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Looking for a small, intellectual liberal arts school - average SAT score


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What's with the ads?

#51 lisabees

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:13 PM

Of your list above and local to me, I would say that Lewis and Clark might be a better fit than Willamette, but Willamette is much more likely to offer better aid, both merit and financial. Lots of students who don't get the aid needed for Lewis and Clark end up at Willamette. Both are easy to get to from the Portland airport. Portland is about as hipster and liberal as you can get, so I'm sure she'd love it. Salem is smaller and more conservative, but it's easy to get to Portland via public transportation. Both would probably have lots of her tribe with Willamette also having maybe more sporty, pre-professional types and Lewis and Clark having more wealthy CA transplants. Both have plenty of environmentally focused students. Academics would be quite similar.

 

Thank you for this.  It is exactly what I need to know.  Lewis and Clark isn't even on the list, knowing she is in bottom of stats and wouldn't get merit.

 

Re: Willamette - does it have something so uniquely perfect for her that it is the worth the travel expenses?  Sporty, pre-professional types are abundant at the schools around here.  No need to go far for that.  And we are avoiding many of those schools.



#52 3andme

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:27 PM

Posted Today, 11:45 AM

3andme, on 17 Jul 2017 - 9:21 PM, said:snapback.png

Also, St. Andrews in Scotland is a popular alternative for US students.

 

 

But this is not a huge tuition savings, unless you account for the 3 yrs vs 4, right?

 

St. Andrews is a 4 year program. According to their brochure, it's about $34,000 a year (26,000 GBP) for tuition and room and board in the Arts & Sciences. Of course, there would be additional expense for foreign travel etc. but still a good deal when compared with many American universities at $60,000 plus. I'm keeping this in mind for oldest ds who hates cities and likes cooler climates. They have a well regarded International Relations program. Admissions for Americans seem to be fairly straight forward as long as you meet their testing criteria; although, they say they will also consider the app more holistically if those criteria aren't met.  


Edited by 3andme, 18 July 2017 - 06:31 PM.

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#53 katilac

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:31 PM

Regarding not doing well on tests: make sure she looks at the requirements for any scholarships. A lesser scholarship that requires a 3.0 may serve her better in the long run than a bigger one that requires 3.5. 


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#54 J-rap

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:49 PM

Carleton is on the list of 50 most selective colleges in another thread. While not as super selective as Carleton, significant merit aid would require top test scores and grades at Macalester.

 

That's a good point, but we personally know many students (given our location) who go there or who have gone there in the past.  They tend to be very good students but not top scoring, and many are from families who could not attend unless there was significant aid.  So, maybe worth a shot!


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#55 Frances

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:16 PM

Thank you for this. It is exactly what I need to know. Lewis and Clark isn't even on the list, knowing she is in bottom of stats and wouldn't get merit.

Re: Willamette - does it have something so uniquely perfect for her that it is the worth the travel expenses? Sporty, pre-professional types are abundant at the schools around here. No need to go far for that. And we are avoiding many of those schools.

I meant that in addition to many students like her, there would also be more sporty and pre-professional students compared to say Lewis and Clark, which would have more students from very wealthy backgrounds, in addition to lots of students like her. Sorry I wasn't clear.

I don't know about uniquely perfect, but Willamette is known for good aid for students they want and being on the east coast would likely get her much more aid than at a similar school locally. That was definitely the experience of my high stats son. He got significantly more merit aid from much more selective LACs in this Midwest than he did from less selective LACs in the PNW. It might be worth applying and then seeing what kind of aid package she gets before visiting. They do have a pretty significant percentage of students involved in the arts which might appeal to her with her dance background. Their dance program has improved substantially during the last five years.
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#56 Frances

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:21 PM

That's a good point, but we personally know many students (given our location) who go there or who have gone there in the past. They tend to be very good students but not top scoring, and many are from families who could not attend unless there was significant aid. So, maybe worth a shot!

Definitely worth a shot, it was my dream school for my son, but alas he had other ideas. 😜It was the only school that gave us any financial aid at all, a small non-government work study grant. But at least at the time my son applied, the top merit scholarship he got was only available for those who were National Merit qualifiers first, and the OP said they needed substantial merit aid.

Edited by Frances, 18 July 2017 - 08:30 PM.

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#57 JanetC

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:18 PM

That's a good point, but we personally know many students (given our location) who go there or who have gone there in the past. They tend to be very good students but not top scoring, and many are from families who could not attend unless there was significant aid. So, maybe worth a shot!

If the FAFSA says you need aid, Macalester will give it. But, merit is highly competitive.

