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I know I know I know that there have been threads on comparing these two colleges before, but after reading them I still feel like I haven't gotten an answer.
I'm torn between applying to these two colleges. More specifically, which one to ED to, if at all. I'll be applying as an international student, and aid is a REALLY important factor. I'm looking for anywhere from 80-90%. The more the better.
I haven't ever visited either of these colleges, so I'm looking for a way to figure out what each campus is like. What are the students like from each college? From what I have heard, Swarthmore is a nerdy school. I'm a bit of a nerd myself, so that's not all that bad. If nerdy means that they put a lot of academic pressure on you, then I think I can handle it. If nerdy means the students are antisocial and COMPLETELY absorbed in their academic lives, I think I'll have a problem. I want a complete college experience, and social life is a huge part of that. Brown, on the other hand, seems to have the reputation of being more laid back. The drawback, of course, is that it's bigger than Swarthmore. Is the intimacy of classes/professors lost in Brown as compared to Swarthmore? Is there really that much of a difference between the courses you can take at one or the other?
With regards to location, I've heard Providence is more lively than Swarthmore. However, Providence is 50 minutes away from Boston, while Swarthmore is only 25 minutes from Phillie. How much of a factor is this? I never really partied alot in high school, and I want to have a chance to experience that side of life too. I also love studying, so long as it's something where I'm learning new and interesting things.
I know it sounds vain, but what about the dating scene at both places? Are people more into serious relationships, or is casual dating the norm? Is the student population more conservative at one college and more liberal at the other? I DO enjoy chilling out, and I would love to be able to go through the school year without a HUGE workload. This however is not such a big deal, as long I can have a balanced social life.
Academically, I'd consider them to be pretty much the same, save for Brown's open curriculum. Socially, I'm a little more clueless. Help in any area will be GREATLY appreciated.