Hamilton College Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Anna

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Anna

Sarah

Hamilton is fantastic; I love it here. I think the size is perfect, and we have a really great community feel. Although people often complain about the weather, it is by no means a deal breaker.

Anthony

I absolutely love Hamilton College. Prior to actually coming to Hamilton, I'd speak with alumni or student and they'd all go on about how great the school was, and how it would be the best 4 years of my life. Initially I took it all as them trying to "Sell" the school, but after being here for a year I see exactly what they meant. It's provides a great sense of community; both an intellectual and social community.

Katrina

I love Hamilton, and so do most of the students. It's so small that it really feels like a strong community. Hamilton professors really care about the students and will make themselves available to meet, and I have friends at Ivy League schools who can't say the same. Yes, living in the village of Clinton can make you a little stir-crazy, but you will make some amazing friends because everyone stays on campus. Hamilton is a school of incredible tradition. We just had our bicentennial, so yeah, we've been around for awhile. Class & Charter day is probably every student's favorite tradition, and it is the highlight of the year. On this day, the last day of class in the spring semester, afternoon classes are cancelled and the entire campus celebrates. Other fun student traditions include the Silent Disco every semester. I'll always remember this one time during freshman year, when I was walking to the dining hall behind some football players, and one started excitedly speaking about how excited he was about a paper. That's Hamilton for you...

Kendall

I have one semester remaining at Hamilton and I have absolutely loved my time there. Even before I got there, I knew I was going to love it when I interviewed. My interviewer had been away from Hamilton for decades, yet she remembered so many details of her experience and spoke very highly of it. I think the best thing about the school is simply the people- students, faculty and staff. Every student gets along if you give them the chance, and professors are extremely helpful if you see them outside of class (something I definitely recommend doing). And believe it or not, the custodial staff are probably the kindest people you will meet on campus. I like the open curriculum with a stress on writing and oral communication, as it lets students truly explore the liberal arts (which I have done) while building a solid writing and speaking base. However, one thing I would change would be to strengthen the writing requirements because there are no actual course requirements. It seems like students can sneak through the writing requirement without actually improving (if they choose to) over their time at Hamilton. Coming from a graduating high school class of 70, Hamilton is the perfect size for me. It seemed huge when I got there, starts to seem smaller over time but I still meet new people every semester and even every week. Hamilton has an excellent reputation, so people usually seem to be very impressed when I say I go to Hamilton. Coming from Pittsburgh some people haven't heard of it, so I am also used to explaining "it's a small liberal arts school in upstate New York." I spend most of my time in KJ, which is the academic building housing economics, government, sociology and anthropology. It also doubles as a social student center with comfy chairs and tables and a friendly atmosphere, so it is a great place to spend time. Hamilton is located in Clinton, NY and I couldn't ask for a better college town. It is small, has just a few restaurants, grocery store, liquor store, etc... and the rest is residential. Some people have asked me about safety at Hamilton and in Clinton, and I paused because I have never even had to think about it, which is one great aspect of Hamilton. Having dealt with the administration personally, I think less highly of them than most. I feel like Hamilton preaches a tight-knit community all around, and I do not feel that the administration offers that in some circumstances. In terms of controversies, there was a student who used racial slurs at a recent sporting event against a visiting player. I think the school has taken appropriate action in notifying the campus multiple times the potential ramifications of such an action, and they certainly are doing everything they can to prevent anything like that from happening again. Regardless, tons of school pride from most, if not all, of the campus. Sporting events are usually littered with students and it's great to see professors at them too. I often see students painting faces and chests buff and blue (even in our cold winter), which speaks a lot about how much we support each other. I think the fact that there are no strict course requirements is pretty unique, but I have found it to be one of the best aspects of Hamilton. One experience I will always remember was painting chests with friends to attend a swim meet. The team loved it, and the coach even sent us personal thank yous and we have continued to support the swim team since. They might not get as big of a crowd as other sports, so we find it a really fun thing to do. I have heard students complaining about the workload, but it is certainly manageable, especially if your high school has prepared you well for it. It is incredible to look back and see how much progress I made year to year, and I really think the key is to develop relationships with professors. It benefits both student and professor, during class and down the road, and their main purpose is to help students.

