College review by Lisa Bleich
Hamilton sits a top a hill in a picturesque environment. The buildings are colorful, quaint, and state-of-the art. It feels as if you are in a resort with beautiful vistas surrounding you. During our tour, the college held an “eat local” event and all of the food for the day came from less than 150 miles to campus.
Students are attractive, articulate, and full of energy. Students describe themselves as involved, hard working, open-minded, smart, active, and outspoken. There is a mix of athletic, preppy students and artsy, students with style. This perhaps is a holdover from the former Kirkland College that got acquired by Hamilton roughly 20 years ago. Hancock was an artsy all women’s college, whereas Hamilton was a school for prep-school boys. The two campuses became one and the personalities of the school also merged and evolved.
Students have the opportunity to reserve public spaces for parties and events. Those events range from fraternity parties to ballroom dance parties. Our tour guide fell on the artsy side, with multiple interests in politics, German, and the arts. She had an intelligent, bohemian air to her and was going to Germany to study abroad in the spring.
95% of the faculty lives on campus or within 3 miles of campus, therefore creating a true living learning community. Faculty is uber involved with the students, often hosting study sessions catered to the students’ schedules. I spoke with philosophy professor who routinely met with her students at 9:30 pm to accommodate one of the students who played on the volleyball team. Professors take a genuine interest in their students and enjoy the constant interaction.
There are no requirements at Hamilton, that’s right; you can take whatever you want! Professors take their advising seriously and aim to guide students to push beyond their comfort zone and try new things, however your final choices are up to you.
Approximately 30% of students participate in Greek life. However, it does not seem to dominate the social life. Other activities that are popular are sports (30% varsity and 90% IM or club), and the Outdoor Club, which organizes various outdoor trips and also provides students with access to camping equipment, kayaks, etc. There is a quaint little town right near the campus, but most of the activity takes place on campus, with various speakers, movies, concerts, and student performances.
Syracuse airport is roughly 40 minutes away. The town of Utica is about 15 minutes away and boasts a very large Bosnian community. Students spend a lot of time working with the community through tutoring and after school programs.
Hamilton is test optional, but the average submitted score is 1408 CR/M and 710 writing and a 31 ACT. 84% of students are in the top 10% of their graduating class and last year’s admit rate was 29%. Hamilton is needs blind in their admissions and say they meet 100% of demonstrated need.
Hamilton is a great place for an intellectually curious, athletic, student who wants a true sense of community and does not mind being in a rural location.