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Case Western vs Amherst: Which College is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a high school student asking about internships

Case Western vs Amherst: Which College is Right for You?

Are you having a hard time deciding between Case Western and Amherst for college? Choosing the right college to attend is one of the most significant decisions you’ll make in your academic career, and it can be a challenging task. Both colleges have very distinct features, and you need to weigh the pros and cons to determine which college is the perfect fit for you. In the following article, we’ll compare and contrast Case Western vs Amherst by evaluating their academics, campus culture, extracurricular activities, admission requirements, cost, student success, and alumni network. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to determine which college is right for you.

Introduction

The right college can help launch your career, establish lifelong relationships, and offer you a network of support long after you graduate. To ensure that you get the most out of your college experience, you need to choose the best college for you. Comparing the offerings of Case Western and Amherst can provide a framework to analyze which college can offer you the ideal educational environment.

One important factor to consider when choosing a college is the location. Case Western is located in Cleveland, Ohio, which is a bustling city with a diverse population and many opportunities for internships and job prospects. On the other hand, Amherst is located in a small town in Massachusetts, which offers a more intimate and close-knit community. Depending on your personal preferences and career goals, one location may be more appealing than the other.

Another important consideration is the academic programs offered at each college. Case Western is known for its strong programs in engineering, science, and technology, while Amherst is renowned for its liberal arts curriculum. If you have a specific career path in mind, it’s important to research which college can offer you the best education and resources to achieve your goals.

A Brief Overview of Case Western and Amherst Colleges

Case Western Reserve University is located in Cleveland, Ohio, while Amherst College is located in Amherst, Massachusetts. Both institutions have different student body sizes, with Case Western around 11,000, while Amherst has around 1,800 undergraduates. Additionally, Amherst College is a private, liberal arts college, while Case Western is a research university.

View of a woman writing in her notebook.

Despite their differences, both Case Western and Amherst offer a wide range of academic programs and extracurricular activities for their students. Case Western is known for its strong programs in engineering, medicine, and business, while Amherst is renowned for its humanities and social sciences programs. Both institutions also have active student organizations, including clubs for sports, arts, and community service.

Case Western vs Amherst: Location and Campus

One of the aspects to consider when choosing a college is its location, and both Case Western and Amherst have distinct features to offer. Case Western Reserve University is located in Cleveland, Ohio, which boasts a thriving arts and music scene, lakefront parks, and multiple museums. Amherst College is located in a quaint town in western Massachusetts, and students can enjoy the surrounding cultural centres of New England while still nestled in a peaceful environment.

Additionally, Case Western Reserve University is situated in the University Circle neighbourhood, which is home to several other prestigious institutions, including the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Orchestra. This provides students with ample opportunities to engage with the wider community and participate in cultural events.

Three students walking in the campus.

On the other hand, Amherst College is located in close proximity to several other renowned liberal arts colleges, including Smith, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire. This creates a vibrant intellectual community, with students able to take classes and attend events at neighbouring institutions, further enriching their academic experience.

Case Western vs Amherst: Academics

Both Case Western and Amherst offer a range of majors and programs of study. They have an exceptional reputation for academic excellence, with the majority of their faculty members holding PhDs. However, Case Western is known for its strengths in the sciences and engineering, while Amherst is strong in the humanities. Additionally, both schools offer a range of opportunities to conduct research and participate in internships, which is a vital component of the education experience.

Students lounging around the classroom.

One notable difference between the two schools is their approach to class sizes. At Case Western, classes tend to be larger, with an average class size of 25 students. This allows for a more diverse range of perspectives and experiences in the classroom. On the other hand, Amherst prides itself on its small class sizes, with an average of 12 students per class. This allows for more personalized attention from professors and a closer-knit community among students.

Case Western vs Amherst: Student Life

The student life is a crucial aspect to consider when choosing a college, and both Case Western and Amherst have different campus cultures. Case Western is known for its diverse student body and a thriving Greek life. On the other hand, Amherst has a strong sense of community, with numerous social events organized by student organizations throughout the year.

Additionally, Case Western has a strong emphasis on research and innovation, with many opportunities for students to get involved in cutting-edge projects and collaborate with faculty members.

Amherst, on the other hand, places a greater emphasis on the liberal arts and encourages students to explore a wide range of academic disciplines. Both colleges offer unique and enriching experiences, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference and priorities when choosing which campus culture is the best fit.

Case Western vs Amherst: Extracurricular Activities

Both Case Western and Amherst have an array of extracurricular activities to offer their students. Case Western offers over 200 student organizations, including clubs and sports teams. Amherst College provides its students with an equally robust extracurricular offer, with over 170 student organizations available, ranging from athletics to academic and service clubs.

However, Case Western has a unique program called “Think[box]” which is a makerspace that provides students with access to state-of-the-art equipment and resources to bring their ideas to life. This program is not only popular among engineering students but also attracts students from other majors who are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.

View of students with diverse race leaning on the wall.

