Carleton College vs. the College of William and Mary

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Carleton College vs. the College of William and Mary

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at Carleton College vs. the College of William and Mary, two highly-regarded institutions, side-by-side, examining how they stack up against one another in each of these key areas.

Carleton College vs. the College of William and Mary: Location

Located in Northfield, Minnesota, Carleton College is a private liberal arts institution set on a sprawling 955-acre campus. The town of Northfield has a population of approximately 20,000 and is surrounded by picturesque, rolling hills.

The campus is located approximately 40 miles south of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, home to 3.3 million people, offering easy access to urban amenities without sacrificing the small-town feel that Northfield provides. William and Mary, on the other hand, is located in Williamsburg, Virginia, an iconic town situated on the Virginia Peninsula.

Williamsburg is known for its historic roots, having played a significant role in the Revolutionary War. The campus sits on approximately 1,200 acres of land and is roughly 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., and 55 miles southeast of Richmond, Virginia. The surrounding area also includes Newport News and Norfolk, which offer more urban amenities to students.

Carleton College’s location in Northfield, Minnesota, provides students with access to a variety of outdoor activities. The Cannon River, which runs through the town, offers opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. The nearby Nerstrand Big Woods State Park is a popular spot for hiking and birdwatching.

William and Mary’s location in Williamsburg, Virginia, also offers students unique opportunities. The town is home to Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum that allows visitors to experience life in colonial America. The nearby Busch Gardens amusement park provides entertainment for students looking for a break from their studies.

Additionally, the campus is located near several beaches, including Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Bay, which are popular destinations for students during the warmer months.

Low angle view of four university students on campus

Carleton College vs. the College of William and Mary: Academics

Carleton offers 33 majors and 37 minors, many of them interdisciplinary, across a diverse range of fields in the sciences, business, arts, and humanities. The college accepts a small number of transfer and early decision students along with a selective admissions process.

William & Mary is similar in offering a strong liberal arts education, as well as the option for students to pursue more professional fields such as business and engineering. The college offers 12 schools and majors, as well as a variety of minors and certificates. The admission process at William & Mary is also highly selective.

Carleton College has a unique curriculum structure called the “Liberal Arts in Practice” which allows students to integrate their academic learning with real-world experiences through internships, research, and community engagement. This approach helps students to develop practical skills and gain valuable experience in their fields of interest.

On the other hand, William & Mary has a strong focus on undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to work closely with faculty members on research projects. The college also offers a variety of study abroad programs, allowing students to gain a global perspective and expand their cultural horizons.

Carleton College vs. the College of William and Mary: Admissions Process

Carleton is a highly competitive institution, accepting a mere fraction of those who apply. Applicants are required to submit transcripts, essays, test scores, and letters of recommendation, as well as complete a college interview. The college offers a range of need-based and merit-based financial aid options to help make the cost of attendance more affordable for students.

William & Mary is similarly competitive, the college requires transcripts, essays, test scores, and letters of recommendation, as well as offering interviews to prospective students. William & Mary is also very committed to making its education accessible to low and middle-income students and offers a range of aid options to help offset costs.

In addition to the application requirements and financial aid options, both Carleton and William & Mary have a holistic admissions process. This means that they consider not only academic achievements but also extracurricular activities, community involvement, and personal qualities when evaluating applicants. This allows for a diverse student body and ensures that students who may not have had the same opportunities as others are still given a fair chance at admission.

Carleton College vs. the College of William and Mary: Campus Facilities

Carleton offers a range of facilities, including a 24-hour library, state-of-the-art athletic facilities, and modern, comfortable on-campus housing. The college is also committed to sustainability, with many of its buildings and facilities designed to be environmentally friendly.

William & Mary also boasts a range of facilities, including top-notch athletic facilities, a vast library system, and comfortable dormitories. The college is known for its historic architecture and beautiful buildings, many of them dating back to the 18th century.

In addition to the facilities mentioned above, Carleton College also has well-equipped laboratories for students to conduct research and experiments. The college has invested in modern equipment and technology to ensure that students have access to the latest tools and resources in their respective fields of study.

Similarly, William & Mary has a diverse range of dining options available to students, including vegan and vegetarian options. The college has partnered with local farmers and food suppliers to ensure that the food served on campus is fresh, healthy, and sustainable. Additionally, the college has a food pantry program to support students who may be experiencing food insecurity.

A woman writing an essay.

Carleton College vs. the College of William and Mary: Student Experience

Carleton is known for its small class sizes and personalized attention from professors, with the average class size at just 16 students. The college offers a variety of study-abroad opportunities, internships, and research experiences to help students gain hands-on experience in their field of interest. William & Mary also offers smaller class sizes and a range of study abroad and research opportunities. With partnerships established with universities all over the world, students have access to international experiences in a variety of countries and fields of study.

Additionally, both Carleton and William & Mary have strong connections with local businesses and organizations, providing students with ample opportunities for internships and research collaborations. These partnerships allow students to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world situations and gain valuable skills and experience that will benefit them in their future careers.

