Beloit vs Willamette

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Discus: College Search and Selection: April 2004 Archive: Beloit vs Willamette
By Asdad (Asdad) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 09:10 am: Edit

We have to make a decision soon.

By Shennie (Shennie) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 12:47 pm: Edit

Educationally they are both strong schools. Beloit is more liberal, Willamette is more dominated by Greek. The city of Beloit is kind of crummy. I think Beloit may have more international students. I have been on both campuses and they both seem like nice places to spend 4 years.

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 01:52 pm: Edit

Shennie's right on the money. They are both good schools. However, Willamette offers a safer environment, access to Portland, warmer weather, a larger student body, and great opportunities for internships in the state capital.

The city of Beloit is more than kind of crummy. It has one of the highest incidents of violent crime in Wisconsin with stabbings, shootings, etc. occurring on a regular basis, according to someone who works in a hospital there. The campus itself is safe but Salem seems a lot calmer. Here's an interesting link to the student newspaper at Beloit that asked if students felt safe on campus and in the surrounding city:

However, don't take my word for this - check out the on and off-campus crime situation at both places - every school in the US has to make this information available, usually found on their web site by doing a search for security. Local newspapers can also be a good place to check out the surrounding area.

By Palladio (Palladio) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 06:54 pm: Edit

Have never visted Salem, but several visits to Beloit College show me the immediately adjacent residential portions of the town seem well kept and quiet areas.

"Downtown" Beloit business area, while admittedly no great shakes, seems open, accessable, well lit and convenient to the school. Requisite small eateries/shops are nearby; you do have walk to Illinois (beloit is right on the state line) to hit a grocery, but it's a matter of a few blocks. There is a cluster of retail and eateries on the north edge of the city along the interstate (part of why downtown has dwindled I suspect), and I believe the school has regular transportation opportunities up there and back

The biggest visual blight is an abandoned (not sure) power plant just west of the school along the river, but the city seems intent on making the surrounding area there into a sort of river/recreation area.

My impression is that there are seedier parts of town west of the Rock River, but that is fairly removed from campus.

Having had children that spent student years time in somewhat questionable areas some larger cities, Beloit does seem less than bucolic (after all it is a small city) but crummy is a tad harsh to me. But, one person's ceiling is another's floor, eh?

There is a regular scheduled commuter bus line with stop in South Beloit (IL) and this runs all way up to Madison (UW) and into Chicago at reasonable fares should gateways to other civilization be required.

My impression of the school is excellent. But Salem and Willamette may indeed offer more internship possibilities at any rate.

Good luck in your decision.

By Shennie (Shennie) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 08:02 pm: Edit

I would not worry about safety at Beloit. I live an hour from there and know lots of kids who go there. I have never heard about major crime problems. There is reasonably easy access to Madison and Chicago, but I doubt that kids do that too often. Willamette has the advantage of being right across the street from the state capital. I would not have any difficulty sending my kids to either of these schools.

By Asdad (Asdad) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 09:20 pm: Edit

Not really into politics. The Greek part is considered by us as a negative, while the Northwest is considered a positive.

By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 11:17 pm: Edit

Academically, Willamette has a definite pre-law, pre-business flavor, and more traditional students. Politics and economics are two good and popular departments.

Beloit's strong suits are anthropology, psychology, languages and biology. Student body is a little more diverse in its composition and interests.

By Asdad (Asdad) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 06:04 am: Edit

Interests are toward writing/english.

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 11:28 am: Edit

For English/writing, Beloit probably has the stronger program but Willamette's English department isn't bad at all. Really, the two schools are fairly comparable in terms of academic quality so it just comes down to where your child would feel most comfortable.

By Asdad (Asdad) on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 10:28 am: Edit


By Asdad (Asdad) on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 06:43 pm: Edit

Thanks to all of you for your help.
Final choice is Beloit.

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