Alexander

Make the campus your oyster. There are countless opportunities made available to you but you need to take the initiative to do something, really, anything.

Anna

a little small (run-ins with last weekend's hookups WILL HAPPEN) but its great walking around campus and seeing a ton of people you know. there's a real close-knit community here and everyone's extremely friendly town-gown relationship is great, despite the smallness of Clinton, NY. the little shops in the town are all cute and great for a few hours of window shopping. a lot of people have never heard of hamilton, but those who have know it's a great school academically. we tend to live by the work hard-play hard mantra up on the hill, and the administration has little problem with this. virtually no one gets in trouble for partying unless there's property damage or something else pretty severe. food on campus is good with generally nice variety. there's a diner on campus that's amazing and open til 5am on weekends for those late night snacks hamilton tends to have a sarcastic sense of humor, even the admissions office. we have a weekly paper dedicated to sarcasm and satire (The Duel Observer), students with a dry sense of humor, and teachers who enjoy cracking jokes in class

Benjamin

There's a lot of things to love about Hamilton, from the beautiful campus to the open curriculum, and I'd be hard pressed to pick just one to talk about. I'll try and cover more of that later. I think Hamilton's a great size, for one, because you never feel like you've met everyone, but you also never feel like there's too much competition for the opportunities on campus - you don't have to be lost in the crowd unless you want to be. In terms of surrounding area, Clinton has a nice small college town sort of atmosphere. Most people who actually want to do something off campus head about 15 minutes away to suburban-shopping-center New Hartford, or to Utica or Syracuse, so there are still options if you want to get off-campus. Also, it's very common among Hamilton students is a strong sense of belonging on the Hill. Even after we graduate, we continue to feel a connection to and real fondness for Hamilton.

Elizabeth

In the end, Hamilton was the best fit for me. When I think about things that I would change, they end up being quite minor. Sometimes I wish we were a little further south and out of the snow belt, and sometimes I wish we were D1 athletics. Still, looking back I would choose to attend this wonderful place over and over again.

Blake

The College is small, the academics tend to be challenging, and the community is extremely tightly-knit. Students are busy, often involved with seven days' worth of extracurricular activities and obligations, and relationships between faculty members and students are quite close.

Leighton

People rave about the Hamilton Community. The praise is warranted. I love it there. I have one more year to go, and I'm going to miss the place afterwards. Hamilton is small and, with very little effort, you can get to know many people very well. Personally, I really love the food service at Hamilton. Whenever people visit me at school, and if we go to one of the dining halls, they usually remark at how much better our options are than at their school. I am kind of a health nut, and the food meets and surpasses my standards everyday. You probably shouldn't pick a school because it has great food, but you may want to avoid school's with shitty food. It makes a difference.

Alex

I know it sounds cliché, but Hamilton truly is a community of its own. The campus is small, the town of Clinton at the bottom of the Hill is adorable but there isn't much to do for college kids, and so most students stay on campus every weekend which helps create a really closeknit atmosphere. There are always familiar faces on your stroll to class or the dining halls. Professors know not just your name, but you personally. Sports teams cheer each other on at games, attend each other's parties. At Hamilton, everyone is on a first-name-basis. The Administration is insanely helpful. They will bend over backwards to make your life easier. I once received an internship opportunity past the internship scholarship deadline, and one of my professors worked with the administration to obtain a research grant for me to make it possible. Incredible! The Campus Police are also very accommodating, surprisingly. I'll always remember hanging outside late at night the first night of one of the school breaks after most of the campus had emptied out. My friends and I were approached by Campus Police and were expecting to be told to go back to our dorms. Instead, they asked us if we were cold, and then opened one of the closed campus buildings for us to hang out in instead. It was 4AM!

Francesca

The best thing about Hamilton is the study body by far! From the minute you step on campus people smile and say hello and welcome newcomers. Maybe it is the small size but at Hamilton you really feel like you are part of something. The professors know everyone's name by the second week of classes, the women who work in the dining halls share personal stories and bring in pictures of their kids for students to look at and the staff are more than willing to help any student in need. Location wise, Hamilton is in the middle of nowhere and there is really nothing to do in town if you don't want to hit one of the two bars. On campus Hamilton shells out a shitload of cash to bring in big bands - Eve 6, Gym Class Heroes, and Ingrid Michaelson to name a few. We may not be good at sports but people come out to support our football team in the fall, hockey in the winer, and our NCAA Div III Champion women's lacrosse team.

