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Miss Mousie

Colleges that Change Lives - reviews, experiences

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I know we have some posters here with kids who attended one of the CTCL schools, but I'm hoping there are more that I'm not aware of, and of course would like to hear anyone's thoughts.

 

I'm wondering what your/your child's perceptions & experiences were.  

 

What was special about the school?  If your child applied to more than one CTCL school, did all of the schools accept?

What great/unusual/challenging/etc. opportunities did your child take advantage of?  

What did your child do (or plan to do) after graduation, and did that college make a difference in your child getting to that next step?

Would you/your child say the "change lives" bit is accurate?

 

DS15 and I will soon be visiting our third CTCL.  I think almost all of them sound terrific, but I also know that a lot depends on the student.  The college can offer everything under the sun but if the kid isn't interested or won't take the necessary steps for whatever reason, that isn't necessarily the college's "fault" - but then again, maybe that's what the "change lives" part is all about - making that extra effort to reach waaaayyyy out to the kids who don't jump in with both feet?  

 

I don't know.  I think I'm just looking for BTDT, good & bad.  The stuff you can't get from brochures and group tours.  (And, if I'm honest, looking for some sign that one of these would be Just Right for my kid!)

 

 

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My d applied to one CTCL school. She just got home from their scholarship interview weekend. Without that scholarship and the intense mentoring offered to those kids, it would not even be on her radar. The mentoring aspect, the connections with professionals and internships awarded, is why she applied. Otherwise, it doesn't really seem much different than any of the other schools she applied to.

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:bigear:  :bigear:

 

DS18 has narrowed it down to one state school and one CTCL. The CTCL is offering him a lot of merit money. I really like the school. I'd like to go there and I think it would be an excellent fit for DS. He's ASD (2e) and I think the smaller size, support and mentoring would work well for him. But . . . I'm trying to keep my opinion to myself and leave the decision to him.

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Youngest goes to one (Eckerd College).

 

Yes it has absolutely changed his life for the better.  He was reluctant to go to college at first and wasn't even happy first semester, but then it all changed.  Now he's very much a changed young adult in command of his life in a cool way.  He's had opportunities to meet oodles of older very experienced people through their Aspec Program (https://www.eckerd.edu/aspec/ )and has some good connections developed with professors too.  One of his high points was having a class taught by Elie Wiesel before his death.

 

What's interesting is this school ranks high on Princeton Review's "Reefer Madness" schools (#6 last I checked), yet my son doesn't drink or use drugs (legal or illegal) and is a committed Christian (not necessarily typical in the "American Christian" sense, but very Biblical in his beliefs).

 

I'd have never paired the two, but he fell in love on a visit (looking at schools top in Marine Bio at the time - he's since changed his major).

 

Job-wise, he's only a junior at college, but has two standing offers of employment for when he graduates - and honestly, will probably have more between now and then.  He's become such a respected young man (through Aspect and other connections) that he's an employee others want.

 

I really don't think the same would have happened for him at a large school.  Not all kids are cut out to do well at larger places.  My guy had to get out of his dorm room and make some of these connections (he did so when we encouraged him to back when he was unhappy freshman semester), but once having started, he's hooked now.

 

I won't say that all other students at this school share his passion - they most certainly don't, some go there just because it's a college with a beach(!) or because of it's PR rankings - but I think that's going to be true at any school.

Edited by creekland
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Youngest goes to one (Eckerd College).

 

Yes it has absolutely changed his life for the better. He was reluctant to go to college at first and wasn't even happy first semester, but then it all changed. Now he's very much a changed young adult in command of his life in a cool way. He's had opportunities to meet oodles of older very experienced people through their Aspect Program and has some good connections developed with professors too. One of his high points was having a class taught by Elie Wiesel before his death.

 

What's interesting is this school ranks high on Princeton Review's "Reefer Madness" schools (#6 last I checked), yet my son doesn't drink or use drugs (legal or illegal) and is a committed Christian (not necessarily typical in the "American Christian" sense, but very Biblical in his beliefs).

