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


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#101 whitestavern

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 02:26 PM

Lisabees... have you been able to tour Wheaton yet? We went last weekend and my dd really liked it.

 

If you haven't visited yet, here are my takeaways:

 

Pros: The campus is very pretty, and it's in a cute little town. Location is nice; Providence and Boston are close. It's all undergrad, so no TAs, and the class sizes are of course small. There are a couple of unique benefits. One is that going abroad is free. Your tuition covers it, including the airfare to get where you are going. You can go for a week (like during a vacation), a month, a semester or a year. Also, if you cannot find a paid internship they will give you a stipend to cover your expenses. I believe our guide said they are $3000-$4000. It's guaranteed funding called The Wheaton Edge. You're able to take classes at Brown, though I don't know all the details on how to do that. DD asked about sign language (she does not want to take a foreign language, which is a requirement, and that will suffice. That class is at Brown. Can't remember specific examples but we definitely got the vibe that everyone gets along and are very supportive of each other. Every dorm has its own kitchen.

 

Cons: Housing is the same all four years. Most of the LACs we've visited have nicer dorms as you proceed through the years and many have apartments for upper classmen. So at Wheaton all dorms are all years, which I guess could be viewed as a benefit for some. Also, it seemed "small." We've been looking at all only small schools, and Hamilton at just a few hundred more students, which is dd's favorite, seemed much bigger. The campus felt small but it wasn't just the size. It seemed more like a prep school than a college. Also, the reason it got on our list was due to the open curriculum, but from what the tour guide was telling me there are quite a few required courses. I haven't had a chance to go onto their website and check out the details. The tour guide wasn't great. She seemed like she was adlibbing half of it, and there were a lot of questions she couldn't answer. Kind of a ditz. I hate when we get bad tour guides because it gives me a bad taste for the school, which I realize is my issue, lol! But we did speak to two other students just briefly upon arrival and they were great!

 

If you have any specific questions, I'll be happy to try to answer them. We're off to Lafayette and Muhlenberg this weekend.


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#102 lisabees

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 03:25 PM

Lisabees... have you been able to tour Wheaton yet? We went last weekend and my dd really liked it.

 

If you haven't visited yet, here are my takeaways:

 

Pros: The campus is very pretty, and it's in a cute little town. Location is nice; Providence and Boston are close. It's all undergrad, so no TAs, and the class sizes are of course small. There are a couple of unique benefits. One is that going abroad is free. Your tuition covers it, including the airfare to get where you are going. You can go for a week (like during a vacation), a month, a semester or a year. Also, if you cannot find a paid internship they will give you a stipend to cover your expenses. I believe our guide said they are $3000-$4000. It's guaranteed funding called The Wheaton Edge. You're able to take classes at Brown, though I don't know all the details on how to do that. DD asked about sign language (she does not want to take a foreign language, which is a requirement, and that will suffice. That class is at Brown. Can't remember specific examples but we definitely got the vibe that everyone gets along and are very supportive of each other. Every dorm has its own kitchen.

 

Cons: Housing is the same all four years. Most of the LACs we've visited have nicer dorms as you proceed through the years and many have apartments for upper classmen. So at Wheaton all dorms are all years, which I guess could be viewed as a benefit for some. Also, it seemed "small." We've been looking at all only small schools, and Hamilton at just a few hundred more students, which is dd's favorite, seemed much bigger. The campus felt small but it wasn't just the size. It seemed more like a prep school than a college. Also, the reason it got on our list was due to the open curriculum, but from what the tour guide was telling me there are quite a few required courses. I haven't had a chance to go onto their website and check out the details. The tour guide wasn't great. She seemed like she was adlibbing half of it, and there were a lot of questions she couldn't answer. Kind of a ditz. I hate when we get bad tour guides because it gives me a bad taste for the school, which I realize is my issue, lol! But we did speak to two other students just briefly upon arrival and they were great!

 

If you have any specific questions, I'll be happy to try to answer them. We're off to Lafayette and Muhlenberg this weekend.

