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Reviews 671 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 College Sophomore

Weather: Because MHC is located in New England, the weather gets REALLY cold in the winter. It snows a lot in Pioneer Valley and so many of the teachers are used to the weather so don't expect class to be cancelled! Just before spring the ground gets really muddy because the frost from the night before heats up and wets the ground. Summertime at MHC is the best time of year. Most students lie out and around Skinner Greene and enjoy the sun. Fall in the Pioneer Valley is beautiful when all of the leaves around upper lake turn red, yellow, and orange.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Go to Northampton or Amherst – South Hadley, where MHC is located, has barely any restaurants. The best and most diverse restaurants are in Northampton which is a short bus ride away. Amherst also offers some good restaurants. There are only three restaurants/coffee houses that are in walking distance of MHC. Family Pizza is a South Hadley pizza place that delivers to MHC and has some of the best pizza in the area.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Academics at MHC can be very competitive, especially in the sciences. All of MHCs departments are strong and have the support of the courses that can be taken at any of the other five collegs (Amherst, Hampshire, Smith, and UMASS). The classes are very demanding but when students take classes that pertain more to their major, the classes become more interesting and less annoyingly-labor intensive.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: The academics at MHC are rigorous. Every student seems to be challenged within their major and every student seems to love being studious. There are two types of MHC social scene, one scene is on campus which is a smaller scene and harder to break into, the other scene is found off campus at either Smith, Hampshire, Amherst, or UMASS. Smith is usually where Mohos go to meet other women. Hampshire has a larger pot scene than MHC. Amherst has greek life and so does UMASS.

The facilities at MHC are fantastic. MHC is constantly updating its facilities. The New Dorm was just built, is LEED certified, and has fantastic rooms. Porter Dorm is being updated summer of 2010.

The five college consortium is great for majors that don't have many class options at MHC. The buses run regularly and every student has class with at least 1 or 2 students from the five colleges, which also helps students meet people from other campuses.

The concert scene is not fantastic. There is one main theater in Northampton (where Smith is located) where mainstream musicians play.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Diverse Housing Options With Homey Feel – The housing at MHC has very diverse options. Students can chose between dorms with wood floors or tile floors. All of the buildings have their own pros and cons and because the campus is small, none of the dorms are too far away from classes. There are different areas of campus where students can live such as: upper lake, lower lake, or the green. All of the rooms are larger than any of the rooms of my friends at other colleges. MHC treats its students well. All dorms are near or have dining rooms therefore food is never far away!

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Available, but Costly – Finding off-campus housing in the Pioneer Valley takes a little more work than you might expect, especially since ResLife at MHC really doesn't help you. Prices can be high, parking is a nightmare in some areas, and you might find yourself having to make a bit of a drive in order to find apartment complexes. (There is a small building almost right across from campus, but it's a townie building that's usually rented year-round by locals.) Most students do best with renting a room or an in-law apartment from a local homeowner. If you're not from the area, be prepared to keel over the first time you see your heating, electric, or water bill.

A few words of warning: Day students don't have a strong sense of community and therefore tend to be socially isolated. Most students who live off-campus are either non-traditional students with families or seniors who have a local connection and no longer feel the need to socialize on campus. Generally speaking, students should do everything they can to live on campus all four years.

3 College Senior

Technology: First of all, virtually everyone brings a laptop and printer to campus with them, so this usually isn't an issue. But if you plan to use campus computers, stick to the ones in the library and MEWS (an open lab area). They're the most reliable and also have the best printers (which you have to pay for). The dorm labs have older computers, the printers are free but horribly unreliable (usually out of ink or paper), and tend to be dominated by students staying up all night in chatrooms.

Wireless is around but spotty in areas, especially the residence halls off the Green. You'll want to plan to plug in. Also, be warned that they are very strict about bandwidth usage, so if you start downloading movies or anything else of size, expect to get a call or e-mail about it.

Best thing: LITS, our tech support, is fantastic! They're always happy to work with you and give great advice and speedy help.

5 College Senior

Local Area: Important to Consider Before Attending – Personally, the Pioneer Valley is perfect for me. I am a small-town New Englander who's used to long drives, beautiful pastures, rolling hills, country fairs, and cows, so I really appreciate everything the area has to offer. I also love that our "big" cities (Northampton and Amherst, both right up the road) aren't really big at all and are mostly just nice walking towns with lots of cute boutiques, used book stores, and sidewalk cafes. So for me, it's perfect!