 

I'd have never paired the two, but he fell in love on a visit (looking at schools top in Marine Bio at the time - he's since changed his major).

 

Job-wise, he's only a junior at college, but has two standing offers of employment for when he graduates - and honestly, will probably have more between now and then. He's become such a respected young man (through Aspect and other connections) that he's an employee others want.

 

I really don't think the same would have happened for him at a large school. Not all kids are cut out to do well at larger places. My guy had to get out of his dorm room and make some of these connections (he did so when we encouraged him to back when he was unhappy freshman semester), but once having started, he's hooked now.

 

I won't say that all other students at this school share his passion - they most certainly don't, some go there just because it's a college with a beach(!) or because of it's PR rankings - but I think that's going to be true at any school.

How's the merit aid at Eckerd? We're in that lovely spot where we qualify for zero need-based aid, but can't come close to paying our EFC and still keep a roof over our heads/food in our bellies, iykwim.

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The CTCL schools are all different. My daughter applied to three of them, and they each had different quirks as to campus personality and strengths and weaknesses.

 

I think you need to see CTCL as one list of colleges that provide a good liberal arts education. To remain in the consortium, they need to have a minimum acceptance rate. (Grinnell was dropped when it became too selective.) But it's not an academic consortium in that they don't all have to provide a common curriculum or anything like that. It will still be the case that college is what the student makes of it.

 

There are some similar colleges that aren't part of this group as well. For example, here is an article by a college counselor talking about some of the similar colleges he recommends that aren't in CTCL.

 

http://www.educatedquest.com/6886-2/

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How's the merit aid at Eckerd? We're in that lovely spot where we qualify for zero need-based aid, but can't come close to paying our EFC and still keep a roof over our heads/food in our bellies, iykwim.

 

You can run their NPC on their website, but if you are looking for a full ride or full tuition, I don't think they have those.  (I could be wrong - it could be worth checking.)  My guy maxed out their "common" merit aid & qualified for some need based aid on top of that making it affordable for us, but we still pay a fair amount TBH.  Without need-based aid it wouldn't have been affordable.

 

We'd have paid more at Pitt or Penn St I suspect.  Our true state schools (West Chester, Slippery Rock, etc) would have probably been less expensive, but not what my guy needed or wanted.

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Dh went to Hampshire and I took several classes there. I would say that it absolutely changed his life and that the experiences he had there, the direction he ended up going with his life, the way he sees the world now... none of that would be the same if not for his experiences at Hampshire. Not that Hampshire is for everyone (it's so not). Just that it deserves its spot on the list.

 

ETA: Which is why when we occasionally give to one of our alma maters, it's Hampshire and not Mount Holyoke.

Edited by Farrar
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 I would say that it absolutely changed his life and that the experiences he had there, the direction he ended up going with his life, the way he sees the world now... none of that would be the same if not for his experiences at Hampshire.

 

But couldn't the bolded be said about any college?

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But couldn't the bolded be said about any college?

 

Maybe. But when I think about dh... if he had gone to any of the places he initially planned to attend and then didn't get into or the places he thought he was going to go and then changed his mind about, there's no way he would have ended up anything like the way he is today. Obviously any path leads to different opportunities and experiences. But when I think about my own college education, I sort of suspect I could have gone to any number of schools and ended up with a similar overall experience whereas the same cannot be said for dh's experience at Hampshire. He designed his own program. He was encouraged to travel places he wouldn't have gone otherwise, pursue avenues of study he, as a pretty sheltered young person, never would have dreamed up. I doubt he would have ended up studying the same subjects at all anywhere else.

 

I guess I genuinely think some institutions provide an experience that's substantially different enough that they change the course of someone's life from what it would be at most other institutions.

Edited by Farrar
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Re: Eckerd - DS applied there and it was a front runner for awhile. It was crossed off his list due to the lack of financial aid. He received the top scholarships and a bit of financial aid and the cost was still prohibitive. DS was sad when DH and I told him that Eckerd was a no-go due to finances. 

 

Re: Hampshire - It is probably the most unique school I have ever seen.

 

I have intimate knowledge re Knox College. If this school is one in which you are interested, I can answer specific questions.

