Choosing a College: Amherst College

There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges. As such, we are highlighting a new college each week in our School Spotlight series. Check out the college below, along with the other posts in our series, and you may just stumble upon your dream school!

School Spotlight: Amherst College
Amherst, MA

One of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges, and also one of the most diverse, is Amherst College. Located on a 1,000 acre-campus dotted with classic New England architecture, Amherst enrolls over 1,800 students, evenly split between men and women. 43 percent of students from the Class of 2021 identify as students of color, while 20 percent come from low-income families. Amherst has a phenomenal financial aid policy. Admitted students have 100 percent of their demonstrated need met, while the average financial aid award is over $51,000! Additionally, students’ applications are read “need blind”—that is, without regard for their ability to pay… and this holds true for both domestic and international applicants. On the academic front, Amherst shines just as brilliantly. Students who seek flexibility and independence in their studies will love Amherst’s open curriculum. This means there is no core curriculum and no distribution requirements. However, all freshmen are expected to take a first year seminar. These interdisciplinary classes, capped at 15 students, are discussion-based and writing-intensive. Seminar selections from Fall 2018 include Books on the Brain, Drugs in History, and Oceans of the Past. Fun fact: the Amherst Mammoths compete in 25 sports, and have gone on to win 13 NCAA DIII titles, including women’s basketball in 2018!

Image Credit: Top, Courtesy of Amherst College

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Written by Elyse Krantz
Elyse Krantz is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts. Elyse received her BA in linguistics from Dartmouth College and her MA from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining College Coach, Elyse worked as an admissions officer at Barnard College and Bennington College.