But I know many students who hate the location, some even going so far as to transfer out, because they were expecting regular trips to Boston and New York, lots of clubs and bars, and other things that simply aren't realistic. You have to be comfortable with seclusion in order to be comfortable with Mount Holyoke. If you'd rather be in Boston, go to a college there; don't assume you're going to be driving out every weekend from South Hadley, because you won't be.

Since the Five Colleges (MHC, Smith, Hampshire, Amherst, and UMass) dominate the area, the attitude towards college students is great. Each of the colleges regularly interact with each other, including for social events, so you'll always be around thousands and thousands of other college students (and yes, that includes men). We call it the Happy Valley for a reason -- it's a great place to be!

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Diversity: Very Diverse -- to an Extent – Campus is very diverse -- one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges, in fact -- when it comes to racial make-up. We also have a high percentage of students receiving Pell Grants (about 1/3 of all students). Unfortunately, there is still tension between different groups. We've had to have several community meetings in recent years about socioeconomic conflicts on campus, especially between the "horse girls" (derisive term for upper-class students, who often bring their own horses to campus) and "financial aid kids." This is the biggest conflict on campus and tends to come up on a regular basis. As long as you keep your financial status to yourself, however, it's easier to avoid.

Politically, just about everyone on campus is towards the left. There is a strong College Republicans group, and they ARE respected, but they're not influential. Likewise, there are students who participate in religious life and are not ridiculed for it, but it's not very common.

As with most other women's colleges, the queer community is quite strong at MHC. Even if students aren't queer themselves, they tend to identify strongly with the community and work to support it. Some of the most popular events on campus are run by queer groups, including the Valentine's Day Drag Ball. There is a small percentage of intolerant students who try to distance themselves from the college's lesbian reputation, but otherwise, people are very laid back about it. We also have a number of transgender students, and they are largely accepted on campus as well.

As a piece of advice, students should step outside their own racial/ethnic groups whenever possible. Some groups have developed reputations for being completely insular, so avoid that!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Health & Safety: Campus Is Very Safe! The only safety issues that ever come up are girls bringing sketchy boyfriends around (especially on major event/party nights) or girls being stupid and leaving GPS units/iPods on their dashboards and then getting their cars broken into. South Hadley as a whole and especially the MHC campus are VERY safe. Walking on campus at night isn't an issue and PubSafe is always a very visible but comforting presence. We have a blue light system (better than most I've seen in terms of how many stations exist) and we also do safe rides at night if you want one. All residential halls require you to use a card to swipe in; day students get limited access. Girls tend to be good about not letting strangers in, but obviously, always be careful.

3 College Senior

Drug Safety: Drinking Scene, but Drugs Are Limited – It's not as bad as it was in the '80s (ever seen the infamous "Simpsons" depiction of a sloppy drunk MoHo?), but alcohol is certainly available at MHC. Fortunately, it's generally contained to weekend parties on the Green (especially in the Rockies) and it's not at all socially forced onto you.

As far as drugs go, there's marijuana if you seek it out, but it's rarely out in the open unless you're in certain circles. PubSafe is pretty good about enforcing the anti-drug policy, and they also work hard at keeping students of legal age safe when they're drinking. Students who get caught drinking underage are spoken to and given private warnings, but they don't get expelled or anything, which is the right thing to do.

9 times out of 10, if a MoHo is doing drugs, she's doing prescription pills, not street drugs. Such is life at a $50k-a-year school for ladies. But again, it's not widespread.

2 College Senior

Athletics: Fun for Participants; No One Else Cares – Even though we've had some nice recent successes in athletics, the general student body doesn't really follow any of it. However, a lot of people participate, especially on the novice crew teams. It's a great place if you like to be active and involved, but not if you plan on winning any championships. But that's okay, because we don't feel like we need them!

Equestrian, of course, is its own beast and has an intensely dedicated following. If you're not already nationally-ranked by the time you are admitted, you'll have a hard time breaking into the top ranks of the eqs. You can learn while you're enrolled, though, and the staff at the eq center (one of the country's best) will be more than happy to introduce you to the sport and get you good grounding in it. Eq is a big status thing at MoHo, so if you want that to be your scene, take a class early on.

