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Washington University in St. Louis vs Colby: Which University is Right for You?

July 17, 2023
By AdmissionSight
Group of students smiling at while talking to each other.

Washington University in St. Louis vs Colby: Which University is Right for You?

Choosing the right university to attend can be a difficult decision. With so many factors to consider, it can be hard to know which school will be the best fit for your academic and personal goals. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compared two top universities: Washington University in St. Louis vs Colby College.

Location and Campus Size of Washington University in St. Louis and Colby

Location and campus size should be two important factors to consider when deciding on a university. At Washington University in St. Louis, the campus is located in the heart of the city, giving students access to all that St. Louis has to offer. The university’s campus is spread out over 169 acres and includes a mix of modern and historic buildings.

At Colby College, the campus is situated in Waterville, Maine, just a short drive from Portland, and less than three hours from Boston. The campus spans 714 acres with a mixture of modern and traditional buildings.

Another important factor to consider when choosing a university is the surrounding community. At Washington University in St. Louis, students have access to a vibrant city with a rich cultural scene, including museums, theaters, and music venues. The university also has strong ties to the local community, with many opportunities for students to get involved in service projects and internships.

Colby College, on the other hand, is located in a more rural area, surrounded by forests, lakes, and mountains. This setting provides students with ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, skiing, and kayaking. The college also has a strong commitment to sustainability, with many initiatives aimed at reducing its environmental impact.

Academic Programs and Majors Offered at Washington University in St. Louis vs Colby

Both universities offer a wide range of academic programs and majors. At Washington University in St. Louis, students can choose from over 90 undergraduate majors, including business, engineering, arts, and sciences. The university also boasts impressive graduate programs in medicine, law, and social work.

Colby College offers more than 60 majors across the arts and sciences. The college also offers a unique “Jan Plan” program where students can participate in internships, research opportunities, and experiential learning during January.

a female student looking at the camera smiling

In addition to the undergraduate and graduate programs, Washington University in St. Louis also offers a variety of professional programs, including a highly-ranked MBA program and a top-ranked medical school. The university also has a strong focus on research, with opportunities for students to participate in cutting-edge research projects across various fields.

At Colby College, students can also take advantage of the college’s extensive study abroad programs, with opportunities to study in over 50 countries. The college also offers a range of interdisciplinary programs, such as Environmental Studies and Latin American Studies, allowing students to explore multiple fields of study and gain a well-rounded education.

Admissions Criteria and Selectivity at Washington University in St. Louis vs Colby

Admissions criteria and selectivity are important to consider as you navigate the application process. Washington University in St. Louis has an acceptance rate of 13% and requires applicants to submit either the SAT or ACT for consideration.

Colby College has a lower acceptance rate of 9% and requires either the SAT or ACT as part of the application process. Both universities value extracurricular activities and community involvement as part of their decision-making process.

Another important factor to consider when applying to universities is the academic rigor of the institution. Washington University in St. Louis is known for its strong academic programs, particularly in the fields of business, engineering, and medicine. Colby College, on the other hand, is renowned for its liberal arts curriculum and emphasis on interdisciplinary learning.

It’s also worth noting that both universities have unique campus cultures and environments. Washington University in St. Louis is located in a bustling urban area, while Colby College is situated in a more rural setting. Additionally, Washington University in St. Louis has a larger student body and offers a wider range of extracurricular activities, while Colby College has a smaller, tight-knit community and a strong focus on outdoor recreation.

Campus Culture and Student Life at Washington University in St. Louis vs Colby

Campus culture and student life can significantly impact your university experience. At Washington University in St. Louis, students are part of a diverse and inclusive community with a strong emphasis on collaboration and interdisciplinary learning. The university is home to over 300 student-run organizations and hosts a wide range of events and activities throughout the year.

Colby College also values community engagement and social responsibility. The college has over 100 student-run clubs and organizations and is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive community.

Four students laughing

Additionally, both universities offer a variety of resources to support student well-being. At Washington University in St. Louis, students have access to counseling services, health and wellness programs, and a student health center. Colby College also provides comprehensive health and wellness services, including mental health counseling, medical care, and wellness education.

Furthermore, both universities prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility. Washington University in St. Louis has implemented numerous sustainability initiatives, such as a campus-wide recycling program and LEED-certified buildings. Colby College has a strong commitment to environmental stewardship and has achieved carbon neutrality through a combination of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources.

Faculty and Academic Resources at Washington University in St. Louis vs Colby

Faculty and academic resources are essential to the success of any university. Washington University in St. Louis has a faculty-to-student ratio of 7:1 and boasts an impressive roster of renowned faculty members. The university invests heavily in research and provides students with access to state-of-the-art resources and facilities to support their academic goals.

At Colby College, students have the opportunity to work with world-class faculty members in small classes. The college is committed to providing students with top-notch academic resources and invests in cutting-edge technology and research opportunities.

Additionally, Washington University in St. Louis offers a variety of academic resources to support students’ success, including tutoring services, academic advising, and career counseling. The university also has a robust library system with extensive collections and online resources.

