular personalities (e.g, party halls, quiet halls) and others have themes (gamer hall, queer hall, all female hall). Each hall also has a lounge or common space which includes a balcony. The hallways in Dakin are connected, which is great in the cold New England winter. Getting out of the dorms to a mod (apartment-style housing) is done through the occasionally frustrating housing lottery, but most students who want to are able to get a mod if they can get their act together. Most students are respectful of spaces. Interns (RA's) are generally pretty cool, friendly people who will help you out if something comes up.

    Academic Rigor

    Yes, we are a rigorous school, despite having evaluations rather than grades, but it is a different kind of rigor. I have most often found that to do well here, you need to be willing to learn from things you may not agree with, that you need to think critically about viewpoints, and that you need to reflect on how what you are learning will affect you and your choices. Thinking critically is much more important to learning processes here than collecting information.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be willing to learn from mistakes you may make, have a passion, understand unconventionality.

    In three sentences

    Hampshire is a place of processes. The focus is not necessarily on how well you do something, but how you do it and more importantly, how you learn from it. The college encourages passions and interests.

  • 01/04/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    18 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I always feel safest when I am at Hampshire. I feel safe around my peers because I trust them, but also campus police is always available to make sure it is a safe space. In the same way, I think everyone on campus (students, faculty, staff, ...) is available and willing to ensure that Hampshire is always a safe space and community for everyone.

    Greek Life

    There is no greek life on campus, which is actually something I find to be a positive aspect of Hampshire because we are all such different people that come together with no need for a greek life.

    Great for these types of students

    Hampshire is great for students who are critical thinkers, activists, or interested in a non-traditional education. It is great for students who want to craft their own majors. It is great for students who want to meet students like them, but also like no one they have ever met before. Hampshire is great for students who are more than a major.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    One unusual tradition is the ringing of the bell at the end of your Division three (Senior thesis). It is a tradition at Hampshire to ring the bell for the whole campus to hear in celebration of passing your final year. It is always so inspiring to hear. One unusual location on campus is the woods. There is so much art and natural beauty to see in the woods. But it is also a place of social gatherings, which may seem unusual but is just another thing that makes Hampshire so unique.

    What to do for fun

    At Hampshire there are always a lot of events on campus. There are lectures all the time and a lot of different student groups offered for almost any interest you may have. If you are interested in something that is not offered, you can start it yourself! There are two big events: Hampshire Halloween and Spring Jam, which are both super fun campus events. There are also opportunities to get involved in sports teams!

    Food and Dining

    Hampshire has fresh fruits and vegetables from the farm, gluten free and vegan options! However, I would not say the food is always super delicious.

    Academic Rigor

    You must be prepared to work hard on your own at Hampshire. This school is very reading, writing, and discussion based. It is important to stay on top of your work to get the most out of what you are learning as well as to receive a good evaluation from your professors.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are considering Hampshire, be prepared to participate a lot in class. It is important to not only hear what other students have to say but to give your input as well. At Hampshire, we learn from each other, not just from a textbook. Sometimes the lack of academic structure can be overwhelming, so it is good to meet with your advisor if ever you feel this way and take advantage of the academic freedom!

    In three sentences

    Hampshire College was the perfect fit for me because it has allowed me to open my mind to anything and everything that I am interested in. Hampshire is a place of discussion, rather than just passive learning, and I have learned how to appreciate the knowledge I obtain due to the fact that we do not receive grades at Hampshire. Not only is Hampshire great academically, this school has also provided me with many tools and resources to find work, student groups, and excellent advising.

  • 02/25/2013

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

    19 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    The dinning hall wasn't my favorite

    Dorm Life

    Single dorms seemed really great!

    In three sentences

    I don't know if I'll be attending but I definitely am considering it now that I was accepted. I received a nice scholarship but no aid from Hampshire. Kind of a bummer but overall I really liked the diversity and quirkiness of Hampshire!

  • 03/22/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    20 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Easter Keg Hunt, Hampshire Halloween, Tour De Franzia, and Spring Jam are all great Hampshire traditions that provide some much needed energy and fun to the campus.