3 College Senior

Campus Housing: Beautiful, but Choose Wisely – Almost all of the buildings are gorgeous from the outside and most are very nice inside. Most are from the 1800s, so there are sometimes issues with silverfish and mice, but nothing horrible. Everyone tries to get brownstone housing on the Green, but more modern places like Ham and MacGregor can be great because they have their own special perks (like window seats!). Dickinson is a great option if you're not into partying. Athletes live in Torrey. The Rockies are where it's at socially. If you want the best of all worlds, try Abbey or Buckland -- on the Green, but at the far end of it. Word of warning: Be prepared to layer due to the heating system being a

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Weather: It is cold here! Even when there is lots of snow class is never cancelled.

5 College Senior

Campus Quality: Library Is Amazing! The library at Mt. Holyoke is wonderful. The librarians are very helpful with reasearch, there are textbooks on hold for most of the classes I take, and the actual building is beautiful.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Independent Styles – There are tons of student-run organizations and groups or clubs that you can become a part of. Really anything you have an interest in, there's something for it; or you can create your own. It is very easy to make friends with people and have an active social life and very easy to find a party if you're looking for one. Don't want to party with all girls? Take the bus to Amherst, UMASS, or Hampshire and find a party there. The school offers great science labs, there is a wonderful greenhouse, an art museum, even a Japanese Tea Garden available to students. The school provides a multiple places to get work done as well. It also offers tons of chances for internships, studying abroad, etc.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Awesome Place – The community is one of the best I've ever experienced. The students are great and willing to help anyone and easy to get along with. The dorm buildings are overall very nice. There is certainly no lack of food there. A wide variety of classes and extra curricular activities and plenty of opportunities and accessibility to other colleges part of the consortium. I would definitely choose Mount Holyoke all over. It's academically challenging but there is a real desire to help students succeed.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Parking: There are designated lots for students to park in, though depending on where your dorm is, it could be quite a distance. A car is not necessary at all on campus. Tickets are rare but if you're parked in a no parking zone, expect one. You can take it to public safety, though, and argue not to pay it.

3 College Junior

Party Scene: Not much going on at night in a small town like South Hadley. However, take the PVTA bus and you have four other colleges, including party-loving-Umass.

3 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Girl Time Rocks, but Sometimes Male Attention Is in Want – Being at an all woman's college definitely has its pros and cons. PROS- great time with the girls. CONS- need to get to Amherst or Umass to see 'em boys.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Academics: Professors Are AMAZING – Being in the psychology and education department has so many positive perks. The professors really like to get to know you, the classes are extremely engaging and the students are intelligent (overall) to be around. Workload is not overwhelming and there are so many ways to get involved in independent studies or research with professors.

3 College Junior

Transportation: The free bus that runs the five colleges are very helpful if you want to get off campus during the semester but has terrible hours of services or none at all during breaks.

4 College Junior

Administration: Not Very Heavy – Not many people are around campus other than students after 5pm. Sometimes the student assistants who are in charge of residential life can get you in trouble

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Not Too Much Around – Although not too expensive, there aren't too many around since a majority of students live on campus

2 College Student

Off-Campus Dining: South Hadley – Although they're are choices-chinese take out, mexican, subs and grills- there are only a handful of restaurants located locally across the street from campus. After a while it gets repetitive and boring.


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It seems that students come to Mount Holyoke for the academics and stay for the community. Women who come here either quickly discover that they hate it and transfer out, or fall in love with the school and become unable to imagine going anywhere else. The overall sense students have about the College is that it’s more than just a school, and it’s more than a place to study for four years, get your diploma, and be set free—MHC becomes a second home. Its close-knit environment allows students to explore their own boundaries in safety, perhaps try on a few lifestyle changes, and maybe even find a few that stick. You will undoubtedly be exposed to new influences during your time here, as you would at almost any college, but here, you won’t be afraid to call some of those new influences your friends—especially the ones who scared you at first.

Part of what’s so wonderful and unique about this school is the sense that students are really cared about as individuals. Sure, it’s an institution, and sure, there are the occasional oversights where the Registrar forgets to record a grade or some such thing, but most faculty and staff are exceedingly helpful and willing to assist you with whatever difficulty you may be facing, whether it’s a decision to apply to grad school now or later or a mistake in your transcript. The atmosphere of care is contagious—new students quickly catch it from older students, and so the tradition lives on. Things are changing for this institution, as it strives to keep up with modern times and struggles with budget cuts resulting from a bad economy, but it still remains the school generations of women have known and loved, and alumnae still keep coming back to visit and reminisce.

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