DD graduating in 2016 got 0 merit for a 3.8 and 2100 (old) SAT. But, unlike others, they didn't consider us full pay and we got a small need based grant.

ETA:they are rumored to be generous with diversity recruiting as well, if that applies to anyone,

Edited by JanetC, 18 July 2017 - 08:43 PM.

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#58 3andme

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:31 PM

If you're visiting Goucher, you might drive a little further and check out St. Mary's College of Maryland. According to their web site, they are considered the honors college of the U of MD system and function as a small liberal arts focused college. The COA is about $29,000 instate and $44,000 out of state but they do offer merit to both in and out of state applicants. No idea about the culture on campus. 


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#59 Hoggirl

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:33 PM

Do you have a Fiske Guide? I think it's very good at highlighting college vibes.

Your dsd is not alone in her skepticism of going to Arkansas, but I would encourage you to explore Hendrix. Full disclosure: I'm an alum, so I have a bias. They are less interested in test scores than grades. It is FULL of quirky people. While I realize Arkansas is a red state, Hendrix is VERY blue. It is only half an hour from Little Rock which has a decent regional airport. They have a cool, fairly new President. The food is excellent (not so in my day). Frosh housing needs improvement, but there are much nicer options for upperclassmen. The campus is lovely. No Greeks. And they have the Odyssey program which didn't exist when I attended when dinosaurs roamed the earth. You can read about it here:

https://www.hendrix.edu/odyssey/

EDIT: also found this blurb about the Odyssey program. No idea who this company is:

http://emersoneducat...dyssey-program/

Since your daughter has an interest in writing, you can read about my classmate here:

https://en.m.wikiped...las_A._Blackmon

Edited by Hoggirl, 18 July 2017 - 10:40 PM.

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#60 Margaret in CO

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 11:22 PM

Evergreen State?

 


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#61 madteaparty

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 11:45 PM


Posted Today, 11:45 AM


3andme, on 17 Jul 2017 - 9:21 PM, said:snapback.png



St. Andrews is a 4 year program. According to their brochure, it's about $34,000 a year (26,000 GBP) for tuition and room and board in the Arts & Sciences. Of course, there would be additional expense for foreign travel etc. but still a good deal when compared with many American universities at $60,000 plus. I'm keeping this in mind for oldest ds who hates cities and likes cooler climates. They have a well regarded International Relations program. Admissions for Americans seem to be fairly straight forward as long as you meet their testing criteria; although, they say they will also consider the app more holistically if those criteria aren't met.

Thanks for clarifying, I thought those fees were tuition only.
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#62 JanetC

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 11:55 PM

These aren't all liberal arts colleges, but there might be some new ideas here:

 

https://www.colleget...for-b-students/


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#63 katilac

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:55 AM

If the FAFSA says you need aid, Macalester will give it. But, merit is highly competitive.
 

 

Although they do a pretty good job with income diversity, note that they do not have needs-blind admission. 


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#64 swimmermom3

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 01:41 PM

With liberal and hipster as criteria, I would add Lewis and Clark in Portland and maybe Beloit in Wisconsin.

 

Ds was accepted to Beloit and we spent two days there for an accepted students weekend. Wisconsin wasn't my son's cup of tea, but there was so much to like about this school from the administration to the campus to the incredible friendliness of the students. A small thing, but we were stunned when everyone dropped their bags outside the cafeteria and retrieved them after their meal. Even 30 years ago at our state university, backpacks left unattended would have been long gone.

 

Other things that struck me that there was an emphasis on the students "wearing many hats" on campus. Student theater productions are well attended as are sporting events. There is a strong sense of community.  There is also an archaeological museum on campus and our tour guide talked about performing chemistry experiments on 3,000 year old bones during her freshman year.

 

There is a research grant of about $3,000 that students can apply for their sophomore year, I think, to spearhead their own projects.

 

I would have loved Beloit; my dh would have loved Goucher; and ds held on to Allegheny as an option to American University and George Washington University until the very end because he very much liked the professors and the classes he attended there. He bonded quickly with the other accepted students that were there at the same time and felt like he had "found his tribe."  The small liberal arts colleges make a student feel appreciated and desired and that can make larger universities and colleges feel cold and a bit uncaring.

 

Allegheny's merit aid goes for all four years and is not grade point dependent. They want their students to take academic risks and try a class that may stretch their academic limits.  That fit our homeschooling philosophy completely.

 

 


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#65 WoolySocks

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 05:45 PM


DD is an atheist.  St Olaf was originally on the list, until I found out more about the culture.  

