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Discus: College Search and Selection: May 2003 Archive: Smith
By Unmatchedsocks (Unmatchedsocks) on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 08:07 pm: Edit

What is the Smith campus like? Is it easy to create your own major there? Any other information? (Their website is so slow and half the pages never show up!)

By Unhappiness (Unhappiness) on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 10:12 am: Edit

hey. i'm attending dartmouth but it was a hard decision. smith has a really nice campus. the professors are easy to talk to and the town surrounding it is fun, there is a lot to do. my sister went there.

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 10:55 am: Edit

If you go under the parent's section and look for a discussion entitled "college visits" you'll find a full report of a recent visit to Smith that has some great, detailed information.

By Sopranosmom (Sopranosmom) on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 11:16 am: Edit

Hi unmatchedsocks -- my daughter grad'd from Smith a couple of years ago -- beautiful campus, vibrant college town with 4 other colleges close by to take courses at (plus social contact) -- no course requirements at all -- you can do your own thing -- my daughter was never closed out of a course -- they just added a section or made a new course -- however, there are over 650 courses to choose from -- you have to take certain distribution requirements, however, if you want Latin honors (summa, magna, etc. at graduation -- not hard to do!) -- lots of $ for aid, too -- my daughter grad'd PBK and Smith paid for her first year of grad school -- they also paid over $4000 for a summer internship - she was a Biology major but also took voice -- she loved art there, too.

By Good_Gal (Good_Gal) on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 01:56 pm: Edit

anybody know about smith's waitlist this year?i'm on it, and very anxious.

By Unhappiness (Unhappiness) on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 05:51 pm: Edit

what were your stats good gal?

By Autodidact (Autodidact) on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 09:57 pm: Edit

Hi, my daughter checked with Smith today, they said they are "taking a limited number from their waitlist." Good luck!

By Upenn06 (Upenn06) on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 10:17 pm: Edit

it's the gayest campus in america!

if ur even remotely straight, DO NOT GO NEAR IT. im not a homophobe...i'm just trying to give people some sound advice.

my boarding school was like 25-30 min from smith so we went into noho a me...

By Good_Gal (Good_Gal) on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 10:54 pm: Edit

Thanks so much for the info!
my stats follow-
SAT1 1320
SAT2'S - 650,650,680
TRANSCRIPT- 70% A's, 30% B's

By Good_Gal (Good_Gal) on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 10:56 pm: Edit

iforgot to mention my extracurriculars.

1. volleyball captain - 4yrs
2. soccer - goalkeeper 4yrs
3. bengali and english drama
4. rotaract club member
5. i write poems - got first prize in a national competition recently
6. vocal- rabindrasangeet / western

By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 02:55 am: Edit

Gee, if nobody remotely straight went to Smith, it would then be 100 percent gay.

As it is, my straight daughter found the school and the students there to be great when we visited...I wonder why anyone care what someone elses sexual preferences were if they weren't interested in them.

By Good_Gal (Good_Gal) on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 05:19 am: Edit

one extracurricular I didn't mention - social work for stray cats and dogs

By Good_Gal (Good_Gal) on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 02:01 pm: Edit

Has Smith notified anybody about being off their waitlist yet?

By Good_Gal (Good_Gal) on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 08:40 am: Edit

Does anybody know if anybody's been called off Smith's waitlist?
Tell me!

By Cmalbon (Cmalbon) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 10:54 pm: Edit

A student from my Daughter's school was accepted from the Smith wait list last week. She told me she was very persistent, calling often, she sent in supplemental material and pleaded a lot. She is thrilled! My daughter will be attending Smith this fall also. Buy the way, they are both straight. My daughter spent an overnight on campus and was really impressed with how diverse the student population is (other than the fact that they're all women) and how well they seemed to get along. She really loved it.

By Jyber209 (Jyber209) on Sunday, May 25, 2003 - 10:10 am: Edit

My daughter just finished her first year at Smith and loved it. We are very happy with how her choice worked out. DD also happens to be straight (not that it should matter!)
The personal support, small classes, house system and development opportunities have all exceeded our expectations.
Best wished to your daughter and her friend. Where are you from?
parent of Smithie '06

By Aparent (Aparent) on Sunday, May 25, 2003 - 11:18 am: Edit

Thedad and others, I would appreciate hearing your comments re the "culture" at Smith. While Upenn06's comment is clearly out of line, I think it's a fair question dd is asking: If it's a fairly small school to begin with, not to mention that it's a women's college, and there is a high percentage of lesbians, would she as a heterosexual feel isolated there? We are also hearing that many of the students wear black and have multiple piercings; there is nothing wrong with this, but it's not her style. So...could you talk about how you saw the student body? Dd would like to be in the mainstream of whatever school she attends. For the same reason she is also avoiding places that are very "jocky," for example.

By Jyber209 (Jyber209) on Sunday, May 25, 2003 - 11:51 am: Edit


I beleive that heterosexuals do not feel isolated at Smith - but neither do those with other sexual orientations.

