Middlebury College Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?


Good food, good people, great professors, bad weather.


Apart from the one bar downtown and a few nice places to eat, there is not a whole lot going on off the campus. this is unless you like to ski/snowboard, in which case there is access to probably some of the best conditions in the east. Campus safety is a total bitch, unless you realize they effectively have no control over the student body, in which case you can happily go about your late night revelry with next to no worries. Assuming you do not a)start a fight or b)vandalize property or c)engage in public displays of fornication or d) habitually smoke crack rocks you will have no problems. citations are given out infrequently and on a wholly arbitrary basis. your room will never be searched for contraband. citations, when they are given out, do not really result in any severe punishments, unless you are afraid of mama finding out back home (in which case you must given three citations before a letter is sent home). The dubie j is smoked in abundance, though not to the extent that it is a novelty for those who choose to abstain. Other drugs are noticeably absent.


Best thing: strong academics and the vast opportunities available for students. The reputation of the college. The feeling of community because of the small student body. I feel like I know many people and am comfortable around school. The town is not too exciting so most activities happen on campus. Most teachers are up to what I had imagined they would be while there are some teachers that do not make the cut in my opinion. There is a wide variety of the type of teachers as well. I think that there is not as much of a strong teacher-student relationship as the school says there is. School pride is definitely a strong presence just because we are such a small campus. The most complaints are about housing, food and tuition. The tuition seems to be getting more and more while the students don't see where any of that money is going and how it is benefitting them. We have a lack of housing because of all the students we accept.


The best thing about Middlebury is the people though they often pigeon hole themselves. The people are smart and interesting to talk to once they get over their group identity. People often don't know what Middlebury is or they react with an "oh...thats a good school." The place is so high stress though and I think it is self perpetuating in that professors and kids alike think that if they are not constantly doing something than they aren't fulfilling their college experience. This leads profs. to load on preposterous amounts of work and leads kids to really not be very good people, just cause they're so busy. People tend to fall by the wayside and you end up not treating your friends as well as you'd like.


The Administration is evil. In my mind they really enjoy this stereotype and are continuing to cultivate students and frames of mind that are white collar. They put all of their funding, improvements and efforts into majors that have economic returns to the school. They literally don't care about the Studio Art Department and many of the other small artsy/odd majors. Furthermore, by keeping tuition so high they are discriminating against lower incomes. They believe that once you have money it will be easier to make more and in turn donate back to the school. Middlebury administration pretends to love diversity but in reality they don't. They would rather have us all be prep-school kids then artists.


I think Middlebury is about the right size, but I think it is growing and I think that is a bad thing. When I tell people I go to Middlebury, the reaction varies. I'm from Atlanta, and down there, people often say, "Where's that?" I spend most of my time on campus. However, Public Safety seems to be playing an increasing role around campus, and I think off campus parties are becoming more common. I think the administration as Middlebury is too focused on rankings. I don't like the way they manage the budget. Some spending seems so frivolous, but at the same time, they cannot seem to afford to buy juice for dinner.


The best thing about Midd is how smart they professors are and how they balance that with accessibility. They are almost all brilliant (whether the class is enjoyable or not) and the vast majority of them are incredibly approachable. The one thing I would change is this whole thing where we're trying to become an Ivy League school by spending exorbitant amounts of money of relatively useless things and making it incredibly difficult. I also don't like how they raise tuition in order to make changes that the current students will never EVER get to see until after they've graduated. For me, the size is just right (I came from a really small high school). Most people say, "Middlebury? Where's that?" And some say, "MIDDLEBURY! Wow, where's that again?" Spend most of my time in Bi-Hall (the science building). There is a small town, but it is NOT a college town...just a nice little town. Administration is kind of annoying because it seems as if they're only changing things that I'm already happy with. Nick Garza disappearing is the biggest controversy here. The whole "J-Term" idea is pretty unique (where you take one course intensively throughout January) and the "Feb" system is unusual (where you enter school in February after spending a few months doing what you want (those few months were probably the most important in my life). My first party is something I'll always remember...epic night of great people being really welcoming and friendly. The most common complaint is DEFINITELY workload without question.


Middlebury's school size is just right. Everyday you will see someone out and about that you know and someone that you don't know. You know people but everyone doesn't know you. The Middlebury community makes a great and safe environment for all the students that come to college here. They want to be a part of the college and help out in many ways. Fall is the best time of year here. Late spring is the next best. But coming right out of winter (aka mud season) is not so great. Luckily it's not that long.


