I'm a first year from out of state and I have to say, there are a ton of Massachusetts residents here - possibly too many? It makes it tough for people who are not within a few hours of their home because a lot of students go home on weekends, and if you don't live close, you'll definitely be too busy to take the time necessary to travel. I'm from Northern New Jersey (3 - 5 hours away) and I've only been home for the major holidays. Also, I was barely able to go home for Easter, and getting back to campus was an issue. I actually scheduled a flight - believe it or not - in order to maximize my time to get my mountains of work done. When my flight home was cancelled, I found a ride back with a friend, but instead of arriving on campus around 2 - 3pm, we pulled in on Monday at 1am. I had an early morning exam in my most challenging class, and was not able to sufficiently prepare for it as a result. Why a professor would schedule one of only TWO exams the day after a major holiday is beyond me... Anyway, in pure Babson fashion (be prepared to receive 20+ emails a day, conservatively), I emailed the professor as soon as I got back to my dorm regarding the situation. He was far less than accomodating; as a result of my exam grade, I am now in jeopardy of failing the class. No, I cannot withdraw from the course; the deadline passed weeks ago. So, I'm stuck in a common situation: fear of a GPA lower than 3 (the average is 2.7).
In terms of the courses, the college divides them into categories: management, and liberal arts. The management courses are truly well-taught, thoroughly useful, and actually very interesting. Whereas the liberal arts courses are just a waste of time; the profs believe that theirs is the only course a student must take, and that their work should be handled accordingly. Also, the work they assign seems less than applicable to the realm of business. Right now, one of my required courses has me writing immense papers, presenting topics of critical inquiry, and researching meaningless information to deliver to the class for a huge portion of the grade. Sadly, the assignments concern seemingly random topics of interest, such as nature or robots. Call me crazy, but I didn't come to the famed #1 Business School in the World for this. Also, there is a science requirement; the courses offered to fulfill this seemingly arbitrary demand are limited, and from what I hear, they are simply wastes of precious time. Time is the key to Babson. At Babson, you should expect to barely have time to breathe - never mind eat (especially since the only dining option on weekends is open from 11am - 7pm with patches of empty trays in between the busy hours). Straying from the fact that nearly EVERYTHING closes down on the weekends here (especially the already-lacking social scene), during the week people frequently have multiple business meetings. A proper scheduling system is vidal for survival here.
In terms of campus events....
Last night, the Campus Activities Board hosted a once-popular band. The tickets sold out immediately; less so because of the popularity of the main act and more because of the small size of the venue (an all-purpose center). Yes, our school is small, and so there really isn't too great a need for a huge recreation facility, but for events like this, our tiny student body can't even be accomodated.
Not that there would be time to attend the event. A common response from students is, "Oh man, I wish I could but I have to start my group project in ...." Yes, there is a ton of group work, which I feel is very beneficial. Actually, group work and powerpoint are the themes of most managerial courses. I have created at least 1 powerpoint a week, and have become so efficient at doing so, that I can now create a professional slideshow in less than 20 minutes. So, that's definitely a positive aspect of the school. I truly believe that once I leave here, I will be able to appreciate my anticipated innodation of free time.
The school motto: "It's Possible. At Babson." This phrase has actually become somewhat negatively taboo among the freshman class; whenever something goes incredibly wrong, you can often hear sarcastic mutters of "It's Possible...At Babson".
I really do like the school though. Reflecting back, I struggle to reconcile this emotion. Still though, the school is excellent at teaching entrepreneurship and its habits. While I don't know whether I would again choose to attend the school, I do realize that my knowledge of business has definitely been enhanced.
In summation, the following is nowhere-near-complete list of the positives and negatives of Babson College. Enjoy!
o Business education
o Knowledgable professors for managerial courses
o Safe campus
o Interesting approach for educating in entrepreneuship
o No Friday classes (though the administration is currently contemplating abolishing this practice).
o Social scene (girls, you're only 30% of the population, so have fun trying to find friends. Especially since at least half of student body is from Mass, and will thus be traveling home on weekends.)
o Liberal arts courses are limited; professors not so accomodating.
o GRADE DEFLATION (I received an exam back with a score of 92% - amazing at Babson. Then, the professor informed us that the grades on the exam were "too high" and so the grading system needed to be reevaluated. As a result, our grades were pushed down 5 points. Yup, I now have a B instead of an A-).
o Location - Boston's nice, but if you don't have a car, it's pretty tough to get there - or even to the nearest T station. Also, the school rarely provides transportation there (the way my friends' colleges do).
o Busy work
o Lack of time
o FME - Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship (some students can coast through the course as "associates" in the student-run and created business, while others are plagued with work due to their VP and CEO titles.)
o Dining Options (only open till 7 on weekends, and 10 on weekdays. Sometimes 11. Weekend has one option. 11am - 7pm. not cool.)
o Lack of school spirit
o General lack of time
o Small workout facilities: 2 treadmills. seriously.
o HUGE BILL
o Nothing available on campus, especially weekends. (Students with medical emergencies or situations are left optionless. They must pay a cab (or possibly employ Public Saftey) to transport them to the nearest hospitol.
Well, good luck with your decision. Like I've said (though definitely have not stressed enough), I really do like the school. If Babson's students had more time to relax, I am sure the social scene would improve, the school spirit would be enhanced, and people would just generally be less crabby. I like Babson, and hopefully my comments have helped you!