Jesse

It's a small place, which has it's ups and downs. The bummer is that you seem to know everyone on campus, the good part is that it isn't at all overwhelming. What you need to know is our campus is segregated: Light Side and Dark Side. The dark side is everyone who doesn't wear a polo shirt and madras shorts and listen to Bruce Springsteen or Journey or Dave Matthews on a regular basis. The light side is everyone who does that.

Kaitlin

Hamilton College can really be whatever you make of it. If you choose to limit yourself, it can feel like the smallest campus on earth, but if you extend yourself it can feel like there is always a new person to meet and a new club to join. When I tell people that I go to Hamilton they either smile and say "wow that is so great, blah blah blah I know someone who went there, I went there ect." OR they look at you like you are dumb and go to some special school for idiots and go "ohhh...that's so great..." Overall, we like to refer to Hamilton as resort Hamilton. For the most part, students are on a 21 meal plan with several great dining halls serving whatever you ask for, and a completely vegan hippie station that is to die for, a diner open until 5am Thursday-Saturday that serves amazing breakfast sandwiches to drunks (they are included in the meal plan) and a pub on campus. There is definitely a lot of academic pride at Hamilton, doing poorly and not caring about your studies is really looked down upon. As far as sports teams go, if a team is good and made up of cool people they get a lot of support. If they are not good, and the people are jerks, no one could care less. For the most part people stay on campus to party, but older students take our free jitney down to the bars and back which are full of Hamilton students.

Alex

professors are great- approachable, reasonable, good to converse with, etc. small class size is amazing no core curriculum is excellent, can take what interests you no matter what great music department Clinton is very tiny college town, 2 bars on college street are very highly attended though great parties at Hamilton for entire campus.

Zachary

Hamilton has nothing around it which means that the extracurricular activities of a Hamilton student involves alcohol, drugs and sports. I do not mean for this to be a negative portrayal of the school, but in reality the majority of the Hamilton population enjoys partaking in these activities. Nonetheless, there are still many other events available for those students whom to do want to drink or participate in IM or varsity sports.

Ashlyn

I love the size of Hamilton. It's about 1,800 students. Some people would find this too small, but I wanted a community campus where I would see people I know or recognize every day. I wanted small classes where I could develop relationships with my professors and have in-depth discussions and debates during class periods. I have certainly found everything I was looking for and more. Hamilton was my first-choice school and I'm thrilled to be a student. They also have an interesting program for a select group of freshmen. I was one of them: a January Admit. My year, about 28 of the "Jans" went to Ireland and 5 did their own things (like take night classes at Harvard or journey through South America). It was such a fantastic experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. I formed such close bonds with my fellow Jans in Ireland and I'm still close friends with most of them today.

Blake

Bottom line, you have to love snow. There is nowhere to go, nothing to do in the area outside campus, so you go on hikes in the "Glen" or cross country ski or just drink hot chocolate and watch movies. There's always stuff going on, like concerts and speakers. The campus and administration are very interested in bringing entertainment to us, since there's nothing around.

Mallory

Hamilton is great because there are no course requirements and you can take whatever you're interested in. It's also really easy to get involved in things for free- I joined debate team and started learning piano this year, things I never did in high school. There's REALLY good free entertainment almost every weekend, and the party scene is perfect- extremely fun and available without being sketchy or dangerous. The classes are small and the professors are so friendly.That said, it has its drawbacks. Diversity is not very prevelant- most of the campus is (nice) rich, white, New England. There's not a large interest in sports. The town that we're in is pretty small, but there is a mall and a movie theatre and a few restaurants and a free van service that people actually use to get there. Lastly, it's a play-hard, work-hard mentality- not the place for you if you start your weekend on Tuesday. I usually have several hours of reading and homework each day, but I love the subject matter at least.

Cindy

The campus is absolutely beautiful..the friendships students make are amazing and the relationships with the professors are very close. There is nothing unusual about Hamilton, and there is a lot of school pride.