    What to do for fun

    The best option for fun is to either hang out in a dorm or mod, or to adventure to another campus for a party. However, it's often boring, especially if you're the type of person who is from a city, is used to more action and adventure, parties, or doesn't enjoy spending their time just chilling out all the time.

    Food and Dining

    The food at Hampshire is pretty bad and there's only one dining hall which closes way too early and often leads to students getting hungry at 10pm with no options. The Bridge, the school's cafe, is better, but not that good. The food comes from Sodexo, a company that also provides food to prisons as well. However, Hampshire does have more vegan and vegetarian options than most other schools.

    Dorm Life

    Hampshire is great academically but for many people it doesn't quite work socially. The dorms, which not aesthetically pleasing, are okay. Most students live in single dorms, aka don't have a roommate, which is really nice. Upper level students live in mods which are like apartments. The dorms can get quite boring and students should try to make friends who live in mods because they're more spacious and often have parties.

    Academic Rigor

    The courses vary but are usually difficult and require time and effort. Because class sizes are so small it's important not to miss classes because professors will notice and it could reflect poorly in course evaluations. There are a wide variety of courses to take and because students can take classes at the other schools in the area, there's no shortage of great classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure to check out the school ad read reviews as much as possible before accepting a place there. The learning environment is very specific and doesn't work for everyone and the social atmosphere is also very narrow and doesn't work for everyone.

    In three sentences

    Hampshire College is the perfect place for people who consider themselves alternative learners. Small class sizes, personal evaluations, and dedicated professors make Hampshire a great place for learning. However, it's a very specific type of learning and doesn't work for everyone.

  • 06/02/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    21 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Not much to say here, they are traditional Campus Safety officers.

    Greek Life

    This doesn't exist here.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is so much to do here, and if what you want to do isn't readily available, you can always make a club with little problems or resistance.

    Great for these types of students

    Self-Motivated, Artsy, Forward thinking, open-minded, progressive.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There are bunch of secret and special things only accepted Hampshire Students are allowed to know about, but are completely worth knowing. Further more, Hampshire Halloween and Spring are college sponsored parties that are amazing.

    Bang for the buck

    Hampshire is truly for the alternative student. Traditional academia and traditional college life doesn't really exist here. And, if it does, it is with its proper Hampshire twist.

    What to do for fun

    You can do anything for fun, from playing music, and art, to hiking, adventuring in the woods, and so much more.

    Food and Dining

    The food is okay, but it is always there, and it is buffet style, which means as many servings as you need.

    Dorm Life

    The pre-dominantly mixed gender halls are at first a little weird, but great and just as valid as many single gender hall.

    Academic Rigor

    This academic structure here forces students to be creative and to think out side the box.

    Tips for prospective students

    You need to be self-motivated. No one is going to push you here. It's all up to you

    In three sentences

    It is a great school. All types of people from all over the world attend this school. There is so much potential for amazing things to happen here and to you at this college.

  • 06/29/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    22 of 25

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    You can go on walks, the nature view outside is nice. The 5 college thing helps make finding parties at other colleges nice but there are ones on campus too.

    Tips for prospective students

    You should visit the campus and talk to other students on campus to get a feel of if the school is a fit for you.

    In three sentences

    It is a small college. It's different from the typical stereotypical education. It can be a great match for some students but not so good for others.

  • 07/12/2013

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

    23 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Creative, quirky, different, unique, out of the box thinkers, alternative.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Our semesters are broken up into Divisions: Division 1, 2 and 3. As a senior in Division 3, when you are done with your thesis and research project, you go to the middle of the quad and ring the Division Bell, signifying to everyone that you have successfully completed all requirements and are on your way to graduating.

    Bang for the buck

    Hampshire College is a private school and is a bit pricey, but they have a huge endowment and lots of grant and scholarship offers and opprtunities. They have been very generous to me.

    What to do for fun

    Hampshire College is part of a 5 college consortium, so if you cannot find a party, poetry reading or club on campus, you can get on the free bus system and travel to the center of Amherst, UMASS, Amherst College, Smith College or Mt. Holyoke College to check out the students and the action going on there. There is always something to do, people to meet, good food to eat, live music to listen to and a good time to be had.

