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Colby vs Hamilton College: Which is the Better Choice?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a student on campus tour

Colby vs Hamilton College: Which is the Better Choice?

Choosing the right college is a daunting task for any high school student. There are several factors to consider, such as location, academic programs, cost, and extracurricular activities. Two popular choices among students are Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. In this article, we will compare and contrast Colby vs Hamilton College to help you make an informed decision.

Hamilton College

Hamilton College is a small liberal arts college located in the quiet town of Clinton, New York. Founded in 1812, it has a rich history and a strong academic reputation. Hamilton College offers 58 majors in various fields, including the arts, natural sciences, and social sciences.

One of the notable features of Hamilton College is its open curriculum, which allows students to design their academic programs instead of following a set of core courses. This approach is ideal for students who wish to explore different fields and customize their education.

Hamilton College has a diverse student body, with students from all 50 states and over 50 countries. The college also has a strong commitment to community service and encourages students to engage in volunteer work both on and off campus. In addition, Hamilton College has a variety of extracurricular activities, including over 200 student-run clubs and organizations.

The campus itself is beautiful, with a mix of historic and modern buildings surrounded by green lawns and trees. The college also has state-of-the-art facilities, including a new science center and a performing arts center. Hamilton College is a great choice for students who value a personalized education, a strong sense of community, and a beautiful campus environment.

Admission Requirements: How to Get into Colby College and Hamilton College?

Both Colby College and Hamilton College are highly selective and admit only a small percentage of applicants. Colby College had an acceptance rate of 8 percent, while Hamilton College had an acceptance rate of 12  percent. To get into Colby College, students need to have strong academic records, including high GPAs and SAT/ACT scores. The college also considers extracurricular activities, essays, and recommendations.

Hamilton College, on the other hand, takes a holistic approach to admissions. The college considers academic achievements, extracurricular activities, character, and potential while reviewing applications. In addition, the college is test-optional, meaning students can choose not to submit their SAT/ACT scores.

ACT score sheet with answers

Colby College and Hamilton College also value diversity and seek to admit students from a wide range of backgrounds. Both colleges have programs and initiatives to support underrepresented students, including first-generation college students, low-income students, and students of color. Colby College, for example, has a partnership with QuestBridge, a national nonprofit organization that connects high-achieving, low-income students with top colleges and universities. Hamilton College has a Posse Program, which provides full-tuition scholarships to groups of talented students from diverse backgrounds.

Furthermore, both Colby College and Hamilton College offer opportunities for students to engage in research and independent study. Colby College has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and encourages students to pursue research projects that integrate multiple fields of study. Hamilton College has a robust independent study program, where students work closely with faculty members to design and carry out their own research projects.

Faculty and Academics: Which College Offers Better Programs?

Both Colby College and Hamilton College have renowned faculty members who are leaders in their fields. Colby College has over 200 full-time faculty members, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. Hamilton College has over 200 tenure-track and visiting faculty members, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. At Colby College, students have access to 59 majors and 44 minors, with popular fields being biology, economics, and environmental science. The college also offers study abroad programs in 45 countries.

Hamilton College offers 58 majors and 47 minors, with popular fields being economics, government, and psychology. The college also emphasizes interdisciplinary studies and offers courses in diverse fields such as neuroscience and environmental studies.

Colby College has a strong focus on undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to work alongside faculty members on research projects. The college also has a unique program called the Jan Plan, where students can take a month-long course in January on a topic of their choice, allowing for a more in-depth exploration of a subject.

Hamilton College has a strong writing program, with a required writing-intensive course for all students. The college also offers a unique program called the Adirondack Program, where students can spend a semester living and studying in the Adirondack Mountains, focusing on environmental studies and sustainability.

Student Life and Extracurricular Activities at Colby vs Hamilton College

Both Colby College and Hamilton College offer a vibrant campus life with several extracurricular activities. Colby College has over 100 student-run clubs and organizations, including athletics teams, community service groups, and cultural clubs. The college also hosts several events throughout the year, such as music concerts and guest lectures.

Male and female drama students at performing arts school

Hamilton College also has over 100 student-run clubs and organizations, including a strong athletics program. The college hosts several cultural events such as dance performances, theatre productions, and art exhibitions. Moreover, the college has a strong tradition of community engagement, with programs such as the Community Outreach and Opportunity Project (COOP).

Additionally, both Colby and Hamilton offer opportunities for students to study abroad. Colby has partnerships with over 200 programs in more than 60 countries, while Hamilton has its own study abroad program in Madrid, Spain. Studying abroad allows students to gain a global perspective and immerse themselves in different cultures, enhancing their overall college experience.

