I visited St. Olaf recently, and really enjoyed the feeling of community and overall friendly atmosphere of the college.
However, many factors discourage me from applying (here comes a run-on):
I feel that, while I may receive a good education at Olaf, a degree from this school might not look as impressive on a job application as one from another college where I could, for example, get the same or better education, perhaps at a lower price, with more recognition/stock. (Not that I need a name-brand school... but one that looks more competitive, perhaps. I am pretty confident I could get into St. Olaf, and I have always looked at more competitive schools.)
I also visited Carleton, another school which I am considering. The atmosphere here was less friendly and more discretionary, if that makes sense; it seemed more as if St. Olaf was trying to sell themselves while Carleton's stuffy attitude was that they got to choose us, we didn't have to choose them. (Does that make sense? Nothing against Carls; I am considering this school nevertheless
. It's not that I minded the atmosphere here so much; I just want to look at schools that might be similar to St. Olaf in atmosphere.)
I was just wondering if anyone has visited schools with great, friendly atmospheres--similar to St. Olaf--and want to share. I don't need to be told, "Oh, St. Olaf is great. Don't worry about the cost, just do what feels right; there's aid. It's a great school, you'll get a good education, blahblahblah." I already know these things. I am just looking for schools with similar atmospheres. Thanks!!