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Richmond Indiana (Earlham) Question

HeavyLiddedHeavyLidded Registered User Posts: 265 Junior Member
edited March 2013 in Parents Forum
DD is considering Earlham. We visited, but only briefly and really did not get a good look at the area around the school. Is there really a town? If anyone could compare this to the town centers near Wooster and Ohio Wesleyan (which we have a good handle on) it would be much appreciated!
Post edited by HeavyLidded on

Replies to: Richmond Indiana (Earlham) Question

  • LasMaLasMa Registered User Posts: 10,544 Senior Member
    Yes, there's a town. It's small and yet sprawling, if that makes sense. Low density. To me, it has a definite rural feel, like a farm community. The most striking thing I noticed was how slowed-down the pace of life seems, and how friendly the people are.

    My D's a senior at Earlham and, as a city girl, the town of Richmond was one of her biggest hesitations. It hasn't turned out to be a problem, though, mainly because student life is very much centered on the campus. There are enough stores within relatively easy striking distance -- CVS, Meijer (like Target), Penney, etc. There's a grocery store across the street, and an antiques district not terribly far away. D and her buddies have found a number of restaurants they like. When they feel the need for a night in the city, Dayton is a half hour away.

    Sorry, I haven't been to Wooster or Wesleyan, so I can't offer a comparison.
  • MSHSMOMMSHSMOM Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    We visited both Wooster and Earlham. My impression was that Wooster has a nicer, more accessible town close to campus, more shops to visit and little restaurants to walk to. It feels cleaner and safer to me. Richmond is probably quite a bit larger than Wooster, but the areas around campus were not set up like a walking town like Wooster is.

    Wooster is quite a bit larger school (~2000 compared to ~1200 if I recall correctly). Our impression was that the difference in campus and student body size made Wooster feel more like a campus that you could spend most of your free time on, and the accessible town just expanded that area.

    There is one great little restaurant we found in Richmond, right by campus. Wish I could remember the name.
  • higgins2013higgins2013 Registered User Posts: 653 Member
    Earlham was #1 on DS' short-list, until we visited. Many Midwest LACs' (we only toured in Midwest) small rural town locations can be problematic, because economic vitality of town has been sapped. Beloit and Knox and Earlham and DePauw are examples, even Grinnell had issues. Richmond itself isn't an attractive town, even though Earlham can be. We made a point to look closely at each LAC campus' town itself, looking at crime rates (can be a serious issue even in a rural area), downtown storefront activity, nearby residential neighborhoods (how many rundown houses, poorly maintained blocks, "give-away" home prices, etc), and off-campus options.

    We were also concerned by Earlham's relatively low 4-year graduation rate, which admissions staff also noted as a "concern that admin was addressing."

    Be sure to visit again. Overnight in-town visits are very helpful. It's a big decision, encompassing at least four-years of residency in these towns. Even if the school is wonderful, the surrounding town environment always has some influence on the experience as well. Best wishes.
  • HeavyLiddedHeavyLidded Registered User Posts: 265 Junior Member
    Thanks for the responses, folks.

    We live in an urban area. DD's top three choices are in more rural areas. One has NO town to speak of, one (Wooster) has a decent little town but it is not within an easy walk and then there is Earlham. She is fully aware that this will be a huge change of pace for her. We visited OWU and liked how close the town there was the the edge of the campus and were hoping that something similar existed at Earlham.

    This gives us more to think about. Thanks again!
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 31,611 Senior Member
    You might want to drop by Denison U, east of Columbus. The U is at the top of a hill above the picturesque town of Granville. Beautiful place.
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