Housing Facilities: Dorm Life at Colby Vs. Hamilton College

Both Colby College and Hamilton College provide on-campus housing facilities to their students, with several options available. Colby College has 15 residence halls, including themed housing such as language houses and wellness houses. The college also has an off-campus study program, allowing students to live and learn in different parts of the world.

Hamilton College has 28 residence halls, including themed living communities such as the Writers House and Substance-Free Housing. The college also offers students the option of living in a program house, which is a community-based residence hall centered around a particular theme or interest.

Additionally, both colleges have housing options for upperclassmen, such as apartments and townhouses. At Colby College, upperclassmen can live in apartments or townhouses located on or near campus. Hamilton College offers apartments and townhouses for upperclassmen, as well as a senior village for graduating seniors to live together in a community setting.

Campus Dining Experience: Which College Offers Better Food Options?

Both Colby College and Hamilton College have a variety of dining options on campus, catering to different dietary requirements and preferences. Colby College has six dining locations, including a vegan dining hall and a sustainable seafood program. The college also has a campus farm, providing fresh produce for its dining services.

Students with Mexican cuisines

Hamilton College has five dining locations, including vegetarian and gluten-free options. The college sources its ingredients from local farms and vendors, emphasizing sustainability and wellness.

However, when it comes to international cuisine, Hamilton College offers a wider range of options. The dining locations at Hamilton College feature dishes from different parts of the world, such as Indian, Chinese, and Mexican. The college also hosts cultural events that showcase international cuisine, allowing students to experience different flavors and culinary traditions.

Tuition Fees and Financial Aid Comparison: Is Colby vs Hamilton College More Affordable?

The cost of attending Colby College and Hamilton College is comparable, with tuition fees and other expenses varying slightly. The annual cost of attendance at Colby College for the academic year is $83,720, while the annual cost at Hamilton College is $82,430. Both colleges offer generous financial aid packages to their students, with Colby College providing need-based aid and Hamilton College providing both need-based and merit-based aid. These packages make attending college more affordable for students who qualify. It is important to note that the cost of attendance at both colleges may vary depending on factors such as housing, meal plans, and other personal expenses. Students should carefully consider these additional costs when comparing the affordability of the two colleges. Furthermore, both Colby and Hamilton offer work-study programs that allow students to earn money while attending college. These programs can help offset the cost of attendance and provide valuable work experience for students.

Career Prospects: Which College Offers Better Job Opportunities?

Colby College and Hamilton College have high post-graduation employment rates, with many graduates going on to pursue graduate studies or careers in their fields. Colby College has a strong alumni network, with graduates working in diverse fields such as finance, law, and education.

Hamilton College also has a strong alumni network, with graduates working in fields such as politics, journalism, and technology. The college has several resources to assist students with career counseling and job placements, including the Career Center and the Alumni Career Network.

However, Colby College has a unique program called the Colby Achievement Program in the Sciences (CAPS), which provides additional support and resources for students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. This program includes research opportunities, mentorship, and networking events with industry professionals.

On the other hand, Hamilton College offers a program called the Levitt Leadership Institute, which focuses on developing leadership skills and providing students with opportunities to engage in community service and social entrepreneurship. This program can be beneficial for students interested in careers in non-profit organizations or public service.

Sports and Athletics at Colby Vs. Hamilton College

Both Colby College and Hamilton College have competitive athletics programs, with several sports teams and intercollegiate competitions. Colby College is a Division III school and has 59 varsity sports teams, including basketball, soccer, and tennis.

a student playing football

Hamilton College is also a Division III school and has 81 varsity sports teams, including basketball, lacrosse, and swimming. The college has a strong tradition of athletic excellence, with several championship wins over the years.

Despite the similarities in their athletic programs, there are some differences between Colby and Hamilton. For example, Colby has a strong skiing program, with both alpine and Nordic skiing teams, while Hamilton does not have a skiing program. On the other hand, Hamilton has a highly competitive squash team, which Colby does not offer. Both schools also have active intramural sports programs, allowing students of all skill levels to participate in a variety of sports and activities.

Alumni Network Comparison: Who Has a Better Network, Colby vs Hamilton College?

Both Colby College and Hamilton College have strong alumni networks, with graduates working in diverse fields and locations. Colby College has a global network of over 20,000 alumni, with several events and resources to connect students and graduates.

Hamilton College also has a global network of over 25,000 alumni, with a dedicated alumni office and resources to support students and graduates. The college also has several regional alumni clubs and networks, allowing graduates to connect and network locally.

However, when it comes to alumni giving, Colby College has a higher percentage of alumni who donate to the college. In fact, Colby has one of the highest alumni giving rates among liberal arts colleges in the United States. This high level of giving from alumni allows the college to provide more resources and opportunities for current students.

