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Carleton V Grinnell

MilesD92MilesD92 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
edited April 2010 in Carleton College
I have been accepted to Grinnell and Carleton. I'm interested in pursuing science, particularly biology. I would like to visit both schools but I don't know if that will happen. If I can't swing a visit, what are your thoughts about deciding between the two?
Post edited by MilesD92 on

Replies to: Carleton V Grinnell

  • DroughtDrought Registered User Posts: 807 Member
    Carleton by a mile.
  • sunmachinesunmachine Registered User Posts: 824 Member
    Congrats on being accepted at two great schools! There's a thread at the top of this forum that compiles several "Carleton v ____" threads, including several on Grinnell. You should read these if you haven't already. My son is considering both schools, so I'll share my observations, which you can take for what they may (or may not) be worth.

    Overall, Carleton and Grinnell are very similar and attract many cross applicants and cross admits (such as yourself and my son). Grinnell's students struck me as being a bit edgier and more politicized, but the student bodies at both schools are rightly characterized, I think, as being smart, open, and accepting. Grinnell has somewhat more ethnic/racial diversity, with minorities making up about 26% of its last incoming class, as opposed to about 22% at Carleton. Both schools have about the same percent (around 73%) of kids coming from public schools.

    Both colleges are in small towns, though Carleton has the distinct advantage (IMO) of being about 45 minutes from the Twin Cities. Grinnell is about the same distance from Des Moines and Iowa City (the latter being a great place for college kids to hang out). Both campuses are very nice; personally, I prefer Carleton's because of the Arb.


    Both are among the strongest LACs is sciences, and Grinnell is particularly strong in biology. Grinnell has a much larger endowment per student, and it shows in terms of several newer/nicer facilities on campus. Grinnell's science facility is particularly impressive, and, IMO surpasses what I saw of the science facilities at Carleton, though this is not to say that the science facilities at Carleton are bad.

    You should try to visit both if at all possible. If you can't, take comfort in knowing that they are both great schools and you can't make a wrong decision. Good luck!
  • 11901190 Registered User Posts: 628 Member
    Carleton's student body is slightly larger than Grinnell's, the campus significantly larger with an adjacent Arboretum, the school a bit more selective and higher ranked, and there are more frisbees per capita.

    But I'd agree with sunmachine that the biggest difference lies with location. The town of Northfield is about twice the size of the town of Grinnell and 3,000 St. Olaf students are a just a long walk from Carleton's campus. City access from Carleton to Minneapolis-St. Paul is easier and a much more utilized resource. Both will offer great academics, inspiring professors, and caring, individualized attention.
  • DenverParent2011DenverParent2011 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    As a parent of both a Carleton child and a Grinnell child I can offer a different perspective on travel alone. There are other things to consider but my opinion is based on travel and breaks. You can find lower cost flights to Minneapolis anytime but with Des Moines they can be very expensive. Another issue is amount of breaks they both have, at Grinnell there are 4 breaks every year, fall break, thanksgiving, winter and spring. Carleton olny has two breaks and they are one at thanksgiving and it lasts until after christmas and spring break. So for parents if your paying for travel Carleton can be less of a burden. If you have any questions regarding the towns or other post your questions and I will check back.
  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Registered User Posts: 19,348 Senior Member
    DenverParent, as someone in the same boat as OP, thank you for the insight on the flight cost differential.
  • swimming08swimming08 Registered User Posts: 128 Junior Member
    DenverParent2011, I am assuming from your "name" that you live in Denver. As a
    Des Moines parent with a S at Colorado College, I feel your travel pain. Scheduling and
    paying for airfare between Denver/Colorado Springs and Des Moines is ridiculous. It is less expensive to travel East from Des Moines. We are praying for Southwest to come to Des Moines in hopes that competition will bring down the cost of flying west. My S can fly to Denver from Omaha for about $75 to $150, while the average cost from Des Moines to Denver is about $450.00. Frontier Airlines now offers flights from Des Moines to Denver but they are not direct flights and the total flight time over 8 hours. IMO that is way too long. Grinnell is an amazing school and IMO travel drama is not a reason to turn down the school of your dreams--just be prepared. I have never flown out of Cedar Rapids but I would guess it is not any cheaper than Des Moines.
  • involved mominvolved mom Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    DenverParent makes a great point, and it's something we never considered when looking at colleges. Our oldest attended a college with a fall break, Thanksgiving break, holiday break, and spring break - we seemed to be buying tickets every month or two. Our son is a sophomore at Carleton - it's so nice to only have to buy tickets for those two breaks. It's not a make or break - but just one more point to consider when making your decision.
  • sunmachinesunmachine Registered User Posts: 824 Member
    swimming08, I used to fly into Des Moines alot, from the End of the Earth, and usually through Chicago. Was always amazed that the Chicago/Des Moines leg of the trip (about an hour) was always as much or more than the cost of flying from the End of the Earth to Chicago.
  • DenverParent2011DenverParent2011 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    I posted this on another page but it may appy here as well.

    The most important part of this decision is how your son or daughter feels the school will fit them. As a parent of a Grinnellian and a Carl I can tell you that the money is not that big of difference when its all said and done. Your parent contribution and other expenses at Carleton will probably be very near what you would pay at Grinnell. And as a student you may want to look online for what is called "average indebtedness" for students. I think what you will find is that it ends up being very close and if you really want to attend one or the other it shouldn't come down to a couple thousand dollars. We let our kids decide on their own where they wanted to attend.

    Should any parents be interested in more of my perspective just leave me a question/topic.

    I love to talk!
  • 11901190 Registered User Posts: 628 Member
    M's Mom
    Thank you for the thread links, but the first is apparently nothing more than the Grinnell copy of this thread, also began by the OP, MilesD92, in which you've posted two other responses. I presume since the OP began that thread he's following responses there as he is here (wisely to obtain two likely disparate, and biased, viewpoints). The other link is one you began in 2007, also on the Grinnell boards, to promote Grinnell.
    Is it just me.....?
  • M's MomM's Mom Registered User Posts: 4,562 Senior Member
    Yup, it's just you. OP isn't the only one who reads this thread.
  • 11901190 Registered User Posts: 628 Member
    Absolutely! There was never any doubt the rationale prompting your post had little to do with the OP. Last I looked, this was a Carleton forum for students interested in Carleton seeking advice from those intimate with Carleton. The CC "decorum line" may be fuzzy, but it appears crossed when proselytizing for one college on another's site. Enthusiasm is understandable, but what would Ms Manners think? I doubt Carls have been directing people to "Why Carleton?" testimonials on your son's school link (but then Carls are renowned for their impeccable deportment).
This discussion has been closed.