Hamilton College Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Regina

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.

Cindy

I am part of Christian Fellowship, where we have large group meetings every Friday and sing, play music, and have a speaker. Also, every sundays are the church services held at the chapel, where I volunteer to play music during each service. I was also part of the BSU, Black Student Union (you don't have to be of african descent). Yes, different types of students interact, however, most of the time students hang out with those of their descent. Hamilton students come from almost everywhere.

Mary

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.

Harper

See stereotypes

Alex

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.

Devin

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.

CJ

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

Amanda

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.

Elizabeth

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.

Charlie

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.

Crystal

I think that anyone can feel welcome on campus at Hamilton. It is very interesting to note that there is no "code" of what goes on at Hamilton. If you walk into any classroom you might see one person all dressed up adn one person in sweatpants. I think that most students at Hamilton are from New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Students are very aware and active we have a lot of clubs and activities that make it that way. Hamilton is left centered definitely liberal. However, many people who are conservative come to school here and thrive. My roomate is very conservative and she is always seen on the Hamilton website or local papers for doing something amazing. I don't usually hear people talk about what they will earn one day except for maybe occasional seniors who do.

Evan

The student body is predominantly white, but there is some diversity on campus. Many different countries are represented which is cool.

Courtney

There are a variety of racial, religious, and socio-economic groups on campus. Coming from a diverse high school, I sought interaction with many different types of people on campus. Unfortunately, some students on campus do not seek out diversity and tend to isolate themselves among people similar to them. This is not necessarily typical, but it gives rise to many of the stereotypes about Hamilton. In general though, I think only an extremely introverted student would find themselves out of place on this campus; everybody else can find their niche. The majority of students here are from the North East, but I have friends from across the country, from states such as Georgia, Hawaii, Minnesota, Missippi,Tennessee, and Alaska not to mention international students from Pakistan, China, India, South Africa, Singapore, and Botswana.

johny

I have had very little experience with racial or LGBT groups on campus except for receiving tons of emails from them. I really haven't noticed if they have done much on campus but they are very vocal and like to make a lot of noise and "raise awareness". Different types of students interact but rarely will you see different types of students just hanging out. Everyone here is from the north east, usually "Boston" meaning anywhere in Massachusetts or somewhere in upstate New York. Most students are wealthy and right wing, but some claim to be left, most of these people are actually right.

Sandy

You'll fit right in if you're used to being social, if you're leaning toward liberal, and you can deal with a certain amount of bullshit that seems to be present on the campus. Most transfers, however, just don't fit into the social scene, for whatever reason. If you can't deal with being a sober kid at a college full of people who like getting drunk on the weekend, don't come here.

Alex

Overweight students would feel out of place. There aren't really any overweight kids here. Hamilton Student= Rich, White, from they city, Boston or New Canaan, loves drinking, lots of fun, and somewhat politically aware. Most students dress nicely for class, but nothing extravagant. If there are four tables of students at the dinning hall they would be.. 1) Football players/male athletes with 6 cups of gatorade, 2) TDX guys and ATX girls, 3) pretty people eating together and 4) and all the random people chilling.

Lorie

Hamilton's student body is pretty diverse. Most students might look the same, but there are organizations for everyone. The campus has a more politically liberal feel, but there are definitely conservatives. Campus organizaitons--like Christian Fellowship, Hillel, or Rainbow Alliance--are welcoming and inclusive.

Reese

As Hamilton students, no matter how diverse our backgrounds are, there is one common thread: we all expect to make a bunch of money someday. Since a majority of the students come from money, (how else could people pay $50,000 dollars a year at a school that doesn't offer scholarships?), many feel it's their birthright to graduate, become investment bankers or advertising executives, and make enough money buy a place on Nantucket. It sounds bad, but when everyone around you is driven to succeed, you can't help but want to succeed yourself.

Harper

The students here come from all over the socio-economic spectrum and once here those boundaries are broken quickly. I have friends who own their own planes, and other friends who grew up in rough inner city neighborhoods.

Sarah

Most of the girls are kind of dumb and have little personality, but there are some out there who are really good kids. Minorities keep to themselves a lot, and gays are proud. I lived with a lesbian this year, and she was not afraid to show it. I love that about Hamilton. theres a suprising mix of right and lefters.

Sarah

Although we don't have the most diverse campus, there are a lot of different groups represented here. There are a lot of athletes, but there are also a ton of other interests represented (music, art, etc.) Most people are really into academics and are politically aware, so it makes for great discussions in and out of class. Although we're known for being a very liberal campus, there are also a fair share of republican/conservative students.