Although Smith is still a relatively small school (enrollment at just over 2,600), it is the largest women's college in the country, so it is unlikely to be made up of all one type of student. What you will notice at Smith is that the lesbians, bisexuals, trannies, etc. feel comfortable being "out" so their presence is apparent. This is a reflection of the acceptance found on the campus.
My daughter, who comes from a quite homogeneous community in the Philly suburbs, at first was concerned about how comfortable she with be surrounded by all this diversity - now she says that the acceptance of others' different choices is one of the things she values most about the school.
Daughter has not changed her own style - still wears skirts and hasn't taken to piercings (even of her earlobes!). But she is happy as a clam at a school where young women in combat boots and black leather can enjoy Friday afternoon tea and conversation with those in more traditional attire.
The heterosexual scene is alive and well at Smith - although not the ideal in my opinion. There are more guys than gals at the Smith house parties, I am told, but many are drawn by the free beer and possibilities of easy action, I am afraid. Of course this would be the case at many college campuses.
I hear that a lot of the students find participation in the debate club a great way to meet lots of guys in a more civilized manner. And there are the 5-college opportunities.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, May 25, 2003 - 02:55 pm: Edit

The wearing black-and-multiple-piercings is not something we experienced at all on our visit though I'm sure that must describe some of the students. I've heard a similar description of Sarah Lawrence, actually.

My straight daughter was extremely comfortable there. For that matter, *I* was extremely comfortable with the overall scene.

Students, staff, faculty were all very accessible and friendly, and much more helpful than "they had to be."

From my most recent conversation with D, over dinner last night, it would seem that Smith is no worse than second to Yale on her overall scorecard.

By Aparent (Aparent) on Sunday, May 25, 2003 - 04:25 pm: Edit

Joan and Thedad,
Thanks, this is helpful. Dd is at an extremely diverse hs and so has seen and interacted with all sorts of students. She wants a very diverse school; she is cautious of a school that sounds like any particular social type predominates, whether preppy or multiply pierced. ;-) Your comments are very valuable -- I must confess I didn't realize Smith was that large -- and I will pass them on. The Friday afternoon tea will be very appealing!

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, May 25, 2003 - 04:36 pm: Edit

My D found the Friday afternoon tea appealing as well...along with the Thursday night candlelight dinners.

To tell the truth, I'm hoping she goes there. It feels like such a good fit. However, if gets one of the lottery tickets for Yale...oy, what a decision.
The fact that I can say this shows how highly I think of Smith.

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Sunday, May 25, 2003 - 09:30 pm: Edit

While not a statistical sample by any means, I have three friends who attended Smith in different era's - the 1960's, 1970's and the 1980's. All of them are fairly conventional women who always seem so clear about their priorities. They've all had extremely interesting careers and they are all happily married. In my mind, they truly represent the best in :having it all: I always envy how sure of themselves they are, even though they have very different personalities. The word that comes to my mind to describe each of these unique people is "passionate"

They all poo-poo Smith's lesbian reputation and point out that there are gay students at nearly every school, just that Smith is more tolerant of diversity. They insist Smith is the best place for a woman to develop her sense of self-worth. Most importantly, all three speak VERY highly of their Smith experience and have already started trying to talk my daughter into considering Smith. I think a school that can inspire that kind of loyalty in its alumni is very rare indeed.

By Gianscolere (Gianscolere) on Monday, May 26, 2003 - 12:28 pm: Edit

Why is it so hard to get into Smith? I only know of a handful of people on this message board who got in and many, many are either waitlisted or rejected (including last year's valedictoian).

And why are there more all-women than all-men colleges?

By Jyber209 (Jyber209) on Monday, May 26, 2003 - 12:55 pm: Edit

All I know is that last year, for the class of '06, more acceptees decided to attend Smith than was anticipated. Therefore there were somewhat more first-year students than had been planned for, and I assume Smith never went to the wait list last year.
My guess is that this year for the class of '07, Smith sent out fewer acceptances to avoid this happening again, and is drawing more from the wait list to fill any open spots remaining from acceptees who decided to go elsewhere. Also, for whatever reason, the number of applicants to Smith was very high this year - may be the result of students applying to more schools in general, in part because of the incresingly competitive situation.
In any event, it is a wonderful school so it is not surprising that getting in is not a breeze. The only thing that makes it more accessible than some other comparable schools is that being single sex limits its attractiveness to some candidates - and its availability to half of the applicant pool.
As to why there are more all-women than all-male colleges, I believe the "Seven Sisters" schools were founded to provide an education for women comparable to that available at the then all-male Ivy League schools. When those schools went coed, most of the seven sisters schools (except for Vassar) remained single-sex.

By Gianscolere (Gianscolere) on Monday, May 26, 2003 - 01:03 pm: Edit

I don't know why last year's valedictoran was rejected, and she was the only one from the school who applied to Smith last year. By the way, I'm a freshman and I transferred from a top-ranked college prep school in Illinois (with a 3% acceptance rate) to a regular high school because my family moved to another place.

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