Middlebury is in Vermont which is the primary reason I love it. Its small, its a close community, its in a small town. I spend most of my time in Proctor where the radio station and my favorite dining are. When I tell people I go to Middlebury they are surprised, because they think its pretty preppy and conservative. There has been a freshman missing since February and no one has been able to find him. I'd say thats pretty controversial. I will always remember when I threw water balloons off the indoor balcony of the science building.


Middlebury is a great sized school. Everywhere you go, you will know someone, but it is totally possible to dip your toes in a lot of different social circles. You can also go for weeks without running into someone. The weather here, unless you're a skiier, is not fun at all. But the cold really makes indoor get-togethers inviting, and doesn't really prevent you from getting anywhere you need to be. However, it does suck to walk to early classes during snowstorms. When the weather is nice at Midd, though, everyone frolics outside in their pretty bright clothing. We really appreciate warm sunniness. People all of a sudden get way more attractive. The best thing about Middlebury is it's student body. I've made friendships that I know will last well out of college. The language and theatre programs here are well-reputed, challenging and amazing. No language program in the country can compare to Midd's summer school. It's also a beautiful campus. Even when your teeth are chattering, at least your surroundings are picturesque. The disappearance of Nicholas Garza this winter has caused a lot of unrest on campus. The fact that we still know nothing about what happened to him is frightening. But I truly believe that every student on campus still feels safe. It's important, on any campus, to remember to look out for yourself and others. Safety in numbers.


The school is about medium sized - classes are small but you can avoid people if you want to. The best part is the summer. People are generally pretty impressed if they know where I go, if they are familiar with Middlebury at all. Administration and faculty are pretty conservative. They don't really care about student's input. The college town is pretty nice. There should be more free transportation to Burlington. Recent controversy, was last year, and it was about Anti-Gay vandalism. More recent controversy was the new price tag for tuition.


The best thing about Middlebury is when the weather is nice that atmosphere is excellent. It gets relaxed and is like a foil against the demanding academics that sometimes seem like they are ruining your life. I think I would change how much time we spend on school work. Yes, it's college, that's what we are here for, but there are more important things in life than classes. I think the school is the right size - it's spread out, I recognize a lot of people when I pass them. When I tell people I go to Middlebury, some are like "Wow! That's Excellent!" others respond with "Where's that?" I spend most of my time on campus since there is no real town. If you don't have a car, there's not much you can do. I think there is a lot of school pride, maybe too much at times. Yes, we're all excited to be here, or at least we were at some point. I think I will always remember my Feb orientation. It was tons of fun, and when I was trading stories with my friends who go to other schools mine seemed like it had a much stronger impression on me than theirs did.


Middlebury Transit is a group of elderly highway robbers. Convenience comes at too high a price for such hard-working children. The school, however, is delightful. The weather is just harsh enough to keep everything cozy, the people are kind and accommodating, and Middlebury as a town holds its own as a sand-up establishment.


For artistic kids it's one of the most suffocating places in the world. There is virtually no music scene and the music there is, is pretty bad for the most part. No one really understands, cares, or makes any effort to appreciate artistic endeavors of any sort. It's just really hard to stomach.


Middlebury does not exaggerate about its academic rigor or its dedicated professors. The incredible learning that occurs is certainly one of the school's most impressive aspects. However, the environment is absolutely a double-edged sword. What may appear to be a gorgeous, vibrant refuge from the hustle and bustle of civilization in the fall and spring can also become vicious, bone-chilling loneliness during the five-month-long winter. Similarly, a small campus of approximately 2350 means faces are familiar and the community is intimate, but also means one has no chance from escaping from undesired company, or from the questions of a professor in class. Students from cities will not at all understand the feeling of sheer isolation until they visit. The College can easily become a bubble, even from the town five to ten minutes away, if one does not make the effort to walk there.


