|By Siouxknox (Siouxknox) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 09:30 am: Edit|
Can anyone explain why the Fiske guide is so relatively lukewarm about Midd? It gives it 4 1/2 stars (actually pencil hands) academically, equating it with Colby and Bates, rather than five stars, like it gives Midd's more traditional peers (Bowdoin, Haverford, Carleton, Pomona). And the write-up is pleasant, but not gushing like some other schools. Does Fiske have something against Midd?
|By Arcadia (Arcadia) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 10:43 am: Edit|
|By Arcadia (Arcadia) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 10:48 am: Edit|
I just wrote a long response, but it didn't post. I'm not sure what's going with Ted Fiske, but this topic has been hotly debated on the PR discussion boards for years. Fiske went to Wesleyan, and some surmise that he had a bad experience with Midd while he was there--but that is pure conjecture. The biggest problem with his rankings is that they are purely subjective. He rates colleges as he thinks they should be rated without regard for empirical evidence. Plus, he hasn't visited most of the schools that he rates for years. His editorial staff does most of the writing these days, and he sits back and collects the royalties...
|By Piglette (Piglette) on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 03:19 pm: Edit|
I used to teach at Middlebury, and I can tell you that while it is a strong school (loved my "Midd" classes!), it is not quite in the academic league of Carleton, at least. (I also have extensive experience with Carleton. I can make educated guesses about Bowdoin, Haverford, Pomona, et al., but have no direct experience with those schools.)
I think that Fiske actually has it about right.
But, hey, four and a half pencils ain't just eraser shavings!
|By Arcadia (Arcadia) on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 04:09 pm: Edit|
That's curious that you used to teach at Midd, especially considering that just a few months ago you were an applicant dissatisfied with his financial aid from Midd (see your message posted on March 31, 2004 below). Perhaps you are a father and son using the same username?
Posted By Piglette (Piglette) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 01:44 pm: Edit
Songman and others who were not accepted --
Maybe you shouldn't be too sad.
Just opened the package from Middlebury, and discovered that, from a family income of less than $100,000, with no trust funds or investments or anything sneaky, Middlebury rather blithely asks for FORTY-ONE PERCENT of our after-tax income as the "family contribution." (That is on top of about $5700 in federal loans and a student job.)
BTW -- the amount that Middlebury asks for is THREE TIMES the BEFORE-TAX income of one parent --and that parent is covered by zero benefits (no health insurance, no pension, not even sick days).
Guess they aren't really all that interested, "delighted" as they are to offer acceptance...
|By Siouxknox (Siouxknox) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 12:33 pm: Edit|
Piglette: What did you teach at Midd? In what ways is it not in the same academic league as Carlton?
|By Piglette (Piglette) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 03:03 pm: Edit|
|By Piglette (Piglette) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 03:07 pm: Edit|
I am posting for my son. (Re-read the above fin. aid posting, and you will see that it could have been, and indeed was, posted by a parent.)
For the record, I used to teach logic, writing, and LSAT prep at Middlebury. Also taught some classes in the Burlington, VT area (LSAT prep for UVM & St. Mike's kids, primarily). Did LSAT prep at Williams College for two-and-a-half years. I am not intentionally hiding my identity, but I am reluctant to post too much specific, identifying information -- although in this case, your very reasonable question/comment calls for disclosure of some specifcs. (At this point, anyone who knows me will know, without the slightest doubt, EXACTLY who I am.)
(Just in case you'd like more info, you would be free to e-mail me; just put "CC" in the subject line.)
Middlebury is a fine school, and I loved its students. But Carleton and Williams students are just a wee bit "sharper" (faster on the uptake) than Middlebury students. I also find Carleton students to be just a bit less "white-bread" than are Middlebury students. It is a subjective opinion, and is only true to a small degree. My son applied to Middlebury, and I would have been quite happy for him to attend there. (BTW -- I have posted, here and there, on the Parents Forum, and a quick read there will tell you that my son has decided on Princeton, after much anguish about financial aid.)
Last comment for now: I wrote too hastily, and phrased my opinion badly, when I said that Middlebury was not in the "same league" as Carleton. I retract that comment and apologize for it. Middlebury is most definitely in the same academic league as Carleton. It's just that, as between the two of them, Carleton is the "league leader." My biased opinion.
Best to all --
|By Arcadia (Arcadia) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 04:48 pm: Edit|
I understand now Piglette. I just sometimes assume that mostly students post, but your explanation makes sense. It also sounds like you weren't employed directly by the college, although I might be wrong. I want to point out one other thing--Middlebury has changed quite dramatically in the past 10 years, in terms of both the physical plant and the student body. Midd now gets nearly double the applicants that it got in 1990, and the quality of the student body (as measured by SAT performance and academic record) has also improved. The students enrolled at Middlebury today are not the same as those enrolled 10 years ago.
|By Justplayin104 (Justplayin104) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 10:23 pm: Edit|
Just curious, Piglette, what was your opinion of UVM? I turned down UVM Honors without visiting it, and I was just wandering what you thought of the school/academics/students..?
(sorry to get off-topic from Midd!)
|By Piglette (Piglette) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 04:17 pm: Edit|
UVM is a most interesting place. Some of my very strongest students were from UVM -- stronger even than the Middlebury kids. However, the average UVM student was not even close to the average Middlebury student. I had some students who wanted to take the GREs, but who did not even demonstrate what I consider to be a high-school level of math proficiency. (e.g., could not factor a simple polynomial; had no idea how to multiply together two square roots...)
I think that the honors program at UVM is excellent. I would not have been thrilled about my son attending UVM as a non-honors student, however.
Burlington is a fabulous college town -- beautiful, "happening," walk-able, right on Lake Champlain. That aspect of UVM is great.
Bottom line: IMHO, UVM is a mixed bet. But one can get an excellent education there by taking the right classes. And it will probably be a fun four years, no matter what.
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