I went there for a year. What do you want to know?
well I guess I can just ramble about the school... Academics are great in the sciences, but non-science departments are not as well funded, but are okay I guess. No one has heard of the school, but it has a great acceptance rate to med school. It seems as if everyone starts out as premed and changes their mind after a semester of ochem. The freshmen take ochem 1 and 2 there, which is completely different than pretty much every other school...I started out in the sciences, but that changed.
I realized during my 2nd semester there that I really didn't like the school. But there seems to be a ton of people who absolutely love it...depends on what you want your college life to be like. I thought Juniata was the type of school I wanted at the time, but the fact that everyone eats at the one cafeteria (which has terrible food by the way- the inmates at the nearby prison get a higher grade of Sodexo food than Juniata students), it's impossible avoid anyone on a campus that small, the isolation of the town, the lack of places off-campus to go to (you can walk to the family dollar store, or if you want to walk even further, there's a movie theater in town, that's pretty much all the town has to offer), caused me to want to leave. There are parties on campus, larger parties in East apartments, and smaller "parties" in people's rooms. There also seemed to be a decent number of students that didn't drink...if you're one of them just be prepared for lots of movie nights, as there isn't really anywhere nearby that you can go to. A Walmart that opened nearby was big news last spring...
Once the novelty of being away from home wore off, I realized that Juniata was not the place I wanted to spend the next 3 years of my life. I'm now at a school that's pretty much the complete opposite of Juniata, and I am much happier. But I don't want to scare you away...a lot of people really love the place, it definitely has a sense of community, fun traditions, good science departments, campus and nearby wilderness are pretty, and I guess the other departments aren't all that bad. There's the opportunity to make really good friends, as you're all stuck in a two block sized campus in the middle of nowhere together.
I guess this sounds pretty negative, but I just wasn't the Juniata type. Though it's hard to figure out if you're the type until you get there. But I don't regret my year there, it was a good place to start to figure out college life, and it's easy to try out different majors as there isn't the red tape that comes along with switching majors in larger schools.
My D is a senior and has applied Early Action. She visited (we live on West Coast) and she felt right at home on the campus. Enjoyed the class visits and felt like the kids were "her type". She expecially loved the fact that academics came first, EC clubs second and kids still had time to "hang-out".
She likes rural, small and laid back so the fit seems perfect. Of course, it is 3000 miles away from home but she is our 3rd kid out, and we know that the right match is the most critical element.
We visited Juniata last Mon for their visitation day. The weather was miserable, but my D liked it. I didn't think she would because their music dept is not set up to do a major emphasis in it, but she liked the campus, the overall atmosphere, the personality of the students, the visit with the pol sci prof...and all the traditions that are part of campus life.
The cafeteria left some to be desired. Surprised me because Juniata is a liberal type place, but it didn't really have a predominantly healthy menus. Campus felt very new all over. Good feel for an academic experience.
My D loved Juniata and she applied Early Action. She is on pins and needles because letters should arrive this week or next. Like your daughter, mine doesn't drink or like big raucous parties. She is more into "hanging out" or doing fun stuff with a purpose. The fraternaty party scene is a turn-off for her and she has ruled out many schools because of that.
Did either of your D's participate in the Running Start (WA) or in dual-enrollement program?
Two of my friends who did, had a bit of trouble with colleges not being able to categorize them. Some considered them first-year applicants, while others considered them transfers. Some colleges took the credits, while others took some or none at all.
I'm not sure what running start is. We have something called
"college now" that are high school classes which are cross listed with our community college and show up on the community college transcript. I think all the Oregon schools and some private or neighboring state schools accept those credits the same way they would accept transfer classes or AP credit. My D has a bunch but didn't include them with her application packet. If accepted, she will work with the registrar to see what College Now and AP credits can be imported. It really isn't a big deal to her as she would want to take a full load at Juniata anyway. If she went community college route, she'd already have enough credits to be a sophomore.
Running Start is exactly like the program you described.
A good number of private schools outside the Pacific Northwest did not know how to deal with the program or credits, even after the college transcripts were sent. My friends had to have the college coordinator for the Running Start program and their HS counselors send letters explaining workload, as well as which courses counted towards high school graduation (and thus, not count as college credit).
If they earned an AA while in HS from the college, it actually made the process more difficult. The public universities were fine with the credits, while the private colleges outside the Pacific Northwest had varied and different policies that affected how an applicant would be seen--affecting admissions rates, financial aid, scholarship criteria, etc...
Most friends who applied to Juniata are not too concerned with losing credits but with not being able to stay and be considered in the first-year application pool, since some other private colleges have moved them to the transfer pile due to credits or an AA degree.