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Carleton vs Middlebury: Which College is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A female student sitting on a coach while holding a notebook and a pen.

Carleton vs Middlebury: Which College is Right for You?

Choosing a college can be an overwhelming task. Students often find themselves in a dilemma when selecting from multiple options. When comparing reputed liberal arts colleges, consider Carleton vs Middlebury. While both colleges are renowned for their academic rigor and vibrant culture, they have distinguishing features that may make one a better fit for you than the other.

Location and Campus Setting: How Do Carleton and Middlebury Compare?

Carleton College is located in Northfield, Minnesota, and Middlebury College is located in Middlebury, Vermont. Both colleges boast of stunning natural beauty but have differences in weather and surroundings. Carleton is situated in a small town that has a slower pace of life, and the campus is nestled amidst a beautiful forest.

In contrast, Middlebury is located in a quaint village with a vibrant arts scene and magnificent mountains. Campus life at Middlebury is characterized by a close-knit community, while Carleton’s campus life is more diverse and cosmopolitan.

Despite their differences, both Carleton and Middlebury offer unique opportunities for outdoor activities. Carleton’s location in Minnesota provides students with access to numerous lakes and hiking trails, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Middlebury, on the other hand, is located near the Green Mountains, which offer skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. Additionally, Middlebury’s location in Vermont provides students with easy access to the state’s famous maple syrup and apple cider.

Two students walking in the school hallway.

Another difference between the two colleges is their proximity to major cities. Carleton is located about an hour south of Minneapolis, which offers students the opportunity to explore a major metropolitan area. In contrast, Middlebury is located in a more rural area, with the closest major city being Burlington, which is about an hour’s drive away. However, Middlebury’s location in Vermont provides students with easy access to Montreal, which is only a few hours’ drive away and offers a unique cultural experience.

Academics: A Comparison of Programs, Majors, and Curriculum

Both colleges offer a liberal arts curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking, real-world problem-solving, and intellectual exploration. At Carleton, students follow a ten-week quarter system, while Middlebury follows a semester system. Both institutions are rigorous and offer a range of majors and interdisciplinary programs.

Carleton is known for its STEM programs, particularly in computer science, physics, and mathematics. Middlebury has specialized programs in environmental studies, international studies, and languages. The choice of curriculum and programs, therefore, depends on a student’s academic interests and goals.

Carleton College has a strong focus on undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to work alongside faculty members on research projects. Middlebury College, on the other hand, has a strong emphasis on experiential learning, with opportunities for students to engage in internships, study abroad programs, and community-based learning projects. Both colleges have a commitment to providing students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in their chosen careers.

In addition to their academic programs, both Carleton and Middlebury offer a wide range of extracurricular activities, including sports teams, clubs, and organizations. These activities provide students with opportunities to develop leadership skills, make new friends, and explore their interests outside of the classroom. With so many options available, students can find ways to get involved and make the most of their college experience.

Student Life: Social Scene, Clubs, and Extracurricular Activities at Carleton vs Middlebury

Carleton and Middlebury offer a vibrant campus life with an array of extracurricular activities. Both colleges have a strong focus on outdoor recreation and sports. Middlebury has a renowned winter sports program, while Carleton has a strong soccer and cross-country team. Social activities, clubs, and organizations are active on both campuses, but Middlebury is relatively more active in social life.

The student body at Carleton is more diverse and includes international students, first-generation students, and students from low-income backgrounds, whereas Middlebury has a more homogeneous student body. The choice of college, therefore, depends on the individual’s preference for social life and campus culture.

Aside from sports and social activities, Carleton and Middlebury also offer a wide range of academic clubs and organizations. Carleton has a strong focus on STEM fields, with clubs such as the Robotics Club and the Math Society. Middlebury, on the other hand, has a strong focus on environmental studies, with clubs such as the Environmental Action Club and the Organic Farming and Gardening Club.

Both colleges also have a variety of cultural clubs, such as the Asian Student Association and the Black Student Union, which provide opportunities for students to explore and celebrate their cultural identities.

Furthermore, both Carleton and Middlebury offer opportunities for students to engage in community service and social justice work. Carleton has a Center for Community and Civic Engagement, which connects students with local organizations and provides resources for community service projects. Middlebury has a strong focus on social justice, with clubs such as the Feminist Action at Middlebury and the Queer Studies House.

Both colleges also offer study abroad programs, which allow students to gain a global perspective and engage in service projects in other countries.

Admissions Process: Application Requirements, Deadlines, and Acceptance Rates Between Carleton vs Middlebury

The admissions process for both colleges is highly selective, and applicants must submit a range of documents that include transcripts, test scores, essays, and recommendations. Carleton has an acceptance rate of around 20%, whereas Middlebury’s rate stands at around 15%.

a female student filling out an online school application form

The admissions criteria of both colleges emphasize academic excellence, extracurricular activities, leadership skills, and character. It is recommended that applicants visit the campus, meet with faculty and staff, and attend an information session before applying to either college.

In addition to the standard application requirements, both Carleton and Middlebury offer optional interviews for applicants. These interviews provide an opportunity for applicants to showcase their personality, interests, and goals beyond what is included in their application materials. It is highly recommended that applicants take advantage of this opportunity to further demonstrate their fit for the college.

