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Williams College

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Date: Mar 02 2004
Major: English (This Major's Salary over time)
Now that I helping my daughters choose colleges, I can reflect back upon my experience, and also their visits.

Williams—fantastic faculty, huge resources, picturesque environment, fine academic program, alumni connections.

The students are not very diverse, even if the colors of their skins might be. Not surprising, given that 60% of the student body has parents that can pay the full freight at $40,000 a year, and has money left over for European vacations, expensive spring breaks, and Volvos for the kiddies. Students are very athletic, healthy looking, and very, very well-dressed. Those who don't quite fit that mold try very hard to figure out how to, or develop an alternative personality.

Alcohol pervades the campus, much more than other small liberal arts college campuses we have visited. Alcohol poisonings are relatively common. Boisterous drunks in freshman dorms seem to be the norm, but there are quiet drunks as well. Administration seems complacent—they have banned smoking, but seem to have no problem with Junior Advisors aiding and abetting illegal activity among 17 and 18 year olds in the purchase and possession of alcoholic beverages. Does the heavy stress on athletics go hand-in-hand with unbridled alcohol abuse?

If you can see past an inebriated roommate and focus on the excellent education available here, this might be the place to go. But the question is: why should you have to?

Visit before making a decision.

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