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Amherst College vs Washington University in St. Louis: A Comprehensive Look

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Amherst campus from afar

Amherst College vs Washington University in St. Louis: A Comprehensive Look

Choosing a college can be a daunting task for high school seniors. In this article, we shall compare two renowned colleges, Amherst College vs Washington University in St. Louis. We shall delve into various aspects to help prospective students make an informed choice.

Location and Campus Comparison

Amherst College is situated in the quaint town of Amherst, Massachusetts. The college campus spans 1,000 acres and consists of 29 buildings, including a renowned museum, art galleries, and research centers. Washington University in St. Louis is situated in the urban setting of St. Louis, Missouri. The campus is larger, spanning 169 acres, with 165 buildings that include classrooms, libraries, cultural centers, and student residences. Both campuses are known for their picturesque beauty, with Amherst offering a traditional New England look, while Washington University boasts of state-of-the-art modern architecture.

Despite their differences in location and campus size, both Amherst College and Washington University offer a wide range of extracurricular activities for students. Amherst College has over 100 student-run organizations, including clubs for sports, music, theater, and community service. Washington University has over 300 student organizations, including cultural groups, academic clubs, and Greek life. Both campuses also offer opportunities for students to engage in research, internships, and study abroad programs.

walkway lined with trees at both side at the Washington University in St. Louis

Diversity and Demographics: Amherst vs Washington University in St. Louis

Amherst has a small student body, with a total enrollment of 1,835 students. The college enrolls a diverse group of students, with 50% of them identifying as students of color. The gender distribution is almost equal, with 51% men and 49% women. Washington University, on the other hand, has a larger student body, with 14,200 students. The college attracts a diverse student body, with 23% of students identifying as students of color. 52% of the student body is female, while 48% are males.

Additionally, Amherst College has a high percentage of international students, with 11% of the student body coming from outside the United States. The college also has a strong commitment to socioeconomic diversity, with 22% of students receiving Pell Grants and 20% being first-generation college students. These factors contribute to a vibrant and inclusive campus community at Amherst.

Admission Requirements and Procedure Comparison

Admission to both colleges is highly competitive, with Amherst having an acceptance rate of 12.5%, while Washington University has an acceptance rate of 14%. Both colleges require prospective students to submit SAT or ACT scores, along with high school transcripts and letters of recommendation. Amherst is test-optional, while Washington University requires test scores, although this may be waived in certain circumstances. Both colleges have demonstrated a commitment to holistic admissions, where students’ extracurricular activities, leadership, and community involvement are considered in the admission process.

Additionally, Amherst College requires applicants to submit two essays, while Washington University requires one essay. Amherst also offers an optional interview for applicants, while Washington University does not.

Furthermore, Amherst College has a need-blind admission policy, meaning that a student’s financial need is not taken into consideration during the admission process. In contrast, Washington University practices need-aware admission, where a student’s financial need may be taken into consideration when making admission decisions. However, both colleges offer generous financial aid packages to admitted students who demonstrate financial need.

Cost of Attendance: Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid Comparison

Amherst is a private college, and the cost of attendance is relatively high, with tuition and fees costing $62,980 per year. However, the college is committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need, with almost 60% of students receiving financial aid, making the college accessible to students from different socioeconomic backgrounds. On the other hand, Washington University also has a high cost of attendance, with tuition and fees costing $56,300 per year. The university also offers financial aid, with around 61% of the student population receiving some form of financial assistance.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance at both Amherst and Washington University includes not only tuition and fees but also room and board, textbooks, and other expenses. These additional costs can add up quickly and should be factored into the overall cost of attending these institutions.

Furthermore, both Amherst and Washington University have robust financial aid programs that not only provide need-based aid but also merit-based scholarships. These scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, leadership, and other criteria and can significantly reduce the overall cost of attendance for students who qualify.

Academic Programs: Curriculum and Faculty Comparison

Both colleges offer an excellent education, with Amherst College offering over 40 majors, minors, and certificate programs across different fields. The college follows a liberal arts curriculum, which emphasizes critical thinking and interdisciplinary learning. Students at Amherst College benefit from small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1. Washington University offers over 90 undergraduate programs across different fields, with a highlight on research-oriented learning and interdisciplinary studies. The student-to-faculty ratio is slightly higher than Amherst, at 8:1.

Additionally, both colleges have highly qualified faculty members who are experts in their respective fields. Amherst College has a faculty of over 200 members, with 98% holding a Ph.D. or equivalent degree. The faculty at Washington University consists of over 3,500 members, with 92% holding a Ph.D. or equivalent degree. Both colleges have a strong commitment to providing their students with a high-quality education, and their faculty members play a crucial role in achieving this goal.

Law library on the campus of Washington University

Campus Life: Activities, Clubs, and Facilities Comparison

Both colleges offer a vast array of extracurricular activities and clubs to ensure a well-rounded college experience. Amherst College has over 100 clubs and organizations, ranging from arts and culture to sports and recreation. The college has state-of-the-art facilities that include a science center, film production studio, art gallery, and performing arts center. Washington University has over 200 clubs and organizations, ranging from cultural groups, sports teams, and community service organizations. The university also has excellent facilities, including multiple libraries, an art museum, an athletic complex, and a state-of-the-art recreation center.