 

 

I cannot thank you enough - Wheaton is officially off the list.  I just don't think there is anything compelling enough to warrant a visit.

 

I am excited to hear about your Lafayette and Muhlenberg visits!  They're practically in my back yard!



#103 WoolySocks

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 09:39 PM

Was Macalaster still being looked at?  We visited today and I loved it so much!  Lovely campus in a vibrant area, hipster, liberal, collaborative, non-competitive caring vibe.  Our tour guide told us a story how someone in admissions met with him at the airport just to chat because she was on her way out of town while he was just considering the school.  Sadly, my kid wasn't nearly as impressed as me.  LOL.


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#104 littlebug42

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 12:14 AM

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.

 

St. Edward's is my alma mater.  I was not Catholic when I attended and it never caused any problems.  There is a strong focus on social justice.  They were very generous with aid at the time as well.  When I attended, they had a focus on a diverse student population so students from out of state were given pretty good aid packages.  Not sure if this has changed at all in the time since I graduated.  I thought Austin was wonderful and I really loved my time there.  



#105 Emerald Stoker

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 05:06 PM

Another Canadian idea: Brescia University College at the University of Western Ontario in London, ON. It's a women's college.

brescia.uwo.ca

US admissions requirements indicate minimum 1100 SAT and 3.0 GPA.

Students can also take courses at the other affiliated colleges (Huron and King's) as well as at Western itself.

International tuition with fees looks to be in the neighbourhood of $28,000 CDN (our dollar is about 80 cents at the moment).

London is a nice city, and Western is a good school. I don't know anything about Brescia itself, but you might find it worth a look.



#106 Frances

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 12:13 AM

Was Macalaster still being looked at? We visited today and I loved it so much! Lovely campus in a vibrant area, hipster, liberal, collaborative, non-competitive caring vibe. Our tour guide told us a story how someone in admissions met with him at the airport just to chat because she was on her way out of town while he was just considering the school. Sadly, my kid wasn't nearly as impressed as me. LOL.


Same for me, plus it was very strong in my son's main areas of interest, chemistry and economics. Alas, we had a terrible tour guide, by far the worst of all our college visits, and it was the last of several visits during a spring break trip. Although my son applied and was accepted with great merit aid, it was the first postcard he mailed back declining the offer. 😢

#107 J-rap

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 06:15 AM

Just coming back around to some of the colleges listed earlier...

 

I just read this article on the city of Beloit yesterday... interesting!

 

https://www.nytimes....pe=article&_r=0

 

Two of my nephews went to Beloit and loved it.  Another nephew attended Lawrence, and loved that one!  Both schools are in Wisconsin.

 

I graduated from St. Olaf after moving from the West Coast before my junior year.  It has Lutheran traditions but is quite liberal.  And that was in the 80's.  In the 80's it was also quite "preppy" -- my funny West Coast hippie clothes stood out quite a bit!  haha  But it was a great school, very good academically with students from across the board.  You would not feel uncomfortable being there from a different background than Midwestern Lutheran.  Its emphasis is on academics.

 

 


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#108 WoolySocks

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 09:19 AM

Same for me, plus it was very strong in my son's main areas of interest, chemistry and economics. Alas, we had a terrible tour guide, by far the worst of all our college visits, and it was the last of several visits during a spring break trip. Although my son applied and was accepted with great merit aid, it was the first postcard he mailed back declining the offer. 😢

 

Awww bummer!  :(  I was just talking to my husband about how it's kind of sad that your experience can be colored overly good or bad by a single person on campus you may never see again if you went there.  I had a great tour guide!  I thought it would be fantastic to be a science student at Mac!  Such great opportunities.  It is not particularly strong in music which is my kid's current focus, but I'd love if he could go somewhere like a LAC where he could double major or at least explore other areas.  So many music students end up in a master's program.

 

Thank you J-rap for weighing in on St. Olaf, Lawrence, and Beloit.  I am especially in love with the look of Lawrence for this music kid of mine.  Lawrence has a very homeschool-y project based, individual learner mind set I think would be so great for him.  He's already eye rolling over it being in Appleton WI.  LOL.  Whatever kid.  Reality will set in one of these days here right?  Macalester is very close to home for us and they kept talking about how great the location was in the tour and my son thought that was ridiculous.  I don't know if he's thinking NYC, Boston, LA that's it or what!?  He better win the lottery!

