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Why Carleton?

Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Registered User Posts: 19,008 Senior Member
edited July 2010 in Carleton College
I know nothing about it, but ds got a letter from the school today with a brochure that, for some reason, caught my eye (he tells me to look first and only show him things that look interesting :) ).

I took a peek at the website, but because some of you seem totally sold on the place I thought I'd ask y'all: Why? We are from Texas. What would ds find in Minnesota at Carleton that he couldn't find somewhere warmer? :)

The brochure talked about IM broomball; he'd love that!
Post edited by Youdon'tsay on

Replies to: Why Carleton?

  • fireflyscoutfireflyscout Registered User Posts: 5,424 Senior Member
    I'm in Texas, too, and my daughter is a junior at Carleton. She has found a college with bright, engaged, happy students who have an offbeat sense of humor. She has learned to live in a cold environment (though she certainly prefers a warmer environment).

    Random things about Carleton - Oregon Trail (the computer game) was created by Carleton students. Check out "Daft Hands" on YouTube - that's a Carleton student.
  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Registered User Posts: 19,008 Senior Member
    That's good trivia.

    What other places did she look at? I see that there are only nine Texans in the freshman class.
  • fireflyscoutfireflyscout Registered User Posts: 5,424 Senior Member
    She looked at Bowdoin, Davidson, Hamilton, Rhodes.

    There's also a lot of cross-applications with Chicago, Grinnell, Macalester, Brown.
  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Registered User Posts: 19,008 Senior Member
    So she was really open to going far away? Ds is only looking at one school (Pomona) that isn't in Texas or a bordering state.
  • starbucks08starbucks08 Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    I'm not from a warm Southern state ie Texas, so I don't know if you could find my perspective relevant... but I think the reason I became so desperately obsessed with Carleton is probably its academic ambience. To be honest, I could not be less interested in Broomball, Ultimate Frisbee, and its other random "quirky" activities, hahaha. In the simple words, Carleton is one of the best LAC's in the nation that offers the most rigorous education. It's known to be the best college in the Midwest along with Uchicago and WashU. My parents wanted to know "why not East Coast?", but the past LAC ranks in which Carleton constantly placed within TOP 5 convinced them that it is reallly one of the best, and studying here for four years could really prepareme to go to other great grad schools.

    So I went for a visit, and I was expecting to see a cut-throat, competitive environment with students under tremendous pressure all the time... not at all. Students seemed all very laid-back and EXTREMELY friendly. There's absolutely no New England preppy snobbishness or anything. Kids are there to study and learn genuinely for the sake of learning. And they also told me something like, "you learn to compete with yourself instead of with others." They said they don't know their friends' grades or anything. And I didn't feel like this was one of their stupid marketing tactics, because so many people said it.
  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Registered User Posts: 19,008 Senior Member
    starbucks, are you there now or an applicant?

    I think your impressions are very valid so thanks for responding. And you hit on something I'm worried about venturing too far from Texas -- the New England preppy snobbishness. :) He goes to a great, challenging, diverse public HS now, so I'd love for him to have that in a college.

    Like I said in the OP, I wonder whether he can find a great, quirky, challenging environment right here (thinking Rice) and is it worth it to invest the time in looking far, far away. Right now, he only has three reaches on his list so we're looking for more and just trying to get a feel for what's out there. He has no interest in HYP and would prefer a small LAC. For some reason that mailing just caught my eye! Good marketing! :)
  • fireflyscoutfireflyscout Registered User Posts: 5,424 Senior Member
    I must admit my daughter was pretty eager to try living in a different area of the country- she only applied to one school in Texas (Southwestern, my alma mater). Carleton is fairly easy to get to - straight up I-35 (she does have her car there). Beginning in March, Southwest will offer flights to Minneapolis (yay!).
  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Registered User Posts: 19,008 Senior Member
    Southwestern is on ds's list. Are they comparable? That's kind of what I mean about why look in Minnesota if you can find the same thing up I-35! :)
  • MontegutMontegut Registered User Posts: 6,122 Senior Member
    Yea! Southwest to Minneapolis! Would love to take my son there.

    Thanks for the info on Oregon Trail. I LOVE THAT GAME!

    Lots of kids from our school are dying to go up north for college.

    Our rare glimpse of snow this year encouraged them even more.
  • MBPMBP Registered User Posts: 2,509 Senior Member
    some southern schools that, while not LACs, are known for providing good educations are Emory, Wake Forest (a little less so), and Vanderbilt.
    LACs that don't have the preppiness factor to them that are also warmer, but not necessarily closer to TX are Lewis and Clark and Reed, and then Willamette, though it's easier to get into and not as much like Carleton.

    most of the others are then far away and cold. Kenyon (in OH), Macalester (MN), Oberlin (OH), Knox (not as highly regarded as the others, and in IL), and many more.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 34,348 Super Moderator
    MBP, I can't believe your list. DD2 applied to five schools and you have them all. She is high on geekhood and learning. Her #1 choice is Carleton. Her other application schools are Knox, Lewis and Clark, Kenyon and Oberlin. For some reason neither Reed nor Macalester appealed to her (though both did to her older Sister).
  • limnerlimner Registered User Posts: 458 Member
    Starbucks08, I think you describe Carleton to T. My son (from Tennessee) wasn't interested in broomball or Ultimate either, but he loves Carleton for exactly the reasons you describe.

    (He's played broomball and enjoyed it, but I don't think he's picked up a frisbee since the summer before he started at Carleton--when he threw one around a little in case it was sort of a requirement. It's not. ;))
  • greenteam22greenteam22 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    In addition what's already been said, another reason my kids chose the school is because they have a wide range of interests. S is able to dance in Ebony and play lax. His friends are varied and he feels he has the flexibility to pursue his passions. D is now going for many of the same reasons. They also loved the humor in the admissions process and school communications overall.
  • HindooHindoo Registered User Posts: 5,849 Senior Member
    We're from Kentucky. Our daughter is a sophomore who chose Carleton above Pomona and other good schools simply because, after visiting, it felt like the place she most wanted to be. She's a driven, Type-A personality, so the laid-back atmosphere of the Carleton student body has been a terrific thing for her. God help her if she'd ended up in an extremely intense, highly-competitive environment! Carleton's academics are very challenging, but there's also plenty of fun to be found. And her fellow Carls are both brilliant and wonderful!
  • kcphobokcphobo Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    My d. is one of this year's Texas freshmen. She applied to a few Northeastern schools, several midwest schools, a couple of schools in California and Austin College in Texas. Carleton was her first choice because she wanted to see what life is like outside of Texas, she was eager to be independent, and she was looking for smart, friendly students with a sense of humor. Her Texas high school was huge, suburban and preppy and she wanted more diversity in outlook and a smaller student body. She only applied to LACs.

    She loves Carleton. Her friends are smart and fun with a lot of different interests, and she says everyone looks out for each other. She says the students like to party, but not during the week because everyone is studying. The trimester system means every day counts. She asked for a warmer winter coat, but otherwise she doesn't complain about the weather. As far as travel goes, it's a straight shot to Minneapolis from the major Texas airports, and the school has midterm shuttles to the airport.
This discussion has been closed.