Clinton, NY
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Reviews 522 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 College Senior

Nightlife: Suite Parties – There is always a party on campus. Suites are very open (in order to walk through the building you walk through suite common rooms) which can be great if you want more people to come, but hard if you want a private party. If you need to find alcohol, there is always someone to ask. However, off-campus night life is pretty much nonexistent. The Little Pub on campus is nice for a quiet night out, and it's easy to get drinks if you know someone older who wants to buy for you. Same goes from the Village Tavern (VT) in town, but it's mostly Greek life seniors and sketchy townies who habitate there.

1 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: About 2% of the school is allowed to live off-campus. That's right, not only do people just choose to live on campus, but there's a CAP on how many people are allowed to live off-campus. I think it's around 40 right now, and they keep lowering it every year. Luckily, everything is on campus and I can't imagine living off, but it would be nice to know that there was the option if I had wanted to.
Often, it's mostly Greek life who has houses off campus, but very few.

3 College Senior

Scholarships: Money? Wish I Had It – I wish Hamilton gave me more money. I fall in the middle, economically, and my parents don't have enough to make the $26,000 that was still left as a yearly tuition after scholarships. It seems like most people around me either have money to pay the full $50,000 a year with no problem, or are on the other end of the spectrum and get a lot of need-based scholarships.

3 College Senior

Drug Safety: Booze Booze Booze – From my personal experience, alcohol is the main "drug". People drink. Tours get asked that question a lot, is the drinking scene really that big here? Yes, yes it is. If you don't drink or at least feel comfortable hanging out with people who do, you either need to find a group of friends who also all don't drink, or you will be very bored on the weekends. I know a handful of people who smoke weed fairly regularly, but I don't personally, nor do any of my close friends. There is a cocaine culture in one or two of the frats but I've never even been close to it in the slightest.

3 College Senior

Campus Housing: Housing: May the Force Be With You – Housing is very divided between the "light side" and "dark side" of campus (with a few extra stragglers down the hill). I personally am a dark sider, and have spent 3/4 of my years living on the dark side. Dark siders tend to be more granola, more hipsters, more arts/humanities focused, more green focused. Light siders are typically preppy, majority of the Greek life, and are science majors. Dark side dorms are more community-feeling, including co-ed by room and shared bathrooms, which I personally feel fosters conversations between more people. Light side dorms are more aesthetically beautiful (instead of cement) and are usually separated by sex per floor.
Your freshman year dorm is pretty much a crapshoot but based loosely on the housing form, take it seriously. If you write that you want a double, you'll get put on the dark side, and quad-lovers will get put on the light side. Light side dorms are more partiable for freshmen but will be much louder on the weekends. As you get older, the dorm options get nicer because your housing lottery number gets better. By senior year, all your options are great.

2 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Pros and Cons – Right off the bat, if I had to do it all over again, I can't say I'd pick Hamilton. I applied early decision based on naivety and never really got a chance to look elsewhere. I think my mind would have changed had I seriously considered other colleges. If you're a wealthy, white New England kid, this is a good school for you. If you're into economics or Chinese it's a good school for you. If you like greek life (w/o your own house), this is a good school for you. But diversity is basically limited to the Black Latino Student Union, dark side hipsters,and light side greeks. Keep that in mind. The opportunities are there, the academics are great, and everyone's nice but middle and working class students, students who went to average or below average public high schools, and (non-Asian) minorities might have difficulty finding a fit. It's not hell, but it's not heaven. (And yeah, the snow is really annoying after December.)

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: Classes Are Legit Here. Classes are legit here. Some of them are really hard, some are easier, but few are jokes. Homework can be a bitch sometimes, but every class you take will be worth it somehow in the end--Hamilton students really leave the Hill with a world-class education. The open curriculum is amazing. No requirements at all other than simple writing intensive classes to go abroad, which you'll probably complete by accident, and three phys. ed classes. They're kind of annoying, but they've got everything from yoga and self-defense to weight lifting and swimming to ice skating and squash.