 

You have confirmed my experience with Ole grads, I know a bunch of them!  We live right in the middle of the cities.  We're going touring there in a couple weeks.  I definitely want to tour Beloit too.  We're going to have to plan a little Wisconsin tour maybe this winter.  I'd like to hit Beloit, Lawrence, Madison, maybe another smaller public options or 2.  We get tuition reciprocity in Wisconsin.  I think we may get better merit aid out of a LAC for this kid.  We'll see.  Finding reasonable safety schools for music majors may be challenging. 

 


Edited by WoolySocks, 06 August 2017 - 09:24 AM.


#109 whitestavern

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 01:02 PM

I cannot thank you enough - Wheaton is officially off the list.  I just don't think there is anything compelling enough to warrant a visit.

 

I am excited to hear about your Lafayette and Muhlenberg visits!  They're practically in my back yard!

 

Back from this weekend's tours. Dd loved Lafayette and it is currently in third place. I think it's a low reach for her though. She really liked the vibe and the students she met (even the administration that she spoke with briefly) Tour guide was awesome! She liked the campus a lot. They seem strong in English and Environmental Science, which are currently two of her top interests. Muhlenberg she thought was just okay. She's not taking it off the list yet; we'll see where it stands once she's finished with all the tours. She doesn't have any safeties she's really jazzed about so far, so I hope she really likes some of the PA ones we'll be seeing in September and October.

 

Glad I could help with Wheaton! It's still on dd's list, but again, I'm thinking it may come off after seeing the rest.



#110 lisabees

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 03:19 PM

Reviving this thread, as I need thoughts on Juniata, Allegheny, Knox, Kalamazoo and St. Mary's.

 

Wooster, St John's (attended summer camp and loved it; worried about job prospects), Susquehanna (attended writing camp), Beloit, Lawrence, Muhlenberg, Agnes Scott are on the list - with the addition of Mt Holyoke, her absolute dream school.

 

I have been to Allegheny and Juniata.  Juniata is much more her style, but both of those schools are truly in the boonies.

 

 


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#111 creekland

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 03:26 PM

Reviving this thread, as I need thoughts on Juniata, Allegheny, Knox, Kalamazoo and St. Mary's.

 

Wooster, St John's (attended summer camp and loved it; worried about job prospects), Susquehanna (attended writing camp), Beloit, Lawrence, Muhlenberg, Agnes Scott are on the list - with the addition of Mt Holyoke, her absolute dream school.

 

I have been to Allegheny and Juniata.  Juniata is much more her style, but both of those schools are truly in the boonies.

 

Hah!  I was just going to say Juniata is really in rural PA.   :coolgleamA:   'Tis, however, known to be really good for students wanting pre-med or pre-vet and anyone wanting environmental sciences for their type of region.  Kids who have gone there have to like not having access to cities.  In general they speak highly of the school and classes, etc.

 

They are not always the best with aid, but some students get a decent package.


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#112 lisabees

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 03:49 PM

Ha. Thanks! Pre-professional isn't really the feel she is going for.  We stopped at Rochester on our road trip; I don't think it's the right fit either.  

 

I was going to ETA: Goucher and Earlham.  She didn't have a positive vibe from the visits, but she was not in the greatest of moods when we visited.  She isn't sure whether to add them.

 

She is such a difficult one to decipher.  I am stuck.  Her scores truly don't reflect who she is.  But it is a fact that she is not a great test taker and that doesn't bode well for a rigorous college atmosphere.  



#113 SamanthaCarter

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 03:54 PM

Did you take a look at Roanoke College? Too preppy? Too far? I'm dying to know how regular non locals view it as we happen to live a block away.


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#114 creekland

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 04:10 PM

Ha. Thanks! Pre-professional isn't really the feel she is going for.  We stopped at Rochester on our road trip; I don't think it's the right fit either.  