On the other hand, Amherst College has a strong focus on community service and social justice. The college has a Center for Community Engagement that offers various programs and initiatives to encourage students to get involved in community service and social activism. Additionally, the college has a student-run organization called “The Social Project” which aims to address social issues and promote social change through various events and activities.

Athletics: How Do the Sports Teams Compare?

The sports programs at Case Western and Amherst have different strengths. Case Western has a competitive and accomplished athletic program, with numerous national championships under its belt.

Meanwhile, Amherst has robust athletics, particularly in soccer and lacrosse, and also has multiple club teams available for its students. Both schools offer opportunities for students to participate in fitness classes, intramurals, and club teams regardless of their skill level.

It’s worth noting that both schools prioritize the well-being and safety of their student-athletes. Both have implemented measures to prevent and manage injuries, including concussion protocols and access to medical professionals. Additionally, both schools have a strong emphasis on academic success for their athletes, with resources such as tutoring and study halls available to ensure that student-athletes are able to balance their athletic and academic commitments.

Case Western vs Amherst: Admission Requirements

Case Western and Amherst have stringent acceptance criteria. Both schools also have an intensive application review process, which includes assessing transcripts and extracurricular experiences, as well as written recommendations.

In addition, some colleges have specific requirements for certain majors or programs. For instance, if you want to major in engineering at the University of Michigan, you need to have completed high school courses in calculus, physics, and chemistry. Similarly, if you want to apply to the nursing program at Johns Hopkins University, you need to have completed certain science and math courses in high school.

Cost of Attendance: Comparing Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid Packages

The cost of attendance is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a college, and it’s essential to estimate how much it would cost to attend either Case Western or Amherst. Both colleges offer need-based financial aid and scholarships to students to help offset the costs. In particular, Amherst offers financial aid packages that cover 100% of demonstrated financial need, while Case Western offers merit-based scholarships to students based on their academic profile.

It’s important to note that the cost of attendance goes beyond just tuition and fees. Other expenses such as room and board, textbooks, and transportation should also be factored in when estimating the total cost. At Case Western, the average cost of room and board is $17,000 per year, while at Amherst, it’s $16,000 per year. Additionally, both colleges offer work-study programs that allow students to earn money to help cover their expenses.

When comparing the cost of attendance between Case Western and Amherst, it’s also important to consider the location of each college. Case Western is located in Cleveland, Ohio, which has a lower cost of living compared to Amherst, Massachusetts, where Amherst College is located. This means that students attending Case Western may have lower living expenses compared to those attending Amherst.

Student Success: What are the Post-Graduation Outcomes for Each College’s Graduates?

One of the essential aspects of college is preparing for life after graduation. Both Case Western and Amherst have a robust career services program to prepare students for their future career paths. For example, Case Western has a 93% career placement rate within six months of graduation, while Amherst’s career center provides opportunities for internships, career panels, and mentorship.

Additionally, both colleges have a strong alumni network that provides valuable connections and resources for recent graduates. Case Western’s alumni network spans over 115,000 individuals, with many successful alumni in fields such as engineering, medicine, and law. Amherst’s alumni network is similarly impressive.

Alumni Network: Which College Offers Better Networking Opportunities?

Networking is a crucial component of building a successful career, and both Case Western and Amherst have an extensive alumni network that can offer students career opportunities and mentorship. Case Western’s alumni network is over 110,000 strong worldwide, while Amherst’s alumni provide mentorship opportunities to current students through its Mentor Network program.

However, the size of the alumni network is not the only factor to consider when evaluating networking opportunities. Amherst’s alumni network is known for its close-knit community, with alumni often going out of their way to help fellow graduates. On the other hand, Case Western’s alumni network is known for its diversity, with graduates working in a wide range of industries and fields.

Additionally, both colleges offer various networking events and programs to connect students with alumni. Case Western hosts an annual Career Fair, where students can meet with alumni and potential employers. Amherst offers a variety of networking events throughout the year, including industry-specific panels and alumni mixers.

Conclusion: Making a Decision Based on Your Needs and Preferences

Choosing between Case Western and Amherst for college can be a difficult decision. However, we have provided an exhaustive comparison between the two colleges in terms of their academics, campus culture, extracurricular activities, cost, student success, and alumni network.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your preferences, educational goals, and future aspirations. Evaluate your options, and choose the college that can provide the best educational experience and set you up for success in the long run.

It is important to consider factors beyond just academics and campus culture when making your decision. For example, location may play a significant role in your decision-making process. Case Western is located in Cleveland, Ohio, which offers a vibrant city atmosphere with plenty of opportunities for internships and networking.

On the other hand, Amherst is located in a small town in Massachusetts, which may offer a more peaceful and intimate college experience.

Another important factor to consider is the availability of resources and support systems. Both colleges offer a range of resources such as academic advising, career services, and mental health support. However, it is important to research and compare the specific resources and support systems offered by each college to ensure that they align with your needs and preferences.

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