Clinton, NY
Hamilton College


49 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Regina
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Hamilton is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and while the town is quaint, there's not a lot to do. Utica isn't exactly ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Hamilton is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and while the town is quaint, there's not a lot to do. Utica isn't exactly the greatest city for activities either -- in fact one Saturday afternoon trying to find something to do we noticed that every single store and restaurant was closed. In the middle of a Saturday afternoon. The most recent controversy was over someone writing "N*gger Lover" on the car of a white girl who was dating a black boy. Not much was done by the administration. This occurance however, I believe is fairly rare, and everyone who heard about it was shocked and disgusted, but not much was done to do something about it.

Describe the students at your school.

The student body is primarily white, upper class, suburban. Hamilton is working towards diversity and each year has brought in more students of color. There are several programs that help bring in lower income students that would not be able to attend schools like Hamilton, including HEOP (High Education Opportunity Program) and POSSE. There are definite subgoups within Hamilton -- Admissions doesn't like to say it but the campus is definitely divided between the "Dark Side" and the "Light Side," the Light Side being more preppy and uppity and the Dark Side being more... everything else. Students are politcally aware.. all the people I know are pretty left of center, but it is still a fairly conservative school. Not as bad as some others though, but definitely not radical.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Campus Safety is pretty useless and takes forever to get on a scene. I feel safe on this campus not because of them, just because I don't really think there's a threat of anything serious happening to me.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Greek life is prevalent but not overwhelming, and it is pretty preppy and conservative.

What are the academics like at your school?

I love the professors here - almost all of my classes the professors have known my name, and enjoy getting to know the students, even classes that are not within my major. Hamilton focuses on writing and public speaking, but mostly writing -- 3 writing intensive courses are required but that's about it. It's an open curriculum besides that and fulfilling the Q-Lit requirement. Intellectual conversations are held outside the classroom - there are plenty of lectures avialable to attend all the time for various departments. As an Art major in a liberal arts college I feel like I'm getting a well rounded education with the opportunity to explore several areas of study.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Students leave their doors open all the time, and many leave them unlocked as well. It's a pretty trusting community, although I would never leave my door unlocked. There is some, like anywhere theivery, but it's pretty rare. I met my closest freind through the HEOP program's 5 week summer intensive, and most of my other friends through the dorm I lived in my freshman year. There are always parties going on somewhere, especially Bundy, Milbank, Dunham, and South. Many students participate in "Thirsty Thursday" which is pretty much drinking in the middle of the week because you can. A fewer number of people do "Wasted Wednesday." There isn't a hell of a lot to do off campus since Hamilton is in a nowhere town, but if you have a good group of friends you make due.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Has a reputation for being conservative, preppy, a lot of drinking and greek life.

Mary
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Hamilton is a small, liberal arts school and if that's what you want then you can't go wrong with Hamilton. The academics are...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Hamilton is a small, liberal arts school and if that's what you want then you can't go wrong with Hamilton. The academics are great, the buildings are beautiful, the classes are challenging and the parties are lots of fun. Since it is such a small school, people have often never heard of it which can be frustrating when you have worked so hard to get in! The school is struggling, just as most liberal arts schools are, with how to make the school more accesible to an ethnically diverse population. There is controversy over the proposed building of a cultural center. Some students support it whole-heartedly and others, mostly white males, claim it's a ridiculous waste of money.

Describe the students at your school.

The student body is weirdly divided into preppy and hippy (or crunchy). Hamilton used to be two schools, Hamilton College and Kirkland College. Kirkland was a very liberal woman's college that became a part of the all-male Hamilton in the late 70's. Kirkland's liberal legacy has lived on and attracted students who are very far from Hamilton's preppy image. Of course, you can't really draw an even line and say that there are only two types of students. There are certainly some who are easily classified as preppy and those who are without a doubt crunchy, but most people, like myself are somewhere in between. I move happily among all types of students and believes that Hamilton is a stronger school for being able to draw two such different types of people.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Hamilton is a great place to be. It was not my first choice school, but I cannot imagine being happier anywhere else!

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

There are definitely some preppy kids, definitely a lot of money on campus, and white is definitely the majority. However, this is not Hamilton's whole story. I have found, despite being in one of the lower income brackets, that Hamilton is a welcoming school that provides a great education. I feel surrounded by nice, supportive people and would say that the stereotypes are blow way out of proportion.

