Vermont is one of the prettiest places in the world. The Green Mountains are lush, rolling hills covered in trees. They are breathtaking in the autumn. Small villages dot the countryside of Vermont with village squares, big old white, steepled-churches, traditional New England houses, and locally owned shops and farms. Vermont is peaceful. It is very sparsely populated between these tiny villages. The people of Vermont are kind and reliable, but tend to keep to themselves. Middlebury, VT sits in between the Green Mountain range and the Adirondack Mountains. Burlington, VT is a 30-minute drive north. Albany is about two and a half hours to the south. Boston is a three and a half drive in good weather. Other than that, Middlebury is surrounded by rural and unpopulated beauty. The town has about 8400 people but seems larger and more vibrant that you might expect in a town this size. There are a lot of pretty neighborhoods and a good selection of shops and restaurants. A lovely creek runs through town.
Middlebury College has 2450 undergraduate students. Over 200 years old, it is one of the most highly regarded colleges in the country. 96% of students are from out-of-state. Middlebury attracts students from every state in America and from all over the world. In the class of 2016, 44 states are represented, as are 50 countries.
Ninety-seven percent of all undergraduates live on campus. All students are placed in one of the five “Commons” when they arrive as freshmen. Commons are the backbone of life at Middlebury, encompassing social, academic and residential life. Students remain in their Commons for their whole undergraduate experience. Freshmen and sophomores live in their Commons housing. Each Commons has a dorm primarily for freshmen and then a dorm primarily for sophomores. Juniors and seniors remain a part of the Commons, but do not live in Commons housing; instead they have a range of other on-campus housing options. All freshmen take one intensive writing seminar class with other freshmen from their Commons. These seminars have no more than 15 students each and serve as a good introduction to learning at the college level. The seminars are all taught by professors, who become the students’ academic advisors for their first three semesters.
At Middlebury, the average class size is 16. 67% of classes have fewer than 20 students. 30% of classes have 20-49 students, and 3% of classes have more than 50 students in them. Professors are reported to be wonderful and incredibly accessible to students. Middlebury is known for its international studies program, its language programs, and environmental science.
The college has a somewhat unusual schedule in that there are two semesters and one winter term, which is a one-month term in January. Students take only one class winter term. The course offerings for winter term are unique and varied.
Middlebury, VT is quaint and picturesque, but there’s not a ton to do there besides the nice restaurants and three bars. In some ways the college experience is idyllic, but it can get boring when the cold is extreme. There is no Greek life at Middlebury. Middlebury brings in a lot of theater, musical performances, lectures, and other events for the students. Some report that there is always something to do, while others lament the lack of things to do. There isn’t a huge party scene, although parties can be found. There is a big focus on outdoor activities. Middlebury is about a half hour away from its ski run.
Middlebury is unique among liberal arts colleges in its graduate and other specialized programs throughout the world. The Language Schools are intensive 24/7 immersions into language study. The Language Schools are offered on the Middlebury, Vermont campus and also at Mills College in Oakland, California for college level and graduate level language immersion. Middlebury Schools Abroad is an outstanding study abroad program for Middlebury undergraduate students. Middlebury owns most of the actual programs, sometimes in collaboration with other schools. The programs owned by Middlebury are called the C.V. Starr-Middlebury Schools Abroad programs. These schools exist in 15 countries and in 36 cities in those countries. In the countries where there are no Middlebury owned programs, Middlebury has carefully partnered with a university in that host country. Middlebury’s oversight provides a level of consistency and quality control often lacking in study abroad programs. Housing is carefully arranged and often involves living with a host family. Most colleges offer study abroad, but Middlebury’s program is truly noteworthy. The Bread Loaf School of English and Writing is a graduate level program that offers study in writing, literature, and theater arts. Bread Loaf assembles each summer on four campuses (Vermont, New Mexico, North Carolina, and England.) Students may participate for one summer or can attend for the 4-5 summers necessary to achieve a master’s degree. The Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy provides one-month programs for high schools students to learn language. The programs are hosted in beautiful college campuses around the country and take place for a month in the summer. Finally the Monterey Institute of International Studies offers graduate degrees with an emphasis on international studies.
Mid Range Scores
Middlebury meets full need and is need blind in admissions. There are no merit awards.