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What did you turn down for Colby?

KW1217KW1217 Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
I've been accepted into a few liberal arts colleges. For those who decided on Colby, what were your other offers? Why did you choose Colby?

Replies to: What did you turn down for Colby?

  • KW1217KW1217 Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
  • CalifornianMuleCalifornianMule Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    On campus I've met quite a number of students who had been accepted to a lot of schools, especially in the NESCACs and Ivies.

    Personally I was down to Colby, Hamilton, Claremont McKenna, and Midd for my liberal arts and Emory and Dartmouth for the university side. All of them are great at econ, which I wanted to do. Didn't want to go to a big school, CMC was way too close to home, so I picked from the others after I visited campus and did an overnight.
  • arctoarcturasarctoarcturas Registered User Posts: 28 Junior Member
    Colby over Dartmouth,nice to hear.
  • werd814werd814 Registered User Posts: 1,099 Senior Member
    edited April 2015
    That sort of thing (Colby over Dartmouth) wasn't all that unusual when I was at Colby, though I wouldn't say it was the norm (but things seem to be changing, and Colby's prestige is growing by leaps and bounds every year). I had friends who turned down or transferred from Bowdoin, Pomona, some of the mid tier ivies, etc. I can't think of other specific schools off the top of my head or the specific ivies, and don't want to embellish. But I did have a good friend turn down Harvard for Middlebury, and another who turned down Midd for Colby; so by the transitive property... hah.

    Somewhat relatedly, most of my good friends at Colby who went on to grad school ended up studying at top Unis (HYPSM, Oxbridge, the UCs, Northwestern, UChicago, etc.). Very common to hear a few years in that "Oh. My friends at Colby were every bit as smart and competent as my new colleagues from 'insert bigger name school here'" or "My education was every bit as good as what undergrads here get"... with the solid exception of what the resources of schools like HYPS can accommodate. It's insane how much they spend on guest speakers and events.

    Colby, BA '09
    Yale, Masters '12
    Berkeley, PhD '17

    P.S. Wish I could offer some cool "I turned down X for Colby" stories, but Colby was probably the best school I got into. I turned down full rides at UVM and SUNY Geneseo, but I otherwise didn't really have my act together when I applied to undergrad.
  • KW1217KW1217 Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
    @werd814 Thank you so much for your comment! How did you like Colby? What was your major? If you could do if over, would you still go there?
  • werd814werd814 Registered User Posts: 1,099 Senior Member
    edited April 2015
    Absolutely LOVED it. I really would do it all over again, if I had the chance. (It's a bit hard to give specific examples in a short reply without WAY over generalizing.. and I've got some pool lounging to do [oh, Cal, how I love thee], so apologies in advance... likewise, I apologize for my stream-of-consciousness reply.)

    Honestly, the only other undergrad options I personally would take over Colby are Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and CalTech simply because they offer the same sort of tight-knit community feeling, ample prof-student interaction, and jovial/life-is-good nature that I felt at Colby... but their resources are significantly stronger. MIT is on the border because it's undergrad science offerings are the strongest around, but the mantra "Tech is Hell" doesn't exist for nothin'.

    Schools like Bowdoin, Dartmouth, Williams, Columbia, Harvard, Berkeley, etc., which have solid academics (to say the least) and impressive resources, seem to foster a competitiveness that, in my experience with grads and/or campus visits, piles on the stress, diminishes community, and reduces quality of life substantially. And in some cases, the schools are just far too big for my liking. While certainly this comment is based on major generalizations of very diverse schools, I still feel relatively comfortable saying it because a) I interviewed at or visited many of these schools, either for undergrad or grad, b) have many good friends who've attended all of the above, c) visited many NESCAC campuses while competing in varsity sports at Colby, and d) had the chance to attend several of these schools for my masters and PhD (Columbia for PhD, Harvard for masters and PhD, and, well, am now a student at Berkeley), but was truly turned off by the high stress, low-happiness vibes I got.

    That said, please take my above comments with a grain of salt. I have had a lot of interaction with students from or graduates of many top-10 / top-20 universities while in academia, but the only of these sorts of schools that I have ever actually attended is Berkeley. From these same experiences, I think I'd probably have been just as happy and successful at some of the lower key (but still academically rigorous) schools like like Middlebury, Brown (actually, Brown is a toss-up... I possibly would attend it over Colby), Pomona, Bates (eek!), Carleton, Vassar, etc., but Colby was so good the first time around, I wouldn't risk effing it up were I to get to do it over again.
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