Colby College also provides students with a range of academic resources, such as writing centers, peer tutoring, and study abroad programs. The college has a strong commitment to interdisciplinary learning and encourages students to explore diverse academic interests.

Career Services and Networking Opportunities at Washington University in St. Louis vs Colby

Career services and networking opportunities are crucial to establishing a successful post-graduation career. At Washington University in St. Louis, students have access to a vast network of alumni and industry professionals who can help guide them in their career pursuits. The university provides students with hands-on career development opportunities, including job fairs, internships, and networking events.

Colby College also values career development and offers students access to career fairs, internship opportunities, and job search resources. The college has a robust alumni network, and graduates are highly sought after by top employers.

Furthermore, both universities offer career counseling services to help students identify their strengths and interests, explore career options, and develop job search strategies. These services include resume and cover letter reviews, mock interviews, and career assessments. Students can also participate in workshops and seminars on topics such as networking, job search techniques, and salary negotiation.

Sports and Extracurricular Activities at Washington University in St. Louis vs Colby

Sports and extracurricular activities are an important part of many students’ university experience. Washington University in St. Louis offers a competitive NCAA Division III athletic program with over 19 varsity sports teams. The university also has a thriving intramural sports program and numerous recreational opportunities.

At Colby College, students can participate in 32 varsity sports teams and participate in a variety of outdoor recreational activities. The college boasts a beautiful campus with easy access to hiking trails, skiing, and other outdoor adventures.

sports equipment

Additionally, both universities offer a wide range of extracurricular activities beyond sports. Washington University in St. Louis has over 300 student organizations, including academic clubs, cultural groups, and community service organizations. Colby College also has a diverse range of student organizations, including a student-run radio station, a literary magazine, and a social justice coalition.

Furthermore, both universities prioritize the well-being of their students and offer resources to support mental and physical health. Washington University in St. Louis has a student health and wellness center that provides medical and counseling services, as well as fitness classes and wellness programs. Colby College has a comprehensive health center that offers medical and mental health services, as well as a wellness program that includes yoga and meditation classes.

Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid Options at Washington University in St. Louis vs Colby

The cost of attendance and financial aid options can significantly impact your decision when choosing a university. Washington University in St. Louis has a total cost of attendance of around $60,590. The university offers need-based financial aid in the form of grants and work-study opportunities.

Colby College has a total cost of attendance of around $63,520 and offers need-based financial aid to eligible students. The college also provides merit-based scholarships and work-study opportunities.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance may vary depending on factors such as housing, meal plans, and transportation. Additionally, both Washington University in St. Louis and Colby College offer resources and support for students seeking external scholarships and grants to help offset the cost of attendance.

When considering financial aid options, it is also important to research the specific requirements and deadlines for each institution. Some universities may require additional documentation or have earlier application deadlines for certain types of financial aid, such as scholarships or grants.

Student Success and Alumni Outcomes at Washington University in St. Louis and Colby

Student success and alumni outcomes should be a significant consideration when choosing a university. At Washington University in St. Louis, graduates have a high degree of success in their careers, with an average starting salary of $63,300. Alumni work in a wide range of fields, including finance, healthcare, and technology.

Colby College graduates also have a strong track record of success, with a high percentage of students going on to graduate school or entering the workforce. The college’s graduates have a median starting salary of $56,100, and alumni work in fields ranging from education to the arts.

Additionally, both Washington University in St. Louis and Colby College have robust alumni networks that provide ongoing support and opportunities for graduates. These networks can be invaluable resources for job searching, career development, and networking. Many alumni also give back to their alma maters through donations and volunteer work, further strengthening the universities’ communities and resources.

Campus Safety and Security Measures at Washington University in St. Louis and Colby

Campus safety and security measures are essential to creating a safe and supportive environment for all students. Washington University in St. Louis has a robust campus safety program, including 24/7 patrols, emergency response, and crime prevention initiatives.

Colby College is committed to campus safety and has a comprehensive safety program that includes emergency response, awareness programs, and community outreach.

Two students walking in the hallway talking about how to transfer colleges

In addition to these measures, Washington University in St. Louis also offers a campus escort service for students who feel unsafe walking alone at night. This service is available to all students and provides a safe and secure way to travel around campus after dark.

At Colby College, the safety program also includes mental health resources for students. The college has a counseling center that provides confidential support and resources for students who may be struggling with mental health issues or personal challenges.

Housing Options and Residential Life Washington University in St. Louis and Colby

Housing options and residential life can significantly impact your university experience. At Washington University in St. Louis, students have access to a range of housing options, from traditional dorm rooms to apartments and townhouses. The university also provides students with a wide range of dining options, including healthy and sustainable choices.

Colby College offers a variety of housing options, including traditional dorms, apartments, and townhouses. The college also provides students with a wide range of dining options, including vegan and vegetarian options.

