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Princeton vs. Middlebury: A Comprehensive Overview

July 15, 2023
By AdmissionSight
Two students thinking of something while leaning on a yellow wall.

Princeton vs. Middlebury: A Comprehensive Overview

Princeton and Middlebury are two of the most respected institutions of higher education in the United States. In this article, we will take a comprehensive look at Princeton vs. Middlebury and compare them on a number of key factors.

Both boast of a long and rich history of academic excellence and attract some of the best and brightest students from around the world. While both of these schools are highly regarded, they do differ in a number of ways.

Location and Campus Facilities

Princeton and Middlebury are both located in serene and idyllic settings. Princeton University is situated in Princeton, New Jersey, which is approximately an hour away from both New York City and Philadelphia. The university features an impressive campus that spans over 600 acres, with historic buildings and state-of-the-art facilities for learning, research, and recreation.

Middlebury College is situated in Middlebury, Vermont, a small town in the rural northeast of the US. The college campus has a more intimate feel than Princeton’s, with beautiful green spaces and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Overall, both schools offer a unique and picturesque campus experience.

Aside from their beautiful locations, both Princeton and Middlebury offer a wide range of campus facilities to enhance the student experience. Princeton boasts a world-class library system with over 11 million volumes and extensive digital resources.

The university also has a state-of-the-art athletic complex featuring multiple gyms, pools, and sports fields. Middlebury, on the other hand, is known for its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. The college has a LEED-certified dining hall, a solar-powered greenhouse, and a biomass plant that provides heating and electricity to campus buildings.

Additionally, both schools offer unique opportunities for students to engage with their surrounding communities. Princeton has a vibrant arts scene, with multiple museums and galleries on campus and partnerships with local theaters and music venues.

Middlebury strongly focuses on community service, with numerous volunteer programs and partnerships with local organizations. Both schools encourage students to explore their interests and passions beyond the classroom and provide ample resources to support their endeavors.

Princeton vs. Middlebury: Academic Programs and Majors

Princeton and Middlebury both have top-ranked academic programs and majors. Princeton is well-known for its strong humanities curriculum and has highly respected programs in political science, economics, and engineering, amongst others.

Middlebury College has a strong focus on the liberal arts and offers a broad range of majors, such as environmental studies, international studies, and literature, amongst others. In terms of academic standing, both institutions regularly figure in the top rankings of American colleges and universities.

Group of students talking in a table.

Additionally, both Princeton and Middlebury offer unique interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore multiple fields of study.

Princeton’s Law and Public Affairs program combines law, politics, and economics coursework, while Middlebury’s Environmental Studies Program integrates science, policy, and humanities to address environmental issues. These interdisciplinary programs provide students with a well-rounded education and prepare them for a variety of career paths.

Princeton vs. Middlebury: Faculty and Student Ratio

When it comes to faculty to student ratio, both Princeton and Middlebury excel. Princeton has a 5:1 student-to-faculty ratio, which means that each student has ample opportunity to interact with their professors. Middlebury also boasts a low student-to-faculty ratio 8:1, allowing for a personalized and intimate education experience.

A low faculty-to-student ratio can also lead to more research opportunities for students. With fewer students to compete with, both Princeton and Middlebury have a greater chance of working closely with faculty members on research projects and gaining valuable hands-on experience in their fields of study.

This can be a major advantage when applying for graduate school or entering the workforce after graduation.

Admission Requirements and Selection Process

Both Princeton and Middlebury have highly selective admission processes. Princeton receives thousands of applications from around the world each year and typically accepts less than 7% of those who apply. Middlebury also receives a high number of applications and accepts around 15% of those who apply.

Both universities look for students who show academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, and leadership potential. The application process includes a review of test scores, transcripts, essays, and letters of recommendation.

In addition to the standard application materials, both Princeton and Middlebury also consider extracurricular activities and community involvement when making admission decisions.

They value well-rounded students who have demonstrated a commitment to their passions and interests outside the classroom. It is important for applicants to showcase their unique experiences and accomplishments in their application materials.

Princeton vs. Middlebury: Student Life and Extracurricular Activities

Both universities have a lively and engaging campus life. Princeton has over 300 student organizations, which range from political clubs to social justice initiatives to performance groups.

Harvard students talking in front of a building.

Middlebury also has a wide variety of extracurricular activities, including over 150 student-run organizations that focus on everything from environmental activism to debate teams. Both universities offer robust social programs, with vibrant nightlife and countless off-campus attractions.

Additionally, both universities have strong athletic programs, with a range of varsity and club sports available for students to participate in. Princeton is a member of the Ivy League and has a long history of success in sports such as football, basketball, and lacrosse.

