- Class: Freshman
- Gender: M
- High School: Stuyvesant High School
- Transfer Student: N
Amherst is a relatively small liberal arts college in Massachusetts. They have a lot of money that they use generously. While this is great in terms of Financial Aid, they do have a tendency to waste money on occasion. One strange thing about Amherst is that you cannot make any comments that are racist, sexist, homophobic or anything like that. However, there is a serious hatred against any conservative viewpoint. Just this year a conservative student was attacked by a bunch of drunk liberal students because of an article he wrote for a school publication. One student received a suspension, the others were not identified. The conservative groups on campus receive little/no funding from the administration and they are trying to get the best conservative professor on campus to leave. Also, the food isn't that great and the toilet paper is really rough. :(
Most classes are small, with the exceptions of certain very large intro classes. You can really get to know your professors and there are programs that help encourage interaction outside of class as well. Most of the professors here are very good, but there are a few truly awful ones, not because they are unqualified, but simply because they do not teach their subjects very well. Luckily, the curriculum is completely open (no universally required classes) and there is an online resource known as Scrutiny which provides reviews of professors and classes to help you avoid classes which you would not enjoy/get much out of. There are many lectures and discussions on many different topics if you are interested in attending them. Certain departments, such as Computer Science, Political Scienece, and several others have some really great professors. Unfortanately, in terms of politcal discussion there is usually only one side of every argument represented (the liberal one of course). Although I considered myself moderately liberal when I arrived here, the extreme liberalism and supression of conservatives really disturbed me and I think this is an issue not really addressed by enough people here because they all hate conservatives anyway. Outside of this tragic underrepresentaion of an entire class of ideas, the education you can get here is really great, and they are really helpful to graduating students, whether you are looking for a job or to continue your education.
Amherst prides itself on diversity, sometimes to a fault. There are many international students, as well as students from all over the U.S. While there are certainly plenty of students out of private schools/prep schools, there are also plenty of students from poorer backgrounds, which is made possible through Amherst's generous financial aid and need-blind admissions. I think the only kinds of students that would really feel out of place would be a politically conservative student or a very devout religious student against things such as underage drinking or premarital sex. Although in class and in the dormitories students from all different groups interact, the dining hall does seem clique-ish at times. As previously mentioned, the majority of students have views which are far to the left.
The Best Things
Great Financial Aid
The Worst Things
They hate conservatives.