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Lafayette College as a safety

nopoisonivynopoisonivy Posts: 638Registered User Member
edited March 2005 in Parents Forum
As April 1st approaches I am preparing to deal with whatever comes to pass in my son's application results. As he was home schooled and the burden of the decisions on where to apply fell on us it was difficult to choose the schools in which to apply. He completed HS in June 03 after being accepted to RISD and many other Art Schools. He has decided not to take that route but has rather decided to go to a liberal arts school and major in Art History (concentrating on Medieval Art).
He has already been successful with his art since he was 15 and his designed cover art (audio books) for a few NYT best sellers. Anyway he decided to take a gap year and has re-applied to about 7 schools all very selective and submitted an elaborately done illustrated personal statement (essay) along with some excellent rec letters which mostly were not academic. His SAT scores are 1420 with 790 being verbal. His SATII's are 2230. He isn't fooling himself by being confident in getting into Princeton or Harvard but hopes to have a shot at Brown or maybe Williams (the latter due to the Art History connection). The match-safety is Lafayette College. It seems to have a decent art program and their new president is a Medieval Art Historian. The other upside to Lafayette is a possible merit scholarship. I guess I need to feel confident in this school and also be ready in the event he doesn't get accepted to the more selective schools.
Post edited by nopoisonivy on
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Replies to: Lafayette College as a safety

  • carolyncarolyn Posts: 7,435Registered User Senior Member
    I think Lafayette is a safety/match. It's hard to say because of the homeschooling aspect but he seems to have a good shot. Lafayette is a great school but I don't have first hand knowledge of their art history or art programs.
  • nopoisonivynopoisonivy Posts: 638Registered User Member
    He was only home schooled for the 3 HS years as circumstances pushed us (reluctantly) in that direction. Interestingly enough from the stats I have seen listed on the schools own sites home schoolers as a group have a slightly higher chance in being accepted to the more selective schools. That could be due to their being placed into a different pool of candidates or their unusual EC's.

    http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2000/novdec/articles/homeschooling.html

    Carolyn as Lafayette was the only school my son applied to that wasn't a reach we are considering it to be our safety.
  • jamimomjamimom Posts: 3,278Registered User Senior Member
    I think you are fine, nopoisonivy. Lafayette was one of my choices (match, not safety) many years ago, but I was going for their math program. I believe they give a slight edge to their humanities majors. I don't know anything about their art or art history programs either, but the school is first class in my book. And your son sounds like a fascinating young man. How many other schools did he choose? Harvard and Princeton just by their numbers are longshots for anyone, and Williams may be a tough one as well because it is so well known for its art history program, but with the gap year activities and homeschooling, your son does have a special spin on things.

    I would have advised a true safety because I am risk adverse, and I would never categorize Lafayette as such, but for some kids with good, solid stats, and special ECs like your son, and like TheDad's D, Susan's daughter, both from last year's CC seniors, it is not a risky thing to do. Had he been engineering, however, I would be a bit concerned, as Lafayette does have some great candidates in that area. If your son has demonstrated interest and given the school its due in attention, I would say that he's in good shape.
  • nopoisonivynopoisonivy Posts: 638Registered User Member
    I think Lafayette is rated one of the top ten schools for engineering in the country.
    I hope I haven't portrayed the school as being a slam-dunk but I believe he has an excellent chance with his stats being at the upper end of their accepted students.
    I am a little concerned with the sports weighted mindset at the school as my son's only involvement with sports is his love of the Bronx Bombers. We picked it because it is within 3 hrs from our home and it’s ranking in US News and Barron's. A friend of his who is now at Harvard was told by his guidance counselor to apply there as his safety.
    Jamimom...the other schools were Amherst and Columbia (the later being close to NYC museums) as he has a volunteer internship at the Met. He received an unconditional offer to St. Andrews in Scotland, which has a wonderful Art History program. His mom and I don't think we could deal with the distance and the money as no aid is given to US students.
  • momrathmomrath Posts: 4,454Registered User Senior Member
    nopoisonivy, With your son's background and scores I would be very surprised if he didn't get into Williams (and others on his list). My son is a sophomore at Williams now and is either going to major in art history or art studio -- or maybe a combination both which Williams offers. Both departments are wonderful! Great courses, great faculty, great resources, great museums, great kids, great alumni/ae network. His head is absolutely exploding with interconnecting ideas. He's taken two courses from Williams top medievalist (it's also an area of interest for my son) including a course that ties into a current exhibit at the Williams College Museum featuring a medieval picture Bible.