 

 

Sorry for the jump in.  I would love to know what about St. Olaf's culture might be troubling to a liberal atheist that you've heard?  We are in MN and I know a bunch of Ole grads and none of them Lutheran and all of them are super liberal.  Including 2 gay people and 1 transgender person.  My kid is interested in music so that has definitely been on our list.   Hope to have a chance to get on campus this fall with my son.  Or does this have more to do with the recent news conservative students choosing to leave St. Olaf? 

 

I think both Macalester and especially Carleton can be challenging for admissions.  I know kids turned away from both those schools I thought would be shoo-ins.  We're going to tour Macalester in a couple weeks.


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#66 lisabees

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:53 PM

First, an update!  DD will be attending St. John's Summer Academy next week.  She is beyond excited!  Jane Austen and Shakespeare and croquet? Are you kidding me?

 

Lisa, re: Allegheny. You know how first impressions go a long way?  I think I shared my oldest ds's story in a post at one time; Allegheny didn't seem to match his social or intellectual needs.  But the tour guide's blue eyes were soooo beautiful, according to him. :)  Anyway, it may have been that one tour guide (her lack of intellectual passion, not her beauty), but it was out of the running.  It actually may be a good fit for dd, but I do recall it being in the middle of nowhere - seriously in the middle of nowhere - like Juniata.

 

Does American sound like a possible fit for her?  Haven't looked at their stats in a long time.

 

WoolySocks, re: St Olaf.  I may have read about the culture on College Confidential a while back.  I would love to know if I am wrong.  Have fun at Macalester.  We never visited.  It sounds awesome to me.

 

Carleton, Macalester, Grinnell, Kenyon.  She probably couldn't get in, but if she did, she couldn't get merit.  Oldest ds was accepted at three of those, but he had higher stats and, still, merit wasn't generous enough.

 

 

 


Edited by lisabees, 19 July 2017 - 07:57 PM.

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#67 WoolySocks

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:51 PM


 

WoolySocks, re: St Olaf.  I may have read about the culture on College Confidential a while back.  I would love to know if I am wrong.  Have fun at Macalester.  We never visited.  It sounds awesome to me.

 

Oh interesting!  You gave me a googling point - thank you!  We know someone on staff there is well so I'll be asking around.  :)  I do think this average ACT at St Olaf is at a sweet spot where we might be able to get some merit aid but still have a pretty academically minded community - that's important to us too.


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#68 katilac

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 09:29 PM

but I do recall it being in the middle of nowhere - seriously in the middle of nowhere  

 

Yes, you recall correctly. 


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#69 JennW in SoCal

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:35 PM

There are about 3 WTM kids who are Wooster alums, with at least 2 of us moms still around and eager to promote the school. My ds chose it over Willamette, and while we looked at Beloit and Grinnell and Lawrence and Lewis and Clark and others, he opted not to submit lots of applications. Nail biting experience, but one that had a positive outcome!

 

It is rather in the middle of nowhere, but it is a beautiful nowhere and the campus community so tight that nobody seems to feel isolated. The school has lots of money for research and summer programs. My ds was working as a research assistant in the geology department starting the spring semester of his freshman year and spent that summer doing field work in Iceland and Utah. It was all paid for and he received a stipend for his work. The school markets itself based on the senior research project, the Independent Study. It is uniquely rigorous but the faculty are terrific mentors who prepare the students for the process. Most students present their senior research at professional conferences.

 

 


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#70 MorningGlory

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 07:15 AM

She leans hipster and liberal.  Social justice should matter greatly to the student culture.  

.

 

She is a quiet, serious girl.  She is appalled by most kids' behavior with drinking etc, but she is not sheltered at all from pop culture.  She is insecure, but really has the ability to bloom into a leader.  She needs a place that will allow her to grow.

 

She is a talented creative writer and loves the idea of a liberal arts school to help find her passion.  She loves the idea of the seven sisters schools.

 

 

Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. 

A true gem!


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#71 JumpedIntoTheDeepEndFirst

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 08:06 AM

I would add the following women's colleges to the list if she is seriously considering one-

 

Smith College

Hollins University

Agnes Scott

Meredith

Salem

Sweet Briar College is another option but it might feel a bit too preppy for her.

 

(Merit aid at most of these can be generous but it is not obvious when you are researching.)

 

Some co-ed schools to consider are Hampshire and Catawba College.

 

If she isn't looking for preppy/greek life I wouldn't consider Sewanee.

 

St Johns (Annapolis, MD) is a highly specialized and unique curriculum, I would be certain that it is exactly what and how you want to study before applying.

