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Amherst College

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I just want to quickly clear up a

Aug 20 2011Biology
I just want to quickly clear up a a misconception about AC students. Many people that do not attend the university believe that the school is mostly rich and white. In fact, about half of students are on financial aid. None of those students graduate with any loans at all. Over half of students are minorities. I am an international student and most schools don't offer financial aid to non-citizens. Amherst does, so I am able to attend the school. It has been my perception that there is a much smaller proportion of low income students at schools without such generous financial aid policies. I recently visited a large event at a state school in CA and only saw a handful of minority students.

On a side note: AC offers many summer grants for research, volunteer work and travel. It is easy to get these summer opportunities. This is nice because all AC students (even us poor ones) can get good experience in a time when it is very difficult to land a paid internship. Otherwise, many students would have to take standard "college jobs" which do not distinguish them. Students graduate at an advantage to begin their job hunts and continued schooling applications.

3rd Year Female -- Class 2012
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Scholastic Success: F

Amherst provided an incredible environment for learning of

Apr 01 2008Neuroscience/Cognitive Science
Amherst provided an incredible environment for learning of all kinds: intellectual, social, emotional, artistic... Professors are incredibly dedicated to teaching, and form close relationships with students. I focused heavily on sciences, and were I to do it over, would take more advantage of the liberal arts offerings. If Amherst is your target school, I suggest that you aim to excel academically and personally, and that you engage significantly in activities that demonstrate a "social conscience". Amherst is a school that heavily weighs the importance of social action and efforts to improve the community and world. If you show similar goals through your actions, they will want you as part of their community.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
Starting Job: Medical Student Preparedness: A Reputation: A

IF you take advantage of the opportunities at

Apr 25 2011Psychology
IF you take advantage of the opportunities at AC, this is a truly challenging school. Students tend to take on a ton of extracurriculars, and most challenge themselves academically (there is a range of course difficulty as at any college). At times I was overwhelmed, but it made me a better person to be surrounded by incredible students and supportive professors. The faculty and administration went WAY above the call of duty for me; I've been out to drinks with profs, over to their houses for dinner, they've called friends to hook me up with opportunities, etc. I felt so close to some them after my years at school that I invited three to my graduation dinner (otherwise, it was just immediate family and my boyfriend). The connections I made are also already proving valuable. Amherst is really an "ask and you shall receive" institution.

For the most part, the facilities and dorms are phenomenal. My parents joke that I went to school at a country club. The science building itself could use a little work (they are replacing it within the next couple years) but I can't say enough good things about the professors and opportunities (to do research, etc.) in the science departments.

There are a lot of opportunities to drink. I had a wonderful time socially, but it can be difficult to balance times to de-stress with the tidal waves of school work. Overall, I liked my classmates, and was often surprised by their range of interests and talents. It certainly helps to be outgoing here, because many students are kind of shy (which could be mistaken as cold, but these students are usually VERY appreciative of invitations and genuine friendliness). I would also recommend making the extra effort to befriend 5-college students in your classes and at parties.

Not the biggest fan of the weather. The dining hall food is also relatively mediocre but improving dramatically each year (also, there is a co-op on campus that cooks its own food, and you can live there if you really aren't satisfied...)I just wanted to note that the negative comments seem to be from non-Amherst students who may have had ONE bad experience for whatever reason. I'm really happy I went to AC and proud of myself for taking a challenging route and coming out on top.

Alumna Female -- Class 2000
Preparedness: B+ Reputation: A+
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