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Reviews 422 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Sophomore

Diversity: Places Importance on Ethnicity – Hamilton is the most ethnically diverse school among the NESCAC's, but it's still predominantly Caucasian. However, everyone is very accepting of other cultures and backgrounds. The school goes above and beyond in expanding and improving its activities and programs for students of all backgrounds both ethnic and socioeconomic. The result is a nurturing environment where students become very cultured.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Excellent Condition and Easily Accessible – Everything from the Olympic-sized swimming pool to the observatory is top-of-the-line, in great condition, and is well-maintained. The college certainly does not spare any expense when it comes to facilities and equipment for its students. The really nice study rooms go fast and operate on a first come first served basis, but such is life. The gym has lots of great equipment and plenty of it, not to mention membership is included in the tuition. Many schools charge extra for things like that. My only gripe is that the dorms on the Dark Side of campus look rather ugly, but they are very spacious and nice inside.

3 College Sophomore

Parking: Honestly, It's No Worse Than Anywhere Else – There are a lot of schools where freshmen aren't even allowed to bring cars, but Hamilton has an entire lot for freshmen. The vast majority of students live on campus and don't even drive to class. Cars are mostly used for going into town. You will only get a ticket for parking in the clearly-marked faculty lot, which is perfectly reasonable.

Bottom line: If you want to bring your car, there will always be space to park somewhere. Not every school can say that, especially large universities. As to how convenient that space is depends on your year and when you're parking, which is perfectly fair.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Passionate Professors – At Hamilton, you're not just a number. If you reach out to your professors, they will do whatever they can to help you succeed. At Hamilton, the faculty knows its first priority is teaching, not research. The professors here all love what they teach, and it becomes readily apparent in the passion and energy they put into lectures and discussions. Professors see the potential in every one of their students and constantly push them to open their minds and use it. Professors at Hamilton do not treat you as mere students, but as colleagues.

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4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Many Great Options in Town – You can find just about any kind of restaurant in the town of New Hartford, which is a short 10-15 minute drive from campus. There's Mitsuba, a Japanese restaurant (with sake bombs!), and Minar, which has great Indian food. New Hartford has every chain restaurant you can think of from Panera to Red Lobster. A short walk down the campus hill puts you in the quaint town of Clinton which has a very nice cafe among other local businesses. In short, you will find any type of cuisine you crave with ease. Your campus keycard, also known as your HillCard can be used to eat at many of the restaurants in Clinton, both local and corporate. More and more restaurants are accepting the Hill Card as a form of payment each year, making eating out very convenient for Hamilton students.

5 College Junior

Overall Experience: Love this place – Couldn't imagine spending four years anywhere else

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Ham-Tech Is Rad! there is zero core cirriculum - so you can explore all kinds of different subject areas before choosing your major. Everyone here is super friendly and outgoing, and all of the professors are super helpful. Nightlife is fun and everyone is out to have a good time, and the cops rarely crash parties. Definitely a great place to be!

3 College Sophomore

Party Scene: On Campus for the Most Part, but Lively – a lot of frat/sorority parties - all super fun. Some off campus parties, which are a lot of fun too, but a hassle to get back to campus. need to love the dorm party scene to like it

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Roomy, Comfortable and (Mostly) Clean – The vast majority of rooms give more than enough space for students; South and Carnegie dormitories on the light side have massive common rooms and ample storage; the typical dark side double has beautiful, huge windows with great views of campus and walk-in closets. The only ways you can really go wrong are Bundy and Dunham - regardless of their general location, they both have the reputation o being seriously grimy.

3 College Junior

Transportation: Isolated on Top of a Hill – Hamilton is located on top of a fairly significant hill. It isn't fun to walk down into town, although people do. It is much nicer to have a car on campus, which you are allowed to do starting sophomore year. Bikes, again because of the hill, are useful on campus, but impractical for getting into town. There is a van service called the Jitney that takes students to the grocery store, the mall, the movie theater, etc, so not having a car is certainly doable.

The Utica train station is about 20 minutes away. The Syracuse airport is about an hour. It's not convenient, but it's certainly doable.

If you are here for the summer, you NEED to have a car, or know someone who does. Otherwise you cannot get to the grocery store, and there is no meal plan over the summer.

The campus itself is very small, and you can walk anywhere within fifteen minutes, so again, a bike can be nice but isn't necessary.

There is a travel scholarship for students who come from far away to offset some of the cost of traveling to and from school.

3 College Junior

Administration: Strong Honor Code, Campus Safety Department Useless – Many exams at Hamilton are not proctored. There is a strong honor code. Students do not, by and large, cheat on exams. Doing so is strongly looked down upon by the entire community.