Edited by Scoutermom
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How's the merit aid at Eckerd? We're in that lovely spot where we qualify for zero need-based aid, but can't come close to paying our EFC and still keep a roof over our heads/food in our bellies, iykwim.

 

We did not look at Eckerd, but the CTCL schools we did look at never came below EFC at the top levels of merit aid. Some did have competitive aid for higher levels. 

 

Basically, we found that all of the more expensive schools expect you to pay your EFC as a bare minimum, and many of them expect you to pay a lot more. 

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The CTCL schools are all different. My daughter applied to three of them, and they each had different quirks as to campus personality and strengths and weaknesses.

 

I think you need to see CTCL as one list of colleges that provide a good liberal arts education. To remain in the consortium, they need to have a minimum acceptance rate. (Grinnell was dropped when it became too selective.) But it's not an academic consortium in that they don't all have to provide a common curriculum or anything like that. It will still be the case that college is what the student makes of it.

 

There are some similar colleges that aren't part of this group as well. For example, here is an article by a college counselor talking about some of the similar colleges he recommends that aren't in CTCL.

 

http://www.educatedquest.com/6886-2/

 

Thank you for the link, Janet.  I printed a few of his other articles, too, but haven't read them yet.

 

If you'd be willing to share any of the details about your first paragraph, either here or by PM, I'd appreciate it.

 

Re: Eckerd - DS applied there and it was a front runner for awhile. It was crossed off his list due to the lack of financial aid. He received the top scholarships and a bit of financial aid and the cost was still prohibitive. DS was sad when DH and I told him that Eckerd was a no-go due to finances. 

 

Re: Hampshire - It is probably the most unique school I have ever seen.

 

I have intimate knowledge re Knox College. If this school is one in which you are interested, I can answer specific questions.

 

Knox is indeed on the list.  I can't say I have specific questions at the moment, but would you mind sharing some of your impressions, either here or by PM?

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We did not look at Eckerd, but the CTCL schools we did look at never came below EFC at the top levels of merit aid. Some did have competitive aid for higher levels. 

 

Basically, we found that all of the more expensive schools expect you to pay your EFC as a bare minimum, and many of them expect you to pay a lot more. 

 

This news surprises and saddens me.  I guess I keep falling for "average aid package = 50%+ of total price" and wrongly assuming pretty much no one pays sticker price even if they are able to.

 

Would you mind sharing which schools you looked at?

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This news surprises and saddens me. I guess I keep falling for "average aid package = 50%+ of total price" and wrongly assuming pretty much no one pays sticker price even if they are able to.

 

Would you mind sharing which schools you looked at?

Avg aid packages need to be looked at with the % of students receiving aid in combination with the avg merit award if your student does not qualify for much in need based aid.

 

Fwiw, I always enter in with the assumption that we will be hugely gapped. More often than not, that is the reality. Only time it isn't is with large $$ merit awards.

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Avg aid packages need to be looked at with the % of students receiving aid in combination with the avg merit award if your student does not qualify for much in need based aid.

 

Fwiw, I always enter in with the assumption that we will be hugely gapped. More often than not, that is the reality. Only time it isn't is with large $$ merit awards.

 

I know you're right.  And, actually, I think that's one plus of the CTCL schools we've investigated so far - that their top 25% ACT is potentially achievable for DS.  Potentially ... hopefully ...   :leaving:

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I think it is a little bit presumptuous to assume that schools not on that elite list are the only ones where these opportunities exist, where student's lives are forever changed for the better.

 

To me it has nothing to do with a list, really.  It's matching the school to the student.  For some students, pretty much any school really can work.  For others, there are more limited "good" options based upon style and various opportunities schools have (that not all have).  What is good for one student may not be as good for another - even siblings.

 

For all, the student has to be open to the experience.  Sitting in the dorm room all the time or opting to major in "party" is not going to give one the same experience as getting involved with what's available.

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I think it is a little bit presumptuous to assume that schools not on that elite list are the only ones where these opportunities exist, where student's lives are forever changed for the better.