Middlebury has a pretty stable relationship with the town of Middlebury, Vermont. No one gets stabbed like at Bates, no one gets mugged like at Trinity, and you can leave your house open and the keys in your ignition when you go to the liquor store. The community is really important downtown, and there is significant collaboration with the college in some respects. The college is the major employer in Middlebury, so people are a little uncomfortably dependent on it. It drives rents up all over town, and certainly has a very influential say in town politics. That being said, the college has done more for the town than the town has ever done for anyone. The small slices of culture in midwestern Vermont are directly solicited by Middlebury College. The college brings music, guest speakers, readers, orchestras, sports events, artists-in-residence, racial and geographical diversity to the town, and nearly all its facilities, events, and resources are open to the public - though privileges are naturally reserved for students. Adversely, the community provides some pretty awesome resources too, that the college could never do on its own. Vermont has a highly-honored tradition of living well, and keeping its priorities in the right place - since no one lives in Vermont to make it big. This manifests itself in several incredible things you won't find anywhere else. First: the Otter Creek Brewery. You can ride your bike or drive here, and drink free samples of micro-brewed beer and eat delicious gourmet whole-seed mustard and pretzels while you decide what beer to buy. Otter Creek has the most incredible deals I've ever seen. You can get a growler, a 64-oz glass jug of beer, for $4. That's almost four pints of excellent micro-brew for $4. (There's a $2 deposit on the growler itself.) Then they have specials on their seasonal beers when the seasons are changing, which is all the time. Last time I was there, I bought a case (24 bottles) of their delicious Oktoberfest for $11. Can you beat that? Then there is the Meat Shack. Follow a dirt road off of Weybridge St one mile out of town until you come to the unmarked farm that has animals on its mailbox. It's not easy to find, and most college students don't know about it. You go down the driveway and feel like you're trespassing until you enter a small red house, the size of a bathroom. Three walls are refrigerators and freezers, filled with freshly-cut vacuum-sealed farm raised meat. Their bacon is unfuckingbelievable. They've got four kinds of sausage, pork-chops, sheep-sticks, hamburgers, Canadian bacon, etc, and you pay the same as you would in the supermarket, for hormone and antibiotic infused crap that will make you shit liquid. And the best part is, the whole thing operates on The Honor System, which, in this case, is a small metal box overflowing with cash. Each customer is asked to fill out an invoice saying what they're buying, and then you put your money in the money box and take your change. Just like that.


I think what makes Middlebury special is the fact that students really adhere to the 'work hard, party hard' mentality. We are not an Ivy League school, but very close to one, which allows students to take a step back and enjoy extracurriculars as much as schoolwork. The town of Middlebury is also a huge benefit because the locals are incredibly inviting and willing to hire students who might need extra cash. The Snowbowl is also a huge benefit because the season ticket is very cheap and having the mountain so close helps you get away for the occasional afternoon if stressed, but not too far away. Another plus to the school is the dining services because the food is truly amazing. There are three dining halls placed on different corners of the campus, and each is remarkably unique.


Best thing- The student body. Most people are open, friendly, in good shape, attractive, enthusiastic, and involved I'd fix up the advising system and make more classes open to underclassmen. Perfect size, location- I love Middlebury. If you're looking for the perfect small, quaint, local college town, this is it. A lot of people don't recognize how prestigious Midd is, but those who know are impressed. Controversies include dining issues- stolen dishes and cost of juice and amount of food waste. Recently, Nick Garza's disappearance has made headlines, though it is a very unique case and not representative of Middlebury, which tends to be very safe. Sports events aren't huge (except hockey) but there is still pride; we like to win.


People are always too stressed with work to have fun.


Middlebury is beautiful. The first thing people tend to notice when they get to campus is how well the campus is integrated into its surroundings. The value of that cannot be understated. Spending four years in a place, its inevitable that you will have good times and bad times, that you will weather some pretty big storms; having a beautiful place to do it in makes it much easier. There is not much of a college town in Middlebury. It has three decent bars, but if you are a city person, none of these bars will do it for you. The good news is that it is an easy shot to Burlington or to Montreal, provided you have a car. The administration of Middlebury makes it easy to be a student there, and I think this is the highest praise that you can give an institution. I spent a total of 0 hours worrying about the administration and the business of going to school at Middlebury. They make it easy to focus on whats important, getting the most out of your four years.


I loved Middlebury because it is beautiful in both landscape and population. Kids are smart and engaged and interesting and inspired...not to mention pretty good looking. My friends varied interests got me into things I never expected--political issues, fun outdoor activities, arts initiatives, etc. Also, as cold as it might get, the scenery never disappoints. It's truly magnificent. You might be freezing and in a bad mood, but when the sun sets over the Adirondaks, a smile will inevitably spread across your icy cheeks. And when spring happens, the whole campus comes alive. Such fun outdoor events and even classes are sometimes held outside. Swimming holes and cliff jumping and sweet mountains. Food is delicious. There's always fun and interesting things going on on campus. Parties, concerts, lectures, the works. Something for everyone almost every day of the week.