 


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#72 Hoggirl

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 08:11 AM

Rhodes College in Memphis, TN.
A true gem!

I agree that it is a gem, but I *think* it is pretty heavy Greek? I am not anti-Greek - just wondering if that jives with this student. I may be wrong about how Greek it is. Okay, I just googled - 50% Greek.

Edited by Hoggirl, 20 July 2017 - 08:14 AM.

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#73 teachermom2834

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 10:35 AM

If she isn't looking for preppy/greek life I wouldn't consider Sewanee.
 

I agree with this. I don't think Sewanee would be a fit for OP's dd (though I don't think she's mentioned it). I'm localish and my ds looked heavily at it and applied. The low tolerance for foolish student behavior, drinking would not be a good match. It is kind of a shame how party heavy the culture is there because there is plenty to like about the school.


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#74 daijobu

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 11:00 AM

I'll throw in Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.  Yes, it isn't secular, but my lapsed Catholic-turned-atheist-craving-an-intellectual-atmosphere girl friend attended and thrived there.  This was many many years ago, but she received aid that made the school's cost comparable to ISU.  

 

I'll also throw out another idea to consider.  I will suggest that at any school of sufficient size, you are likely to find your tribe of like minded students.  Even sports crazy universities with a party culture have future poets and philosophers attending, no?  


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#75 Frances

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 02:29 PM

I'll throw in Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Yes, it isn't secular, but my lapsed Catholic-turned-atheist-craving-an-intellectual-atmosphere girl friend attended and thrived there. This was many many years ago, but she received aid that made the school's cost comparable to ISU.

I'll also throw out another idea to consider. I will suggest that at any school of sufficient size, you are likely to find your tribe of like minded students. Even sports crazy universities with a party culture have future poets and philosophers attending, no?

In the late 1980s many of my high school classmates, all Catholic, attended Luther. I can't speak to its current culture, but it is in a really neat small IA town.

I definitely agree with the second paragraph. That's why I also suggested Cornell College in IA further up the thread. It does have the advantage over Luther of being more secular (very loose Methodist affiliation) and very close to two much larger cities, IA City and Cedar Rapids. It's also closer to Chicago and in fact draws many of its students from there. After Grinnell, it's probably the most selective LAC in IA.
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#76 transientChris

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 03:49 PM

My dd goes to Rhodes.  The OP's daughter would be unlikely to get merit aid unless her scores improved and GPA improved.  My dd did get it but her GPA was over a 4.0 and her ACT was a point above the average.  I think their average now is 28.  It isn't a particularly liberal campus though there are plenty of liberals there along with conservatives too.  The Greek society encompasses about half the student population but dd has not had any problems with getting friends and having enough to do without resorting to attending frat parties.


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#77 jdahlquist

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 04:13 PM

My nephew is a couple years out University of Dallas. My take on it is that it still pretty conservative and not particularly socially minded. I have a similar daughter but US is not going on her list.

DD is a rising senior at UD.  She has found that the idea of "socially minded" depends greatly upon what social issues you are talking about.  She has friends that are highly involved with pro-life, human trafficking, hunger, and environmental issues (these are some I can remember specifics about off of the top of my head); there are fewer involved in social issues such as pro-choice, gender issues, and religious diversity.  

 

There is no Greek life.  They are friendly to homeschoolers.  


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#78 Arch At Home

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 06:10 PM

I would look at St. Edwards. It is Catholic but th recruiter indicated that it was not strongly Catholic. The son of a friend of mine currently attending there and he is impressed with their social concerns focus. OP's DD would qualify for their Presidential Scholarship.
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#79 Harpymom

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 04:53 PM

Late posting - Guilford College in Greensboro, NC is a Quaker college with social justice focus, more diverse than many small LACs, her scores are right in line, but I haven't done the research on their merit aid.


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#80 SamanthaCarter

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 06:35 PM

Have you checked out Roanoke College? It's a liberal college in a conservative area - student body is made up of a lot of New England students. Affiliated with ECLA. Not sports crazy except for lacrosse, Greek society makes up about 20%.

ETA: I would consider it preppy...

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by SamanthaCarter, 24 July 2017 - 11:11 AM.

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#81 Scoutermom

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 10:51 AM

Knox - your DD would be a perfect fit. It's a secular liberal school with a hipster student population. Student are highly active in world affairs and outreach/activism. It's a great LAC with high marks for grad school admissions. Merit aid varies but is there and can be quite generous.

 

BTW- Mount Holyoke is a test optional school. She doesn't have to submit those scores if she doesn't want to. MHC used to be quite generous with merit aid.

