More questions from our friends at College Confidential:

Since my sophmore year of high school, I have been in love with Williams College. For a while I liked other schools but Williams has always been one of my first choices. Recently, I visited both Williams and Midd and I loved Midd’s campus more than Williams (it was much more beautiful). Why should I keep Williams as my top choice? Are the academic opportunities (tutorials and Williams/Exeter) actually important in improving academic qualities?

I am outdoorsy, athletic, and interested in public health.

1) On most of the domensions that matter (rural versus city, LAC versus university), Williams and Middlebury are identical. If you like one, you’ll like the other.

2) My sense is that Williams is much more competitive than Middlebury. If 90% of the students admitted to Williams and Harvard, choose Harvard, then 90% of the students admitted to Williams and Middlebury choose Williams. (I think that this is true, but can’t recall a citation.) I did hear one faculty member complain that Paresky was built because the College was freaking out about a handful of students choosing Middlebury over Williams and citing facilities as a reason.

3) I can’t recall the exact details, but wasn’t there a controversy a few years ago about how Middlebury was cheating on its SAT score reporting to make itself look better than it was? If so, I am not sure if I would trust their Common Data Set numbers.

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