It's a little far from any big city. When I tell my friends from home that I "went into town the other day" they generally laugh, and don't have a good idea of just how small this place is. I love the size of the school, a nice number. The surrounding community holds some resentment for Middlebury students because of the stereotype that they are rich, arrogant, and self-serving, but it's not nearly as bad at other schools. There could certainly be more interaction between the town and college, but relations aren't super hostile or anything. Attendance at sporting events isn't great, especially at women's events. For instance, our women's ice hockey team is ridiculous, they usually win the NCAA title ridiculous, and hardly anyone goes to their games.


Middlebury is a great place to go to school if you love being outdoors and you want to live in a rural environment. Lake Champlain and a few other smaller lakes like Lake Dunmore are within a half hour of campus, and the Adirondak mountains are close as well. We are have an amazing Outdoors club that is always leading trips that are easy to get involved in. At the same time, while the town has a collegy feel there isn't really anything going on other than a few nice restaurants. I spend almost zero time in the actual town, which is sort of disappointing. Middlebury to me, is just the right size, enough that you recognize a lot of faces but not all of them, and everyone is pretty friendly. Athletics are pretty big on campus, with the mens and womens ice hockey teams always winning championships, and this year the mens soccer team came out of nowhere to win the national championship. For a division three school, athletics are a big deal. The Middlebury administration is very easy to deal with, they get back to you quickly, often remember you by name and are always willing to help. On the other hand I feel like the college can be kind of stingy. For example, they charge you $5 for an official transcript, one that you arne't even mailing anywhere. That always makes me really mad when I think about how much money it costs to go here.


The Middlebury community is the best thing about the school. I would abolish Palana house. It is a bad idea. Why don't Latino and African American students live in other dorms? Why must we house them in a special place so nobody integrates? This problem is perpetuated by both whites and blacks at our school... Our school is just right in size. Anybody worth talking to knows what Middlebury is. I spend most of my time on campus in my dorm room, in other friend's rooms or at the library. Middlebury has a great college town, free of commercialism, and everyone says hi. I think the Administration works well. However, there is a sense that every person that works at Midd has one job with a set of rules and regulations and deadlines. They look for any and all instances to enforce their little rules in their little corner of the social strata. I think that the homophobic slurs written on walls were pretty big. But Nick Garza who disappeared is definitely number one. Yes, People love Middlebury. The fact that all Middlebury alums, students and faculty help each other is incredibly freakish. We don't need frats at Middlebury, the school is one giant fraternity. I'll remember sledding down the hill by Old Chapel when it snowed two feet, and having my mind blown by a physics class and then having a two hour lunch with the most amazing people in the world. Students complain about the weather constantly. But hey, it's new england.


It's pretty. Being caught offgaurd by sunsets, mountains, snow, lush verdant spring...that's nice. I sometimes wish it were easier to get out- transportation elsewhere can be a pain in the ass/really expensive. It's not too small, there are always new people out there to meet. When I say I go to Middlebury I get one of two reactions: "Where? What?" and "Ahhhhhh...yes, Middlebury." The town itself is the epitome of cute, but can feel sort of limiting if you don't explore it thouroughly. I spend a lot of time in Johnson, the art building, or my room, which is pleasant, or in friends' rooms, I suppose. Uh, school pride, sure, but probably more on the sports side, which I rarely frequent. As a believer in conspiracy theories, I bet the administration is much less democratic than it lets on. With so much money on this campus, there are a lot of asses to be kissing, so I doubt that certain rules go for everyone. There are, however, some brilliant individuals with a lot of integrity that I certainly admire.


midd is great. i love being a student here and am proud to call myself a middkid. i think one of the best parts of middlebury is that because we are small, there is a real community here. people get together and talk about things- elections, parties, our own stereotypes... and when something happens on campus 1. you know about it and 2. you know we will be talking about it.


Honestly, I loved everything about Middlebury.


While I was in school, there was a controversy about putting locks/buzz cards on the dormatories. Middlebury is a safe town in the middle of Vermont, and people felt that the unlocked doors reflected a sense of trust and community.


The Best thing about Midd for me was the people I met, for friendship, for collaboration, for networking. I met people who I could dream with but who were smart and talented enough to keep themselves and me grounded. We could develop a realistic plan for how to achieve. The school can feel a bit small at times. Trial dating doesn't work that well because you're going to see that person again whether you want to or not. But I must say this challenges you to grow up a bit and handle sometimes awkward meetings in a proactive way and as maturely as you can. Rather than avoiding people, you have to deal with them. When I tell people I went to Middlebury they either say, "Oh! Good School." or, "Oh, I know Blahdy Blah who went there." or "My wife went there for Language school." or "Where's that?"


