Wellesley, mount holyoke or bryn mawr???

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Discus: College Search and Selection: March 2004 Archive: Wellesley, mount holyoke or bryn mawr???
By Phoenixin (Phoenixin) on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 09:06 am: Edit

i will probably major in political science/economics/international relations/history.
any comments on those three colleges? in whatever aspects.

By Bjturlington (Bjturlington) on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 11:46 pm: Edit

Mt. Holyoke or Bryn Mawr.

Mt. Holyoke because you have the 5 school system (including Amherst, UMass, Hampshire, Smith), a beautiful campus, and many social opportunities. lots of research as an undergrad too.

Bryn because of its close ties with Haverford, Swarthmore and UPenn, small size and opportunities in Philly. Great for science.

Wellesley has a great reputation and is close to Boston. It is a little more isolated than the other two, although you cannot go wrong with any of your choices.


By Coureur (Coureur) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 12:32 am: Edit

>>Wellesley has a great reputation and is close to Boston. It is a little more isolated than the other two<<

Wellesley more isolated than Mt. Holyoke? I don't think so. Wellesley is right in the town of Wellesley, a nice medium-sized town, and it's short drive or bus ride to Boston.

Mt. Holyoke, by contrast, is out in the middle of nowhere. There are a couple of stores there across the street, a few residences, and that's it. It's the most isolated campus I've ever visited.

By Bjturlington (Bjturlington) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 12:48 am: Edit

not true...free shuttle service to the towns and schools in Amherst, Northhampton, Holyoke.

The 5 college consortium is an awesome program, where you can take classes at the 4 other schools.

As for social life, UMass with 26,000 students does draw major acts.

As for Wellesley, most would need a car or catch a train. Free bus service at the 5 schools in the Northhampton-Holyoke-Amherst area.

Did you look at the towns and the programs??? Or did you just stay at Mt. Holyoke? The towns are a student mecca that is accessible without a car. Wellesley transportation costs are higher--by train or by car.

Just my 2 cents (have friends at all of the schools). I liked Mt. Holyoke, and for that matter Smith, better than Wellesley, because of the towns and number of students from different schools.

Rob. :)

By Phoenixin (Phoenixin) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 02:37 am: Edit

what about the sense of community? and people there? i know mhc is supportive, and those girls are friendly.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 03:05 am: Edit

Rob, I'm with Coureur. MHC was so much in the boonies that my D didn't want to even stop to park the car. It's the most remote of the Five Colleges and you'd spend more of time penalty than I'd be happy with going to/from Northampton...say, 20 minutes each way, assuming you caught the shuttle just as you were ready to go.

Don't have an opinion on Wellesley. Yet. Ask me on April 16. :)

By Bjturlington (Bjturlington) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 10:49 am: Edit

I agree with the initial impressions of Mt. Holyoke, but I've also spent time studying there woth friends from high school, as well as taking the buses that run from campus to campus. My friends used the bus regularly and thought it was great.

Friends at Hampshire, were also worried about its location, until a month or so into their first semesters there. After that, they too thought the bus system was great. Used it alot to get to the other schools for lectures, parties, bands, dates, etc...

Some Smith girls loved to go to Holyoke to study and relax too. While Amherst guys (and girls) often went to visit. UMass kids, not so much, but my friends said that they had classmates at UMass who were close because they had taken classes together at other institutions.

Much of the isolation people talk about stems from an initial impression of the college (particularly Hamshire and Mt. Holyoke. Maybe I'm wrong about it. But, the girls I know who attend the college are all involved on-campus and off. They're definately not the type to sit at home and just study. Just as my friends at Amherst or Hampshire or Smith.

Perhaps, I'm biased. I like the fact that someone can go to a small LAC and have a larger social experience outside of campus, while preserving a small school atmosphere.

From the time I was little, I loved getting on the bus with my parents and friends to go to the various campuses to hear speakers, study, go out for brunch, or just people watch. There are so many different kinds of people attending the five schools in the area that it's hard for me to see Mt. Holyoke (and Hamshire) as isolated, either academically or socially. For Holyoke, being a little removed preserves its all-women character, while ensuring that its students meet and mingle with kids from every walk of life if they choose to do so.

Just my 2 cents, again.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 12:16 pm: Edit

Rob, it's all relative. I'm on the same page as you, just not the same paragraph. My D really likes Smith because it has all the advantages of MHC and more of its own. I kinda wish she'd applied to Amherst but it was too small for her.

By Bjturlington (Bjturlington) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 01:07 pm: Edit


The original post asked to compare Wellesley, Bryn Mawr and Mt. Holyoke. I just like the ethos of Bryn and Mt. Holyoke better because they are less cloistered.

