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Which college to choose?

kristy's momkristy's mom Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
edited April 2011 in College Admissions
I'd appreciate some feedback. My daughter has been admitted to Holy Cross, Wake Forest, Bucknell and Colgate. (Wait listed at Washington & Lee, waiting for response from Notre Dame.) What do you all think of this selection. Which one do you think is best and why. Thanks!
Post edited by kristy's mom on

Replies to: Which college to choose?

  • IsleBoyIsleBoy Registered User Posts: 2,681 Senior Member
    Holy Corss...because it is intimate and near a big city (Beantown). Colgate is great but a bit isolated. Bucknell is in a small city, but is a bit businessy. Wake Forest is a bit bigger than the others, so I'm not sure if that is what your D had in mind. That said, WFU is a good school with a beautiful campus and a liadback college experience.

    Holy Corss, seems like a better rounded experience, but it depends on what your D wants in a school. Fit is Key.

    Just my opinion.
    IB.

    PS-good luck to your D. :)
  • kristy's momkristy's mom Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    Thanks for the imput. What do you think about the academic enviroment? I don't know weather to buy in to the rankings, etc. Colgate seems to be more academic.
  • IsleBoyIsleBoy Registered User Posts: 2,681 Senior Member
    Actually, Colgate and Holy Cross are similar...but in different ways, of course.

    Colgate feels more prep schoolish, probably because of it's location, while Holy Cross feels more diverse, although still a bit preppy. Academically, it is not too surprising that Holy Cross has a great philosophy/religion department in particular (usually true of schools associated with the Catholic faith). Colgate's is good as well. Being LACs, they tend to be somewhat strong across the board with academics. Both have great faculty-student interaction, small classes, a tight-knit community, and opportunities for research at the undergrad level.

    I think, judging from friends that have gone to either one or the other, Holy Cross is more down-to-earth than Colgate, but the academics are similar.

    As for the rankings...I wouldn't read too much into it, unless ranking trumps fit, cost, etc....That is a determination that you and you D would have to make.

    I'm a little biased, since I'm westward. I like the student body at Holy Cross a tad better than Colgate kids. The latter remind me of my prep school peers. I'm looking for something else than that and the rankings can provide.

    Best of luck making the hard call. They are all great schools.

    IB.
  • warblersrulewarblersrule Super Moderator Posts: 9,999 Super Moderator
    Here's a description I wrote a while back. It mentions specific things that may not pertain to your D.

    Wake is a small school, and it truly has a focus on undergraduate education. I visited several times, and the thing that always struck me the most was the amazing friendliness of the student body. Almost everyone said "hi," and a few people asked me if I was lost. One student even went out her way to show me the chemistry department. Speaking of which…the science facilities at Wake are excellent. I only toured the biology and chemistry departments, but I was very impressed by the displayed research (most of which was done by undergrads) and the clean, well-equipped labs. The chair of the chem department told us that 90% of chem majors at Wake are admitted to their first choice for graduate school! The biology department is also great and offers a wide range of courses and options. A popular option is the SEA semester, where you spend a semester on a ship. I’ve heard the physics program is every bit as good, but I can’t vouch for it personally. A smaller and lesser known but excellent department is anthropology. Among other resources, students have at their disposal the Museum of Anthropology on-campus, the archaeology laboratories, and the opportunity to do archaeological excavation at Old Salem! The English and History departments are probably among the most popular (along with business), and needless to say, they’re first-rate. German and Russian are housed together and are jokingly referred to as the “department of enemy languages.” If I recall correctly, Wake Forest has study abroad centers in London, Vienna, and Venice, and study abroad is fairly popular. The campus is very well-kept, and beautiful if you like magnolias (if you don’t, learn to like them). I’m not sure how to describe the architecture, but it’s mostly brick with white decorations/pillars/etc. Some of the buildings are fairly old (e.g. some of the science buildings), but others (like the library and Reynolda hall) are very nice and modern indeed. I ate lunch at the “the Pit” when I visited, and it was fairly tasty. I only saw the substance-free dorms, and they seemed to be decent-sized. Dorms come with air conditioning, and you get a “free” computer and printer. During your junior (or senior?) year they switch your computer for a newer model, which you get to keep. If you know anything about basketball at all, you probably know that Wake students are very enthusiastic! Wake Forest is very highly regarded in the South, but I can’t comment about it elsewhere. In the academic world, Wake certainly gets respect. Students work hard, though- it isn’t known as “Work” Forest for nothing! Freshmen can have cars, but you can't park on campus, and enough people have one that you probably don't need one.

    Visiting is definitely the best way to decide, but talking to current students and reading books like the Fiske Guide may also help.
  • kristy's momkristy's mom Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    Thank you so much for that synopsis on Wake Forest. I can see you really liked it! It was helpful.
  • KeevinKeevin Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    All of these schools have two things in common. They're top notch and expensive. I hope your daughter takes care of you in your old age.
  • TourGuide446TourGuide446 - Posts: 3,099 Senior Member
    Wake, Colgate, and Bucknell are all quite frat-dominated, if I'm not mistaken. That's a minor factor to consider, but it does impact the social scene. Holy Cross is far enough from Boston that it's not like you could just bop into Boston on a moment's notice (though it is MUCH closer to Boston than Colgate and Bucknell are to any comparable city). Wake would probably be the best choice if settling in the South was a good possibility (people in the Northeast can be pretty snooty about schools, and I don't think Wake gets as much respect as it deserves there).
  • DebrunsDebruns Registered User Posts: 2,794 Senior Member
    The frats mattered to my children, especially since they didn't want to join one, but that is an individual thing.
  • 1980collegegrad1980collegegrad Registered User Posts: 1,503 Senior Member
    I would never have considered going to Colgate due to its remote upstate NY location in the snowbelt several hours from any reasonably cosmopolitan city. I also would not consider Wake Forest for similar reasons. I like to be within an hour of some big city nightlife, museums, attractions, etc. Holy Cross is in a major city (albeit not the greatest) but also within an hour of both Boston and Providence so that would be my preference. Bucknell is tempting but also a bit remote for my tastes.
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