What are the academics like at your school?

I came to Hamilton because I knew when it came to academics I thrive in a small classroom environment. I have not at all been disapointed. I have yet to be in a class larger than 30 students and I hear classes only get smaller as you go to higher levels. All of my professors know my name and most make a concentrated effort to get to know their students. My Comparative Lit professor made sure we learned the names of everyone else in the class by making naming everyone a part of the final. I loved this and thought it greatly enhanced the class atmosphere. Intellectual discussions occur outside of class on rare occasions, but by the time class is over most students are ready to take a break from academics. Hamilton stresses strong writing skills and provides a lot of support to students, especially through our writing center, to turn out students who are strong writers.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

As a member of HAVOC, I would say that community service matters at Hamilton, but there are those who would argue. Hamilton has an incredibly strong Outing Club and is constantly sending kids out to the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. A new club, concerned with global public health has recently gained a lot of popularity. As a first year I had no problem making friends. Everyone in my building kept their door open and my best friends are the people I lived with. The party scene is really interesting because we have frats/sorieties but they don't have houses so the school allows them to throw all-campus parties in public spaces. Since we are rather isolated in upstate New York the school has a very liberal drinking policy and it is difficult to get in trouble for underage drinking. A significant portion of the student body drinks, but there are also a lot of people who don't. You won't have a hard time finding something else to do. The school is working to promote its "late nite" program which are alcohol-free events that go from 10-2AM on Fridays and Saturdays. These events are anything from a Mario Kart tournament to soriees thrown by the ballroom dancing club. There are always, always, always interesting speakers presenting on every topic under the sun and live music comes to campus often. Off-campus has some great restaurants and a pretty decent mall.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

We're incredibly preppy, have lots of money, and are almost exclusively white.

Harper
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Hamilton is the academic freedom. Because there are no core requirements, the responsibility to leave Ha...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Hamilton is the academic freedom. Because there are no core requirements, the responsibility to leave Hamilton with a well rounded, liberal arts education falls on the student. Hamilton is definitely one of the more conservative New England liberal arts colleges, which can have a huge impact on the way the college operates. One thing I'd change: The current administration is rarely seen around campus. At a school of less than 2,000 students, higher-ups need to make more of an effort to connect to the student body.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

All these stereotypes are mostly accurate, but most people do not flaunt wealth at Hamilton. The richest of the richest here do not let their wealth get the best of them. Everyone is extremely open and friendly, regardless of income. Geographically most students do come from around the New York City area and Connecticut; Hamilton is not very diverse.

What are the academics like at your school?

Most classes are capped at 40 students, so professors are expected to know your name, whether you participate in class or not. Class participation is essential to a Hamilton education. Most classes go back and forth between lecture style and discussion. Heated debates often occur in most of my classes during discussion time. Students are not very competitive with each other. The real competition at Hamilton is with yourself. Grades are not talked about very much, which makes many feel more relaxed about academics. People set their own goals instead of trying to live up to someone else's. Academics are hard, but not too hard. Time management is definitely a good skill to have. Students are able to study during the week and still have fun on the weekends.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Our streaking team is famous for streaking the Ivies a few years ago. Greek life is not very important for women at Hamilton, although slightly more for men. There are a handful of sororities but many fraternities which hail back to the days when Hamilton was an all boys school. Most people on campus are not in relationships. If they are, it is usually with someone from back home. "Random hook-ups" are more the style of Hamilton students. Class and Charter Day is the last day of classes in the spring and is the biggest party day for Hamilton students. Afternoon classes are canceled in exchange for a picnic on the quad with faculty.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Everyone here is white, preppy, and have Platinum AMEX cards paid for by parents. Most students tend to come from Westchester County, NY or Connecticut.

Alex
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The size of the school is perfect for me: just under 2000 undergraduate students. The lack of graduate students means that p...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The size of the school is perfect for me: just under 2000 undergraduate students. The lack of graduate students means that professors teach at Hamilton because they want to teach undergraduates. I have received much personalized attention that has helped me grow personally and academically.

Describe the students at your school.

Many of the students are quite preppy but just as many are not. Wear whatever you want without the fear of being judged for it. There is also a healthy mix of moderates, conservatives, and liberals on campus which makes for great discussions during and outside of class.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

This school has given an excellent education and many amazing memories. It helped me realize my dream of going to medical school, which I will attend next fall.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

While some Hamilton students come from wealthy backgrounds, more often students are from lower or middle class families and receive at least some need-based financial aid. True, the majority of students are white, but many other students are not white and hale from a variety of states and countries. False, only a minority of students drink to the standards of an alcoholic. There is a substantial portion of students who drink in often.