Madison

Most Hamilton students are from the northeast, with an inordinate percentage from Westchester County. As such, their socioeconomic class is generally high, and I can attest to definite culture shock coming from a lower middle class family. That being said, the students here are generally not snobby about their prep-school backgrounds, and it is not difficult to become assimilated. (If you happen to dislike Ugg boots, however, you will very quickly tire of seeing them.) Conflict on the basis of race, religion, or sexuality is-- in my experience-- extraordinarily rare. The community is very accepting of these differences, and everyone is willing to take a joke. If you are politically conservative or a particularly devout Christian, there is rather less tolerance; but there are numerous outlets on campus and places to meet like-minded people. The Alexander Hamilton Institute, for example, offers some organizations embracing and encouraging political, intellectual, and religious diversity. Similarly, the Christian Fellowship and InterVarsity will make the religious feel more at ease.

Bessie

I think kids that don't have alot of money could potentially feel awkward, depending on their crowd. I think minority students could, and probably do, feel uncomfortable in a classroom setting because they will frequently be one of the few or the only one in the class. Most Hamilton students are from the Northeast, especially Boston and Westchester County. Students are generally passively liberal, but pretty apathetic. At the STAND Against Genocide Meetings, we are lucky to have 5 kids. Most students are fairly wealthy, but in certain social groups it's cooler to pretend like they don't have money.

Kate

not a lot of racial diversity given the amount of students who attend hamilton, but it seems to have gotten better recently. i know it sounds harsh, but those from a lower income bracket would be most likely to feel out of place at hamilton because everybody and their mother is descended from corporate execs and old money. the campus has a noticeable division between the old Hamilton campus and the more recent Kirkland campus: pop-collared jocks flock to the light side, liberal pot-smoking hippies tend to prefer the dark side.

Andrew

I think Hamilton's student body is majority white, yet there is a mix from geographical, religious, political and economic backgrounds in that one predominant group. There are also other racial groups on campus that are very prominent and active.

Harper

Hamilton's students tend to self-segregate into clumps, but if you can break free from that tendency, there's a lot of potential to meet students from all walks of life.

Jen

The Hamilton student body is very strange because it is diverse without being diverse. What I mean is that despite the schools efforts to achieve diversity in a racial and socio-economic sense, the school is for the most part comprised of upper middle class white students. However, there is a ton of diversity in terms of personality, style, and types of people. I can honestly say that any type of person would be able to fit in here because of this huge spectrum.

andy

kids are great

Gray

My parents are quite well-off, however when they were married at the age of 22, they had nothing. Their dates when I was young consisted of going to Wendy's and buying a milkshake, because they did not have enough money to go out to dinner AND pay the babysitter. As such, throughout my life, we have gone from being quite poor to being quite wealthy, and while this would lump me in with some of my classmates in terms of socio-economic status, I feel that I do not have the same outlook on life as most of these other people because I was never given tons of money or super-privileged, because my parents didn't think that was the best way to raise children. As such, as I've already said, the students here are obnoxious about their money. It would be one thing if they walked around campus with their Dolce and Gabbana bags and were friendly towards other students, but they're not. I get the "I'm so much better than you" vibe all the time from people, and after 4 years on campus, I know for a fact that they're not better than me. Race is considered a crutch here at Hamilton, and I'm sick of feeling like a bad person because I'm white. Just because I'm white does not mean that I enslaved all the blacks, or that I am racist, because I am not. Many times I feel, especially on a well-educated campus like this one, that the people who keep racism alive are the people who are supposedly fighting so hard to end it. There's no way in hell I would be able to start a White Student Union, so why should the Hispanics, the Asians or the Blacks be able to? The kind of student who would feel out of place: a normal American kid who wants to do well in school, has morals and values, and doesn't consider getting trashed every night of the weekend their favorite pasttime. There is no mixing of the social groups. You are in a group and you stay in that group. Most students are from Boston, nice places around NY, Connecticut, etc. Everyone seems to have a friend that knows someone else who goes here.

Laurel

There have been many issues on campus lately on how to make minority students feel more welcomed on campus because Hamilton is admitting more students of diverse backgrounds but we don't yet have the resources to necessarily make all groups feel included. We are working on it, though. Since we are a small community, however, different types of students interact regularly in classes, sports teams, campus organizations, and socially. The vast majority of Hamilton students come from NY, MA, and CT, but almost every state is represented and there is a large percentage of internation students hailing from Mexico, Norwary, Tanzania, India, China, etc. Many students come from a privledged economic background, but Hamilton offers a very good financial aid package, so that allows students of less financial means to attend Hamilton, and as one of those students, I have never felt excluded due to my financial situation.

Olivia

NY, MA, CT! and one representative from every other state and a smattering of countries so admissions can say we are diverse. Good mix of political views although republicans tend to be quieter.

Lauren

Hamilton strongly encourages diversity among its students. We have many groups on campus such as the Rainbow Alliance, HEOP and BSU that celebrate different backgrounds and beliefs. However, most of our student body seems to be from the north east, especially places like Fairfield and Greenwich, CT so it can seem like a New England Prep School. However, there are people from different places you just have to get to know them.

Leighanne

I'd have to say literally no student would feel out of place at Hamilton. The dark side is a group of more artistic creative students and the light side is filled with jocks, math and science majors. There are a lot of so called "preppy" kids but there is a unique balance. Every student here is unique and has some quality to bring to the campus.