Carleton College vs. the College of William and Mary: Athletics

Carleton is a Division III school that offers a range of athletic options for its students, with 20 varsity sports available. The college has had a number of successful athletic programs, including men’s and women’s cross country and track and field.

William & Mary has a larger athletics program, offering 23 varsity sports across a wide range of disciplines. The college has had notable success in certain sports, such as men’s soccer and women’s gymnastics.

Additionally, Carleton College has a strong ultimate frisbee program, with both men’s and women’s teams competing at a high level. The men’s team, CUT, has won multiple national championships and consistently ranks among the top teams in the country. The women’s team, Eclipse, has also had success, making it to the national tournament several times in recent years.

Carleton College vs. the College of William and Mary: Campus Safety

Carleton College has a lower crime rate than the national average, with only a few incidents reported each year. The college also has an active campus safety department, which includes 24-hour patrols, emergency response services, and education and prevention programs to help keep students safe.

William & Mary also has a low crime rate and has taken steps to ensure the safety of its students, including a campus police department and 24-hour patrols.

It is important to note that while both Carleton College and William & Mary have low crime rates on their campuses, the surrounding areas may have higher crime rates. It is recommended that students take precautions when traveling off-campus, such as traveling in groups and being aware of their surroundings. Both colleges offer resources and tips for staying safe off-campus, including transportation services and safety apps.

Students smiling at the camera.

Carleton College vs. the College of William and Mary: Community Engagement

Carleton is highly committed to community engagement, offering a range of volunteering opportunities in the surrounding area. These include community service projects, volunteer work with local schools, and other engagement initiatives. William & Mary also emphasizes community engagement, offering similar volunteering and community service opportunities for its students.

Some of the specific volunteering opportunities available at Carleton include working with local food banks, participating in environmental clean-up efforts, and tutoring students in nearby schools. Additionally, Carleton has partnerships with various community organizations, allowing students to engage in meaningful service projects and make a positive impact in the surrounding area.

Similarly, William & Mary offers a variety of community engagement programs, such as mentoring programs for at-risk youth and volunteering at local hospitals and nursing homes. Both Carleton and William & Mary believe in the importance of giving back to the community and encourage their students to become active and engaged citizens.

Carleton College vs. the College of William and Mary: Social Life on Campus

Both Carleton and William and Mary have a range of Greek Life options available to students, including fraternities, sororities, and co-ed organizations. The campuses also offer a variety of events, concerts, and other social activities for students to enjoy.

Additionally, both schools have a strong emphasis on community service and volunteerism. Students can get involved in various service organizations and projects, such as Habitat for Humanity or local food banks. These opportunities not only allow students to give back to the community but also provide a chance to meet new people and make meaningful connections outside of the classroom.

Carleton College vs. the College of William and Mary: Professional Development Opportunities for Students on Campus

Both institutions offer professional development opportunities to students, including career fairs, workshops, and mentorship programs. The college has developed partnerships with various businesses and organizations to help provide students with opportunities to gain practical experience.

In addition to these opportunities, both institutions also offer internships and co-op programs that allow students to gain hands-on experience in their field of study. These programs provide students with the chance to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world situations and make valuable connections in their industry.

Students can also take advantage of networking events and job shadowing programs to further enhance their professional development.

Students writing an essay in a long table.

Carleton College vs. the College of William and Mary: Environmental Sustainability Efforts at Both Institutions

Both Carleton and William & Mary are committed to sustainability efforts, with each college having its own set of initiatives in place. Carleton, for example, has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, while William & Mary has implemented a number of green initiatives, including a bike-sharing program and an on-campus farm.

In addition to these initiatives, Carleton has also implemented a comprehensive waste reduction program, which includes composting and recycling efforts across campus. William & Mary has taken steps to reduce energy consumption in its buildings, with the installation of energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems.

Both institutions also offer courses and programs focused on sustainability, providing students with the knowledge and skills to become leaders in environmental stewardship.

Carleton College vs. the College of William and Mary: Student Support Services Available at Both Institutions

Both institutions offer student support services, including academic advising, counseling, and health services. Carleton also offers a language center, writing center, and disability services, while William & Mary provides academic accommodations and disability services, along with a range of other support options.

Ultimately, when it comes to choosing between Carleton College and the College of William & Mary, it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each institution carefully. By considering factors like location, campus life, academics, faculty, admissions process, cost of attendance, alumni outcomes, campus facilities, student experience, athletics, campus safety, community engagement, social life on campus, professional development opportunities, environmental sustainability efforts, and student support services, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that’s right for you.

One of the unique student support services offered at Carleton College is the Career Center, which provides students with resources and guidance to help them explore career options, find internships and job opportunities, and develop professional skills. The Career Center also hosts career fairs and networking events and connects students with alumni mentors in their fields of interest.

At the College of William & Mary, students can take advantage of the Writing Resources Center, which offers individual consultations with trained writing consultants to help students improve their writing skills and develop effective writing strategies. The center also provides workshops and resources on topics like grammar, citation styles, and academic writing conventions.


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