Aside from the clubs and facilities, both colleges also offer unique opportunities for students to engage in. Amherst College has a strong emphasis on community service and social justice, with programs such as the Center for Community Engagement and the Multicultural Resource Center. The college also offers a variety of study abroad programs, allowing students to immerse themselves in different cultures and gain a global perspective.

Washington University, on the other hand, has a strong focus on research and innovation. The university has numerous research centers and institutes, including the McDonnell International Scholars Academy and the Institute for Public Health. Additionally, the university has a strong entrepreneurship program, providing resources and support for students interested in starting their own businesses.

Sports and Athletics Comparison

Both colleges have a rich athletic tradition, with Amherst College being a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). The college fields 27 varsity teams, with opportunities for intramural and club sports. Washington University is a member of the University Athletic Association (UAA) and fields 19 varsity teams, along with several club and intramural sports. Sports enthusiasts at both colleges are guaranteed a fulfilling athletics experience.

Amherst College has a strong focus on individual sports, with a variety of options for students to participate in sports such as cross country, track and field, and swimming. The college also has a state-of-the-art fitness center, which is open to all students and staff. In addition, Amherst College has a strong commitment to gender equity in sports, with equal opportunities for both male and female athletes.

Washington University has a strong emphasis on team sports, with a variety of options for students to participate in sports such as basketball, soccer, and volleyball. The university also has a dedicated sports medicine program, which provides comprehensive care to student-athletes. In addition, Washington University has a strong commitment to sustainability in sports, with initiatives such as recycling programs and energy-efficient facilities.

Career Services and Alumni Network Comparison

Both colleges have robust career centers designed to help students navigate their careers after graduation. The centers offer career counseling, job fairs, employer information sessions, and alumni networking opportunities. The alumni networks at both colleges are vast and active, providing job leads, mentorship, and networking opportunities to recent graduates.

However, there are some differences between the two colleges’ career services and alumni networks. College A’s career center has a stronger focus on internships and co-op programs, providing students with hands-on experience in their field of study. On the other hand, College B’s career center offers more resources for students interested in entrepreneurship and starting their own businesses.

In terms of alumni networks, College A’s network is more industry-specific, with alumni events and job opportunities tailored to specific fields such as finance, engineering, and healthcare. College B’s alumni network, on the other hand, is more geographically diverse, with events and opportunities for alumni living in different regions of the country and even internationally.

Amherst College

Reputation and Rankings: Amherst vs Washington University in St. Louis

Amherst College and Washington University are both highly regarded colleges, with Amherst College ranking as the 2nd best liberal arts college in the country, according to the 2022 U.S. News & World Report. Washington University is ranked 16th in the National Universities ranking, which includes colleges that offer a range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.

Both colleges have also received recognition for their academic programs and research initiatives. Amherst College has a strong focus on undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to work closely with faculty members on research projects. Washington University is known for its strong programs in medicine, law, and business, and has produced numerous successful alumni in these fields. Additionally, both colleges have a reputation for providing a well-rounded education, with a focus on developing critical thinking and communication skills.

Student Outcomes: Amherst vs Washington University in St. Louis

Both colleges have impressive graduation rates, with 94% of students graduating from Amherst College in four years, and 93.9% of students graduating from Washington University in six years. Graduates from both colleges are highly sought after, with Amherst graduates ranking third in median earnings ten years after graduating, according to data from The New York Times. Washington University graduates have a median starting salary of $60,400, with 96% of graduates obtaining employment or acceptance to graduate programs within six months of graduation.

Additionally, both colleges offer extensive career services to their students. Amherst College has a dedicated Career Center that provides students with career counseling, job and internship search assistance, and networking opportunities with alumni. Washington University’s Career Center offers similar services, as well as career fairs, on-campus interviews with employers, and workshops on resume writing and interviewing skills. These resources help ensure that graduates from both colleges are well-prepared for the workforce and have a competitive edge in their job search.

Prospective Student’s Guide to Choosing between Amherst College and Washington University in St.Louis

Choosing a college ultimately boils down to personal preferences. For those seeking a small, close-knit community, and an emphasis on the liberal arts, Amherst College is an excellent choice. For those seeking a larger, research-oriented institution with a diverse student body, Washington University in St. Louis is an attractive option. Both colleges offer an excellent education, with access to some of the best faculty, resources, and facilities in the country. It is essential to consider location, cost, academic programs, extracurricular activities, and alumni networks when choosing a college. With this comprehensive guide, we hope that prospective students can make a well-informed choice.

One significant difference between Amherst College and Washington University in St. Louis is their approach to undergraduate research. Amherst College emphasizes undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to work closely with faculty members on research projects. In contrast, Washington University in St. Louis has a strong focus on graduate-level research, which can limit the opportunities for undergraduate students. However, Washington University in St. Louis offers a wide range of research facilities and resources, which can be beneficial for students interested in pursuing graduate studies.

Amherst College

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Overall, AdmissionSight can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the college admissions process to help you maximize your chances of getting accepted into the college of your choice.

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