Amherst College Summary

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Main Quad

Basic Statistics

Amherst, MA
Full-Time Undergrads
Part-Time Undergrads
In-State Tuition
Out-of-State Tuition
Room & Board
Acceptance Rate
13 %
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
Average SAT Scores
Average ACT Scores

Best ThingsMore . . .

  • Awesome people
  • Cream-of-the-crop academics
  • Great parties
  • Free alcohol everywhere

Worst ThingsMore . . .

  • The town of Amherst
  • The weather, oh the weather
  • Valentine Dining Hall and the gastronomical aspect of central dining
  • Students who don't make an effort and hurt class discussion

Frequently ComparedCompare . . .

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Students usually don’t choose Amherst because of its academic reputation, although a sound reputation is a must when the competing schools are Harvard and Williams. Rather, students come here because of the promise of experiencing an eclectic array of stimulating peers, professors, classes, and activities. Some become disillusioned, not finding their niche within the abundance of opportunities and freedom. Some succeed in familiarizing themselves with the ways of this place, find that they’re having the time of their life midway through college and become depressed that this whole thing is going to end soon. Chronologically speaking and with clear generalization, freshman year can go by in a rush, with everyone immersed in the whole college experience with their freshmen friends and classmates. Sophomore year can be the most challenging, since a lot of people go through “sophomore slump”—a state of mild or not-so-mild depression caused by the sad fact that all their freshman friends suddenly are not living in the same dorm but are now in far corners of campus. Also, many sophomore students are conflicted by the sudden need to decide on a major and to get serious about their lives. Junior and senior years are usually better and calmer, since most students have settled into a chosen major and formed a group of close friends across distant campus dorms. Upperclassmen, then, can be free to concentrate on studying and having fun.

The key to living here is perhaps keeping yourself open and receptive to new and unfamiliar experiences, opinions, and values. You’ll gain a lot more if you communicate openly with that odd-looking and opinionated girl from Dallas or that too-cool-for-school-looking guy from Philly, rather than choosing to be repulsed by Amherst’s oddities. A place like Amherst, with so many accomplished and bright people threading its grounds, is bound to have more oddities than the average university. Even though few people come to Amherst College for the sole purpose of meeting new people, learning from everyone, exploring themselves and so on, most students do admit, however reluctantly, that Amherst is both fun and a unique learning and growing experience that can be found nowhere else.

Amherst Student Reviews

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5 College Freshman

Academics: Since Amherst has an open curriculum, all of its programs are very flexible. Even if you've already chosen a specific major, you'll never overburdened with work from that particular major-- in fact, for most majors, you'll never need to take more than 2 classes for that major per semester (out of 4).

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Nobody really lives off-campus. The college guarantees housing, and it only allows 50 people to live off-campus each year anyways.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: It is surprisingly easy to rent out a campus shuttle. Just sign up and register your driver's license, and you'll get to use the school's vans for absolutely free. The public bus system in the town is free for college students, as well.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: All of the buildings at Amherst are great. Some of them are older than others, but none of these "flaws" are actually noticeably unless you really, really look for it. Overall, the campus is just really, really nice.

3 College Freshman

Facilities: The social scene at Amherst isn't half-bad. Most of the parties are centered around the "social" dorms, which are the closest thing we have to frat houses. The student body is divided on them-- some love them, some hate them. If the "socials" aren't your thing, though, there's still plenty of community to go around (especially in some of the tighter first-year dorms).


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