The campus safety office is largely useless, more for show than anything. For the most part, the resident advisers are the ones who actually check up on dorm parties and the like. Most of what campus safety does is respond to fire alarms (eventually), give parking tickets, and lock buildings at the end of the day. They are not a significant deterring factor when it comes to drugs and alcohol because students quickly figure out how to get around them.

3 College Junior

Technology: Bring a Laptop – There are both Macs and PCs in computer labs. The computers themselves are very nice. There are lots of places to print, although a few of the printers are notorious for not working properly. The campus is completely wireless, although some people have difficulty staying connected to the internet. Definitely a laptop is a must-- sometimes the computer labs fill up. Also, it's nice to work outside.

3 College Junior

Drug Safety: It's There If You Want It – It's college. There is alcohol if you want it, and there are drugs if you want them. Mostly people smoke weed, although to a lesser extent people do use shrooms and study drugs like Ritalin or Focalin. People will offer, but they are not pushy if you decline. Generally Hamilton students are smart about whatever substances they do use, making sure that their academics don't suffer. I have not found the drug and alcohol scene at Hamilton has negatively impacted my experience. Whatever your choices end up being, you can always find people to hang out with.

3 College Junior

Campus Food: Creativity Is Necessary – Being such a small school (under 2000 students) on a small campus, there aren't a ton of options. My freshman year I was very bored with the food. However, my sophomore year I became more creative and started making my own salads, wraps, and quesadillas using the salad bar, which is quite extensive. Since then, I've been fine with the food on campus, although it is always nice to go into town on occasion and hit up the Indian Cafe.

Also, the Bon Appetit staff is very accommodating to vegetarians, vegans, and lactose/gluten intolerant students, and they push for organic and locally grown food whenever possible.

5 College Junior

Campus Quality: I love Hamilton. We have happy, enthusiastic, and friendly students and administration. We also have a streaking team.

5 College Junior

Campus Housing: I love the housing on campus. There are 28 residence halls, which gives Hamilton students a great variety of living spaces. You can live with up to 5 roommates in suite-style housing, or with as few as zero roommates in one of the easily-acquired singles. I have been completely satisfied with my housing options, living in two of the older and wonderfully renovated residence halls.

3 College Junior

Local Area: Clinton is a charming and quaint town located just town the hill from the college. It has a few good restaurants for when parents visit and also the Indian Cafe, a major student attraction. However, in order to get more than milk and necessities, one would have to drive to New Hartford, which has many shopping areas and services.

4 College Junior

Weather: Great Outdoor Sports – The weather can be a bit cold in the winter, but you learn to enjoy the natural beauty of the Adirondacks. The campus is an easy walk, so you are never outside for long, and the maintenance department does a really good job of plowing before people wake up for classes.

4 College Junior

Administration: Understanding but Not Pushovers – Hamilton has a point system which punishes those who commit multiple minor offenses but is not overly strict to people who have no record of policy violations. The college makes a huge effort to keep people safe on campus, even if they have violated college policies. There is no punishment for those who must go to the hospital, so students are encouraged to get help when they need it.

4 College Senior

Transportation: No Need to Bring a Car – Hamilton is a rural school, but it is an easy drive to the Utica train station. No need to bring a car. There is a jitney service that takes students places they need to go off campus, and it runs continually on weekend nights to the bars downtown.

3 College Senior

Campus Food: Fairly Good – The food is a better than at most other schools, but it is still not great.

5 College Senior

Health & Safety: Completely Safe – There is practically no crime on campus. I feel comfortable leaving my computer unguarded in the library because I know that in such a small, tight knit community people would notice if someone tried to steal a computer.

4 College Senior

Campus Quality: Renovations of almost every major facility on campus in recent years means modern technology, beautiful landscaping, and lots of facility resources. The new athletic fieldhouse has an impressive new track, and the gym has won architectural awards and has one of the largest rock walls in the region. The library has a massive selection, and the new study areas and cafes make the campus a comfortable, modern place to study.

3 College Senior

Local Area: Small Town Charm – Clinton and neighboring New Hartford have a surprising amount to offer for being so small. Clinton is a small college town with a few cute cafes and grocery store, and nearby New Hartford has a great shopping mall and a large diversity of ethnic restaurants.

5 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: No different – Coming from a college town, I have some idea about the variaty of drug scenes at different schools. Hamilton is the norm among its elite Liberal Arts school peers. Moderate weed, alcohol culture for those who want it, but much beyond that is rare and widely frowned upon.


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Photos More photos . . .

Root Hall
Root Hall
Root Hall Root Hall Root Hall houses both upperclassmen and freshmen.
Photo by Hamilton1

Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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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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