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Hard-working, outdoorsy, athletic, and social, Williams kids are especially well-rounded.
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- Full name: Williams College
- Location: Williamstown
- Founded: 1793
- Tuition: $46,600
- Setting: Town
- Public/Private: Private
- Selectivity: Most Selective
- % Applications Admitted: 17%
- Undergraduates: 2,096
- Graduates: 54
Williams College on this year's ranking list:
At Williams college, academics are all about the approximately 2,000 undergrads.
The focus is on teaching, not research, and professors form relationships with students
that extend well beyond the classroom. “I
will never forget the moment that my math teacher knew my name is passing … even
BEFORE the first class,” writes a freshman. Tutorials and Winter Study,
two unusual academic opportunities, largely define a Williams education. Tutorials
pair two students with one professor (read: lots of individualized attention). “Tutorials are a huge
part of the Williams experience. During the meeting, the students present their
papers and critiques, and then discuss them with the professors.” During
Winter Study, the month in-between the fall and spring semesters, students have
a choice between taking a wide range of off-beat classes, going abroad for the month,
or working on an independent project. Though, on the whole, students are conscientious
to the point of overachievement, they report that undergrads aren’t competitive—with
each other, at least. “One
of the best things about Williams is that there’s this taboo about discussing your
grades. It makes for a really great and non-competitive environment,” says
a sophomore. Once work is done, students tend to hang out on campus – and, though
quaint and full of natural beauty, Williamstown is isolated. But the athletic, outdoorsy
and social students don’t seem to mind spending time on campus together. “We
come here for the academics, and for one another.” That, in a nutshell,
is Williams’ largest selling point.
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