Furthermore, both colleges have a need-blind admissions policy, meaning that an applicant’s financial need is not taken into consideration during the admissions process.

However, both colleges are committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of admitted students through a combination of grants, scholarships, and work-study programs. This ensures that all admitted students, regardless of their financial background, have access to the same opportunities and resources.

Acceptance Criteria: What Carleton and Middlebury Look for in Prospective Students

Carleton looks for students who are intellectually curious, creative, socially responsible, and passionate about learning. Middlebury values social consciousness, global awareness, and academic excellence. Both colleges seek students who have diverse perspectives, unique talents, and a commitment to making an impact in the world. The admission criteria of both colleges are holistic and take into account an applicant’s academic and extracurricular achievements, personal qualities, and potential to contribute to the community.

In addition to the above criteria, Carleton and Middlebury also consider an applicant’s fit with the college’s culture and values. Carleton values collaboration, community engagement, and a love for the outdoors. Middlebury values sustainability, environmental stewardship, and a passion for the arts.

Both colleges seek students who will thrive in their unique campus environments and contribute to the vibrant communities on campus.

Tuition Costs, Financial Aid, and Scholarship Opportunities at Carleton vs Middlebury

The cost of attending either college is high, but both colleges offer generous financial aid programs. Middlebury’s tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year are around $78,000, while Carleton’s fees are roughly the same.

However, over 50% of Middlebury students receive financial aid, and the average aid package is around $50,000. Carleton also offers need-based and merit-based financial aid. Both colleges also offer scholarships to students who qualify.

In addition to financial aid and scholarships, both Carleton and Middlebury offer work-study programs to help students offset the cost of tuition. These programs provide students with part-time jobs on campus, allowing them to earn money while gaining valuable work experience. Students can work in a variety of positions, including in the library, dining hall, or as research assistants for faculty members.

Furthermore, both colleges have resources available to help students navigate the financial aid process. They offer workshops and one-on-one meetings with financial aid advisors to help students understand their options and make informed decisions. Additionally, both colleges have online resources, such as calculators and guides, to help students estimate their costs and plan for their education expenses.

Alumni Network: Opportunities for Networking and Career Advancement After Graduation

Both Carleton and Middlebury have a vast alumni network that offers opportunities for networking, mentorship, and career advancement. Middlebury has a strong alumni network in the fields of business, media, and politics, while Carleton has a robust network in technology, academia, and research.

Both colleges offer career services, internships, and fellowships that enable students to gain hands-on experience in their chosen fields. The choice of college, therefore, depends on the individual’s career goals and aspirations.

Group of people talking in a meeting.

Additionally, both Carleton and Middlebury have active alumni associations that organize events and activities for graduates to connect with each other and with current students. These events range from professional networking events to social gatherings, and provide a great opportunity for alumni to stay connected with their alma mater and with each other.

Furthermore, alumni from both colleges often serve as mentors to current students, offering guidance and advice on career paths and job opportunities. This strong alumni network is a valuable resource for graduates of Carleton and Middlebury, and can greatly enhance their career prospects and professional development.

Campus Safety: How Safe are Carleton and Middlebury for Students?

Both colleges have a strong commitment to ensuring student safety and security. Carleton has a dedicated Public Safety department that provides 24/7 assistance to students, while Middlebury has a Campus Safety and Security office that oversees security on campus. Both colleges have safety protocols in place that include emergency response plans and crime prevention programs.

In terms of crime rates, both colleges have low crime rates, and the chances of incidents are slim to none. Campus safety, however, is a concern, and students can take measures like traveling in groups, using safety apps, and staying alert.

Carleton and Middlebury also offer resources and support for students who have experienced any form of harassment or violence.

Carleton has a Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office that provides confidential support and resources for survivors of sexual assault, harassment, and relationship violence. Middlebury has a Title IX Office that provides similar resources and support for students who have experienced sexual misconduct. Both colleges also have counseling services available for students who need mental health support.

Additionally, both Carleton and Middlebury have implemented measures to promote inclusivity and diversity on campus. Carleton has a Bias Response Team that addresses incidents of bias and discrimination, while Middlebury has a Bias Response Team and a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office that work to create a more inclusive campus community. Both colleges also offer a variety of resources and support for students from underrepresented backgrounds, including mentorship programs, affinity groups, and scholarships.

Diversity and Inclusion: A Comparison of Campus Culture at Carleton vs Middlebury

Both Carleton and Middlebury have made efforts to promote diversity and inclusion on their campuses. Carleton has an Office of Intercultural and International Life that supports international students, students of color, and LGBTQ+ students. Middlebury has a variety of diversity programs that aim to create an inclusive campus culture.

The student bodies of both colleges are relatively diverse, and there are programs in place that celebrate different cultures and perspectives. That said, diversity and inclusion are ongoing challenges that require collective effort from students, faculty, and staff.

One area where Carleton and Middlebury differ in their approach to diversity and inclusion is in their curriculum. Carleton has a requirement for all students to take at least one course in the study of race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, or cross-cultural analysis.