We're definately on the same page. I'm just speaking up for Holyoke, because sometimes people mistake its location for being isolated (just as Hampshire often does) and for a stagnant social scene. Many people, when looking at women's colleges do not give Mt. Holyoke its due.

It is a good school that people overlook because they spend such a short time on campus. I've always been impressed that Mt. Holyoke women have the best of both worlds to choose--buccolic and active. The same goes for Hampshire & Smith. Less so for Amherst and UMass.

Bryn Mawr & Mt. Holyoke seem to offer more chocies than Wellesley.

Rob :)

By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 01:26 pm: Edit

Okay. I was more responding just to your post.

My view of MHC may be colored by the fact that "buccolic" is anathema to both my D and me; MHC felt that way, Smith didn't to us.

By Futajalon (Futajalon) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 03:21 pm: Edit

MoHo is close to Smith and Northampton. Northampton is a nice college town with restaurants and stuff to do. It's ambience is more lively and interesting than Wellesley's. Wellesley is a super-clean, super-beautiful, too-santized, "perfect" little suburb, that would drain the life out of me after one day. The town is just too "perfect." Wellesley is a very beautiful college, but it's hard to see spending four years there. There is a city-like buzz in small Northampton and MoHo girls can easily have a night out on the town there and head back to their "bucolic." I'm not sure it's as easy as it is made out to be to get from Wellesley to Boston. Don't know about Bryn Mawr.

By Mini (Mini) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 03:35 pm: Edit

Oh, they are all just fine schools! Go visit, and then go with your gut (or where the financial aid is, if you need it). There are plenty of reasons to like any of the the three, and in the larger scheme of things, it's a "pick 'em".

By Phoenixin (Phoenixin) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 05:21 pm: Edit

i am an international student. chances are slime that i will visit them all my own. so i need your suggestions

By Lookn4norml (Lookn4norml) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 12:02 pm: Edit

My D is currently at MHC and loves it, they are also hugely supportive of the international students [w/ language, writing supports thru mentoring and tutoring-if that's even an issue for you; some IN students have great english skills in formal sense but our US idioms and codespeak are hard]; you have 3 great choices-what climate?? Bryn Mawr will be slightly warmer-we now live near Philly and our temps are usu. warmer w/less snow than S. Hadley or Boston; all are pretty-I think MHC was voted most beautiful campus by some- if you can't travel go rent the movie 'Mona Lisa Smiles'-some think storyline is biased but should at least give you some scenery shots for Wellesley; the 5 college system at MHC is really only an option if you take all or most of your classes at same location that semester-my D has found the bus system to be too slow-it is driven by students-and somewhat unreliable; a family friend from Dallas, Texas is Chinese and at Wellesley and loves it-she has a parttime job in Boston, and goes by public transport-which seems better in Boston area than in Philly or at least S. Hadley; MHC has strong internship and research programs & that famous/infamous history Prof. Ellis-heard he is great but D there is a chemistry major so no more direct info. If airports for getting home are an issue-check on flights even-Philly more flights than Hartford. Because of location of Wellesley and Bryn Mawr to major city, had the impression that MHC may be safer campus, & Amherst area seems safe [but then Springfield area-for catching trains to NYC, etc may not be as safe-good reason to get train from Amherst instead]. Am also very much interested in what others say about Bryn Mawr for history, creative writing, government-my younger D is interested, she too likes MHC, but just wants to be warmer/closer to home.

By Susu (Susu) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 06:32 pm: Edit

Just a word for Wellesley:
1. It's an absolutely beautiful, dreamy campus.
2. With graduates like Hillary Clinton and Madelyn Albright, it's no slouch. Wellesley trains leaders.
3. Great Jr-Yr-abroad programs.
4. Boston beats Northhampton any day.
5. Less access to boys than others--a definite problem for girls who worked hard enough to even get IN to these places, and now would like to actually have time for a date.

By Dixiesoul (Dixiesoul) on Monday, May 03, 2004 - 07:40 pm: Edit

In response to the post about the access to Boston from Wellesley:

I notice that like everything else about going to school here, it is exactly what you make it. If you want to go out to Boston you can go everyday. The bus ride into town, honestly, is not that bad. It drops you off right in Cambridge and Boston. Also, on another note, your social life is exactly what you make it, and that includes who you meet from other colleges. Even though Bryn Mawr and Mt. Holyoke have a few connections with other schools in their vicinity, Wellesley is apart of a huge group of schools in the Boston area. You have a chance to meet a wide array of people, IF you put the effort into it. That effort, it seems to me, would have to be put forth at any Women's College.

hope this helps-
Wellesley Freshman

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