Middlebury is known for its strong skiing and snowboarding teams, as well as its successful soccer and hockey programs. Students at both universities can also take advantage of state-of-the-art fitness facilities and participate in intramural sports leagues.

Housing Options and Accommodations

Housing is an important factor in the college experience, and both Princeton and Middlebury have excellent options for their students. Princeton offers a range of on-campus housing options, including dormitories, apartments, and residential colleges.

Middlebury also has a range of student housing options, including dormitories, apartments, and distinctive house systems with communal living spaces. Both universities provide students with a comfortable and supportive living experience.

Additionally, both universities offer off-campus housing options for upperclassmen who prefer to live independently. Princeton has a variety of off-campus apartments and houses available for rent, while Middlebury has partnerships with local landlords to provide students with off-campus housing options.

Furthermore, both universities have accommodations available for students with disabilities. Princeton has an Office of Disability Services that works with students to provide accommodations such as accessible housing, assistive technology, and note-taking services.

Middlebury also has an Office of Disability Services that provides accommodations such as accessible housing, assistive technology, and alternative testing arrangements.

Princeton vs. Middlebury: Athletics Programs and Facilities

Both Princeton and Middlebury boast impressive athletics programs and facilities. Princeton has a comprehensive athletics program, with over 30 varsity teams and some of the best sports facilities in the country.

Middlebury also has a robust athletics program, with opportunities for both varsity and club sports. The college has an impressive athletic complex that includes a hockey rink, a fitness center, and multiple outdoor fields for soccer, lacrosse, and other sports.

Princeton’s athletics program is not only comprehensive but also highly successful. The university has won numerous national championships in various sports, including basketball, fencing, and rowing. The university’s athletes have also gone on to compete in the Olympics, with Princeton alumni winning a total of 65 Olympic medals.

Meanwhile, Middlebury’s athletics program emphasizes the importance of physical activity and wellness for all students, not just athletes. The college offers a variety of fitness classes, intramural sports, and outdoor recreation opportunities, such as hiking and skiing.

Middlebury also has a strong commitment to sustainability, and its athletic facilities are designed with eco-friendly features, such as solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems.

Career Services and Alumni Network

Princeton and Middlebury both have strong career services and alumni networks. Princeton’s career services center is one of the best in the country, offering guidance and support to students throughout their careers.

Group of students smiling in the camera.

The university also has an extensive alumni network that provides students with networking opportunities and career guidance. Middlebury has a similarly strong career services center, which offers personalized counseling and job search resources. The college’s alumni network is also notable, with graduates in a wide range of industries and careers around the world.

Both universities also offer various career-related events and workshops throughout the year. Princeton hosts career fairs, employer information sessions, and alumni panels to help students explore different career paths and connect with potential employers.

Middlebury offers similar events, as well as career treks where students can visit companies and organizations in different cities and industries. These opportunities allow students to gain valuable insights into different career fields and make important connections with professionals in their desired industries.

Tuition Fees and Financial Aid options

Both Princeton and Middlebury have significant costs associated with attendance, but they also have generous financial aid options for needy students. Princeton’s tuition is around $53,890 yearly, while Middlebury’s is around $52,000 yearly. Both universities offer a range of need- and merit-based scholarships, grants, and loans to help students pay for their education.

Additionally, both universities have work-study programs that allow students to earn money while gaining valuable work experience. These programs provide students with part-time jobs on campus, which can help offset the cost of tuition and living expenses. Students can work in various positions, such as research assistants, library assistants, or campus tour guides.

Furthermore, Princeton and Middlebury have financial aid counselors to help students navigate the complex process of applying for financial aid. These counselors can provide guidance on filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and help students identify other funding sources, such as private scholarships or grants from outside organizations.

Princeton vs. Middlebury: Diversity, Inclusion, and Campus Culture

Both Princeton and Middlebury are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive campus culture. Princeton has a range of initiatives to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, including student-led organizations and campus-wide forums.

Middlebury similarly strives to create a welcoming and inclusive community, encouraging open dialogue and mutual respect. Both universities also offer resources and support to students from traditionally underrepresented groups.

Princeton’s commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond the campus community. The university has partnerships with organizations and institutions that promote diversity and inclusion in higher education and beyond.

These partnerships include the Posse Foundation, which identifies and trains student leaders from diverse backgrounds, and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, which supports underrepresented students pursuing doctoral degrees in the humanities and social sciences.

Similarly, Middlebury has a strong commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. The university has implemented several initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and promote sustainable practices, including a comprehensive recycling program, a bike share program, and a commitment to sourcing local and organic food in campus dining facilities.

