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Reviews 530 total reviews with an average rating of 3.9

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4 College Freshman

Local Area: Locals are very friendly and businesses always welcome students. However, without a car, your shopping and food options are limited to the town of Amherst and the stops along the PVTA bus line. Amherst is a typical small town with a great charm to it, but if you're from a large city, you may not find the town meets your needs or expectations.

5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: We're better than Williams, which is ranked #1, so technically we're #1. Enough said.

In all seriousness, Amherst is a great school, with amazing students, professors, and staff. The academics are the best in the nation, and an Amherst degree will take you farther in life than any other college. As long as you take advantages of the opportunities here, you will love this school and leave a stronger, more globally aware and mature individual than when you entered.

5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: So far, Amherst has delivered a top notch experience academically. Professors are leading experts in their fields, small classes guarantee individual attention and engagement, and there is an abundance of classes to take every semester. The open curriculum allows students to explore new topics, while spending time in-depth with topics they are truly passionate about.

5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: A degree from Amherst is just as good if not better than a degree from a top Ivy league University. Students most commonly go into medicine, law, and finance after they graduate, and Amherst has vast resources and connections in these fields. Alumni are great mentors, and the career center does as much as it can to ensure Amherst students have ample internships to apply for and are adequately prepared for real world jobs.

3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Being that Amherst is known for its academics, you won't find swaths of attractive people here. That being said, there are some decent looking people, especially athletes, that can be found on campus. There is definitely a hook-up culture at Amherst, but that does not prevent people from entering into serious or long-term relationships.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Campus crime is low and the campus is safe to walk around at all times of day. Campus police and ACEMS actively patrol the campus and are always available to help students in need.

2 College Freshman

Greek Life: Following the trustees' resolution to ban fraternities, Greek life is technically non-existent, but there are still remnants of fraternities if you look hard enough.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: Sports play an integral role at Amherst, with the majority of the student body engaged in some sort of team sport and the social scene being dominated by athletes. Many Amherst teams excel in Division 3 competitions, and school spirit is high, especially against Williams and at Homecoming. Athletic facilities for both athletes and non-athletes are well maintained and easily accessible.

College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Practically nobody lives off campus (as housing is guaranteed every year), and the very small minority that does likely resides in a fraternity-associated house. I actually do not know anyone that lives off campus.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: The town of Amherst, only a few minutes walk from the main campus, has a decent selection of restaurants that have their own charm and are surprisingly good. There is everything from Subway to locally owned Vietnamese restaurants, and you can never go wrong with Antonio's pizza. My only complaint is that late-night food options are basically non-existent and some restaurants are incredibly overpriced for rural Massachusetts.

1 College Freshman

Party Scene: Compared to other colleges, the party scene at Amherst is atrocious. The trustees' resolution banning fraternities combined with the scheduled demolition of the social dormitories guarantees there will be no party scene at Amherst within the next few years. I am thoroughly perplexed by the administration's decisions: the Amherst social scene has been on a steady decline for the last decade, and they have done nothing to fix it other than to build the mediocre Powerhouse, which has had no real effect other than limiting the party scene to 2am. Furthermore, Saturday night is really the only night worth going out on, and even then, there are some Saturdays where there is literally nothing going on. I actually pity future Amherst classes that will have absolutely no options for partying. Parties are an integral part of college life and provide an important outlet for stress; if the administration does not figure something out in the coming years, parties will cease to exist. Do not come to this school if you are looking forward to partying in college because you will be thoroughly disappointed.

3 College Freshman

Administration: The administration has a somewhat lenient alcohol policy, with Amherst campus police officers only shutting down parties if they get truly out of hand or if there are illicit items present. However, campus police officers will not hesitate to write-up underage drinkers if they catch you walking around with alcohol on campus, which is a shame because they must have something better they could be doing rather than making underage students' lives miserable.

5 College Freshman

Scholarships: From what I have heard, Amherst attempts to meet the financial aid needs of as many students as possible. Many of my friends are on financial aid and would not be able to attend the school without their generous aid packages.

3 College Freshman

Campus Food: The food at Amherst is a mixed bag. Valentine Hall, the only dining hall and real food option on campus, has its ups and downs; it certainly does not compare to the gourmet and world-renowned cuisine I grew up eating in California. That being said, I applaud the school's efforts in attempting to provide something for everyone at Val. I would recommend avoiding Val's more "ethnic" foods - there are some dishes that just should not be attempted by a college in rural western Massachusetts. Schwemm's Coffee House, a supplement to Val rather than an alternative dining option, has decent sandwiches and typical bistro snacks. One complaint I have heard from upperclassmen is that the school is very adamant about letting people off the meal plan. Unfortunately, one can only eat at Val for so long before he or she decides to spend money in town on food.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: First-year housing is excellent, both facilities and location wise. After freshman year however, it's a bit of a toss-up when it comes to housing. The room draw process is archaic and flawed, and if your room draw group is at the bottom of your grade's list (as was mine), you're stuck with either a slum of a dorm, a dorm fifteen minutes away from campus, or you can try your luck opting out. On the other end of the spectrum, if you get a solid room draw spot, the dorms you get to choose from are in pretty good condition.

2 College Freshman

Party Scene: It is pretty bad all around unless you have a good group of friends.

3 people found this useful Report
College Freshman

Scholarships: From what I have heard the financial aid is very generous.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Val gets a bad reputation but its okay. There are very few other options which adds to the dilemma though.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Housing is great for freshman, however, off campus housing is non-existent.

College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I do not know anyone who lives off campus.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are a bunch of great restaurants in downtown Amherst.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Administration: So far I've had a very positive experience!

1 person found this useful Report
College Freshman

Scholarships: I did not apply for aid or scholarships

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Party Scene: The party scene is better if you are an athlete

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Cereal and pizza etc. is always available

3 people found this useful Report
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Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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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.

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