    Food and Dining

    Food is pretty good, and any food not eaten is donated to local shelters and food pantries. That is totally cool.

    Dorm Life

    There are dorms and apartment style housing complexes, both substance free and non substance free. Recycling is big here and lots of things are bio degradable. Energy saving lighting is required throughout.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are rigorous, you have a core team of advisors, you get constant feedback and instead of grades you are assessed through narrative and critical analysis.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be creative, don't worry about SAT scores, be ready to use your entreprenuerial skills and have lots of fun.

    In three sentences

    Hampshire College has a beautiful campus, creative engaging students and a unique approach to education.

  • 10/07/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    24 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    For my entire life I have been looking for a school which I genuinely fit into. For the first time, I was able to find a place where I can be me. It is an exciting, invigorating feeling. I am not rich whatsoever. However, I believe that the education I will get at Hampshire will triumph over any money value. The people I have met already have impacted my life so dramatically. I found what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. I am learning the way I want to. I choose what I am interested in. It is worth every penny.

    What to do for fun

    North Hampton is where everything happens. A huge town, with numerous stores, restaurants, art galleries and more. On campus, the best thing to do is walk around the woods, visit the reservoir. Breathe in the fresh air Amherst has to offer, and feel connected with nature. You can join one of the numerous crazy clubs, or just hang out with your friends in someones room. Oh, and the parties are great too.

    Food and Dining

    The food is a lot better than expected. As a freshman, I have unlimited meals at the dining hall. They do a very good job keeping it vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, etc... friendly. Everyday there is something new. Pizza is really good, but what I look forward to most is the stir-fry. It is available every single lunch and dinner.

    Dorm Life

    All my closest friends live in my hall. My room is adequately sized. It's a dorm. Nothing too great, but nothing too bad. I have a roommate who I get along with, and I always feel comfortable to return to my room whenever I need. It seems pretty freaky at first when you arrive, but once you get settled in, it feels like home,

    Academic Rigor

    Just because we have no grades and no tests doesn't make this an easy school. The courses are in depth. Be prepared to experience a new way of teaching. For example, when you learn about art, you don't only learn about art. You learn the history, the math, the science, the politics. This is not your average college. However, the understanding you return with is far superior than memorizing a text book.

    Tips for prospective students

    Everyone here has something they are extremely proficient in. Find what drives you and embrace it. Disregard what society tells you, and do what you are passionate about. You'll be a perfect fit.

    In three sentences

    Hampshire College provides a unique educational experience for independent students whose drive for higher knowledge takes them in directions beyond the societal norm. It's progressive nature and unconventional academic process gives it a cutting-edge in modern collegiate education over institutions whose processes follow a more classical mold. It is a crucial and striving beacon for the progression of how we look at college.

  • 11/01/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    25 of 25

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Open minded Divers Anyone who wants to go beyond the limiting majors.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Yurt: campus radio station, student organized.

    What to do for fun

    Their are a hundred of different Student Groups. Ultimate, Circus, Sports... if students like the outdoors and sports. There are also groups for people who are interested in comics, films, books... We also have the opportunity of the four other colleges, as they host student groups and events open to college students from the area.

    Food and Dining

    Their new food provider is great. We have a large variety of choices: salad bar, sandwich bar, continental breakfast all day long, multitude of drinks... Their is also homemade food, aimed for comfort. A lot of the food is from the Farm, locally produced. All the vegetables are fresh and organic.

    Dorm Life

    It all depends on where you are. Merrill dorm life is Substance-free and may be the quietest of the dorms. Dakin are dorms for students who value social life and like being very open with their hallmates.

    Academic Rigor

    The professors highly value participation.While being friendly, they want students to be involved and are very rigorous in evaluations.

    Tips for prospective students

    You don't have to know exactly what you want to become yet. Hampshire College lets you experience everything you want, while orienting you towards the best in the job market.

    In three sentences

    A place where you dont' limit yourself to a major. We can look beyond, have great opportunities and a wide variety of classes in the five colleges. It is also a small community where the individual can become who they are meant to be.