Resources › For Students and Parents The Five College Consortium A Prestigious Consortium of Four Colleges and One University in Western Mass. Share Flipboard Email Print For Students and Parents College Admissions Choosing A College College Admissions Process College Profiles College Rankings Application Tips Essay Samples & Tips Testing Graphs College Financial Aid Extracurricular Activities Advanced Placement Homework Help Private School Test Prep College Life Graduate School Business School Law School Distance Learning View More By Allen Grove College Admissions Expert Ph.D., English, University of Pennsylvania M.A., English, University of Pennsylvania B.S., Materials Science & Engineering and Literature, MIT Dr. Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Allen Grove Updated October 31, 2019 The Five College Consortium in Western Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley provides students in the member institutions with a wealth of academic opportunities. Students can take classes on any of the five campuses allowing for the type of breadth and interdisciplinary study that wouldn't be possible at a single college. Combined, the five colleges offer roughly 6,000 courses to nearly 40,000 undergraduates. A free bus connects all the campuses. Students can also take advantage of cultural and co-curricular opportunities on the member campuses. The consortium can be ideal for students who want a liberal arts or women's college experience, but worry about the limited opportunities (both social and academic) inherent to small schools. For students who attend UMass Amherst, the consortium allows them to experience the more intimate academic environment of a small college while attending a bustling university of over 30,000 students. Amherst College Amherst College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove With an impressively low student / faculty ratio, an endowment of over $2 billion, and a beautiful location in the mountains of Western Massachusetts, it should come as no surprise that Amherst College consistently ranks at or near the top of rankings of the country's best liberal arts colleges. You're going to need an extremely strong application to get in for Amherst's admissions standards place it among the nation's most selective colleges and universities. Fast Facts (2018) Location Amherst, Massachusetts Enrollment 1,855 (all undergraduate) Acceptance Rate 13% Student / Faculty Ratio 7 to 1 Source: National Center for Education Statistics Hampshire College Hampshire College. redjar / Flickr Hampshire College went through a rough spell in 2019 when the president announced its closure, but administrative changes and intervention by alumni appear to have saved the school. Hampshire is well known for its unusual approach to undergraduate education in which evaluation is qualitative, not quantitative, and students get to design their own majors working with an academic advisor. Hampshire's admissions standards aren't as selective as most of the five colleges, but the school tends to have a self-selecting student population that doesn't fit the traditional college mold. Fast Facts (2018) Location Amherst, Massachusetts Enrollment 1,191 (all undergraduate) Acceptance Rate 63% Student / Faculty Ratio 10 to 1 Source: National Center for Education Statistics Mount Holyoke College Mount Holyoke College. John Phelan/Wikimedia Commons Mount Holyoke is one of two women's colleges in the Five-College Consortium, and both rank among the nation's top women's colleges. The school features test-optional admissions, and the beautiful campus features gardens, lakes, waterfalls, and horseback-riding trails. In fact, horse lovers are often drawn to Mount Holyoke College, for it has a strong IHSA equestrian program and impressive equestrian facilities. Mount Holyoke's admissions standards are selective, and you're going to need strong grades to get in. Fast Facts (2018) Location South Hadley, Massachusetts Enrollment 2,335 (2,208 undergraduates) Acceptance Rate 51% Student / Faculty Ratio 9 to 1 Source: National Center for Education Statistics Smith College Seelye Hall at Smith College. Allen Grove Another strong women's college, Smith College is both larger and more selective than Mount Holyoke, and it is unusual among liberal arts colleges because of its popular engineering program. The attractive campus features the 12,000 square foot Lyman Conservatory and the Botanic Garden, and famous alumnae include Gloria Steinem, Sylvia Plath, and Julia Child. You'll need lots of "A" grades to get accepted to Smith, but standardized test scores are an optional part of the application. Fast Facts (2018) Location Northampton, Massachusetts Enrollment 2,903 (2,502 undergraduates) Acceptance Rate 31% Student / Faculty Ratio 9 to 1 Source: National Center for Education Statistics University of Massachusetts at Amherst University of Massachusetts at Amherst Student Union. Allen Grove UMass Amherst is by far the largest member of the Five College Consortium, and it is also the only public university in the group. The university frequently ranks among the top 50 public universities in the United States, and it is home to the tallest university library in the world. On the athletic front, the Minutemen compete in the NCAA Division I Atlantic 10 Conference. UMass Amherst's admissions standards are selective, and you're probably going to need above-average grades and standardized test scores to get in. Fast Facts (2018) Location Amherst, Massachusetts Enrollment 30,593 (23,515 undergraduates) Acceptance Rate 60% Student / Faculty Ratio 17 to 1 Source: National Center for Education Statistics Explore More Great Colleges in the Region New England Map. If you don't find your dream school in the Five College Consortium, be sure to explore other great colleges and universities in the region: 25 Top New England Colleges and Universities 36 Top Middle Atlantic Colleges and Universities 12 Top Massachusetts Colleges and Universities 9 Top Connecticut Colleges and Universities 12 Top New York Colleges and Universities Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation Grove, Allen. "The Five College Consortium." ThoughtCo, Oct. 29, 2020, thoughtco.com/the-five-college-consortium-787001. Grove, Allen. (2020, October 29). The Five College Consortium. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-five-college-consortium-787001 Grove, Allen. "The Five College Consortium." 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