What are the academics like at your school?

While students generally party hard on weekends, the same people are serious, motivated students. Almost all of my peers participate in our small classes, none of which are taught by teaching assistants. Hamilton is a liberal arts education which hopes to shape well-rounded individuals who have aptitude in nearly anything.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Last weekend the Queen of R&B, Aretha Franklin, performed for campus. It was incredible; she is still incredibly talented. Many students join Greek societies, but the majority of parties that they throw are all campus so it's not a big deal.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Hamilton students are rich, white snobs who drink too much.

Devin
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Hamilton is unusual in its small size and lack of course requirements, which I really like. We focus a lot on writing here, i...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Hamilton is unusual in its small size and lack of course requirements, which I really like. We focus a lot on writing here, if thats your thing, and have a fantastic new fitness center (though our sports teams are generally less than stellar). Teachers really love what they do here, and take the time to reach out to individuals, in small, usually discussion based classes. Hamilton is truly the epitome of a great liberal arts education, and I've never had a professor I really didnt like, while I've had several I absolutely adored. On the downside, Clinton, though it tries, is no serious college town. Though all of the essentials are here, go a mile or so away from Hamilton and you are in the middle of cow pasture nowhere. Its pretty, if you're the outdoorsy type. Controversy on campus tends to center around a liberal/conservative dichotomy, because there are strong elements of both here. For example, the closing of the Alexander Hamilton center and the Ward Chruchill incident a few years ago, both partisan arguements that made national headlines. A frequent complaint is that there is nothing to do here but drink. Greek societies aren't that dominant, except in the party scene, because they throw the biggest all-campus parties. The only thing I think I would change is that there is not enough to do, and that makes Hamilton students pretty into drinking. There is no where interesting to really go off-campus, especially when it gets super cold in the winter, so booze is a pretty big factor in social life here.

Describe the students at your school.

Hamilton is known for ahavinga lot of rich kids, which I suppose, considering the price tag, is true. Not all rich kids are snobs though, and there are several programs promoting bringing lower income students to campus. There have been some issues with racism in the past, but those incidents are few and far between. People will stick to their own cliques, because thats what ppl do in general, but everyone is friendly, and if you come to Hamilton you are sure to have at least good aquaintances, if not friends who are from different backgrounds than yourself. The gay community here at Hamilton exists, but its small and tight-knit, I would imagine Hamilton isnt the best choice if you're homosexual, though everyone seems very tolerant, there just arent many gay people around, at least not many out ones. I'd say Hamilton isnt for city kids though I know some here. It gets cold, and is pretty rural. Also, if you have seasonal affect disorder, this isn't the place for you.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

To some degree. There are a number of prep school, lacoste wearing, old boy network kids here, but it seems like since I was a freshman the prep factor is diminishing with each incoming class. The dark side/light side stereotypes are true with some exceptions, and some people who would really fit in on either side. Oh yeah, and we're also getting lots of outdoors, environmentally friendly kids.

What are the academics like at your school?

There are no real requirements except that you take a certain number of writing intensive classes (which may or may not actually be "writing intensive"). There is also a quantitative lit requirement, which is usually easy to fulfill without going all hard core math and science. Faculty is great, unlike at many big universities,they are into teaching, not research, so they are always available. Students are friendly with professors and go in for office hours. Competition academically isnt really a thing here at Hamilton, and my friends and I rarely discuss grades, not that we don't care about them, we just don't like comparing. My advisor is fantastic, love her. I'm an American Studies major, which is tiny here at Hamilton, but there are a good number of courses available that fit under that heading. At Hamilton, though we have a helpful career center and a top-rated alumni network for post-grad job hunting, we prefer to learn for learning's sake. All that ivory tower stuff.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Frats and sororities are somewhat important, but they don't purposely exclude people who choose not to go Greek (most of the population here). Most frat/sorority parties are in public campus spaces, where anyone can pretty much attend. If you're 21, there are bars downtown, which are rather grimy and rundown, but if you're not, no worries, it is extremely easy to find alcohol at Hamilton any given night. Usually on a typical weekend most Hamilton kids will pregame (imbibe before going out), then go to an all campus party, then maybe go back to a suite or room to chill with some friends. People also just take it easy, watch tv or movies. There are a number of kids on the dark side who smoke pot, and considering all of the money here, Hamilton has become known for having plenty of hard drugs. Don't worry though, I've rarely actually seen anyone doing any serious drugs, its not visible if you don't look for it, and the college is strict about catching you. I mostly go off campus to restaurants, movies, or shopping in the immediate area of Clinton/New Hartford, theres not much else, unless you count cow tipping? As for romance, Hamilton has a pretty strong hookup scene, but not any real dating scene to speak of. There are some committed couples here, but more often than not, people are single.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