The best thing about Middlebury is the professors. I know it’s thrown around a lot, but I’ve found that the professors really make an effort to get to know the students and participate in the student’s activities. They really seem to care about us – in addition to their own projects, books, etc. That’s important for a small, semi-self-important liberal arts school.


The best thing about Middlebury is the support system. An athlete will come to a play, an actor will go see a concert, a musician will check out a symposium, a scholar will go to a basketball game. People support other people. Our school is the perfect size. When I tell people I go to Middlebury, they've either never heard of it or ask me if I like to ski. People complain about the administration here, although sometimes we lose perspective in relation to other colleges and universities, a lot of which have it worse. The town is small and sometimes limiting, but full of culture, rich with possibilities, and an awesome place to spend time.


The best thing about the college is the setting. When I leave Vermont, I feel like I’ll miss the surrounding area like crazy. There are endless mountains and ridiculous views and trails to take in—hiking, biking, running, skiing, you name an outdoor activity and it’s probably possible within 20 minutes of Middlebury. In the fall, there’s the famous Vermont foliage. In the spring and summer you can stick around and swim at Lake Dunmore. In the winter you can freeze your balls off and also ski at the Middlebury Snow Bowl. Camping is big at Middlebury and I definitely took advantage as often as possible. Some of the best times of my life were on these trips. If you come from a big city, a small town in the south, or wherever, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll fall in love with Vermont by the end of four years.


What’s the best thing about [College]? The best thing about Midd is probably the surrounding environment – it’s seriously gorgeous, with mountains and swimming holes aplenty. The academics are also strong, I think – though I would say they tend toward the conservative side [ie, classical traditions and no really experimental/”cutting-edge” programs]. Is your school too large, too small, or just right? The size is just right. It’s smaller than my High School, and feels much more personal. Classes are usually small enough. It can get pretty insular and cliquey and you definitely run into everyone you know almost every day, but I wouldn’t want to go anywhere bigger. Name one thing you’d change immediately if given the chance. / Is there anything strange or unique about [College]? I find Middlebury to be, on the whole, kind of just…boring. I’ve never had the feeling that anything really DIFFERENT is going on here. It might as well be Williams or Amherst. There are a lot of girls in pearls. Those who DO differ from this pastel norm tend not to differ too extremely – simply NOT wearing pastels is enough of a rebellion, and people get comfortable in this. I don’t know how exactly I’d change this, but it’s my major beef with the population and the institution: neither really push any boundaries. How do people react when you tell them you go to [College]? Those who have heard of it are impressed. Many haven’t heard of it. Many have only heard of the language school program, which is really only a summer program and has nothing to do with the undergrad experience. Tell us about the places you spend most of your time on campus. Proctor lounge – a front room in one of the three dining halls populated by artsy types and members of the Mill [the more alternative, druggier, artsier, more international social house on campus]. My apartment – I live off-campus, but within walking distance, with two friends, and there are always random people hanging out at our place. The library – they just built a new one, which kind of looks like the starship enterprise and has horribly loud acoustics for a library, but I like my thesis carrel and there are always people hanging around there, too. When it’s nice out, anywhere outside on campus – but it’s usually too cold. College town, or “what college town?” What college town? Middlebury is full of little hippie shops that sell cow-print memorabilia, and not much else. There are like 1.5 bars, and a few restaurants. But, like I said, the actual surrounding environs are gorgeous. What’s your opinion of [College]’s administration? [College]’s president? / What was the biggest recent controversy on campus? I don’t really have much personal interaction with them, but recently the administration is in the process of: (1) denying tenure to a popular Queer Studies professor despite the very vocal objections of her peers and students [and despite the fact – or perhaps because of the fact – that she pretty much represents the entirety of the Queer Studies program at Midd]; (2) presenting a weak and closed-minded argument for why they continue to allow military recruitment on campus even though many students and faculty feel that the military’s DADT policy violates the college’s non-discrimination policy. So, suffice it to say, I’m not a big fan. Is there much school spirit? Maybe? I don’t know. What’s one experience you’ll remember forever? I mean, there are lots of experiences I’ll remember forever. But none of them have anything to do with Middlebury like, specifically. What are the most frequent student complaints? Cold weather.