Smart- The classes here engage you in a new way of learning. You learn to actually understand the material and to create your own ideas. I never realized how much I didn't know until I came here. You have to actually work to succeed in your classes here. Well Rounded- Allegheny has three catagories that all of the majors and minors fit into. They are Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences. You major in one, minor in another, and take at least 8 credits worth in the third. Having this curriculum set up makes it impossible to not be well rounded. I'm double majoring in Neuroscience and Music with a minor in Latin. I don't think I would have been able to do this successfully at any other school. Our motto is "unusual combinations" and it fits our school perfectly. Small- Allegheny may be a small school but in my opinion that's not a bad thing. It's helped me to meet more people and to get more involved in a variety of activities on campus. Party School- There are quite a few parties on campus here. However, if it's not your scene it's completely avoidable. Nothing about the campus has ever made me feel unsafe or pressured into doing something I don't want to or to try to be something I'm not.
It is difficult to place a stereotype on Allegheny students because there is really a place for everyone at the school. However, it is much easier to apply certain traits to the student body. Words like "committed" "well rounded" "hardworking" "involved," and "friendly" characterize most of students I interact with on a daily basis, but also the student body as a whole. Within the student body, there are some stereotypes present. Although the campus as a whole is not super preppy, you will find some, usually involved in Greek life. There are some jockey kids as well who are usually associated with their sports team of choice. Additionally, we have our fair share of nerdy kids and the weird/ awkward types. Point is, we have just about everyone here so no matter who you are, you'll be able to find someone you can relate to.
I come from a small town in rural PA, so to me a lot of the kids are very wealthy and slightly snobby. They calm down after a year or two and start to appreciate the diversity which Allegheny has. There is a large population from Pittsburgh and PA in general- also OH, MD, NY, and the northeast in general are well represented; but Allegheny does have students from over 30 states and many different countries. The longer you are there the more diveristy you learn about. Cliques do form obviously, but it is not so bad that anyone feels completely left out- it can take a while to find your niche though. In general, we are all pretty hard working and driven. There are a lot of type A personalities on campus which can get pretty overwhelming.
We can be seen as a semi-preppy school for kids from the Pittsburgh area, and to some extent this is true. However, our motto is "unusual combinations" and this is a pretty good way to describe the student body. The students here are multidimensional, we are unique in that we celebrate the bizarre. Among my friends I have one that plays the bagpipes, another who practices fire-dancing, and I know several guys who are minoring in ballroom. Though a lot of the students do come from out of state, most stay on campus on the weekends. I am personally 900 miles away from home, and I have never had a problem fitting in to this community (except during football season, Steelers fans are brutal.)
Typically, Allegheny students are the kids who did almost nothing to get good grades in high school. We went to class, kind of took notes, and breezed through. Our stereotype: nerds. Maybe this is a little bit true. We do well school, it makes sense to us, academia is well within the walls of our comfort zone. Allegheny, however, challenges that. We are pushed to do more, to study harder, and challenges our security in the "overly-intelligent" nerd role. Going to class and kind of taking notes isn't enough anymore. Allegheny students learn to work. We very quickly transform from nerds to nerds with some serious work ethic. Thank you Allegheny, for that.
Students tend not be the stereotypical in any one manner. The stereotype really seems to be people who are passionate and a little quirky. Because everyone is interested in an array of topics you end up with frat guys who host evening meditations and theater geeks who write plays about environmental justice topics. The one true stereotype of Allegheny students is that they never have free time, because they are always participating in something!
The typical Allegheny student has been categorized as scholastically ambitious. The Allegheny student is driven to select courses that relate to his or her academic and future professional interests. While the Allegheny student may have a larger and more difficult course load than a typical college student, this is understood to be driven by a desire to develop in understanding and experience.
Considering Allegheny College is a school of unusual combinations, not one person fits in one stereotype. I have heard that all the students that attend Allegheny are 'rich,' but that is not necessarily the case. Allegheny works hard to help each student with the tuition, board, and miscellaneous expenses.
Most people in town think of people as the "rich kids on the hill" but the stereotype is the exact opposite. Many students are down to earth yet driven people.
I think that our students do not fit into a certain stereotype. Since students here are involved in so many differing academic fields and activities, it is so easy to get to know people from different stereotypical "groups."