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Reviews 888 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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4 Recent Alumnus

Administration: Mind Your Own Business and Public Safety Will Mind Theirs – As long as you are respectful and not being crazy obnoxious, you can pretty much do whatever you want on campus. Keep your parties to the weekends, don't barf all over, and you're fine. Public safety never gives the impression of really wanting to ruin your night and will only respond if they think someone is in danger or they get several calls. The one thing they are strict about is parking. Don't ever think you can get away with parking in a restricted space.

As for academics, MHC is on the honor code. Final exams are usually self-scheduled, which is one of the best things ever. You can choose when and where you want to take your exam. I'm not a morning person AT ALL, so I loved being able to take my exams in the afternoon or evening. The rooms are totally unmonitored, which I liked because it made me feel much more relaxed. MHC really trusts their students.

2 people found this useful Report
2 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: Definitely Not a Jock School – Being a women's college, there is definitely not a prevailing team spirit that might be found at Big 10 schools or large state schools. There are a variety of teams to become involved with, and some of them are quite good, but no one comes to MHC for the athletics. They would come because of the balance they can achieve between athletics and academics. All of the sports at Div III, except for horseback riding, which is Div I and taken very seriously. Riders tend to form a clique. Other teams definitely do provide a great bonding and social experience without being cliquey. Another great thing is that there are intramural sports and 5-college teams, which are a great way to meet people from the Five College Consortium and even score a date or two. Overall, athletics are definitely in the background.

4 Recent Alumnus

Guys & Girls: No One "Type" – Girls at MHC tend to either be very pretty or very ugly. There aren't many in between. However, when it comes to personality and interests, you can find someone in every category you can think of. It is near impossible to fit the women of Mt. Holyoke into a type. Some of them love to go to the frat parties at Umass, some prefer to stay in and read a book, some go out to dinner with friends, some go dancing at the local gay clubs. My main reason for giving the grade of A is that no matter what, you can find friends here because of the diverse personalities and groups on campus.

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: Amazing Students, Annoying Administration – Students at Mt. Holyoke are very accepting and always interested in meeting someone with different cultural and life experiences. The problem is that the administration tries to force diversity down everyone's throats. If you brush aside the institutional push for perceived diversity and focus on expanding your own experiences and being open to learning from others, you will meet amazing people from every walk of life.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Food: The options we have at Mount Holyoke for dining is better than most schools, so i've heard. We have several different dining halls that all offer different foods each night. Many meals are carb loaded, though. Blanchard center has a wide variety of snacks, sandwiches and burgers. And it closes at midnight. Each semester we get $30 to either use on a guest during dining or at the coffee shop, Uncommon Grounds.

4 College Junior

Campus Quality: At Mount Holyoke CollegeThey Gym is top notch. It has a competition sized pool and a smaller sized diving pool. The exercise room has the latest machines and is always clean and not busy. The Student Center, known as Blanchard, is new and conveniently located. Great student store with everything you will need (paper, college spirit clothes and gym wear, shampoo, kleenex, etc.). Library is beautiful. Not always quiet but a lot of comfortable places to sit and many tables to do work. Campus activities are abundant. There are a lot of clubs on campus and several host parties and carnivals. The campus itself is gorgeous. It's historic looking and the grounds are absolutely beautiful. Spacious so there's a lot of walking to get around.

4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Not for Everyone, but Superior School – MHC will always have a special place in my heart, whether I transfer at some point or I don't. Coming from a city, I was truly astonished by the overall demeanor of everyone - the students, the professors, other faculty/staff, and administration. This school has an absolutely, unforgettably enormous heart. It is a very happy place - students are truly joyful to be here. Yes, it is a small school. Courses are limited, but there's the immense benefit of the five college consortium - how many colleges can boast such an amazing asset? That's an incredible perk. MHC is very isolated, however. Even Amherst, Northampton and Springfield - and even Worcester (the closest cities) don't offer the sort of culture and incredible experiences that larger cities in the area would (NYC, Boston, Hartford, Providence), and that's hard. You are in a small town. If you're not used to that... it can be an incredibly hard adjustment. MHC is such an amazing school. It is one of the seven sisters, yes, and certainly has well-deserved prestige. However, for some students here, it's too much, and for others, it's too little. Some transfer to schools that are a little less of a challenge, or on the contrary, others transfer to Ivies. MHC is what you make of it, in essence. It can be your home for four years, or a phenomenal launching pad that's bound to give you strength and self-confidence to continue with your studies elsewhere. Either way... it is undoubtedly a solid A.

2 people found this useful Report
College Freshman

Greek Life: There is none, but that's okay. The sorts of people who come to MHC are not very interested in joining sororities for the most part. If you're seeking sorority/frat parties, look no further than UMass Amherst - you can just jump onto the PVTA most nights of the week and find one for yourself. At MHC though, you don't have to be in a sorority to build sisterhoods and strong bonds with your classmates.

5 Parent

Campus Housing: 1837 Gets a Bad Rap – The dorms I lived in during my years at MHC were: Mead (2 yrs.), 1837 and Pearsons.
I have to say that despite what everyone is saying about 1837 not being desirable, I loved it. Yes, I adore old and quaint, but it's the people that make the dorm experience, and I had so much fun there.
Also - no one points out that all the rooms face only in one direction - West. And the window in your room takes up almost the entire wall, so sunsets are simply spectacular. My roommate and I would turn out all the lights in our room and just sit on our beds and watch the sun set some days. It was worth the longer walk to get to classes, and it's good exercise - a good way to combat the Freshmen 10!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Transportation: Tiny Campus, 5-College Consortium – Mount Holyoke's campus is small enough to walk everywhere on foot. To get to the other 5 schools, or into town, buses run all day and late into the night, arriving at multiple stops around campus every 10-15 minutes.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Drug Safety: Drinking More Visible – Many people smoke, especially on smoking holidays. Harder drugs are less visible. Drinking is definitely the dominant social recreation.

4 College Senior

Health & Safety: Small and Safe – At Mount Holyoke, which is an all-women's college, the campus feels safe and secure. There are plenty of public safety officers on patrol, especially at night, by car and on foot.

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.

College Sophomore

Greek Life: MHC likes to say that it's one big sorority, which in many cases is true. The dorm and hall the students live on during their first year can sometimes be a bond that lasts a life time, if not most students find their replacement for greek life in their activities, teams, or groups. UMASS is a bus ride away and there is a large greek life there.

1 person found this useful Report
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.

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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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