    I'm sure when the acceptances arrive, he'll have some hard decisions. Please let me know if I or my son could provide any additional information on Williams.
  • nopoisonivynopoisonivy Posts: 638Registered User Member
    Thanks momrath for the encouragement as my son could not have picked harder schools to apply to esp this year with the record applications everywhere. We are counting on his art portfolio and illustrated essay to set him apart from the so so many qualified kids seeking admission for the class of 09. If he is accepted to Williams we will certainly have many questions and how great it would be to have someone studying medieval art to answer them! I am trying not to lose heart with the outcome as I know how competitive admissions are this year. He only intended to apply to art schools so he never worked to bring his math SAT I scores up. During the spring of 04 he visited one of the Ivies, and that was the thing that made him decide that going to art school was not for him. He deferred RISD but with their famous no aid program it was obvious to all of us that it was not meant to be.
    Possibly we might hear something from Lafayette next week as they send scholarship notifications 2 weeks early.
  • nopoisonivynopoisonivy Posts: 638Registered User Member
    "He completed HS in June 03"

    Correction....June 2004
  • momrathmomrath Posts: 4,454Registered User Senior Member
    nopoison, my guess is that your son is exactly the kid that these schools are looking for!

    My son never seriously entertained going to art school even though he is quite talented and loves to draw and paint. Finding that the art department at Williams is as strong as it is was a real bonus. The instructors, who are all accomplished artists, are extremely process oriented and have the facilities to reinforce their skills. This year he's taking a tutorial (two kids, one professor) that involves portraiture in all media. This is the kind of thing that Williams excels at.

    Well, no choice now but to wait it out. Good luck to you all.
  • momsdreammomsdream Posts: 1,628Registered User Senior Member
    Hi Nopoison-

    My son, too, is an Art History buff. It was the "theme" of his apps. Lafayette is a great school....very well regarded and well known. I know another parent whose child, last year, passed on several Merit Scholarships to other great schools for a full-fare (no aid) to Lafayette.

    And, as others have said, I would be surprised if your son wasn't grabbed up by other schools, such as Williams and Brown. As my son was corresponding with Art History professors at various schools across the country, they were all directing him to Williams and a couple of Ivies.

    Your son will have wonderful choices in April - including Lafayette, which is fabulous!
  • MotherOfTwoMotherOfTwo Posts: 2,110Registered User Senior Member
    momsdream - Is Lafayette well known for Art and Art History? Thanks.
  • walkinghomewalkinghome Posts: 6,835Registered User Senior Member
    Nonpoisonivy,
    I don't understand your concern about Lafayette being overly sports minded. From what I remember about Lafayette, it's the only school in the division they play in that does not give sports scholarships. I live close to Lafayette and there was some controversy in the papers this past fall because their biggest donor did not agree with that policy and was withdrawing his support. At least that's what I remember. It's well respected in this area. Students that attend Lafayette can also take classes at our other nearby colleges - Lehigh, Muhlenberg, Moravian and DeSales.
  • nopoisonivynopoisonivy Posts: 638Registered User Member
    Kathie...

    I was just concerned with my son's fitting in at a school where over half the students are involved in competitive sports. Lafayette is a member of the Patriot League and as you have said they are the only school that does not offer athletic scholarships. I wouldn't be as concerned if it were a larger school, as it would be easier for him to find his niche. On a positive note it might be a catalyst for him to get back into fencing or some other PE activity.
    Thanks for the info on the other PA schools and thanks to everyone for their encouragement.
  • jamimomjamimom Posts: 3,278Registered User Senior Member
    Williams and Amherst are also tiny schools that field alot of teams and put an emphasis in building them though they are D3. I don't think this will be a big problem at Lafayette. Too many engineering majors there working their collective tails off. That is a major generally incompatible with D1 sports, especially in top program like Lafayette's. Don't recall L's size in comparison to W and A, but I am assuming that it is larger than those schools.
  • driverdriver Posts: 4,148- Senior Member
    Lafayette is only slightly larger than Williams, maybe 2300 or so. I can't imagine that more than half of the students are involved in varsity sports....competitive sports can mean a lot of things, including club sports and intramurals, and schools like these are very active in those areas because there's not always much else to do, and they are a great way to let off steam after all the work.
  • momsdreammomsdream Posts: 1,628Registered User Senior Member
    MotherofTwo-

    I haven't heard of Lafayette being popular in the Art History circles. I've always heard of it being an Engineering school....and the kids I know who have gone there were pre-med (2).
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