People picture Hamilton kids in general as being preppy, popped-collar WASPs. There are also Dark Side/Light Side stereotypes. Lightside (being the Hamilton side of campus) is for preps who like to drink beer, play sports, and pop collars. Dark side (the old Kirkland campus) is for artsy types, hippies, and other miscellaneous individuals.

CJ
What is your overall opinion of this school?

When I tell people I go to Hamilton, most of them say something like, "Oh. Where's that?" Even though it's not exactly one ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

When I tell people I go to Hamilton, most of them say something like, "Oh. Where's that?" Even though it's not exactly one of the bigger name schools, I think it's a great place to get an education.

Describe the students at your school.

Most students are from New England. There are also a lot of kids from the West Coast.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Haha, yeah, pretty much. I mean, there definitely are a small amount of people who aren't wealthy and/or don't drink, but for the most part they're rich, drunk preps.

What are the academics like at your school?

Hamilton is a very academic-focused school. One unique thing about academics at Hamilton is that there are no required courses, which is great because everyone in your classes are there because they want to be.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Environmental groups are pretty popular on campus. Most people spend the majority of their time drinking.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

One big stereotype about Hamilton students is that they're all rich preps that drink a lot.

Amanda
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Hamilton College is the undergraduate research program. This program offers undergrads the opportunity t...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Hamilton College is the undergraduate research program. This program offers undergrads the opportunity to get into a lab and do real empirical research, something that would never occur at large university. You're actually doing real research too, not just being a glass washer. This is not only a requirement for medical school or something to put on your resume, it is a great career builder that can help you get into graduate school, network with leading scientists in the field, and even publish papers in the leading scientific journals.

Describe the students at your school.

The average student is a rich and preppy, but there are also a lot of people who are down to earth and make fantastic friends.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

The entire student body hates the president and actually boos her at college events, so what, at least we care.

What are the academics like at your school?

The chemistry department is fantastic. Of course there is always that one professor who you want to see fired because they're not competent to teach a dog how to roll over, but we also have some of the best scientists in their fields. Your professors will know your name from the time you take their class until you graduate and will actually be sad to see you go. My chemistry advisor is more like a mom to me than a professor and I know I can count on her to help me with anything either in or out of class.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The track and field team is great. Sure, as a team none of us really care how we do, but everyone pushes themselves to the limit to attain a new personal record. We have outstanding event coaches that rival some DI programs.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Rich, preppy, spoiled, annoying

Elizabeth
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Hamilton, like any place, has its ups and downs. it can feel very claustrophobic at times, or can seem very intimate at othe...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Hamilton, like any place, has its ups and downs. it can feel very claustrophobic at times, or can seem very intimate at others. People can easily seem apathetic, but I think if you look closer you will find that everyone is committed to something meaningful in some way. Sometimes it is just ver obscured by the rich and preppy exteriors people possess.

Describe the students at your school.

Hamilton student body may seem pretty homogeneous, but I challenge people with that stereotype to look closer. I am of the opinion that if one gets to really know students they will find diversity in all kinds of unexpected ways. It just takes some digging.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

I love Hamilton. i love it in the way that you grow to love something you have committed to, through thick and thin. And I think that is a realistic way to experience college, not an idealistic one.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academic at Hamilton are great, for the most part. There are occasional weak spots, jaded professors riding their tenure, bs classes, etc. However, for the most part professors are stimulating, the material is thought provoking, and the administration can usually be navigated to make it totally accommodate your needs. You just need to comitt yourself!