Sarah

Hamilton is the perfect size. You don't know every single person, but you know a lot of people. Walking on campus any given day you'll say hi to at least five people every ten minutes. Students can have a good time, but we can also be very serious too. Our college town is small, but we have a good relationship. We are very proud of our school. I will always remember the day my friends threw me a birthday party after only having known me for a month.

Sasha

I love the size of Hamilton. I transferred to Hamilton from a much larger state university so in comparison, the small liberal arts community is great. Hamilton is located in Clinton, NY, which does not offer much in the way of things for college students to do. The town is small and quiant, but students typically live on the hill and spend all of their time on campus (various forms of entertainment come to Hamilton students, rather than students traveling to shows, concerts, movies, etc.). In general, Hamilton students take great pride in their identity on this campus. I feel it is an honor to be able to say that I am a Hamilton student. I have found that some people have never heard of this small school, however, the ones who have are very impressed by its reputation and esteemed academic vigor.

annie

We are a close knit community but a little bit divided by which side of campus you're on. The alums are great at giving back to the school and helping students. I think most of the study abroad options are great as Clinton, NY is going to be VERY boring if you stay here all 4 years. I love the dark side of campus for its diverse, multicultural artsy feel but also appreciate the light "siders" who bring to this campus their own style which is predom. preppy.

Katherine

Hamilton is definitely a school that exists in a bubble. Clinton is an idyllic little town, and probably doing a lot better than most other places in rural New York thanks to Hamilton kids with money to spend, while half an hour away, Utica's ready to just roll over and die. Also, because of the bubble, Hamilton gets a very sheltered/isolated feel to it once in a while. Sometimes this bothers people, other times people don't really notice or mind. On the flip side, because of this isolated/bubble feeling, the college community itself is pretty close-knit. The lunch ladies recognize you and ask how you're doing, faces begin to look familiar after the first couple weeks, you spend time outside of class just hanging out with your professor, and you just generally feel "at home."

Ryan

I love Hamilton, it's been one of the best experiences of my life. The opportunities here rival anything any other school can possibly offer. The resources and support students recieve here is amazing compared to what other schools offer. When Hamilton says anything is possible. They mean it, they'll support you in any way they can. Students are smart, masters at procrastination, but ultimately we write better and speak better than alot of kids I've met from the Ivy's and other top 20 liberal arts colleges. And the Alumni are an amazing committed group of individuals.

Alex

The big thing about Hamilton is that you are really independent and they respect that. You make your own decisions bout classes (no curriculum), what activities you can and and basically you can chose whether to drink or not, etc. It's all your choice and through that, I think it makes Hamilton liberal. I hate the fact that it's on the Hill, everyone complains about that. Unless you are fit and pro-torture, it is murder to have to go back to Hamilton through hiking up the Hill. The campus is divided into two parts which actually used to be two schools- the Light side and the Dark Side. The Light Side is more preferred since it's near everything, but the Darkside is more notorious for its waffle ceiling, extremely bland cement buildings and with every building on the Dark Side known for its problems while it's the opposite for the Light side. Oh, and by the time you start classes here, the Honor Code will be seared into your brain. They make you feel like you will get the death sentence if you EVER think of cheating. There is no "college town." The town mostly consists of bars and pizza places and not very good ones at that. There is the notorious China Sea Restaurant, the only Chinese restaurant in tow that is so greasy and bad that it's constantly empty. Therefore, the campus life is boring and off-campus life as far as the town is boring. You have to go far to get to some good malls. When I said I ways going to Hamilton (since I'm from Los Angeles, CA), besides my friends wondering where the hell and what the hell Hamilton was, they thought I was going to develop a New York accent, haveso much more fun than them (since they stayed in LA in public Colleges) and thought I would get a better education and job opportunities. They were ignorant for the most part. I don't have a New York accent, my intelligence is at par with most people at my year and I am SO not having that much fun here.

Lily

I love that Hamilton is a small community where everyone can get to know each other really well. I have met some of my closest friends here. The academic climate is really challenging, but not so competitive in terms of students racing to get the top grade in the class. It's all just about learning new things and being part of a rigorous atmosphere. On campus, I like to spend a lot of time studying in the Science Center- a nice, tranquil building with a good study environment.