 

I was going to ETA: Goucher and Earlham.  She didn't have a positive vibe from the visits, but she was not in the greatest of moods when we visited.  She isn't sure whether to add them.

 

She is such a difficult one to decipher.  I am stuck.  Her scores truly don't reflect who she is.  But it is a fact that she is not a great test taker and that doesn't bode well for a rigorous college atmosphere.  

 

Rochester would not be good.  Their tests are among the most difficult I've seen from a math/science perspective.  I haven't seen others.

 

I'd keep checking out the CTCL or similar schools.  My two who went to LACs have a much more "helpful" atmosphere as it relates to tests, etc.  URoc is helpful with students helping each other (study groups) and availability of profs and tutoring sessions, etc, but it's still a different level than I've seen elsewhere when it comes to tests.  One has to want to be challenged.  It's very much a research U.

 

It's a little tough to explain TBH, but my guys definitely picked the correct schools to fit them.

 

ps  I know more about the pre-professional part perhaps because I tend to connect more with our science/math leaning kids.  I'm not in English or History classes that much to see those kids as often (the students who take their extra electives along those lines).


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#115 lisabees

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 05:26 PM

Rochester is off her list.  She definitely needs an LAC or something supportive.

 

Wooster is top of the list now.  Most of her schools are on the CTCL list - not intentionally, however.

 

She has no idea what she wants to do - but a good writing program would be a good start.

 

ETA:  We haven't visited Roanoke. ;)


Edited by lisabees, 30 September 2017 - 05:27 PM.

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#116 hornblower

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 06:12 PM

I'd like to put in a plug for another Canadian option - Quest University. It's between Vancouver & Whistler. 

I tend to think of Quest as WTM continuing.

They give a joint Bachelor Degree in Arts & Science. Seminar style instruction, international student body, small nurturing environment, tailored to quirky, curious people who are not easily slotted into boxes.  Years 1 & 2 are all the same, then you start to concentrate & your keystone course is addressed to answering your unique "one question".  Their alumni page is IMO so cool - such a varied, passionate student body: people going into law, medicine, grad programs, getting neat jobs, research with sister universities.... 

https://questu.ca/

50K CAD/year, everyone is eligible for scholarships and grants 

 


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#117 lisabees

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 07:38 PM

I'd like to put in a plug for another Canadian option - Quest University. It's between Vancouver & Whistler. 

I tend to think of Quest as WTM continuing.

They give a joint Bachelor Degree in Arts & Science. Seminar style instruction, international student body, small nurturing environment, tailored to quirky, curious people who are not easily slotted into boxes.  Years 1 & 2 are all the same, then you start to concentrate & your keystone course is addressed to answering your unique "one question".  Their alumni page is IMO so cool - such a varied, passionate student body: people going into law, medicine, grad programs, getting neat jobs, research with sister universities.... 

https://questu.ca/

50K CAD/year, everyone is eligible for scholarships and grants 

 

 Oh my word.  My oldest would have LOVED this school.  He ended up at Oberlin.

 

My 14 year old may also be a perfect fit.

 

Thanks for sharing this school.  I will look into it further.


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#118 PinkyandtheBrains.

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 11:27 AM

Reviving this thread, as I need thoughts on Juniata, Allegheny, Knox, Kalamazoo and St. Mary's.

 

Wooster, St John's (attended summer camp and loved it; worried about job prospects), Susquehanna (attended writing camp), Beloit, Lawrence, Muhlenberg, Agnes Scott are on the list - with the addition of Mt Holyoke, her absolute dream school.

 

I have been to Allegheny and Juniata.  Juniata is much more her style, but both of those schools are truly in the boonies.

 

 

Did you ever get more information on Knox? It is on my kiddo's list.


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#119 whitestavern

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 02:40 PM

Jumping back onto this thread to give some info on some of the schools that have been mentioned as we've visiting quite a few this month!

 

Wheaton (reviewed earlier in this thread) -- off the list.