On the other hand, Hamilton College has a strong focus on mentorship and career development through its alumni network. The college offers a variety of career-related programs and events, such as job shadowing and networking opportunities, to help students and graduates succeed in their chosen fields.

Student Diversity and Inclusion at Colby vs Hamilton College

Colby College and Hamilton College are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus environment. Colby College has a diverse student body, with students from over 70 countries and a variety of backgrounds. The college has several initiatives and resources to support underrepresented communities and promote inclusivity.

Similarly, Hamilton College has a diverse student body, with students from over 45 states and 47 countries. The college has several programs and resources to support diversity and inclusion, such as the Cultural Advisors program and the Days-Massolo Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.

At Colby College, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offers a variety of programs and events throughout the year to promote diversity and inclusion on campus. These include cultural celebrations, workshops, and training sessions for students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, the college has a Bias Incident Response Team that provides support and resources for students who experience bias incidents.

Hamilton College also has a strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in its curriculum. The college offers courses in a variety of disciplines that explore issues related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and other aspects of identity. The college also has a number of student organizations that focus on promoting diversity and inclusion, such as the Black and Latino Student Union and the Queer Student Union.

Study Abroad Opportunities: Which College Provides More International Exposure?

Both Colby College and Hamilton College offer several study abroad programs, allowing students to gain international exposure and broaden their perspectives. Colby College has an extensive study abroad program, with over 70 programs in 35 countries across six continents.

Hamilton College also has an extensive study abroad program, with over 60 programs in 40 countries across six continents. The college also emphasizes immersive learning experiences, such as its program in China, where students live with Chinese families and intern at local organizations.

study abroad for students

Additionally, both colleges offer support services for students studying abroad, including pre-departure orientations, on-site support, and re-entry programs to help students readjust to life back on campus. Colby College also offers a unique program called “Jan Plan,” where students can participate in a month-long intensive study abroad program during the month of January. Hamilton College offers a program called “Adirondack Semester,” where students can study environmental issues and sustainability in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York.

Campus Safety Comparison: How Safe Are Colby vs Hamilton Colleges?

Colby College and Hamilton College have comprehensive campus safety programs, ensuring the safety and well-being of their students. Colby College has a campus safety team, offering a range of services such as emergency response, safety escorts, and crime prevention programs.

Hamilton College also has a campus safety team, offering services such as a 24-hour emergency line, safety escort, and crime prevention programs. The college also has a comprehensive sexual assault prevention program, focusing on education, prevention, and support.

Additionally, both colleges have implemented safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Colby College has implemented a testing program for all students, faculty, and staff, and has also established quarantine and isolation protocols. Hamilton College has also implemented a testing program and has established a contact tracing team to quickly identify and contain any potential outbreaks on campus.

Furthermore, both colleges have partnerships with local law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of their students both on and off campus. Colby College has a close partnership with the Waterville Police Department, while Hamilton College works closely with the Clinton Police Department.

Student Satisfaction Rates at Colby Vs. Hamilton College

Both Colby College and Hamilton College have high student satisfaction rates, with students praising the academic programs, campus resources, and overall campus experience. According to the 2021 Princeton Review, Colby College has a student satisfaction rating of 97 out of 100, while Hamilton College has a student satisfaction rating of 95 out of 100.

One factor that may contribute to the high student satisfaction rates at both Colby and Hamilton is the small class sizes. colleges have a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1 and 10:1, which allows for more personalized attention and interaction with professors. Additionally, both colleges offer a wide range of extracurricular activities, including sports teams, clubs, and organizations, which provide students with opportunities to pursue their interests and develop new skills.

Group of four hikers with backpacks walks in mountains at sunset

Another aspect that sets Colby and Hamilton apart is their location. Colby College is located in Waterville, Maine, while Hamilton College is located in Clinton, New York. Both locations offer unique opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing, and kayaking. However, Colby’s location in Maine provides students with access to the coast and nearby national parks, while Hamilton’s location in upstate New York offers easy access to cities like Syracuse and Albany.

Conclusion: Which is the Best Choice for You?

Choosing between Colby College and Hamilton College ultimately comes down to personal preferences and priorities. Both colleges are outstanding choices for students seeking a rigorous academic program, vibrant campus life, and a supportive community. However, students need to consider factors such as location, size, academic programs, and extracurricular activities while making their decisions. We hope this article has provided you with helpful insights into these two colleges and helps you make an informed decision.

It is also important to consider the financial aspect of attending college. While both Colby and Hamilton offer generous financial aid packages, the cost of attendance may still be a deciding factor for some students. It is recommended that students and their families thoroughly research and compare the costs and financial aid options of both colleges before making a final decision.

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