2 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Hamilton is a "need-blind" school now, which is just one of those nice PR moves, really. I don't think it changes anything. If you've got the grades, you're going to get in. They'll meet your FASFA expected family contribution, but they aren't going to budge after that. There's a lot of prizes you can win to do cool things over the summer--people seriously get funding to go eat food in different countries and present on it when they get back in the fall. It's really awesome. The school's great with extra funding for student side projects, but in terms of actually paying to go there, scholarships are rare. I don't know of anyone on a merit scholarship. And me? I'll be drowning in loans when I graduate. Yick.

2 people found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Transportation: Jitney and...Jitney. Hamilton has a Jitney service that a decent amount of students take advantage of, especially freshman because they aren't allowed to have cars on campus. The jitney randomly cancels, and I don't have much experience with it, but it's there. A lot of people have cars after the first year, and that's the main form of transportation. Remember: you're in central New York. There aren't many places to go that you'd need transportation.

3 College Sophomore

Computers: Not too shabby. The library has a good number of Macs and PCs, there's more over at the writing center, and a few in the student center (ELS) if you need one. You have your laptop, so it's not like you're dependent on the computers, but they're there if you need them. Printing has a quota, but it's pretty hard to go over on it (I print a lot, trust me.) Occasional downtime with the wireless network, but if you reset your connection, you're usually back up and running in ten minutes max.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: You Will Get What You Need, but Not Much More – Since everyone at Hamilton would be worthy of acedemic scholarship, they don't offer any to incoming freshmen. However, there are ways to get scholarship money once you are on campus. The alumni association is very generous about giving grants and scholarships to students who make a name for themselves on campus, and grants are easy to get within departments once you start working with professors. As far as financial aid to start your acedemic carreer with, Hamilton will meet 100% of your need, but won't give you a penny more than you prove you need.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: The dating scene at Hamilton is not really one of committed relationships. You are more likely to find people hooking up with their friends or strangers, and shrugging it off the next morning. Of course there are the exceptions, but casual sex is the opposite of taboo on this campus, and hookups are much more common than dates. There is a good range in types of boys and girls so far as personalities go, but people tend to clump based on their preppy-ness, hippy-ness, grunge-iness, and other such qualities. So, if you are looking for a "type" in particular, you will know where to find a whole clump of that type of person, as each group kind of has their typical friday night haunts.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Facilities: Student Center Is Used by Everyone, for Everything! Our brand new Student Center is a great place to study or stock up on Hamilton gear, and it has amazing resources. In the upper levels, there are computer labs, our radio station, and a club room where clubs make posters to advertise campus events. In our sun porch, you often find students doing work, or watching football or The Jersey Shore, along with other events that are all catered by the campus activities board. In our basement, different organizations hire DJ's and decorate for great all-inclusive parties each weekend.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Weather: People Over React – It's really not a big deal. Yes, is snows and yes, it gets cold but there's lot's of things to do int he winter and all the buildings are heated well allowing one to keep the winter at bay.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Good but Room for Improvement – Hamilton has enough of diversity to be able to publish statistics that aren't embarrassing however it would be nice to see more. There is a good number of international students, a pretty wide range of economic students. Racial diversity is a bit limited. Apathy is more of a problem than diversity for politics and religion. There s also a small but strong LGBT community within the student body

Hamilton's strength is that what diversity it does have is met by high levels of acceptance

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Lot of Parties – I seldom participate in the Greek life,but a lot of people enjoy it.As our college is a bit far away from a prosperous city,it's natural for students here to hold some big parties on campus for fun.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: The Chinese Restaurant Is Not Good – Dong Hai,, a Chinese restaurant, is awful. The food there is actually not Chinese food at all!

5 College Junior

Facilities: The DL – Of course I will give my inside scoop an A+... If you don't know people who do drugs you are basically a loser. There is a ton of work, people get super messed up on the weekends and there is no place to go. The school is trying to crack down on everything so it gets a little hairy on the weekends. There are not enough courses that interest me. They also cycle through professors, but those who stay are usually pretty good. live on the dark side, and yes there is a division (physical, and social) on this campus.