 

Yeah, I agree.  But believing that only certain types of schools offer "the" opportunities is an American college elite past time.  ;)  Not worth the energy that it takes to discuss otherwise.  :)  

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Yeah, I agree.  But believing that only certain types of schools offer "the" opportunities is an American college elite past time.   ;)  Not worth the energy that it takes to discuss otherwise.   :)

 

Is this based upon what I said - 'cause if so, what I meant were things like having an on-campus Marine Lab like youngest son's college has.  Very, very few colleges have Marine Labs of their own and many that do have them off-campus, not on.  When youngest wanted Tropical Marine Bio, his campus really stood out as in the top if not at the top (esp for Tropical), not just by us, but also by those working in the field who we talked with.  Being on the water and rolling out of one's bunk to head to the lab was a nice bonus.

 

Or middle son wanting research... he loved that his school has oodles upon oodles of options to choose from.  All "research universities" (including many state schools) will have several opportunities, but a peer of his chose a different type of school and had to research what they had rather than having several choices.  He wasn't terribly interested in what they had.  He envied my guy's choice in hindsight.

 

Or oldest son who started off wanting to do microfinance.  The college he chose has a special group dedicated to things like that right on campus and has professors who "wrote the book" on microfinance when it started as something new.  You couldn't get that at just any college.

 

None of my own three would have done as well at each other's college based upon what THEY wanted out of college.  Middle son had the most options, but honestly, my other two had no interest in a research university and likely wouldn't have done well at his school if they'd gone there.  Youngest may very well have dropped out and come home.  They liked their smaller classes and more intimate college.  Middle son would have done well anywhere - that's his nature - but he still wouldn't have had the research opportunities at his brothers' schools.

 

Fit the college to the student.  Granted there are often financial limitations (there certainly were with us), but College A is NOT the same as College B.  The course offerings can differ as can the course content.  Professors differ.  Opportunities differ.

 

There is no single "right" college experience, but there can be wrong ones.

Edited by creekland
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Not directed toward you, Creekland, just in general, including the assertion in this thread that only certain colleges lead to changed lives and unique experiences. 

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Yeah, I agree. But believing that only certain types of schools offer "the" opportunities is an American college elite past time. ;) Not worth the energy thatit takes to discuss otherwise. :)

I've stopped bothering, to be honest,

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It's been my understanding that the CTCL came about as a way to show potential students that there are schools out there other than the elites (the Ivies, the Big 10) that have great programs and opportunities. The majority of schools in the CTCL are ones that wouldn't be on most student's radar. When my DC began looking at colleges and unis, we had only heard of one or two.

 

What I would like to see is a list of schools like those in the CTCL that rotates members every couple of years. 

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The OP wanted to hear from those who had experience with any of the CTCL. I'm not sure why people enthusiastically touting their experiences is being viewed as elitist. Neither the OP nor those who attended those schools coined the moniker, "Colleges That Change Lives."

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The OP wanted to hear from those who had experience with any of the CTCL. I'm not sure why people enthusiastically touting their experiences is being viewed as elitist. Neither the OP nor those who attended those schools coined the moniker, "Colleges That Change Lives."

 

It's a very typical reaction among many IME.  Oodles of people believe that all colleges are essentially the same, so go to the one down the street or the cheapest or one with a favorite sports team or similar.  

 

I'm definitely among those who disagree, but I also don't subscribe to the "Ivy or Bust" sentiment (or CTCL or Bust) either.

 

I've just seen lives changed with oodles of kids - changed for the better when they get a good fit and changed for the worse when they don't.

 

What's best?  For some Community College.  For others Eckerd.  For others Stanford.  ;)  For others _________.  It really all depends upon the student and their learning style/goals coupled with what the family can afford.

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I'm absolutely baffled that anyone would consider the CTCL "elitist."

 

(Edited 'cause I can't see what I'm typing. Really need to go put in some eye drops.)

Edited by Pawz4me
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I'm absolutely baffled that anyone would consider the CTCL "elitists."

