Prestigious colleges with light workload (Brown?)

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Discus: College Search and Selection: September 2003 Archive: Prestigious colleges with light workload (Brown?)
By Slacker007 (Slacker007) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 05:31 pm: Edit

I'm a junior right now and i'm getting about 5 hours of homework a day. I'd like to go to a prestigious college but i'd also like to get more than 3 hours of sleep a night. I've heard that Brown is known for being easy academically, but it is a bit of a reach for me. Does anyone know of any colleges, particularly liberal arts colleges, that are known for not giving that much homework?

By Curiousone (Curiousone) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 09:36 pm: Edit

Just because Brown does not have a core curriculum does not mean that Brown is not rigorous. It may not KILL you like a Cornell courseload might, but no matter what class you take, you're going to have a lot of work. It's just a question of doing lots of work for classes you like versus lots of work for classes you hate, you know?

By Slacker007 (Slacker007) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 09:55 pm: Edit

Thanks a lot curiousone. That was very helpful. I checked other messages here and found out that in addition to Brown, Vassar and Amherst don't have core curriculums. Does anyone know of any other colleges with no core curriculums?

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 11:44 pm: Edit

Dear seems that you are making a correlation between no core curriculum with "easier" or "less homework" and this is NOT the case. An open curriculum merely means you choose all your classes and there are no required classes or distribution requirements. But you are still taking four or five difficult classes (the schools you mentioned are all challenging). I was just talking to a mom of a soph at Brown yesterday whose son was Valedictorian of our high school a year ago and she said the classes at Brown are very difficult and a lot of work. The lack of core requirements has nothing to do with the AMOUNT Of work.

My daughter who is a high school senior also gets about five hours of howework per night. But she is hoping that it might be a little easier in college with the homework load cause you are not in class all day long (more time available) and right now she has school 6 1/2 hours per day and EC for four or five hours per day which then means starting on four or five hours of homework at nighttime and going very late. In college, even if she continues doing all these same ECs, class time will be less. Also the homework will not be due the next day as it often is in high school. Remember that college is different. If you are looking for not a lot of homework, then you should not be looking at "prestigious" colleges as you mentioned. Along with the so called prestige, often comes very challenging and demanding courses. You may want to rethink your college selection criteria. Maybe aim a step or two lower than you are if you do not want to work your butt off in college. But choosing schools without a core curriculum will have no bearing on this.
PS...btw, Smith also has open curriculum, like Brown.

By Ksolo (Ksolo) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 10:54 am: Edit

I agree with Soozievt.

Honestly, none of the prestigious institutions give "light workloads." Additionally, the courses are very rigorous because all the students there are quite intelligent academically speaking. Due to that, professors really "whip" their students with work. And then when it comes down to grading, it's usually difficult to get a even an A or B. Even the students who receive C grades, often times have to work hard just to get that! All the prestigious small liberal arts colleges are the same as well.

If you are adamant about looking into a school that gives lighter workloads, look into the "Third Tier" or 4th Tier ranked colleges. But I wouldn't suggest going to any of them unless that was absolutely the best you can do.

By Haon (Haon) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 07:50 pm: Edit

Also, keep in mind that a "heavy" worload isn't 8 hours a day....typically (assuming you take a fairly normal selection of courses) you'll have 4-6 hours a day. You also only has 2-3 hours of classes each day so you have MUCH more time to do that work than in high school.

I'd recommend looking at basically any school other than Swarthmore, UChicago, or Johns Hopkins (school's traditionally known for being high-presure, high-worload).

By Slacker007 (Slacker007) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 08:22 pm: Edit

all of this makes me very sad. my dreams of the perfect college experience have been crushed. by the way, i'll take a good college with lots of work over a 3rd tier college with no work thank you very much. thanks for your advice!.

By Downrightt (Downrightt) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 06:09 pm: Edit

Well, I'm no expert, but I have a lot of high school friends at good colleges, so here's my unofficial, annecdotal ranking of academic difficulty, from hardest to easiest. I've put my friends' majors in parentheses, becuase I figured it might highly factor into program difficulty.

Swarthmore (philosophy)
Columbia (biology)
Princeton (english, poli sci, and history)
U Penn (neuroscience, music)
Bard (french)
Vassar (art history, history, and sociology)
Yale (english)
Smith (art history)
NYU (education, english)
Harvard (computer science, history)

By Stanfordhopeful (Stanfordhopeful) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 06:51 pm: Edit

Caltech - Hardest workload in the country.

By Lefty9ak (Lefty9ak) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 11:27 pm: Edit

Nothing compares to Caltech or MIT.

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