Amina

the school is the right size. i wanted a small school and this is exaclty what it is. i do wish that there were more good restaurants nearby. one thing that i would change about hamilton is probably the weather and maybe the fact that it wasnt on a hill.

Zach

I guess the thing I love about Hamilton is it's size, it's not that much bigger than my high school. Because of this, the professors are able to give one-on-one support to the students when they need it which is very helpful given how intense some of the courses are.

Charlie

THe size is just right. All my professor know me personally, yet i meet new students every day. While most people from Euegene Oregon, my hometown, have only briefly heard of Hamilton, they have heard of it for good reasons. Our varsity streaking team is very near and dear to our hearts. Some of the major actions of the administration could be more transparent, but i have had many meetings with our presidents and other v.p.s to discuss personal projects.

Alexandra

The best thing about Hamilton are the really good teachers. Not all are good but when you get a good one they are great. You get very very personalized attention. If I could change anything, it would be the location. The weather is very depressing and makes kids unhappy sometimes. I think the school is really the perfect size. I would not want any of my classes being any bigger. When I tell people I go to Hamilton, they think I am very smart and react by saying "Oh that is such a good school, you must love it." I spend most of my time either in my suite, at the gym or in the science center. I think Hamilton is really a great school and the personal attention I get makes it really worth it. The biggest problem in my opinion is the weather. It makes you want to stay in doors and honestly sometimes drink too much.

Cassie

Big-picture-wise: I absolutely love Hamilton. We are such a small, tight knight community with a lot of strengths. We are located in a small village (Clinton) so we usually cling to each other for our social lives. We are definitely not a "suitcase school" where the campus is deserted on the weekends. I always feel like I miss out on so much if I have to leave for a few days, especially for sports. I have made relationships with people and faculty members which I know I will maintain after graduation. The environment is very rewarding if you choose to put effort into it. There is a lot of school pride, but not necessarily for all of the sports teams. If I could, I would change the amount of snow we receive in upstate New York, but I would not change anything else.

Tiffany

I don't like it here at Hamilton. If I could change one thing, it would something to stimulate cross cultural dialogue between students of different social classes and races

Ali

Hamilton is a small liberal arts school. Students know how to balance having fun and workign hard. Most students are extremley intelligent. The school focuses a lot on athelics, and even if you dont play a varsity sport, most students are in "good" shape. There is a social group for everyone to be a part of, whether you like to drink or not. The town the college is in is small, but very cute. We are only 15 minutes from New Hartford, which is a nice small city with a movie theater, mall, and chain restraunts. We are also about 20 minutes from Utica, NY which I have started exploring more of during my senior year. There are great places to get home cooked style ethnic food including spanish, italian, vietnamese, and greek. I think everyone that goes to hamilton is proud of the school. Its a great size, especially because of the close student-professor relationships. One of the negative things I know is that the President cuases a lot of controversy with alumni, and some students adn parents. Since she became president alumni giving has gone down. Most frequnent complaints from students are about the new president and most of the time it is in reference to how much fun Hamilton USED to be when the last president was here. There was also a large controversy with Ward Churchill coming to school and her getting blamed for it.

Meg

Hamilton is a good size, and people are really nice, and i think we need more diversity but i like the fact that its more diverse than my high school. there is a lot of school pride, clinton is aboring small town, but kids stay on campus theres lots to do. people think im smart when i say i go to hamilton. the president...shes ok, she seems to take lots of alumni money....

Katya

Hamilton seemed ideal for me when applying because I wasn't ready for a big school. It is the kind of campus that you will end up knowing every face you pass- but not necessarily associate with everyone. People are friendly to a certain extent, but only if you put forth an effort. There are definitely people that walk by and could care less about your presence. I loved the closeness with professors- I've eaten at their houses on several occasions. After visiting a big university like UMich, I adored the school pride and spirit there. That is not the case at Hamilton. While people do like being here and are proud, the school spirit is rather lacking (not too many show up regularly at athletic events, etc.) After being here for 4 years, I'm definitely ready for life in a big city. But that was not the case 4 years ago. It met my needs; however, I think that I probably could have done just fine in a slightly larger, less isolating community.

