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What Liberal Arts College is Right for me?

NaathanNaathan Registered User Posts: 18 New Member

I've been spending the week scrolling through colleges. I was hoping I could get some help selecting a college, and will post this in those that have stuck out to me.

A little about me:
GPA: 3.7
SAT: 780 Math 740 CR
4 Year Track Athlete
I generally prefer english to math but don't mind either. I enjoy history and philosophy. I consider myself to be pretty competitive and love watching sports, and also appreciate art too and enjoy listening to music. I don't care much for drama/theatre or sciences. While I love to run I don't intend on perusing in competitively.

What I know I want:
-A magnificent campus. Something small with old and pretty buildings.
-Not Cliquey. I want a group of friendly and open people. This is important to me.
-No Frats. Frankly almost all accounts of fraternities I've heard about have been negative. I'd be open to change my mind. I know Bowdoin has an interesting alternative, however. I'd like to hear about that.

What I'm not sure about:
-A rural area. I think I want something rural (similar to what I've seen from Williams), but I'm not sure. What are the pros and cons?
-I don't like to drink or party too hard, but I'm not sure if a college having a lot of this is necessarily a turn off, as hopefully I can just ignore it. Thoughts?
-Often some of these colleges are mentioned as being known for "academic rigor", but that is kind of vague. How many hours a day is that? How stressful is it? I have a fairly strong work ethic but don't want to be up late every night doing boring research projects.

Thank you!

Replies to: What Liberal Arts College is Right for me?

  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,822 Senior Member
    MIddlebury, Bowdoin, Hamilton (reaches), Hampshire, Skidmore, Colby, Dickinson (matches)
  • onceuponamomonceuponamom Registered User Posts: 461 Member
    When I read your description of your ideal college, I thought of Kalamazoo. It's not quite as selective as others, but a lot of bright, friendly students go there. No greek life. Small, old, pretty campus. Also, if you are interested in overseas study, K is a great choice.
  • CalifornianMuleCalifornianMule Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    I agree with @NEPatsGirl‌. If you particularly like the humanities side more, Midd or Hamilton definitely fit your bill. Bowdoin and Colby have a lot of emphasis on the sciences as well. If you're not into the frat life or the partying, I'd make sure to visit the schools on a weekend to see what they're like. That'll get you a better sense of the drinking culture on campus.

    In terms of hours per day studying, it's tough to put an overall number for the school. Some majors are definitely harder than others, and that'll depend on what school you're at. At Colby, it seems like the econ/math/chemistry students spend a couple hours more than others. But most students get to bed by 1am at the latest, so it's not like you're pulling all nighters often.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 19,495 Senior Member

  • merc81merc81 Registered User Posts: 9,125 Senior Member
    edited April 2015
    I don't think of Hamilton as being a humanities focused school. Geoscience is strong and has produced a Nobel Prize winner. The physics department has produced a Nobel Prize winner and an Apker Award winner. Hamilton also has a beautiful science building. The school's one weakness in science is that they only offer a minor in astronomy. Still, they have an observatory. Hamilton's percentage of math majors (10%) is high for colleges of any type.

    The College's humanities are well regarded, but only represent, when combined with fine arts, about a third of concentrations, an amount equal to combined science and math concentrations. The social sciences account for the remaining third to create a balanced academic environment.
  • NaathanNaathan Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    edited April 2015
    "Middlebury, Bowdoin, Hamilton (reaches), Hampshire, Skidmore, Colby, Dickinson (matches)"

    Could I have some brief reasons you chose those schools as "matches" as opposed to others?
  • merc81merc81 Registered User Posts: 9,125 Senior Member
    edited April 2015
    As you know, @Naathan‌, your SAT scores are really high. If this were the only criterion used, you would be qualified for even the most selective colleges in the country. What will determine your success at these or other colleges is what your application looks like as a whole, and whether you show an honest interest in the schools you apply to. Your GPA and course rigour, within the context of your current school, will be very important as well.
  • wpk321wpk321 Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    Colby had a 41% increase in applications this year. Should have been a match for my D with similar stats to poster and she was rejected.
  • otispotisp Registered User Posts: 337 Member
    The whole application inflation thing has thrown the traditional reach/match/safety thing out the window. Last year S got into a couple of his "reaches," but was rejected and waitlisted by a couple of his "matches," and waitlisted by a "safety." I heard one college counselor say that any college with an admit rate below 30%ish is a reach for anyone, and the only true safeties were colleges that had to let you in (generally public colleges with a guaranteed threshold) . Having said that, the list above is a good one (bumping Colby to a "reach"). If you want to include more of New York, maybe Bard as a match and Vassar as a reach.
This discussion has been closed.