StudentsReview :: Kalamazoo College - Extra Detail about the Comment
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Kalamazoo College

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityD Faculty AccessibilityC
Useful SchoolworkB- Excess CompetitionD+
Academic SuccessF Creativity/ InnovationC+
Individual ValueD+ University Resource UseC+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyB FriendlinessC-
Campus MaintenanceA- Social LifeF
Surrounding CityF Extra CurricularsD-
Describes the student body as:
Arrogant, Broken Spirit, Snooty, Closeminded

Describes the faculty as:
Arrogant, Condescending

Lowest Rating
Academic Success
Highest Rating
Campus Maintenance
She cares more about Academic Success than the average student.
Date: Aug 07 2008
Major: Political Science (This Major's Salary over time)
Kalamazoo College was the school I was really hoping to get into when I did my college applications my senior year of high school. I really wanted to go there, due to all the great things I had heard about the school, the staff, the campus, the atmosphere, and everything about it. I applied to it early decision because I wanted to go there so badly, and found out in December from an letter that was hand delivered to me by members of the admissions department that I got in (and honestly, I was surprised I got in because it was supposedly a very competitive year.) But after being at school for a couple quarters, I realized that it was not at all what I thought it would be.

I knew that it was supposedly a slightly "dorky" school, where smart, but slightly odd went, where they could all fit in and strive to do well together, but the environment ended up being, to me, quite negative. The students were all incredibly competitive and closed-minded (it is a very liberal school) and even for someone like me who is quite moderate and empathetic to both sides, can end up being shot down by a student or professor for having an alternate view, no matter how small.

Kalamazoo also prides itself on the hundreds of different student-created groups that it has, but the groups end up having very few people in it (the largest groups being 15, the average being about 6 people), and having very little funding.

I also went to kalamazoo because it really promoted its music department, and said that it had several student orchestras that I could participate in. I had been an active violinist all throughout high school, and was really excited to continue with orchestra at the college level, but the orchestra was nothing like I had read about or been told by the college. The orchestra was 60% community members, so most students sat with older adults, ages 40+, and as a freshman, it was incredibly difficult to get to know other students when I was surrounded by adults (my standpartner was a fellow students grandmother). So the student atmosphere I had anticipated for the orchestra was non existent. And the new, young conductor it had tended to be very crabby, and would yell at students who were not playing up to snuff, verbally attacking them in front of the entire orchestra. And the lack of students in the orchestra was not due to the few students the school has, but due to the intensive cuts the conductor made so that the orchestra could be mostly community members, and few students so that it could be

at the level he thought it should be
So the musical environment I had looked forward to and expected was not there at all.

*********Finally, the GPA system was absolutely ridiculous. From what professors and admissions directors said, the average GPA at Kalamazoo college was around a 2.7, which one would expect to be a bit higher since the college is always talking about the "intellectual students" it has, and how brilliant all we students were. But it was virtually impossible to get an A in several classes. The college works on a GPA scale that says that an A and A- is a 4.0, a B+, B, and B- is a 3.0, a C+, C, and C- is a 2.0 and so on. And that sounds great if you got an A- and your GPA went down as a 4.0 for that class, but the problem was that many professors simply "did not give A's" as several of my professors had told me my freshman year. Due to the way the GPA system worked, many professors, in order to keep their class rigorous, and so that they would not reward students for what they did not think was "4.0 material" they would give students who deserved A-'s B+'s instead. It doesn't seem like a huge difference, and wasn't in high school, but with the way that GPA works, you would get a 3.0 GPA instead of a 3.5, which looks terrible on an application to grad school if they don't know the school (which most out of state schools don't). So the classes were made unfair, and made it incredibly difficult to get a good GPA, even with just one B range grade.

Not to mention, the social life was virtually non-existent, especially winter quarter, when the school seems to turn into a barren, VERY cold desert. It isn't uncommon to be walking around campus at midday on a week day and see no one outside, or a weekend evening, and to see NO ONE. The social life outside of a few parties at the FEW nearby houses on campus was incredibly weak, if that.

thus, I was incredibly disappointed with kalamazoo college, I felt that all the hype I had heard and all the information it had given me about its reputation was untrue, so I transferred schools after my freshman year. I originally had no plans to do so, and tried as hard as I could to make the school more fun, but the abysmal social life, the lame student groups, and the ridiculous GPA system forced me to move elsewhere. I'm no partier, so I thought Kalamazoo would be a great place for me, but after a year, I knew it was time to move to a better, more lively school that didn't make me miserable.

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