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Hamilton studnets likes to drink socially. I think that this is because the social life is, in some ways, very driven by the hookup scene. Alcohol facilitates that here and that is a powerful motivation to drink. However, there are some very creative people here who take a lot of initiative to do inspired things and take on cool projects.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Preppy, rich, heavy drinkers, WASPs, apathetic

Charlie
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I absolutely love being able to chat with my professor at the campus coffee shop without feeling like I'm intruding on his ti...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I absolutely love being able to chat with my professor at the campus coffee shop without feeling like I'm intruding on his time. My instructor is interested in my opinions on this literature, really? And these current events? Teaching is always a two-way street at Hamilton, and professors make learning a real pleasure. Chances are, if you hook up with someone, you'll see this person on the central walkway through campus, if not in a class or the dining halls. On the bright side, a majority of the campus has had this awkward experience, so you can play it off without too much trouble. People in the Northeast know about Hamilton, but south of Pennsylvania Hamilton could just as well be a community college as a top liberal arts school. Clinton is a scenic little village that is set about a mile away from campus. This is perfect because students can get off the hill on foot for the cafes and Cider Mill (amazing donuts, ice cream, and apple-related products depending on the season) but don't annoy residents on weekends because the village is too far for a drunken ramble. Students complain about the seven months of winter but still embrace the hibernation period as a valid excuse to be too drunk to walk on weekends. I'll always remember meeting one of my best friends in my new student orientation group. She was interested in journalism, the equestrian team, and intended to major in government. Nothing could be further from my interests, and I viewed this Southerner skeptically. Almost two years later, this Independent, college newspaper columnist, equestrian team quitter, mathematics-and-comparative-literature majoring, moneyed, Light-Sider is my Republican, alumni relations intern, ESL tutor, french-and-comparative-literature majoring, financial-aid-receiving, Dark-Sider self's best friend on campus. This place is too small to be snooty over small things. Fraternity brothers and sorority sisters are friends with everybody on campus; to limit yourself to only jocks or only musicians would make your pool of friends too small.

Describe the students at your school.

Sometimes too many groups are trying to make a difference. You try to support and help out where you can, but I can only go to so many hunger/genocide/tolerance speakers. Expect to feel out of place if you don't drink. It's not that people won't except you, but it's what the majority of campus is doing on any given Friday or Saturday. The bands and speakers are great, but there's always an after party. Lots of New Yorks, Connecticutians, and New Jersey-ites, but you'll run into a number of internationals and non-Northeasterners too. Not everyone at Hamilton is rich or even middle class, but there's very few students who don't learn to look like they are. There's a wide range of dress, from pretty hippy to uber-preppy, but none of it is out of place.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

I took a class on the Adirondacks last fall and we got to take a weekend "field-trip" to an alumnus's luxurious house in the mountains. Sometimes having involved alumni and professors willing to have a slumber party with students is THE BEST!

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

While there is a significant portion of student body here on Daddy's dime, guaranteed a job in finance or a spot in their chosen business/medical/law school, there is a large pool of students working hard to make their own way. Most of my friends--regardless of income--have on-campus jobs to pay for their own books and alcohol, independent of their parents. Never underestimate the power of the Kirkland (or "Dark Side" of campus) legacy. A women's college founded as a sister college to Hamilton, their hippy values and artistic ways live on in the more laid-back crowd who are a lot less preppy.

What are the academics like at your school?

Professors don't only know your name, they know your friends' names, the instrument you play, the soccer team you support; in short, these people get to know you as a friend. Your opinions on medieval french literature in the classroom are important, but of similar import is your conversation about the new movie that you have in the cafe. Everybody must participate in class. For some part it's a component of a grade that's easily satisfied; for others it takes much longer to become comfortable with the small-group public speaking. Some students are more competitive than others, but overall people are relaxed. I have never, ever heard of a lab project being sabotaged. People get offended if you ask them about your grades; discuss the papers and books as much as you want, but each student is expected to figure out the final work on his own, and the success or failure of the work is private business. Most unique class I've taken: Witches and Witch-Hunting. We had some of the most bizarre discussions in that class, but it was always interesting.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

People have very diverse likes, you'll find people in favor of everything from Keystone Light to Jim Beam. Find the right drink--I mean, crowd--for you. Dating? You mean that time I hooked up with the same guy three weekends in a row? Or... yeah, I guess I heard of someone going out for dinner, once. Saturday night no drinking? Try staying in the room, taking care of drunken friends, or ordering in. You could always study.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

All Hamiltonians are collar-popping rich whites who wear pearls, plaid shorts, and north face fleeces.

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