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Colby vs Wake Forest

golf0114skigolf0114ski Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
edited April 2012 in Colby College
I am deciding between these two schools for to put my deposit at (less than a week to decide!) I know that these are two very different schools...so I will post this on the page for each school. I'm a pretty good student from New England (2110 SAT) and I am interested in studying business (I would probably try to enter Wake's business school), Spanish or Communications. I want to study abroad (likely in Spain) at some point in college. Academically, I like that both schools offer small class sizes and great professor-student interaction.

For Wake:

I visited both schools and really liked both. I liked Wake Forest's campus layout (with the two quads and frats/sororities on either side of the upper quad). When I visited for accepted students day, I talked to students who really stressed how teachers at Wake Forest (although it technically is a university)are committed and very helpful toward undergrad students. I like that a student can sample a couple of classes in the business school before deciding whether to apply and enter the business school Junior year. Outside of academics, I like that Wake offers greek life and have heard that this is a fun part of many students' experience. Obviously sports (Football especially, and tailgating) is fairly big at Wake and that's a plus. I'm also interested in golf, skiing (any of that in NC) and community service. My only concerns about Wake are 1.)is the academic work for a Wake Forest student (with or without the business school) so great that it significantly limits fun on campus....I manage my time very well and come from a good public high-school so hopefully that would help....2.)is it hard to find jobs out of Wake in regions other than the south (New York, Boston, west coast...) 3.)to what extent is the school "southern prep"...I've heard it described that way, what does it even mean haha? do kids from the northeast generally fit in okay?

For Colby:

The students at Colby was the best feature of the school in my opinion. They seemed friendly, fun and definitely happy to be at Colby. I really liked the class that I sat in-on...the professor was funny, all the students (mostly seniors) participated, etc. I like that Colby has a great career services program where students can take "workshops" to learn how to conduct an interview, how to prepare a job application, how to search for internships, etc. I hear that Colby grads have a lot of success out of college (especially finding jobs in east coast cities--is this true?). Both Wake and Colby will have small classes, both will have good professors (from what I've observed) and both have good reputations. Outside of the classroom, I like that living in Maine gives my access to skiing (which is supposedly popular during the January term where students are only taking one class--a program that I also like) and other outdoors activities (hiking, biking, etc.) that are supposedly popular through the Outdoor Club. Does anyone have experience with this organization? The things that I don't like about Colby are 1.)size--1800 students seems too small (barely bigger than my high school of 1200) and I don't want classes, parties, social groups, etc. to be the same people every time.....2.)location--obviously the weather isn't great (but it does allow winter skiing) but most importantly Waterville didn't seem like a great college town and nothing appeared to be in walking distance to the campus.....3.)sports--I definitely prefer Wake's ACC sports to Colby's D3 sports although Colby hockey is supposedly fun......4.)social scene--i think i'd prefer greek-life at Wake...... 5.)is it liberal? very liberal? more so than most colleges?

Please feel free to talk about any aspect that I've mentioned or anything else.

Thanks!
Post edited by golf0114ski on

Replies to: Colby vs Wake Forest

  • GDMACKGDMACK Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    I grew up in Atlanta, so can speak to the South in general though not to Wake Forest in particular (though I have been on the campus). My daughter is at Colby now.

    We live in California (San Francisco), where my daughter grew up. We were worried she would find Colby and Waterville clausterphobic, but that has not been the case at all. She has not found the Colby winters to be too bad, though this was a mild winter which meant not as much snow as usual and not as much snowboarding as she might have liked. She has had no problems getting around. She has access to a zip car whenever she wants so can get around, and there are lots of students on campus with cars. Taxi's around town are really cheap also. My daughter did not want a big Greek scene (like at Wake), and she would have not liked the Bible Belt/Southern Culture scene at Wake at all. I am sure that on the whole Colby is more liberal than Wake just because of the Bible belt issue. She has done several trips with the Outdoors club which she likes, including snow shoeing along the Maine Coast, and a X-country ski trip to Canada. She calls Colby and Maine "Paradise." She could not be happier.

    Only you can decide what is right for you. My daughter would not have been happy at Wake, but that is just her. We know of others from California/Texas who are really happy at Wake.
  • golf0114skigolf0114ski Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    Thanks...not sure wake really has the "bible belt" feel.....it's not the deep south, and there seemed to be a lot of kids from the northeast there....I think they said the 2nd most represented state on campus was New Jersey....but I'm glad to hear your daughter enjoyed Colby and it didn't feel too small or claustrophobic...what year is she?
  • GDMACKGDMACK Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    She is a Freshman.
  • sailfishsailfish Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    My S would also not have considered a southern college like Wake with a prominent Greek scene, and thought the absence of frats and sororities at Colby was one of its best features. It didn't hurt the social life but changed it completely. From his perspective, made it more inclusive and less like high school, with "in" groups, "out" groups and all that foolishness that is best left behind as early in life as possible.

    Our older S went to a large, well-known university with a prominent Greek culture, and told me not to ever let his younger brother do it. S #1 is very social and ultimately found lots of good friends but really hated that scene, as well as the completely out-of-proportion sports culture at his D1 university.

    Colby is absolutely, completely great in every way...academically, socially...But like everything else in life it isn't for everyone. S was on a varsity team at Colby and got a lot more out of that than being a spectator at D1 sports could have provided. But Colby may not be for you. If your priorities are Greek life and big-time spectator sports Colby may not give you what you want from college. Wake is also a great school and I'm not trying to put it down at all. Different culture, different scene--only you can decide where you'd feel most at home.
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