Franklin & Marshall--dd liked very much. Beautiful campus, friendly intelligent, happy students, good academics.Worried it may be too Greek? Also, probably a low reach.

Gettysburg--dd also liked, though not as much as F&M. Same reasons, really. Also worried about Greek life. Seemed more prevalent here than at F&M.

Juniata--off the list. Campus was run down and dirty, bad tour guides and other staff and students we met just not friendly or attentive at all, also kind of ditzy. It was Homecoming weekend, so maybe not a great time to go. And while dd really hasn't seemed to care about where a school is, we both agree Juniata is really in the middle of nowhere. Wow. And we live in a town of 4000.

UScranton--off the list. Literally 90% of the kids at the open house were pre-professional majors, mostly PT. DD unsure of science or English so worried about implications of that. Campus was okay but city of Scranton not very charming and campus right in the middle of it. Worried about safety.

Ursinus--off the list. We had high hopes for all the CTCL schools and so far none have floated our boat (one left--Allegheny--and I'm worried because a lot of people have compared it to Juniata as far as ruralness) There wasn't really anything bad about Ursinus, but for some reason dd just wasn't crazy about it.

Susquehanna--still on. So far it's one of her favorite safeties, but she's not wild about it, just said she'd be okay with going there if the financials made it super attractive or if it was the only place she got accepted to. I will say the campus was beautiful and super clean. Everything literally looked brand new. Tour guide was passionate about the school; you could tell she loved it, and her excitement was infectious. Everyone else we met was very nice as well.

Dickinson--added to the list. One of dd's teachers told her about it (she's a grad) and we drove through when we were at F&M and Gettysburg. DD very much likes what she heard from her teacher and thought the campus was beautiful. She's all about the library at a school and very much loved Dickinson's, lol. We likely won't visit again but she is going to do some additional research on it and will probably apply.

St. Lawrence--off the list. We did an informal visit-no organized tour-early on a Sat so didn't see any students. We did talk to the librarian for quite a while, who basically said don't go here, it's a bunch of lazy rich kids who have no desire to learn or educate themselves. While it was likely not representative of the student body, dd was totally turned off by the comment so off it came.

Providence College--being added? Several people have told us to check it out, so we may.

Lafayette--still on, but low reach to reach?

 

Still to visit: Allegheny, Washington & Jefferson, Siena, which we'll be doing over the next two weekends.

 

DD's sweet spot seems to be a medium sized LAC (2500ish students) with a very traditional campus feel in a nice town setting. She seeks a diverse student body with enthusiastic, nice kids who like learning for learning's sake and have lots of interests. Desires great teachers who are passionate about their jobs and truly want to help kids learn and succeed and whom she can have a relationship with in and out of class. School needs to be in the northeast! If anyone has any ideas beyond what have been mentioned, we're all ears! Or if anyone has good information to add about the schools listed above that she's still interested in, that info would be welcome as well.

 

 


Edited by whitestavern, 15 October 2017 - 02:43 PM.

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#120 lisabees

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 08:15 AM

Whitestavern, thanks for the trip reports!  Allegheny is in the middle of nowhere as well.  But it's a different school than Juniata.  More rah-rah, Greeky.  I've heard nothing but good things if the student is the right fit.

 

DS attends Susquehanna and loves it.  DD will be applying there in the next two weeks.  However, it does have more of the Greek thing going.  Not the perfect fit for dd, but it is for ds.  Susquehanna has a good writing program; that's why she is applying.

 

Many PA LACs are filled with friendly, bright, preppy, athletic kids.  Many do not offer merit aid, and the few that do, are stingy with it (Ursinus, Allegheny, and Juniata are the exception in the tier you seem to be looking). DD's list is now filled with LACs all over, because of the need for money.

 

Have you considered Muhlenberg or Goucher?  

 

PinkyandtheBrains, the more I learn about Knox, the more I like it!

 

Exciting stuff here.  Her list is finally solidified.  Top choice within reach:  Agnes Scott.  She had a fabulous interview and is so excited about the school's philosophy.  FAFSA-only school.  Yay!