 

Around here "elitist" is often stretched to mean anyone who considers one college better than another.  Except Penn St.  We all know that's the all time BEST college.  Second will be whichever college won the football championship that year.  It can vary.  All the rest are the same.  Throw a dart and pick one.

 

In other areas "elitist" can mean Top 20, Top 10, Ivy, or HYPSM (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT).

 

It all depends upon who one is talking to.

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I'm absolutely baffled that anyone would consider the CTCL "elitist."

 

(Edited 'cause I can't see what I'm typing. Really need to go put in some eye drops.)

They're not. I used that word because someone else did up thread.

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Around here "elitist" is often stretched to mean anyone who considers one college better than another.  Except Penn St.  We all know that's the all time BEST college.  Second will be whichever college won the football championship that year.  It can vary.  All the rest are the same.  Throw a dart and pick one.

 

In other areas "elitist" can mean Top 20, Top 10, Ivy, or HYPSM (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT).

 

It all depends upon who one is talking to.

 

Ehhh. That's way too much of a stretch for me. I'd hope that every student would consider "their" college better than others (for them).

 

To call the little-known-outside-of-our-area CTCL DS18 is considering "elitist" seems incredibly bizarre and almost funny to me. In my mind "elite" and "very little name recognition" just don't go together.

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They're not. I used that word because someone else did up thread.

 

My comment wasn't aimed at you. ;)

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My post wasn't directed toward the book's list. It was toward the sentiment in this thread that only certain colleges offer the opportunities and experiences that "change lives." That is a very limited view of what is available in a country with over 3000 4 yr institutions.

 

On a different note, a downside to small LACs can be their limited course offerings at advanced levels. Students entering college with advanced coursework may find themselves without appropriate levels of classes being offered. Some list courses in their catalog, but when you dig into the actual course selections, those courses are not offered regularly. Some list majors but only offer 2-3 classes in the major per semester. What happens if those courses don't match the student's needs. (This has been a serious limitation for my last 2 students during their college searches.)

 

CTCL's list is a good place to start exploring, but every school needs to be investigated according to the needs of the individual student, not someone else's generic classification. Published lists are simply lists generated by meeting the needs of that publication, not the needs of the individual.

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Ehhh. That's way too much of a stretch for me. I'd hope that every student would consider "their" college better than others (for them).

 

To call the little-known-outside-of-our-area CTCL DS18 is considering "elitist" seems incredibly bizarre and almost funny to me. In my mind "elite" and "very little name recognition" just don't go together.

 

Oh I'm with you.  I'm just explaining what a segment of society tends to believe where I live.  I've been in these sorts of discussions more than I can count.

 

Students entering college with advanced coursework may find themselves without appropriate levels of classes being offered. 

 

IME CTCL schools aren't usually targeting these students.  They are looking for more average students and trying to guide them into becoming their best for life - pretty much what has happened with my youngest - hence - I'm in favor of Eckerd IF a student does their part too (as mentioned before).  If not, they can't do miracles.

 

I'm pretty convinced my guy would NOT have had the same experience at "any" college.  There may have been others that could have worked, but there are plenty that wouldn't have.  It's a big reason we're willing to pay the extra over our basic state schools.  Sure there are other things we could be doing with the money, but that's where we chose to spend it.  Where we spend our money is our choice, after all.  We're happy to spend it in a place that has helped him truly fly.

 

We have a data point of one with a CTCL college and we shared it on a thread that asked for data points.  Our experience is positive and I'm in favor of the schools in general.

 

If anyone reading is unsure of what these colleges try to promote, here's the link:

 

https://ctcl.org/about/

 

In contrast, URoc - where middle son goes - will explicitly tell those attending their "about us" information sessions that they do NOT do handholding (or at least they did at ours).  They offer many, many things (cutting edge research in oodles of areas, etc), but handholding is not one of them.  A student has to be self motivated there.  That fits middle son well.

 

Both can provide education, and in many areas (not Marine Bio!) I'll even argue that URoc has the deeper, more rigorous education - but that's not what youngest needed to succeed in life.  Success in life is what we wanted.

