Choosing the right college is a critical decision for high school seniors. In this article, we will compare two distinct colleges: Williams College, a liberal arts college, and Penn State University, a large research university. We will examine various aspects of each school, including costs and tuition, admissions, degrees offered, academics, diversity, student life, campus, alumni, rankings, and outcomes.
Williams College is a private liberal arts college in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Founded in 1793, it offers a close-knit community with approximately 2,000 students and a focus on undergraduate education. The college is renowned for its rigorous academics and commitment to teaching. With a 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Williams offers personalized attention and fosters close relationships between students and professors.
Williams Costs & Tuition
As a private institution, Williams College has a higher tuition cost compared to public universities. The tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year are approximately $60,000. However, Williams is known for its generous financial aid packages, with approximately 50% of students receiving need-based grants. The average financial aid package for 2020-2021 was $54,000.
Admission to Williams College is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of around 13%. Applicants are required to submit their high school transcript, standardized test scores (optional due to COVID-19), and letters of recommendation. The college also considers extracurricular activities, leadership, and community involvement in the admission process.
Williams Degrees Offered
Williams College offers a wide range of undergraduate programs in arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Students can choose from more than 30 majors, including popular options like Economics, Political Science, and Biology. There are also interdisciplinary programs and opportunities for independent study.
The college emphasizes a strong liberal arts education, with a focus on critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills. Classes are typically small, with an average class size of 13 students, allowing for active participation and close interaction with faculty members. The college offers a unique tutorial system, where students work in pairs and meet regularly with their professors for in-depth discussions and feedback.
Williams College is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive community. Approximately 36% of the student body identifies as students of color, and around 8% are international students. The college offers several resources and programs to support diversity and inclusion, such as affinity groups, multicultural center, and diversity-themed housing.
Student life at Williams is vibrant and engaged, with more than 150 clubs and organizations spanning various interests, from academics and arts to sports and community service. The college also offers a strong athletics program, with 32 varsity teams participating in NCAA Division III sports.
The campus is situated within the picturesque Berkshires, offering a serene and natural setting for learning and living. The college provides a variety of housing options, including dormitories, co-ops, and special interest houses. The campus also features state-of-the-art facilities, such as the Sawyer Library and the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance.
Williams College boasts a strong alumni network, with notable graduates including former U.S. President James A. Garfield, Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Halberstam, and award-winning actor John C. Reilly.
Williams College consistently ranks among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. In the 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Williams is ranked as the #1 National Liberal Arts College.
Williams graduates enjoy successful careers across various fields, such as finance, consulting, education, and non-profit work. According to the Class of 2020 First Destination Report, 94% of graduates were employed, pursuing further education, or engaged in other activities within six months of graduation.
Penn State University Overview
Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) is a large public research university with its main campus in University Park, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1855, Penn State has grown to become one of the largest universities in the United States, with over 46,000 undergraduate students at the main campus and an additional 30,000 across its network of campuses. Penn State offers a diverse range of programs across various disciplines and is well known for its strong engineering, business, and agricultural programs.
Penn State Costs & Tuition
As a public university, Penn State offers lower tuition rates for in-state students compared to private institutions like Williams. For the 2021-2022 academic year, tuition and fees for in-state students are approximately $18,450, while out-of-state students pay around $35,514. Financial aid is available for eligible students, with 76% of undergraduates receiving some form of aid.
Penn State Admissions
Penn State University has a more accessible admission process compared to Williams, with an acceptance rate of approximately 49%. Applicants are required to submit their high school transcript, standardized test scores (optional due to COVID-19), and a personal statement. Extracurricular activities, leadership, and community involvement are also considered in the admission process.
Penn State Degrees Offered
Penn State offers over 275 undergraduate majors across numerous disciplines, allowing students to find a program that matches their interests and career goals. Popular majors include Engineering, Business, Agricultural Sciences, and Health Professions.
Penn State Academics
With a focus on research and experiential learning, Penn State provides a wide range of academic opportunities for its students. The university has a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio, allowing for more personalized instruction compared to other large public universities. Students can participate in research, internships, and study abroad programs to enhance their learning experience.
Penn State Diversity
Penn State is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus community. Approximately 43% of the student body identifies as students of color, and around 11% are international students. The university offers various resources and programs to support diversity and inclusion, such as the Paul Robeson Cultural Center and the Office of Educational Equity.
Penn State Students
Student life at Penn State is bustling and diverse, with over 1,000 clubs and organizations catering to various interests, from academics and arts to sports and community service. The university also has a strong athletics program, with 31 varsity teams participating in NCAA Division I sports.
Penn State Campus
Penn State University Park is the largest campus in the Penn State system, covering more than 8,500 acres. The campus offers a variety of housing options, including traditional residence halls, suites, and apartments. The campus also features state-of-the-art facilities, such as the Pattee and Paterno Libraries and the Bryce Jordan Center.
Penn State Alumni
Penn State boasts a vast alumni network, with notable graduates including author John Updike, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and NFL Hall of Fame player Franco Harris.
Penn State Rankings
In the 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Penn State is ranked as the #63 National University and #23 in Top Public Schools.
Penn State Outcomes
Penn State graduates enjoy successful careers across various industries, such as engineering, business, education, and government. According to the Class of 2020 First Destination Report, 85% of graduates were employed, pursuing further education, or engaged in other activities within six months of graduation.
Williams vs Penn State Cost Comparison
There is a significant difference in the costs of attending Williams College and Penn State University. As a private liberal arts college, Williams has a higher tuition cost of approximately $60,000 per year. In contrast, Penn State offers lower tuition rates for in-state students at around $18,450 per year and out-of-state students at about $35,514 per year. However, it’s important to consider financial aid packages, as Williams is known for its generous aid, with an average package of $54,000 for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Williams vs Penn State Admissions Difficulty
Admissions at Williams College are highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of around 13%. On the other hand, Penn State has a more accessible admissions process, with an acceptance rate of approximately 49%. Both schools evaluate applicants based on their academic performance, standardized test scores (optional due to COVID-19), extracurricular involvement, and other factors.
Williams vs Penn State Academic Difficulty
As a liberal arts college, Williams College focuses on providing a rigorous and well-rounded education. The smaller class sizes and 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio allow for more personalized instruction and close interaction with faculty. Penn State, as a large research university, emphasizes research and experiential learning opportunities. The 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio is relatively low for a large university, allowing for more individualized attention than some other large institutions.
Williams vs Penn State Outcome Comparison
Both Williams College and Penn State University have successful outcomes for their graduates. According to the latest First Destination Reports, 94% of Williams graduates and 85% of Penn State graduates were employed, pursuing further education, or engaged in other activities within six months of graduation. Graduates from both schools go on to work in various industries, such as finance, consulting, engineering, and non-profit work.