Middlebury, Vermont: Located in the rural Vermont countryside, Middlebury College is one of the top liberal arts institutions in the nation. It is nationally known for its sustainability initiatives and having the first environmental studies program in the country. The first draw of the school is its scenic campus. The uniform white granite buildings and lush green quads framed in the picturesque Champlain Valley with Vermont's Green Mountains to the east, and New York's Adirondacks to the west, the campus is the quintessence of charming New England. The campus alone does not even begin to scratch the surface of what Middlebury has to offer.
Often times Middlebury graduates reflect on their years and say that the student environment made their college experience truly unique. Middlebury students are described as adventurous, outdoorsy, engaged and motivated. With a student population of only 2,526 undergraduates, Middlebury has a strong community feel that is sometimes lacking at larger schools. The 9:1 student to faculty ratio allows for more personalized attention and makes professors more accessible. The community experience is one of MIddlebury’s defining factors.
However, a common critique of small liberal arts colleges is that they lack course offering for STEM majors. To make up for this “Middlebury’s science and math departments blend the high-tech facilities and cutting edge research typically associated with larger universities with the collaborative learning atmosphere of a liberal arts college” (middlebury). In addition to having their own engineering majors, Middlebury also offers dual degree programs with Dartmouth, Columbia, and Rensselaer Polytechnic, allowing students to graduate with both B.A. (bachelor of arts) and B.E. (bachelor of engineering) degrees. Students at Middlebury are given a wide variety of options for their studies, to ensure everyone’s interests are taken into account and catered for.
Outside of classes, Middlebury has a lot to offer students. The surrounding area is known for beautiful and scenic hikes. In the winter months the school even has its own ski slope, called Snow Bowl, just a five-minute drive from central campus. The slope consists of over ten trails with three ski lifts, and the majority of its employees are Middlebury students. Athletics are also play a major role in student life and are very important to Middlebury. The school competes in NCAA Division III (with the exception of the ski team which is Division I) and has many teams that compete for national championships. Middlebury takes great pride in their athletics and sports facilities.
With a growing reputation as a world renowned academic institution, admissions are very competitive with a sixteen percent admittance rate. The school expects to see top SAT and ACT scores, along with high GPAs from its applicants, because its students are some of the brightest and most gifted in the country. Applying to Middlebury College would be without a doubt worthwhile.