The following reviews are the views of students or alumni at this school and are unrelated to the school data and other editorial content on usnews.com. These reviews neither reflect nor impact a school's position within the Best Colleges rankings.
When looking at Gettysburg College one should remember that it is located in the middle of rural south central Pennsylvania (which out of state people refer to as Pennsyltucky). Often I have heard people used to big city living (mostly from New York), complain that Gettysburg has no clubs, is located in the middle of nowhere, and is "too quiet and slow" for them. If you think Gettysburg is going to have a wild nightlife with parties galor, you'll mostly be restricted to Fraternities, which I've been told are tame in comparison to some of the clubs in New York City. Gettysburg however has the added benefit of being within an hour of Harrisburg, two hours of Washington D.C., and ninety minutes of Baltimore, so if you need to get to a larger city every now and then, you can team up with a few friends and perhaps make a weekend trip of it. As to the complaints of Gettysburg being a small town, how can the town grow anymore when it is surrounded by the National Parks Service (which often threatens to buy up more land every now and then), and whatever the government isn't buying up, the college is buying for extra housing. So while there exists "townies" and people who live in Gettysburg. Mostly I'd say that the very existance of the town itself is restricted to the point it's almost endangered.
I just graduated from Gettysburg and couldn't stop crying as I left. The most wonderful thing about Gburg was the friends I made. From teachers to coaches to fellow students, Gburg introduced me to some of the most amazing people I've ever met. I'll never forget meeting my advisor at orientation freshman year. She pulled me aside after the group introduction and told me "Jane, you're the furthest from home. If you ever need anything, you can come over to my house and we can have milk and cookies!" Four years later I sat on her back porch as a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes having hamburgers and hot dogs as part of our annual cookout at the Wright's house. Gettysburg will always be my home away from home. Because of my athletic schedule I didn't go home much. On breaks when other students went home I took advantage of opportunities like GRAB (Gettysburg Recreation Adventure Board), where I went kayaking and backpacking in the region. Over 90% of students live on campus all four years, and the ones who are "off" are so close to campus the term becomes laughable. 99.9% of people stay for the weekend and if you do leave students will give you a funny look and ask why? Why would you leave Gettysburg? Orange and Blue are the best colors on earth. There's a good amount of school spirit, especially for lacrosse. Sometimes students are so involved in their own activities it's hard to attend a lot of others. The accapella concerts are ALWAYS packed!!
I think the best thing about Gettysburg is its faculty. The small class sizes allow for the type of atmosphere where students and professors are on a first-name basis (without it feeling totally awkward), and where conversations outside of the classroom are about not only course material, but broader issues that relate to, as one of my professors calls it, "the grand scheme of things." Gettysburg is just the right size for me, but I can certainly see how it might be way too claustrophobic for some people. It's not the kind of campus where you expect to only pass people you've never seen before when walking to class -- you get to know faces, and even though you don't know all the names, you sort of have that common bond of Gettysburgianship. (Yes, that's a made-up word.) I hate to keep going back to the J.Crew catalog stereotype, but if kids aren't wearing J.Crew, they're wearing their orange and blue. School spirit is very much alive in that sense, although the football stands are oftentimes sparsely filled on Saturday mornings for home games.
Gettysburg is a small, liberal arts college that offers great professor-student interaction and small class sizes. The sacrifice, I suppose, is that the campus is not located in a typical college town, so there are not a lot of activities to be involved in within the surrounding area. The college tries to compensate for this by offering a variety of clubs and activities on campus, and there are also many social groups to join. One aspect of Gettysburg that sold me was the off-campus studies program whereby students can study in a myriad of affiliated countries and pay the same expenses as attending Gettysburg. With that being said, however, Gettysburg's tuition and selectivity are increasing, making it difficult for low-income and underprivileged students to afford the college and ultimately adding to its stereotypical image as a predominantly caucasian prep school.
I often feel like I am in a bubble when I'm in Gettysburg because it is very small and there are only so many things you can do over the weekends which become routine and boring. Most students drink or go to frats. The college hosts some concerts and movie nights on weekends but I don't think that a lot of students go to them. Washington DC and Baltimore are not far from Gettysburg and are fun places to go over the weekend but you need a car. The college has yet to provide transportation to cities on the weekends-I think they are working on it though. However I do not regret choosing Gettysburg and I feel that its small size has been beneficial to me academically. The small class sizes help you to build a relationship with your professors and receive individual attention. All of the professors that I've had were more than willing to help me outside of class. The best thing about Gettysburg is probably the campus which is very pretty (especially in the spring) or the food. There are many choices at Servo, the main dining center, the sandwiches at the Bullet Hole are amazing, and the cookies melt in your mouth. I always miss the food over the summer..Oh and another great thing is the study abroad program. About 50% of students study abroad during their time at Gettysburg. I went to Florence for a semester which was an eye opening experience and also a great way to get off of campus and travel.
I think the size of gettysburg is perfect. I spend a lot of my time at servo, the dining hall on campus. It is a huge social area, and people sit there for hours eating meals. I also spend a lot of my time in the library. When I actually need to get work done I know to go to one of the upper levels, but if I have a small assignment and want to be distracted the first floor is quite a social area. There is so much school pride on campus. It's amazing to be around. I was a transfer from a school that had NO school spirit, no one went to the sports games, and no one really raved about it. I feel like everyone at gettysburg is just as much in love with the school as I am. The stands at every game are PACKED full of friends cheering and socializing. Its such a supportive environment. There isnt any other school that I would rather spend the next two years at.
Gettysburg JuniorReviews provided by: Unigo