Middlebury also offers several academic programs and research opportunities related to environmental studies and sustainability.

Research Opportunities

As prestigious research institutions, both Princeton and Middlebury offer ample opportunities for students to engage in research. Princeton has a robust undergraduate research program, which allows students to pursue independent research projects under the supervision of faculty advisors.

Middlebury also has a strong commitment to research, offering opportunities for students to work on research projects in fields as diverse as neuroscience, environmental studies, and economics.

Furthermore, both institutions have partnerships with other research organizations, providing students with access to cutting-edge research facilities and resources.

For example, Princeton has collaborations with the nearby Institute for Advanced Study and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, while Middlebury has partnerships with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Additionally, both Princeton and Middlebury offer research funding opportunities for students, allowing them to pursue their research interests without financial constraints. These funding opportunities can come in the form of grants, fellowships, or scholarships and are available for both individual and group research projects.

Princeton vs. Middlebury: International Programs

Both Princeton and Middlebury offer a range of international programs and study-abroad opportunities. Princeton has a range of study abroad programs in countries such as France, Italy, Spain, and China. Middlebury offers a wide range of study abroad programs, with options in over 40 countries.

Male student sitting on a table with books while smiling at the camera.

Both universities also have international student programs, providing support and resources to students outside the United States.

In addition, the study-abroad programs and international student support of both Princeton and Middlebury also offer opportunities for students to engage in international research and service projects.

Princeton’s International Internship Program provides funding for students to pursue internships in a variety of fields, including international development, human rights, and environmental sustainability.

Middlebury’s Center for Community Engagement offers service-learning trips to countries such as Peru, India, and Senegal, where students can work on education, health, and environmental sustainability projects.

Campus Safety and Security

Both Princeton and Middlebury have highly secure and safe campuses. Princeton has a comprehensive public safety program, with uniformed officers on patrol 24/7. The university also has an extensive emergency management system, including text and email alerts in the event of an emergency.

Middlebury also has a strong public safety program, with officers on patrol 24/7 and an extensive emergency management system.

In addition to their public safety programs, both Princeton and Middlebury offer a variety of resources to promote campus safety and security. Princeton has a campus escort service, where students can request a security officer to walk with them to their destination on campus.

Middlebury offers a similar service and a shuttle service for students traveling off-campus during the evening hours.

Both universities also have strict policies regarding campus access and visitor registration. Visitors must check in at designated locations and provide identification before being allowed on campus. These policies help to ensure that only authorized individuals are on campus, further enhancing the safety and security of the community.

Princeton vs. Middlebury: Community Outreach Programs

Finally, both Princeton and Middlebury have strong community outreach programs, which allow students to engage with the local community and contribute to important causes.

Princeton has a range of community service programs which allow students to volunteer in areas such as education, health, and environmental stewardship. Middlebury also has various community outreach programs, emphasizing local and global sustainability efforts.

Princeton’s community outreach programs include partnerships with local schools, where students can tutor and mentor children from underprivileged backgrounds. Additionally, the university has a program called “Princeton Against Gun Violence,” which aims to reduce gun violence in the local community through education and advocacy.

At Middlebury, students can participate in a program called “MAlt,” which stands for “Middlebury Alternative Break Trips.” This program allows students to spend their school breaks volunteering in various locations worldwide, working on issues such as poverty, environmental conservation, and disaster relief.

Middlebury also has a program called “FoodWorks,” which focuses on sustainable food systems and provides students with opportunities to work on local farms and learn about food justice issues.

Notable Alumni of Princeton and Middlebury

Princeton and Middlebury have produced some distinguished alumni in a range of fields. Some notable Princeton alumni include former US Presidents John F. Kennedy and Woodrow Wilson, novelists Toni Morrison and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and physicist Richard Feynman.

Notable Middlebury alumni include filmmaker David O. Russell, author Julia Alvarez, and Olympic gold medalist Bill Koch.

Group of students talking in a bench while holding their notes.

Overall, Princeton and Middlebury are two of the most respected universities in the United States, with unique campus cultures and strong academic programs. Whether you are looking for a rigorous liberal arts education or a broader, interdisciplinary curriculum, both institutions offer exceptional learning opportunities.

Additionally, both Princeton and Middlebury have a strong commitment to community service and social justice. Princeton’s Pace Center for Civic Engagement offers a variety of programs and opportunities for students to engage with local and global communities.

At the same time, Middlebury’s Center for Community Engagement connects students with service projects and internships in Vermont and beyond. Both universities also have active student-led organizations focused on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus and beyond.

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