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2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Admissions

That would take a lot of effort.

Level

3

Graduation Year

2012

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Being such a new school, Olin's academics change quickly (or at least they did while I was there). Since I haven't attended Olin in almost 4 years, my comments about *my* academic experience there would mean very little to a student considering Olin now, except to say that the academics are likely still top-notch, energy-filled, and cooperative. "Competitiveness" in the sense of student versus student never entered into my educational experience; we were always working together.

Quality of Life

The dorms, especially East Hall, are wonderful. Cost of living has changed quite a bit since my time there. The campus and facilities are all fairly new, so they're fairly state of the art, especially compared to Engineering programs at large universities. The library is small, but highly electronically connected. When I was there, the librarians were super helpful. The dining hall was better than can be imagined. Seriously, just drop by sometime for a meal. They win awards. There was an energy and a cooperativeness at Olin that made it a wonderfully happy place to struggle together and earn a degree. Laptops were left out in hallways, never stolen, people worked together on labs late into the night, never working "against" each other, and people would cooperate to do really great things.

Admissions

One essay question that remained constant through my year, the year previous, and all the years I attended Olin College was something to the effect of "What is your passion?" I have heard since I applied that the school wanted to make sure its applicants were passionate about *something* other than just computers, engineering, math, etc. - something bigger-picture, applicable to life in general (even if it was "math, as applied to...").

Candidates' weekend is fairly unique to Olin College. If no one else describes it for you, I highly suggest you look it up on the Olin website, or you may contact me for more details at gjemmott at gmail.

Graduation Year

2007

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

We're all engineering majors, but that really doesn't describe us. We have an amazingly diverse student body especially relating to individual talents and interests. Classes are generally very hands-on, project-based, and team-based. The professors generally go by their first name and regularly hang out with students in the dining hall to have informal conversations over lunch.

Quality of Life

At the end of my freshman year, I know 95% of the students by name. We're really close and we look out for each other. it's almost like a big family.

Admissions

We use the CommonApp with two supplement essays. Out of more than 1000 applicants, the best ~200 are selected and brought to the campus for a weekend. This "candidates weekend" includes activities for fun and for evaluation. Once you get to candidates weekend, all of the candidates can handle the academics, it's now a matter of fit. You get a good idea of what the college is like and we get an idea of what you're like.

Level

1

Graduation Year

2014

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Admissions

Olin's application is unique in that selected applicants are invited to "Candidate's Weekend"-a weekend where they get to know the school and the school gets to know them better. This is important because of the strong culture at Olin-there may be many academically qualified applicants who would not be happy at Olin, and they deserve a chance to understand that before making their decisions (likewise, Olin needs to see whether the "fit" is there for those applicants as well).

Level

2

Graduation Year

2013

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

The academic programs at Olin are truly exceptional. Olin strives to provide a non-traditional education that emphasizes communication, team work, problem solving, and many over-arching competencies that are important in the workplace. Class sizes are generally quite small, so students have a lot of involvement with faculty. Research opportunities abound - I participated in scientific research outside of classes for seven of the eight semesters I attended, as well as over one summer. When I attended Olin, there was an element of competitiveness, but I sensed that for a school of its academic rigor and achievement, the level of collaboration was high and those who needed help were easily able to receive it. The workload at Olin is quite high, partly due to the level of achievement that professors and students excepted of themselves, but the quality of education received at Olin is very high. The hard work is not due to rote memorization or dull problems...rather, long hours are spent creating and learning at a level that in many cases is equivalent to the graduate level (I know this because I am in the third year of my PhD at a good school now).

Quality of Life

Housing is wonderful - the two dorms are very nice, with bathrooms within rooms and suites. All of the facilities at Olin are very beautiful and well maintained. The campus is a safe place, and there is a lot of trust among members of the community. Food is delicious as well! The neighborhood is fine, though there is not a great amount to do within walking distance or even a short drive of campus. Boston is not far, however, for those who want more excitement. Overall happiness seems fairly high, except that many students work too hard and are under too much pressure. Yet the passion and excitement of the students, along with the great community, perhaps more than make up for this.

Admissions

The admissions process was quite unique - beyond the application and essays, all candidates for admission gather for a weekend of interviews, group design project, and social events that help Olin and the student really see if the college is a good fit. I believe the majority of candidates are accepted or wait listed, and both groups have the option of deferring a year before enrolling and starting in the fall. Olin College has a vision for making a great education affordable, and so every student receives a sizable scholarship to attend. Financial aid is also available for those who need additional support.

Graduation Year

2008

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Quality of Life

cost for housing and dining hall is high, but the community is the best I've ever experienced.

Admissions

unique application essays, optional interview; mandatory attendance of Candidates' Weekend, individual interview, group interview

Level

2

Graduation Year

2013

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Admissions

The most unique part of Olin's admission process is the candidate's weekend experience. All potential students are required to attend where they not only are interviewed for potential admission but are given the opportunity to experience Olin culture and figure out if that is where they want to be. As I like to say, candidate's weekend not only gives Olin the opportunity to find the students that are right for it, but it gives the students the opportunity to figure out if Olin is right for them.

Graduation Year

2010

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Unlike most engineering schools, Olin requires a liberal arts concentration in order to graduate, as well as participation in a intro business course, which allows students to create a running business for 3 weeks. Class size is about 20-1 in your freshman year, but quickly die down to 6-1.

Quality of Life

The rooms are huge, and we all get private bathrooms. And you know everyone in your building. in a good way. The second week I came here, someone dropped a twenty on the ground of the lounge. and it was later taped onto a piece of paper that said "found here, claim if yours" The 20 is still hanging on the board. The dining hall staff is incredible, and the food is pretty good too, but it's a little difficult to eat veg and not eat carbs for life.

Admissions

After the initial application process, Olin invites their top 250 choices to three weekends at the school. The candidates, we like to call them, are then welcome to experience the culture and community at Olin. Most of all the students participate, setting up activities for the candidates to do, as well as eat with them. The candidates are put into groups and participate in a design build, meant to be fun, and engaging. these same groups have group interviews as well as individual interviews at the end of the weekend.

Level

1

Graduation Year

2014

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Small class sizes, faculty who are leaders in their field and yet still willing to sit down and talk with you at a moments notice.

Quality of Life

Best college food I have tasted, very safe campus, and nice, modern facilities.

Admissions

Very interesting application questions, especially the one requiring a extra-curricular "passion". The Merit-based financial aid is also amazing.

Graduation Year

2007

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Fantastic faculty! - Very available to help mentor students and supervise research on top of above average course support through office hours, etc. The classes are tough and highly demanding, but worth every minute! The integrated importance of developing superb communication skills in every class is serving Olin alumni extremely well in the workplace.

Admissions

Unique and highly selective with "Candidates Weekends" in which all of the top candidates are brought on campus and interviewed in both individual and group settings before final admissions decisions are made.

Graduation Year

2006

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