Ashley

Hamilton is just the right size; the student population is small enough so that you know the majority of the people in your year, but large enough so that everyone does not know everyone else's business. People are generally impressed when they hear that I attend Hamilton--Hamilton is a prestigious school. I spend most of my time in List (art major), but I am never in one place for too long. The latest controversy has been over May Day and the fact that Eve 6 is going to be playing--two of the organizations that plan the outdoor event have very different opinions about how the event should be run.

Robin

Great acedemics, nice people for the most part, nice campus, lots of winter but in the summer its amazing

Jennifer

it's a really small school, the same size as my high school with a lot of cliques. you'd better like snow and cold weather. hamilton has a good reputation but it's not that well known. it's in upstate NY so there's nothing to do off campus. the administration doesn't really care about the students but it also depends on the department - whether you're talking about financial aid dept., admissions, the food or what. the food really sucks. every other year there's one racial incident that occurs. they never figure out who did it but it does reflect the lack of diversity on campus and the presence of racism that's there but never talked about. best thing: having aretha franklin, bill clinton, and al gore come to Hamilton & i like the snow

Mary

Hamilton College is a great school, with good academics, and some really amazing and intelligent professors, though, many people have not heard of it. When I tell people that I go to Hamilton College, I usually get a blank response, or a 'Where is that?' However, when the people I talk to have heard of it, they are usually very impressed and interested in the school. I find that there is a lot of school pride for sporting events, especially since it is a small school, and there's a good chance you know someone on a sports team. I think the town is small, but quaint, there is everything you might need in the town, and they really try to welcome the Hamilton campus into the town, as well as Hamilton College tries to welcome the towns people up the hill to participate in events, such as sports or lectures. The one thing I will always remember about Hamilton is how I spent my summers there doing research. Science research is a great oppurtunity to work closely with a professor on a project that interests you. The science research program at Hamilton is really great, and few other schools allow students to get involved at the level they do at Hamilton. In addition, the summers at Hamilton are absolutely beautiful.

Marie

The best thing about Hamilton College is the academics. We have very small, intimate classroom settign taught by former ambassadors or other various prominent members in society. I would change the huge conflict of diversity-people dwell on it too much which makes it a problem. If you don't point it out no one will notice. Our school is very small but I enjoy knowing the faces on campus. When I tell people I go to Hamilton they either do not know what Hamilton is or they assume we drink wine and eat cheese all day. I spend most of my time in a dorm, either my own or a friends. The administration seems good, there are structural problems with efficiency of financial aid and the actual success of campus safety.

Mandy

The no core curriculum is amazing! As a freshman, I didn't have to take a biology class because I'm horrible at is and it made my freshman year a lot more enjoyable.

Sarah

The best thing about Hamilton is the class size. The small classes really allow students to get to know their professors. The campus is also extremely beautiful. However, it is not in a very populated/busy/interesting area.

Catie

It's a pretty small school in a very rural area, but there's always a lot going on. They do a good job bringing entertainment to campus - there's rarely a week that goes by without a speaker or performer on campus who's been on TV. There are also a lot of opportunities - as a freshman, I can be the co-president of a major club and conduct research. Professors are approachable and most classes succeed in being more discussion-based than lecture based.

Brett

I love the size of the school. It allows for intimate class sizes, you never feel alone when you walk into a dining hall, you know people when you walk around. and yet there are tons of people you don't know. People are really REALLY friendly at Hamilton. I would totally do something about the privacy issue. there isn't much here. Its also quite a bubble, isolated from the world on an international level. It would be nice to have the news again in my life.

Hunter

The best thing about Hamilton is the strong interpersonal relationships students form with both faculty and other students. The community is supportive and the faculty is wonderful at cultivating young minds.

Chantal

The size of the school is great. In my last year here I am still meeting new people. The campus is also a nice size--it takes only about 10 minutes to walk from one size of campus to the other. The winters can be brutal, but once the temperature hits above freezing, we nearly forget the cold at once. The ability and flexibility for study abroad opportunities is great.

Michael

The school always allows students to pursue their passions or interests - especially if they are even partially academically based. Great atmosphere and highly encouraged to push yourself as a college student to succeed in many facets of life during your time on campus. Still a student, but it seems that the school greatly supports alumni and has a solid alumni network that is only growing in size, success, and power. Additionally, amazing overall facilities, the food is pretty good, and the athletic facility is state-of-the-art.

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