 

Rest of her list:  Wooster, St. John's College in MD, Susquehanna, Beloit, Lawrence, Denison, Knox, Earlham.  Super reaches: Mt Holyoke, Oberlin, and Bryn Mawr.

 

ETA: whitestavern, revisited one of your earlier threads.  Thoughts on Muhlenberg and Lafayette?


Edited by lisabees, 16 October 2017 - 08:21 AM.

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#121 PinkyandtheBrains.

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 10:26 AM

Whitestavern, thanks for the trip reports!  Allegheny is in the middle of nowhere as well.  But it's a different school than Juniata.  More rah-rah, Greeky.  I've heard nothing but good things if the student is the right fit.

 

DS attends Susquehanna and loves it.  DD will be applying there in the next two weeks.  However, it does have more of the Greek thing going.  Not the perfect fit for dd, but it is for ds.  Susquehanna has a good writing program; that's why she is applying.

 

Many PA LACs are filled with friendly, bright, preppy, athletic kids.  Many do not offer merit aid, and the few that do, are stingy with it (Ursinus, Allegheny, and Juniata are the exception in the tier you seem to be looking). DD's list is now filled with LACs all over, because of the need for money.

 

Have you considered Muhlenberg or Goucher?  

 

PinkyandtheBrains, the more I learn about Knox, the more I like it!

 

Exciting stuff here.  Her list is finally solidified.  Top choice within reach:  Agnes Scott.  She had a fabulous interview and is so excited about the school's philosophy.  FAFSA-only school.  Yay!

 

Rest of her list:  Wooster, St. John's College in MD, Susquehanna, Beloit, Lawrence, Denison, Knox, Earlham.  Super reaches: Mt Holyoke, Oberlin, and Bryn Mawr.

 

ETA: whitestavern, revisited one of your earlier threads.  Thoughts on Muhlenberg and Lafayette?

 

Knox and Earlham are on our list here as well! 


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#122 whitestavern

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 02:15 PM


 

ETA: whitestavern, revisited one of your earlier threads.  Thoughts on Muhlenberg and Lafayette?

 

DD did not like Muhlenberg. She didn't dislike it, just thought it was too small and didn't offer anything better or unique compared to the other schools she's looking at. Unfortunately we didn't get to meet any students while we were there, which may have colored her perception. She liked Lafayette very much. Like the other schools that are still on her list, the students seemed down to earth and friendly. The admin people we met were awesome! She very much liked the vibe of Easton as well. I just have no real idea of what her chances are there though. She's going to interview in a few weeks. I kind of wish she was open to other regions because there are some great midwestern schools it seems like.


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#123 WoolySocks

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 02:49 PM

Have you been to Lawrence?  Just curious - we're headed to an open house there this week and looking at a UW financial and academic safety on the way.  Excited!  :)  Also interested in Oberlin.  Music kid but I'd love to look at more LAC's if he were open to a BA in music. 


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#124 lisabees

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 07:20 AM

WoolySocks - we have not been to Lawrence.  It is a bit reachy for dd.  If she gets in with enough money, we will let her visit.  I am soo excited to hear about your trip!  

 

DS graduated from Oberlin (physics) and works there now.  Awesome, awesome school.  Just told him yesterday that I need to drive out there soon because I need my Oberlin fix.  

 

whitestavern - I have been to Muhlenberg a few times.  Other than an amazing performing arts building, there is nothing to distinguish it from other schools.  They are not good with merit, either.

 

Lafayette - I have only been there once - with oldest ds.  He thought the kids looked sad (always looked down) and he didn't like the parallel parking on the street.  :lol:  Kids are funny, eh?  It is a great school, but my kids tend to not like those heavily greek, athletic schools.  How cool that there is a school for every type of kid?!

 

PinkyandtheBrain - have you visited Knox?  We visited Earlham.  I am surprised dd still has it on her list.  Classes were engaging, but there was just something different about the school.  Can't put my finger on it. We were on an exhausting, whirlwind college visit trip, so we always say we were too tired to give it a fair shake.  I recall reading somewhere that there's a significant party/drug culture.  Anyone hear that?

 


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