Amanda

When you walk down Martin's Way, you will see students from different states, countries, and backgrounds. Hamilton is filled with athletes, artists, philanthropists, and musicians who all fit in and all share a love for learning and a love for Hamilton.

KJ

The Hamilton student body is divided into two groups. There are the "Dark Siders" and the "Light Siders." Light Siders are the preppy kids - popped polos and a new lexus. Dark Siders are the crunchy kids - dreads and potheads. These are obviously stereotypes and I don't actually think there are ONLY two sides to this campus, but it is a common perception that more than a few people prescribe to. You can "choose" which of those groups you want to identify with by where you live on campus and might even participate in a little Dark-Side/Light-Side rivalry from time to time.

Parker

We are more diverse than a person might realize at first glance. Some students have had trouble feeling out of place in their sexual orientations, but there are many people on campus with whom they would find a place. You will mix with a variety of students with very different views on this campus. The main thing about Hamilton is that most people are willing to listen to a point of view they do not necessarily agree with and accept a person as a friend although their beliefs may conflict.

Athlete

There is diversity here and I think most students her feels comfortable being whoever they are. Hamilton students are very relaxed and don't particularly care if an individual is different from the "mainstream".

Scarlett

If you're a hippie or anything like that, you'll feel out of place. Hamilton is mostly white and wealthy. That's just how it is. Most people are from CT. There isn't must political activism, but if that's what you really want, it can be found.

Andrew

The student body is pretty homogenous: white kids from the Northeast whose families before them were college educated(many at Hamilton). The vast majority are WASPs and a lot private school kids. The school insists only 40% of kids went to private school but it certainly feels like more than that. Coming from a fairly economically diverse public high school, it took a little while for me to adjust to the fact that more people were wealthy here than I was used to. I think Hamilton definitely has to try harder to get a more economically diverse student body by offering more financial aid if they continue to fail to become more racially diverse.

Catie

The student body is diverse, and getting more so each year. There is a definite preppy side of campus, but also a more hippie side too. Students wear everything from business attire to pajamas to class. Different types of students definitely interact, and that is a result of the small size of the school and close nit community. Most Hamilton students are from the north east, but there are students from all over the United States and 30 odd countries, with diversity increasing each year. Students are politically aware, and there is a good divide of opinions on campus.

Lily

Hamilton students are typically more priviledged than others.

Gene

There definitely could be more racial and religious diversity on campus. As for socio-economic diversity, it's rather hard to tell someone's financial standing unless topics such as vacations, cars, or financial aid come up. Students certainly don't brand people differently if they know they are on financial aid. However, students come off as wealthier rather than poorer. Students wear a spectrum of clothes to class, everything from sweats to designer jeans to hoodies to flannel shirts. It's easy to determine the "hippies" from the "prepsters" in any class. Most students are left politically, though I've seen more right-wingers as the 2008 Presidential Race has wore on.

Tim

Everyone is rich, which is why many people chose to go here. International students tend to isolate themselves from everyone else.

jamie

Hamilton has its conservatives and liberals, democrats and republications, Christians and atheists, varsity sports teams and debate teams, and many others, one of the best parts of Hamilton is that you can join all of them and no one will judge you. Hamilton is a very open tolerant community. Most of the students are from New England. The typical student will wear jeans and a sweater or sweatshirt to class.

Olivia

WASP, cliquey, money money money. I know when a jcrew catalogue is released because they are in 80% of the girls' mailboxes, furthermore 10 business days later I see the jcrew packages all over the place. Preppy.

Alex

four tables in the dining hall: -the sports table: all of the sports teams go to dinner together after practice and sit together...ranging anywhere from track to rugby. -the frat/sorority table: self-explainatory -"core" group of friends: your main group of friends at hamilton usually go to dinner together...attach any stereotype you want...preppy/rich girls/guys, nerds, potheads,etc. -financial background: since hamilton is so expensive, a lot of wealthy kids go here...many of the kids do not show off their wealth in their style of dress or material items. there are also kids who are on financial aid, but they are not isolated or left out of the community at all. -good mixture of political views...the liberals are seen more because they express their views more than conservatives...you will definitely meet conservatives at hamilton, however

Roby

Everyone is pretty open and accepting, but segregated at the same time. I think anyone could feel at home at Hamilton. I would not want to come here for any reason if I was African American though. Most students dress fairly casual for class. Not sweatpants and a tshirt causual, but some do. I usually wear khakis, a tshirt, a sweater and a jacket to class. Different types of students do interact, but only from time to time. The four tables would probably be the fraternity and sorority kids, the football kids, the hockey kids, and then the normal Hamilton students. A huge number of students are from MA and CT. Most people seem to be quite well off. Some students are more active than others, but I feel like everyone has at least some idea of what is going on in the world. If I had to guess I would say that the typical students is center and leaning to the left. To be honest the only reason I'm considering staying at Hamilton is because of the possible job opportunities. Yes, I have heard students speak about how much money they hope to make after graduating.

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