Middlebury, on the other hand, has a more flexible curriculum that allows students to choose from a variety of courses that address issues of diversity and inclusion. While both approaches have their merits, Carleton’s requirement ensures that all students engage with these important topics, regardless of their major or interests.

Another factor that affects campus culture at both Carleton and Middlebury is the surrounding community. Carleton is located in Northfield, Minnesota, a small town with a predominantly white population. Middlebury is located in Middlebury, Vermont, a similarly small town with a slightly more diverse population.

Group of students looking at each other while talking in a table.

While both colleges have made efforts to engage with their local communities and promote diversity and inclusion beyond their campuses, the surrounding community can still have an impact on the experiences of students of color and other marginalized groups.

Study Abroad Opportunities at Carleton vs Middlebury: Programs Available and Student Experiences

Both Carleton and Middlebury offer study abroad programs that enable students to gain international experience and exposure. Carleton offers over 200 study abroad programs in more than 65 countries worldwide, including Mexico, China, India, and South Africa.

Middlebury has a strong study abroad program that offers opportunities for language immersion, cultural exchange, and academic coursework. Both colleges offer financial aid and scholarships for students who wish to study abroad. Studying abroad can broaden students’ perspectives, enrich their cultural knowledge, and enhance their CVs.

Athletics Programs: How Do the Sports Teams at Carleton and Middlebury Compare?

Both Carleton and Middlebury have a strong athletics program that emphasizes sportsmanship, teamwork, and physical fitness. Carleton has a strong soccer, cross-country, and track and field program, while Middlebury has a renowned skiing program and a strong lacrosse team.

Both colleges have excellent athletic facilities and offer opportunities for students to participate in intramural and club sports. The choice of college, therefore, depends on the individual’s athletic interests.

Research Opportunities for Students at Carleton vs Middlebury

Carleton and Middlebury emphasize undergraduate research and offer opportunities for students to conduct independent research in their chosen fields. Carleton has a Center for Community and Civic Engagement that supports research and scholarship, while Middlebury has an Office of Undergraduate Research that offers research grants and mentorship.

Both colleges have faculty members who are engaged in research and encourage students to pursue research projects. The opportunity to conduct research as an undergraduate can enhance students’ academic and professional credentials, enable them to develop research skills, and enable them to pursue postgraduate studies.

Faculty to student ratio comparison between the two colleges

One of the key advantages of attending a liberal arts college is the small class sizes and personalized attention from faculty. Carleton has a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:9, while Middlebury’s ratio stands at 1:8.

This means that students at both colleges have access to individualized attention, personalized feedback, and mentoring from experienced faculty members. The small class sizes also enable students to engage in lively classroom discussions, collaborate on group projects, and develop close relationships with faculty members.

Availability of internships on campus – a comparative analysis

Both Carleton and Middlebury offer internship programs that enable students to gain professional experience in their chosen fields. Carleton has a Career Center that provides career advice, internship opportunities, and postgraduate job opportunities. Middlebury has a Center for Career and Internships that offers a variety of programs and services, including internship fairs, resume workshops, and career counseling.

Both colleges have partnerships with companies and organizations that offer internship programs, and students are encouraged to seek out internship opportunities that align with their interests and goals.

Extracurricular activities offered by both colleges – a detailed comparison

Both Carleton and Middlebury offer a range of extracurricular activities that cater to different interests and passions. Carleton has over 250 student clubs and organizations, including vocal groups, multicultural groups, and service organizations. Middlebury also has a variety of extracurricular activities, including clubs for social justice, environmental activism, and the arts.

Students playing music in the school grounds.

Both colleges host cultural events, guest lectures, and performances that enrich campus life. The choice of college, therefore, depends on the student’s interests and involvement in extracurricular activities.

Housing facilities available on campus – comparing dorms, apartments, etc.

Both Carleton and Middlebury offer on-campus housing facilities that cater to students’ needs and preferences. Carleton has a variety of residence halls, apartments, and themed houses that offer diverse housing options. Middlebury has a mixture of traditional dorms, suites, and apartments that offer different levels of privacy and comfort.

Both colleges have residence life programs that aim to create a welcoming and inclusive living environment. The choice of college, therefore, depends on the individual’s housing preferences, such as single rooms, shared rooms, or apartments.

Graduate school admissions rates for alumni from Carleton vs Middlebury – a comparative analysis

Both Carleton and Middlebury have a strong track record of preparing students for postgraduate studies. According to data from the National Science Foundation, Carleton ranks second in the US among colleges for the proportion of graduates who go on to earn doctorates in science and engineering.

Middlebury alumni also have a high acceptance rate to graduate and professional programs, including law school, business school, and medical school. The choice of college, therefore, depends on the individual’s postgraduate goals and aspirations.

In conclusion, both Carleton and Middlebury are excellent liberal arts colleges that offer rigorous academic programs, vibrant campus life, and a commitment to student success. The choice of college depends on the individual’s preferences for location, campus culture, academic programs, and extracurricular activities. Prospective students are encouraged to research, visit the campuses, and consult with faculty and staff before making their decision.

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