 

 

ETA: Grinnell is a great school but can be quite stingy with merit aid. After DS (high stats) received his merit and need based package, Grinnell still wanted more than 40% of our gross income. That was with two in college at the time. We appealed but they stuck to their guns. DS received the least amount of merit aid from GC; we thought this a bit odd because he was accepted ED even though he applied RD. 


Edited by Scoutermom, 24 July 2017 - 10:56 AM.

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#82 lisabees

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 03:35 PM

I would add the following women's colleges to the list if she is seriously considering one-

 

Smith College

Hollins University

Agnes Scott

Meredith

Salem

Sweet Briar College is another option but it might feel a bit too preppy for her.

 

(Merit aid at most of these can be generous but it is not obvious when you are researching.)

 

Some co-ed schools to consider are Hampshire and Catawba College.

 

If she isn't looking for preppy/greek life I wouldn't consider Sewanee.

 

St Johns (Annapolis, MD) is a highly specialized and unique curriculum, I would be certain that it is exactly what and how you want to study before applying.

 I really think she would thrive at an all women's school.  She is drawn to them; she could use a safe place to grow.  

 

There are about 3 WTM kids who are Wooster alums, with at least 2 of us moms still around and eager to promote the school. My ds chose it over Willamette, and while we looked at Beloit and Grinnell and Lawrence and Lewis and Clark and others, he opted not to submit lots of applications. Nail biting experience, but one that had a positive outcome!

 

It is rather in the middle of nowhere, but it is a beautiful nowhere and the campus community so tight that nobody seems to feel isolated. The school has lots of money for research and summer programs. My ds was working as a research assistant in the geology department starting the spring semester of his freshman year and spent that summer doing field work in Iceland and Utah. It was all paid for and he received a stipend for his work. The school markets itself based on the senior research project, the Independent Study. It is uniquely rigorous but the faculty are terrific mentors who prepare the students for the process. Most students present their senior research at professional conferences.

 

I have visited Wooster twice.  It is lovely.  

 

Could you describe Beloit to me?

 

Late posting - Guilford College in Greensboro, NC is a Quaker college with social justice focus, more diverse than many small LACs, her scores are right in line, but I haven't done the research on their merit aid.

 

Checking it out.  Thanks!

 

Knox - your DD would be a perfect fit. It's a secular liberal school with a hipster student population. Student are highly active in world affairs and outreach/activism. It's a great LAC with high marks for grad school admissions. Merit aid varies but is there and can be quite generous.

 

BTW- Mount Holyoke is a test optional school. She doesn't have to submit those scores if she doesn't want to. MHC used to be quite generous with merit aid.

 

 

ETA: Grinnell is a great school but can be quite stingy with merit aid. After DS (high stats) received his merit and need based package, Grinnell still wanted more than 40% of our gross income. That was with two in college at the time. We appealed but they stuck to their guns. DS received the least amount of merit aid from GC; we thought this a bit odd because he was accepted ED even though he applied RD. 

 

Knox.  It is on the list.  Mt Holyoke is test optional and that makes it a possibility.  It will definitely be her reach school, but she must receive enough merit.  We will make another visit next month (and make a pitstop at Wheaton in Norton, MA , if it sounds like a possibility).

 

She can't get into Grinnell.   :)


Edited by lisabees, 24 July 2017 - 03:36 PM.


#83 Bluegoat

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 05:55 AM

Poor DSD.  In person, she is highly articulate, highly passionate, highly informed.  She is well read, currently reading Handmaid's Tale and Emma on her own.  If you recall, she was homeschooled to dance ballet full time and returned to PS in January.  

 

She is a rising senior.

 

Her test scores aren't great.  1210 SAT.  One AP score of a 3.  Not sure of GPA; can't seem to access it.  Probably 3.5.

 

She wants a highly intellectual school filled with people who take academics and world issues seriously.  But it is difficult to find with those scores.

 

Her reach school is Mt Holyoke.  She was fine with Wooster.  In the spring, we did a whirlwind road trip and also saw Earlham, Denison, Clark, Goucher, Bryn Mawr, Oberlin (to see my oldest), U of Rochester, Muhlenberg.  She just returned from Susquehanna University's Writer's Workshop. She is a talented writer.

 

Right now, I am looking for names of additional schools; I can research the financial aspect and determine whether or not it is worth applying.

 

Is St. John's worth a look? 

 

If you would be willing to look at Canada, you could look at University of King's College in Halifax.  There is probably a little more wiggle room with SAT scores than in a US school, and I know they are especially interested in homeschooled students at the moment.


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