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My oldest goes to Hendrix. We have been very, very happy with the school. He had good scores, but not out-of-the-ballpark scores, decent, but not amazing, transcript, needed a small college learning environment, had no idea what he was going to do, and needed scholarships. And, he is a liberal arts guy.

 

He was not stellar enough to compete for the top level scholarships at oos flagships. Those students (especially here on the board) are amazing and really can go anywhere. 

 

On his final list of schools that we could afford, three were CTCL schools. They were cheaper than our state flagship for him. 

 

Obviously, all good colleges can change lives. And all good college experiences can change lives. But the CTCL list was very helpful for us. Small, fairly non-selective schools (most non-religious) with a liberal arts bent complied in a single list and college fair really, really helped our college search. 

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My kid is the type that would have been a good fit at CTCL schools.  He applied to two. One we never visited and the other would probably have been my first choice for him if finances were no issue.  

 

What the CTCL list did for us was highlight the type of school we were looking for because he did want the small school, not religious, not overly competitive environment that still offered opportunities.  He is at a similar school that is not on the list but offers similar advantages.  I like the concept of CTCL in that it highlights schools you might never have heard of that are actually pretty neat and not too hard to get into.  I love the concept but there is nothing magical about the specific list.

 

 

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I think CTCL helped me conceptualize what I want in a college. It just gave me ideas to think about and prioritize in my search for my next DD.

 

I'll add another school that's not a CTCL college but was for DD: Elizabethtown College in PA. In my experience in a certain program at least, it takes average bright kids, gives them a very helpful amount of merit aid, and trains them very well in mastering the body of knowledge of their field, including current research, conducting their own research, writing, internships, and provides opportunities to serve the community.

 

My DD has been attending professional conferences and has had internship-like experiences since freshman year. She was invited to present a paper at a tiny conference and has had her own work cited in a professional paper, both not in her specialization but a related field. She has also participated long-term in research studies outside of her program to bring in her area of specialization. Members of her program will present their research findings at a major conference. All of this for a normal bright kid with a learning disability, and only because she had involved professors who provided the right support and opportunities in a field that she loves.

 

She was not like one of the shining stars here. We had to make a lot of compromises as we hs'd hs, due to her medical and learning needs. She had a lot of the same struggles that kids here have, finding a math program that worked, getting through what should have been a normal amount of work in a day, having to limit writing and just reading or watching TC courses, etc. I think she's amazing for her what she's accomplished, her work ethic, her kindness, and heart for service, the things that matter to me.

Edited by Tiramisu
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I think CTCL helped me conceptualize what I want in a college. It just gave me ideas to think about and prioritize in my search for my next DD.

 

I'll add another school that's not a CTCL college but was for DD: Elizabethtown College in PA. In my experience in a certain program at least, it takes average bright kids, gives them a very helpful amount of merit aid, and trains them very well in mastering the body of knowledge of their field, including current research, conducting their own research, writing, internships, and provides opportunities to serve the community.

 

My DD has been attending professional conferences and has had internship-like experiences since freshman year. She was invited to present a paper at a tiny conference and has had her own work cited in a professional paper, both not in her specialization but a related field. She has also participated long-term in research studies outside of her program to bring in her area of specialization. Members of her program will present their research findings at a major conference. All of this for a normal bright kid with a learning disability, and only because she had involved professors who provided the right support and opportunities in a field that she loves.

 

She was not like one of the shining stars here. We had to make a lot of compromises as we hs'd hs, due to her medical and learning needs. She had a lot of the same struggles that kids here have, finding a math program that worked, getting through what should have been a normal amount of work in a day, having to limit writing and just reading or watching TC courses, etc. I think she's amazing for her what she's accomplished, her work ethic, her kindness, and heart for service, the things that matter to me.

 

Thank you for the Elizabethtown recommendation - adding to our list.

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Thank you for the Elizabethtown recommendation - adding to our list.

 

There are many students who graduated from our school (and there) who would agree with having it on the list.  I agree based upon their assessments.  (We've never checked the school out ourselves, but it's one I have on my recommend list.)