Additionally, both universities offer a variety of residential life programs and activities to help students feel connected to their community and make the most of their college experience. At Washington University in St. Louis, students can participate in themed housing communities, such as the Women in STEM community or the Global Citizenship community. Colby College offers a similar program called the Residential Based Learning Communities, which allows students to live with others who share similar interests or academic goals.

Study Abroad Opportunities and International Programs at Washington University in St. Louis vs Colby

Study abroad opportunities and international programs are excellent ways to broaden your horizons and expand your academic and personal experiences. At Washington University in St. Louis, students have access to over 100 study-abroad programs in more than 50 countries. The university also offers a diverse range of international programs and initiatives.

Colby College is committed to providing students with opportunities to study abroad and offers more than 200 programs in over 60 countries. The college also offers international internships and research opportunities.

A female student in the background typing at a laptop while in the foreground, a vase with national flags are in focus

Studying abroad not only allows students to gain a global perspective but also enhances their language skills and cultural awareness. Many universities and colleges offer language immersion programs, where students can fully immerse themselves in the language and culture of the country they are studying in. This is a great way to become fluent in a language and gain a deeper understanding of the culture.

Furthermore, studying abroad can also provide students with unique academic opportunities. For example, students studying marine biology may choose to study in Australia, where they can explore the Great Barrier Reef and gain hands-on experience in their field of study. Similarly, students studying art history may choose to study in Italy, where they can visit famous museums and historical sites.

Research Opportunities for Undergraduates at Washington University in St. Louis vs Colby

Research opportunities for undergraduates can significantly impact your university experience and your future career. At Washington University in St. Louis, students have access to a wide range of research opportunities, including summer research programs, internships, and independent study.

Colby College also values undergraduate research and offers students access to a range of opportunities through internships, fellowships, and independent study.

Another university that offers research opportunities for undergraduates is the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). UCLA has a strong commitment to undergraduate research and provides students with opportunities to work with faculty members on research projects in various fields, including science, engineering, and humanities.

Moreover, research opportunities for undergraduates can lead to various benefits, such as developing critical thinking skills, gaining hands-on experience, and building professional networks. These experiences can also enhance your resume and increase your chances of getting accepted into graduate programs or securing employment after graduation.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives at Washington University in St. Louis and Colby

Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are essential to creating an inclusive and supportive campus community. Washington University in St. Louis is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion and has a variety of programs and initiatives in place, including cultural centers, diversity and inclusion training, and multicultural student organizations.

Colby College has made significant strides in promoting diversity and equity and offers a variety of programs and initiatives, including the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Colby Achievement Program in the Sciences.

Group of students smiling at the camera.

In addition to these programs, Washington University in St. Louis also has a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, which is made up of faculty, staff, and students who work to promote diversity and inclusion across campus. The council provides recommendations and guidance to the university’s leadership on issues related to diversity and inclusion.

Similarly, Colby College has a Bias Incident Response Team, which is responsible for responding to incidents of bias and discrimination on campus. The team works to support affected individuals and to educate the campus community on issues related to diversity and inclusion.

Sustainability Efforts on Campus at Washington University in St. Louis and Colby

Sustainability efforts on campus are essential to demonstrating the university’s commitment to social responsibility and environmental stewardship. Washington University in St. Louis has a comprehensive sustainability program that includes green initiatives, sustainable transportation options, and sustainable dining practices.

Colby College is committed to sustainability and has implemented a range of programs and initiatives to reduce its environmental footprint, including energy-efficient buildings and sustainable food practices.

One of the most notable sustainability efforts at Colby College is the installation of solar panels on campus buildings. These panels generate clean energy and reduce the college’s reliance on fossil fuels. Additionally, Colby has implemented a composting program that diverts food waste from landfills and turns it into nutrient-rich soil for campus gardens and landscaping.

Community Engagement and Service Learning Opportunities at Washington University in St. Louis and Colby

Community engagement and service learning opportunities can significantly impact your university experience and provide valuable opportunities for personal and professional growth. At Washington University in St. Louis, students can participate in a wide range of service learning activities through the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement.

Colby College also values community engagement and offers students a variety of service-learning programs and opportunities through the Colby Volunteer Center.

Service learning not only benefits the community but also enhances students’ academic learning. Through hands-on experiences, students can apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world situations and gain a deeper understanding of course material. Additionally, service learning can help students develop important skills such as leadership, communication, and problem-solving.

Conclusion: Making Your Decision Between Washington University in St. Louis or Colby

Choosing between Washington University in St. Louis and Colby College is a challenging decision. Both universities offer an impressive academic experience, a diverse and supportive community, and a variety of extracurricular opportunities. Ultimately, to make your decision, you should consider which university aligns with your academic and personal goals, campus culture, and career aspirations.

It is also important to consider the location of each university. Washington University in St. Louis is located in a bustling city with access to numerous internship and job opportunities, while Colby College is situated in a small town with a tight-knit community. Additionally, the climate and outdoor activities available in each location may also play a role in your decision. Take the time to visit each campus and explore the surrounding areas to get a better sense of which university feels like the best fit for you.

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