3 College Junior

Scholarships: I Have No Idea – I'm assuming many people do not get aid, but those who do get a ton. The administration has been advertising this need blind perspective, I don't know how effective it is.

3 College Junior

Overall Experience: Great People – Getting to know what you want at college is a process and that being said I would come back and stick out four years. But I would like to say I would not come back because Hamilton: is too small and isolated, repetitive social scene that is too self aware (people here don't let too loose), not enough classes. Yet I would not give up this tumultuous experience. I found a group of friends and stuck with them through my time here. I was not restricted socially, but I found like-minded folk; Friends for life. I feel like my relationships with certain professors are just as good. I have been lucky in that respect. You can't live life with regrets, but what if I had gone to Stanford...

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Athletics: What School Spirit? Many people play sports but no one really cares to attend. The administration has been trying to build support for teams with "Hamilton Super Fan" shirts (oxymoron) but its not really the Hamilton way. People are aware of athletic contests and will go to support friends, but not because its the thing to do. Sure you can go to a football game (probably drunk) but they haven't had a record better than 2-6 in something like 15 years.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: There is not much to do around Hamilton without a car. But just down the hill there are a few coffee shops that are particularly friendly to college students. The restaurant scene is lacking, but there is always Indian food and Nolas, the local bistro. Also the liquor store was just renovated and let me tell you it is fantastic. There literally are literally no 'attractions' in the area aside from Turning Stone. Basically if you go off campus it is not for an evening.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Very Safe – Campus is really safe. Town is quiet and quaint. Very small campus. I am familiar with nearly the entire student body. Campus safety is around to keep things going, but do not interfere too much to destroy a party.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Greeks Are Greeks – They are in their own little incestuous social world. They just are stereotypical of "light side" bro/preppy mentality which most non Greeks see as off putting. But Greeks are a huge part of the campus social life, and usually throw the biggest parties. Be cautious when joining a society because they all have their stereotypes, which are very accurate.

1 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Don't Expect to Live Off Campus – You actually have to get residential life approval before even looking at the few available places. Off campus housing is also too far removed from everything, it is not easy to trudge up the hill every morning.


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Root Hall
Root Hall
Root Hall Root Hall Root Hall houses both upperclassmen and freshmen.
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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Sophie Vershbow
New York City
View all previous student authors

As long as you don’t ask a Hamilton student about how much they love their school in the dead of winter, you are likely to receive an overwhelmingly positive response. Complaining about the school can sometimes appear to be the new cool thing to do and becomes increasingly more popular as the days grow darker, and homework and snow seem to endlessly pile up. But, if you listen to what students say, it’s more than likely you will find a strong undertone of affection for life at Hamilton College. This school offers its students an incredible opportunity to take advantage of an intellectual faculty and student body through small classrooms, supportive computer networks, and fairly magnificent campus facilities. While attending school, Hamilton students can sleep like royalty—as long as their lottery number is decent enough to score a nice dorm room—eat great food both on and off campus, and have snowball fights for more than half the year. Yet, in order to take advantage of their four years at Hamilton, they must be able to make the best of what can often be a trying and narrow life outside of academics. Not only is the Greek system still going through a certain amount of upheaval due to its lack of housing, but the nightlife available in rural central New York is fairly limited, especially for freshmen. It takes a particular level of creativity to realize that Hamilton College abounds with opportunities all of the time, it just requires a little originality and some time. There are many things to do beyond drinking every night, and it doesn’t take most students very much time to figure out how to make their own fun. Having a car can also make time spent here more agreeable, although even for freshmen, there is hope; most upperclassmen happily take pity on other students who don’t have the means to get off campus.

Change is constant at Hamilton College. Much of the campus has received a facelift in the past few years, and there is more remodeling planned for the future. Soon, Hamilton College will have a new look; dorms are being renovated, older buildings have been torn down and rebuilt, and a new student center is on the way. Current students are generally excited about the future of their college, and happily planning for the days when the entire nation will come to recognize what a great liberal arts experience Hamilton College can be.

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