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My oldest goes to Hendrix. We have been very, very happy with the school. He had good scores, but not out-of-the-ballpark scores, decent, but not amazing, transcript, needed a small college learning environment, had no idea what he was going to do, and needed scholarships. And, he is a liberal arts guy.

 

He was not stellar enough to compete for the top level scholarships at oos flagships. Those students (especially here on the board) are amazing and really can go anywhere. 

 

On his final list of schools that we could afford, three were CTCL schools. They were cheaper than our state flagship for him. 

 

Obviously, all good colleges can change lives. And all good college experiences can change lives. But the CTCL list was very helpful for us. Small, fairly non-selective schools (most non-religious) with a liberal arts bent complied in a single list and college fair really, really helped our college search. 

 

Thank you for chiming in.  My son sounds a lot like yours, going by your first paragraph, and this is why I'm interested in these kinds of schools.  

 

Can you tell me more about Hendrix, or why he chose that over the others on your list?

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Because, as 8 noted, there are some 3000 schools in the US, I found it very helpful that someone whittled down to a few dozen schools that sound interesting to us.  It gives me a place to start researching without hyperventilating over just how many more are out there.

 

DH and I both graduated from what is sometimes called on CC "directional state."  We are by no means elitist (or wealthy).  If DS doesn't get into whatever other schools are on his radar when the time comes, he will likely attend our alma mater.  I know he can get in (but possibly not to the honors program) and I know we can afford it.  But, for now, I find it worthwhile to investigate other options that might be better for him.

 

Sigh.  I seem to have a way of stepping into controversy with what I thought was an innocent request for information.  Many thanks to those who have contributed.

 

 

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Because, as 8 noted, there are some 3000 schools in the US, I found it very helpful that someone whittled down to a few dozen schools that sound interesting to us.  It gives me a place to start researching without hyperventilating over just how many more are out there.

 

DH and I both graduated from what is sometimes called on CC "directional state."  We are by no means elitist (or wealthy).  If DS doesn't get into whatever other schools are on his radar when the time comes, he will likely attend our alma mater.  I know he can get in (but possibly not to the honors program) and I know we can afford it.  But, for now, I find it worthwhile to investigate other options that might be better for him.

 

Sigh.  I seem to have a way of stepping into controversy with what I thought was an innocent request for information.  Many thanks to those who have contributed.

 

I wouldn't lose sleep over the controversy at all.  I suspect there are many reading (or reading in the future) who will find this conversation useful.

 

Yes.  There is a "personality" and goal difference between directional state Us (akin to PA's typical state schools) and those on the CTCL list (or those that should/could be on the list).  A CTCL school will take a more personal interest in the student and their lives/goals trying to help guide them.  Whether that difference is affordable to students is entirely a personal matter.

 

Students can "succeed" in life from either type of college - with success defined as getting an education followed by a job that allows them to support themselves.  There will be clubs and activities (and friends) at both schools.  

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There are many students who graduated from our school (and there) who would agree with having it on the list. I agree based upon their assessments. (We've never checked the school out ourselves, but it's one I have on my recommend list.)

I remember asking you about it more than for years ago, knowing you lived in the general area. Your positive feedback helped since I hadn't heard of it before.

 

See how nice people in cyber space can change lives, too?!!

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Thank you for the Elizabethtown recommendation - adding to our list.

Always check out the department your DC is interested in since my experience is limited to one.

 

FYI, if you visit and interview, they may increase scholarship awards. They also used to send you home with a carrot cake if you scheduled a personal tour.

 

You also have to like the smell of chocolate and not mind farm smells too much. Chocolate in the morning, cow smell in the afternoon. It's near Hershey and farmland.

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i don't think your question was at all controversial. Fwiw, I think Janet's point about all of them being different sums up the issue entirely. Schools need to be researched individually. A list might be a starting point, but it really requires digging in and finding out about schools individually and knowing your individual student's criteria.

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i don't think your question was at all controversial. Fwiw, I think Janet's point about all of them being different sums up the issue entirely. Schools need to be researched individually. A list might be a starting point, but it really requires digging in and finding out about schools individually and knowing your individual student's criteria.

