How is my (final???) list? Please help!





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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: How is my (final???) list? Please help!
By Marlgirl (Marlgirl) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 11:27 pm: Edit

Stanford (EA) -reach
Yale -reach
Amherst -reach
Williams -50/50
Swarthmore -50/50
MIT - 50/50 (?)
U Chicago - safety
Tufts- safety
RPI- safety

Reach/50/50/safety schools determined by my counselor... I don't think I've ever heard of her being too optimistic. As far as I know in the past 2-3 years everyone got into all the schools she called a safety school, most of the 50/50s and several of the reaches. Bottom line: I trust her judgement. If you disagree, then suggest a better alternative.

Does this seem like a reasonable list? Any reason why I shouldn't apply to any of these schools? Any schools I'm missing that I might love? I DO NOT want to go to Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Caltech, or Berkeley for sure. They're just not for me.

Thanks!

By Familyguy24 (Familyguy24) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 11:59 pm: Edit

a 50/50 chance at MIT, Where Amherst is a reach? I question your guidance counselor's judgement, even though I haven't see your stats. Also Chicago a safety? These must be amazing stats.

By Encomium (Encomium) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 12:07 am: Edit

I would strongly recommend dartmouth instead of williams. Williams is a horrible location, hard to get to, and practically cut off from society in the winter. Dartmouth is not near a big city or anything, far from it, but it's at least an easy drive, and its D-plan is unique and the school is excellent. Applying to Amherst and Williams is applying to basically the same school.

By Marlgirl (Marlgirl) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 12:11 am: Edit

I forgot the stats link, sorry... I'm not sure about MIT, but I think I have a good chance there... it could be a reach, I'm not sure. Amherst is a reach because it has a more national applicant pool and is less predictable.

http://www.prstats.com/2009/display.php?user=marlgirl

By Marlgirl (Marlgirl) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 12:26 am: Edit

Why Dartmouth? What does it have to offer that Williams doesn't? Also, how is its math/physics/cog sci program?

By Mdh217 (Mdh217) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 01:38 am: Edit

I really disagree that you should take Williams off of your list. Given your interests in math and physics, I would say that Williams is a "must keep." Have you checked out the departmental websites for these two departments at Williams? Williams math and physics faculty are constantly winning national awards, and there was even an article in Newsweek two or three years ago about the strength of the Williams math faculty.


There seeems to be an unusually large amount of Williams bashers on here. The truth of the matter is that Dartmouth and Williams are virtually the same distance from Boston (Dartmouth may have a small edge here), and Williams is quite a bit closer to NYC. Williams tends to have more moderate winters than Dartmouth. Additionally, Williams is less than 1 hour away from Albany, and there is tons of stuff to do (cultural and outdoorsy) in the Berkshires.

Its really quite easy to escape from Williamstown, and I really wouldn't call Williamstown cut off from civilization at any point during the year.

By Marlgirl (Marlgirl) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 12:37 pm: Edit

I have looked through the math department at Williams, haven't really checked up on physics yet. They have more math majors (in number not percent) then some of the larger universities, which surprised me. Their viewbook lists 25 math majors for one year, much more than I had expected. The one thing I'm worried about Williams is that since it is isolated and a small school with no grad programs I might reach a point where I run out of advanced enough classes. For example, I just got back from a 4 week math program where I studied topology and I loved it. I'm worried that classes like differential and algebraic geometry/topology or classes in dynamics and chaos/fractals might not exist. I have no doubt that I'd get a great education in the courses that are available, I'm just worried that some classes I want to take might not be available at all... and there's no nearby college where I could cross register. Any ideas/opinions?

By Mdh217 (Mdh217) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 03:56 pm: Edit

Marlgirl... I really doubt that you will run out of classes at Williams. How many were you planning on taking per semester? There are many many many math classes. Check out the math website. There also seems to be quite a few statistics and computer science offerings at Williams. visit, apply, see if you like it!

Also... if you wanted to, you could probably cross register at RPI ( which is only about 45-50 minutes by car). Taking a class at RPI would be very do-able. Though you would need a car!!

By Mini (Mini) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 04:08 pm: Edit

Cross register with RPI? Tee-hee - you would need a snowplow....

By Mdh217 (Mdh217) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 05:51 pm: Edit

Mini- I hate to break the news to you- but Williamstown, and most places in the mid-latitudes currently receive less snow than when you were in college (global warming). Also, snow removal is likely more efficient now than in the 70's. I have relatives in Troy and visited them periodically when I was at Williams. Not once did I have trouble getting there.

On average, Williamstown receives between 50-60 inches of snow. Its distance from the coast tends to shelter it from the wrath of Noreasters. Incidentally, the Pioneer Valley tends to receive much more snow from these storms. It is not unusual for central Massachusetts to receive upwards of 2 feet of snow. Such a phenonemon is more of a rarity in Western Mass.

The mountains surrounding Williamstown tend to get more snow, but I promise that you will rarely have trouble crossing the Taconic Range into Troy. Of course, I have no idea whether you would be able to cross-register at RPI, and I suspect that the number of math courses at Williams will be more than sufficient.

By Marlgirl (Marlgirl) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 07:27 pm: Edit

I don't mean literally run out of classes to take. I mean there might be some high level classes I want to take in a particular branch of math (like topology) that might not be available that I WOULD find at virtually any university.

By Mini (Mini) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 07:33 pm: Edit

"Mini- I hate to break the news to you- but Williamstown, and most places in the mid-latitudes currently receive less snow than when you were in college (global warming). Also, snow removal is likely more efficient now than in the 70's. I have relatives in Troy and visited them periodically when I was at Williams. Not once did I have trouble getting there."

Last year was the coldest winter in Williamstown since 1968 (according the national weather service) (or so it said in March). You might not need the snowplow (all the time), but you better be prepared for ice.

Do you think, though, that there really are more advanced math classes (outside of engineering) at RPI than at Williams? (I wouldn't know.)

By Marlgirl (Marlgirl) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 07:35 pm: Edit

Ahem.... back to the original topic. I don't really care exactly how cold Williams is or how reasonable it is to go to RPI to take classes (I suspect that wouldn't be possible anyway). Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

By Marlgirl (Marlgirl) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 01:01 pm: Edit

Anyone else? Advice/opinions would be greatly appreciated!!!


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