College Corner: The College of William & Mary

For many seniors, one of the biggest struggles during the application process is deciding which school is best, as there are so many different colleges to consider.  One school to consider is the College of William & Mary.  For Schreiber alumna Ashley Cohen (Class of 2022), it is the perfect fit. 

The College of William & Mary is a public research university widely known for its outstanding academic reputation, beautiful campus, and vibrant community.  William & Mary is also famous for its firsts — the first U.S. institution with a Royal Charter, having the first Greek-letter society (Phi Beta Kappa), the first student honor code, the first college to become a university, and the first law school in America.  The school’s prestige is what entices so many incoming freshmen looking for a smaller student population with the same benefits as other larger-scale universities.

“I chose William & Mary because of its smaller student body, historic location of colonial Williamsburg, supportive alumni, proximity to Washington D.C., diverse course load, and overall academic rigor,” said Cohen.

William & Mary captures the perfect learning and social environment for its students.  Not only is the campus beautiful, but the students and faculty are friendly.  In addition, the town of Williamsburg, Virginia and the campus itself have so many areas of attraction to explore with friends, such as the Jamestown and Yorktown historical sights, Busch Gardens Europe, the Virginia Living Museum, and even the local public trolley rides.

“My favorite spot on campus is the Sunken Gardens, which is this open grassy area in the middle of campus.  It is a super cool place to relax, hang out with friends, or even study in between classes.  Another favorite spot is definitely Colonial Williamsburg.  My friends and I love taking walks there, and there are a bunch of cool stores and restaurants to check out,” said Cohen.

This esteemed college is also quite competitive in sports.  William & Mary competes at the NCAA Division I level in the Colonial Athletic Association, and is known for football, mens and womens swimming, mens and womens cross country, and mens and womens track and field.  Their colonial take on sports is what makes it so unique from any other college sport experience, and what attracts many students to the institution.

“Everyone comes out to the football games.  There are colonial people with rifles who shoot after every touchdown, and students love getting very dressed up in school colors to show their pride for the Tribe.  We recently had our homecoming game against the University of Delaware and won, so everyone on campus is definitely excited to see how the team does during the rest of the season,” said Cohen. 

Along with athletics, William & Mary’s emphasis on student clubs and organizations is commendable.  The school offers more than 450 campus clubs to choose from, and views student involvement as a reflection of the broad diversity of thought, experience and background of their students.  They also consider clubs an opportunity to explore leadership and community engagement in a supportive environment. 

“The school offers a ton of different clubs.  You can join traditional clubs like mock trial, debate, or The Flat Hat,the student newspaper.  There are also unique clubs that students can join such as Nerf Club, Harry Potter Club, and Cheese Club.  I would also say Greek life here is definitely something to consider getting involved with.  It’s a great way to make friends and be a part of a welcoming community,” said Cohen. 

Another facet that William & Mary prides itself on is its buildings and architecture. The old, large brick buildings are what make the campus aesthetically pleasing for students trying to make this place their home for the next four years. 

“The campus’s architecture is very charming.  All of the buildings are made of light red brick, and some are very old.  One notable building in particular is the Wren Building.  It is one of the oldest academic college buildings in the United States, and it’s a goal for most students to be able to take a class there at some point during their four years here,” said Cohen. 

Although there are so many schools to apply to, The College of William & Mary should be one to consider if prestigious academics, historical value, and sports are all on your list.