 

Of course it does.  Which is why I asked for info on schools that WTM students have attended that I can't get from brochures or tours. Or the book, for that matter.

 

Something like "my daughter was pleased to find that the school radio station was popular among the students, but didn't like that the international students seemed segregated from the rest of the student body."  Or whatever.  You know ... BTDT stories.

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Always check out the department your DC is interested in since my experience is limited to one.

 

FYI, if you visit and interview, they may increase scholarship awards. They also used to send you home with a carrot cake if you scheduled a personal tour.

 

You also have to like the smell of chocolate and not mind farm smells too much. Chocolate in the morning, cow smell in the afternoon. It's near Hershey and farmland.

 

Thanks. I was surprised to see they have a Japanese track! 

 

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My comment wasn't aimed at you. ;)

I knew that. ;)

 

OP - I attended Hendrix myself, but that was a loooong time ago. MysteryJen will be able to offer more up-to-date information. One offering they have now that did not exist when I was a student there is the Hendrix Odyssey program. You can read about it here:

 

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

 

I liked the intimacy of the campus, the ability to live on campus all four years, the closeness with faculty (when my parents died two and a half years after I graduated, four of my professors traveled (from out of town) to attend their funerals), the fact that there was no Greek life, the community service mindedness of the student body, and the advising.

 

I don't know the percentages now, but when I graduated, 70% of students went on at some point to some type of graduate or professional school - myself included. They are extremely strong in the natural sciences and are fabulous at placing kids in medical school. In fact, when my dad graduated from Arkansas's medical school in 1954, eight of the top ten in his class had done their undergrad at Hendrix. That strength of preparedness and placement remained when I was there, and I can only assume that it continues. And, they place students into medical schools other than Arkansas. My degree was in Economics with an Accounting emphasis - all but one of the large accounting firms recruited there. There were probably 15 of us that graduated with that accounting emphasis, and I think seven of us were hired by Big Eight (now Big Four) accounting firms. So, career placement was good for me because recruiting was good for my discipline.

 

Their food is fabulous - NOT the case when I was there. The location is not too terribly remote - it's only about half an hour from Little Rock. Conway itself has grown tremendously since I was a student there. The housing for freshmen and sophomores could be improved upon, but there are now many good options for upperclassmen. The campus is lovely.

 

I have many fond memories of my time as a student there. :)

Edited by Hoggirl
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Of course it does. Which is why I asked for info on schools that WTM students have attended that I can't get from brochures or tours. Or the book, for that matter.

 

Something like "my daughter was pleased to find that the school radio station was popular among the students, but didn't like that the international students seemed segregated from the rest of the student body." Or whatever. You know ... BTDT stories.

Ok. That is a very different approach from the way we pursue them.

 

There are so many variables at so many schools that even amg students on the same campus answers may not match. Students in different majors may find schools very different. Kids with differerent lifestyles, political POV, etc are all going to see campuses differently. (My Dd wouldn't apply to some schools simply bc she knew she would not fit into the dominant culture on the campus.)

 

As a non-CTCL example, my ds could say he loves Bama. The physics dept profs are willing to engage with students and be active mentors, etc. He could go on and on about the many wonderful things offered on the campus, but it all boils down to that when my Dd contacted the Russian professor, he told her she would have to do independent study. When she asked about conversational skill development, his response was that there are usually 1 to 2 Russian speaking students on campus at any given time, so she could try to work something out with 1 of them. He was about as off-putting as a professor could be. So all of the wonderful things about the school meant nil when compared to the complete lack of dept support.

 

I know that at the CTCL school Dd applied to that some of the opportunities offered to kids in the honors college and then to kids in their special programs are not necessarily the same as those available to students at large. So discussing one might not be the same as discussing the other.

 

Meaningful information might require more specific questions.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Thanks. I was surprised to see they have a Japanese track!

 

Dd took a semester of Japanese and would have done more if she had time. The professor seems like a lovely person. I remember meeting her way back at an open house. I believe they have regular trips to Japan, too. There are exchange students from Japan and there might be related special interest housing.

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