Mount Holyoke College
Mount Holyoke College - Comments and Student Experiences|
Pros: the campus is utterly stunning - perhaps the most beautiful campus I've seen. Regarding safety, it's an extremely safe environment. There's also the 5 College opportunity, which allows you to take classes free of charge at Smith, U Mass, Amherst, and Hampshire.
Cons: just about everything else. Most essentially, the school has no true vision for why it's a women's college; the claim that it empowers women is a fraud, as the reality is that strong-natured women, or individualistic women who are creative, curious, and think outside the box, are viewed as a genuine threat to the rest of the community. Thus, MHC is best suited and marketed for young women who have had little experience outside of suburban communities (most likely gated at that), and who are emotionally younger than their physical age. The school encourages these young women to follow rules, keep quiet, and make decent grades. Because of this, not much in the MHC environment challenges students to grow intellectually or emotionally. When I was a student at MHC, weekends were a virtual wasteland: no concerts, lectures, or events of any significance. The majority of students would spend their free time taking videos out of the library and watching them; I doubt much has changed other than the fact they're now watching on computers.I could go on about the lack of academic integrity and the condescending way the administration treats its students, but other comments have addressed this. In short, this is a fraud of an academic institution and should be avoided.
Creativity, or their movement for change ? Limited. An alum asked President Pasquerella about creative outlets for students, & other alums present sensed that she clearly did not understand that question, & only talked about the museum ... Myopic visions.
Plenty of false advertising, which I fell for ..
. Diversity: MHC gives much financial aid to students from Pakistan, China, Nepal & other countries, to market their diverse culture. While diverse in countries, the students they choose are very similar, & culture aside, all one of a kind. Grade oriented, often afraid to ask what they truly want in life (one girl even said, no one's ever asked me that before), & fake friendliness.
. Special major: discouraged if it's not career-oriented. In more than 2 years, the Special major dean never saw a student design a major that's geared towards intellectual pursuits.
Professors often unnecessarily stoke students' sense of intelligence, in discussions that are clearly bland, & with facts students state with a false sense of superiority that's already widely known in other schools. Classes seldom encourage you to do independent papers & seek out your specific interests, they are designed in the old-fashioned way of 'lecture, try to discuss, regurgitate, write essays, exams'. I did extensive research for all my classes, & professors, & asked seniors for their favorites, to little avail.
Accommodation & food: if you're the independent sort, or with dietary issues .. avoid coming here. all $13,000 from the financial aid package is taken away if you choose to cook, or live off campus. No negotiation. I tried many times, to be greeted with a cold-hearted & icy 'No' by their head of financial services. I did email the president, since I literally got food comas & a painful belly from the lousy unhealthy food, which affected my work, & that was ignored. Other colleges simply shave $2000 off your financial aid package.Prettiness of campus wears off .. it's like a Ralph Lauren ad that confines nature to its own notion of beauty. The one merit of this school: part of the Five Colleges consortium.
Beware!! Many of the classes actually have 20-45 students. What sucks even more is that there is only one section of the class, as a result, there is a very long waitlist of about another 40 students. Many student are unable to enroll the class. This is based on my experience the first year. I tried to enroll two classes that were required for my major on the first day of enrollment and I was on the waitlist on both of them. The teachers say it is very hard to finally enroll when you are on the waitlist. They pick and chose who will enroll the class next once a student drops the class. If it is not you, too bad so sad. Students who aren't able to enroll a certain class might have to even delay their graduation or take more classes per semester at the end, so they will have more pressure. I mean why can't they hire more professors? I thought this is supposed to be a private college with smaller class sizes. Even public institutions have more than one sections per class.