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Washington and Lee vs Carleton vs Whitman

undecided2014undecided2014 Registered User Posts: 399 Member
I already know I love Carleton. But I have not seen Whitman or Washington and Lee. Both of these, on the internet, look like great matches for me. I am unsure if I can visit. I was hoping people here could give me some insight about these schools or compare them, or whatever else. Thanks!
Post edited by undecided2014 on

Replies to: Washington and Lee vs Carleton vs Whitman

  • calla1calla1 Registered User Posts: 1,849 Senior Member
    If you love Carleton, you may not love Washington and Lee, which is very very conservative politically.
  • undecided2014undecided2014 Registered User Posts: 399 Member
    The only reservation I had about Carleton was that it might be too liberal for me. I am conservative. Do you think it might end up being a better fit for me than Carleton then?

    But I really would prefer not to be at a school with a strong Greek presence.
  • tleibmantleibman Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    If you like Carlton, I think Whitman would also be a good match. Whitman is considered liberal, laid back and acedemically rigorous. Students seem very happy at each. Washington is a beautiful state. Walla Walla is isolated from the big cities, but a great area if you love the outdoors. The temps are somewhat milder than Minnesota in the winter and mountains and oceans are within reach, unlike the Midwest.
  • calla1calla1 Registered User Posts: 1,849 Senior Member
    What did you like about Carleton? What is your major?

    When you call yourself conservative, do you mean politically or religiously? These are not necessarily the same thing.

    If you love the geography and size of Carleton, have you considered St. Olaf? Same town, similar size, more conservative, but other differences as well.
  • undecided2014undecided2014 Registered User Posts: 399 Member
    St Olaf is on my list. I just got back from there. I have family there and love everything from the church (ELCA) to the nice people, and so on.

    At Carleton, I love the personal relationships with the profs. It seems people tend to get along well. Even their youtube videos are so great that I have watched most of them. The campus is gorgeous. The course listings are exactly what I want. I love the trimester system as I prefer a little less in classes, but more intense. So 3 terms a year rather than 2 semesters is great. The people there seem thought provoking. I can picture myself staying up until 3am discussing an anthropology class. I cannot stand the idea of being at a school where if I do not go to some huge large party and get drunk, I will be outside of the social scene. I love that a lot of classes seem more conversational and less lecture at the student type.

    On my political views, I am conservative politically. I would like to see government spending cut back drastically. I do not like Obamacare. I think it is really hitting rural midwest hard, as I am hearing a lot about people losing jobs and other things where my relatives live, over Obamacare. MN is conservative in the more rural areas (which is where I usually go when I am there) and liberal in the Twin Cities. Religiously, I am conservative in that I am definitely prolife in every way. But, I think women should be pastors. Sometimes, I think I would maybe like to be a pastor. I hold my relationship with God to be very important and that I do the right thing and make good decisions. I do not have a problem with things like premarital sex (but I chose to not have it). But I will be honest, I do have a problem with drinking. Some of my Dad's family are heavy substance abusers and I have a hard time being around drunk people. If I thought I could get through college without ever having to deal with a drunk, I would go for it. But I have been told that is a reality I will likely have to face.

    I hope I did not sound all over the place here. Hopefully, I answered the questions.
  • AnythingToSayAnythingToSay Registered User Posts: 560 Member
    I chose between Davidson and Carleton and I think Davidson could fit you fairly well. It's quite moderate meaning that liberals and conservatives are healthily represented here and although it has a Greek presence, it definitely is not as overwhelmingly Greek as W&L. All three you're looking at are fantastic schools though, and I think the biggest issue is getting in. If you can expand on what you like about Carleton, I think we can better answer your question.

    All of the colleges are in small towns, though I think the size of the towns goes from Whitman>Carleton>W&L. If it's important to you, I think Carleton is the closest to a major city and it's also the strongest in the sciences out of the three. W&L, from what I know about it, is more pre-professional, having a business school and a law school. I don't know as much about Whitman, but I know that it's favorably compared to Carleton, and has much more similarities to Carleton than W&L.

    Edit: After looking at your new post, I think Davidson is an even greater fit now. It's affiliated with the Presbyterian church, but religion plays as much of a role in your life as you want it; there are some that are atheist and feel completely at home at Davidson and others who attend service every Sunday. I think you'd see the personal relationships with the professors at all three colleges (and Davidson) due to the virtue of them being LACs, but Carleton's trimester system can definitely be a draw (or a drawback!) to its calendar. Academically, Davidson is a peer school of Carleton, W&L, and Whitman so the experience should be fairly similar at all.
  • calla1calla1 Registered User Posts: 1,849 Senior Member
    St. Olaf has no greek life.

    To be fair, you are going to see drinking everywhere, and you will find people in common with you at even the most liberal schools. There will be many sober people at Carleton. Sounds like you really like Carleton but are worried that you won't find other non-drinkers. You can ask that question on the Carleton forum, but I am guessing you will not be excluded for your abstinence.

    You have not mentioned your stats. Carleton is more selective than some others mentioned. You will probably need some safeties.
  • swish14swish14 Registered User Posts: 1,325 Senior Member
    Look at Davidson or William & Mary. More intellectual than W&L. Fun can be had here outside the frats. Note of caution, any good school is going to be liberal. These schools will be more respectful. W&M has that quirky feel you like in Carleton.
  • CE527MCE527M Registered User Posts: 4,989 Senior Member
    W&L has a HUGE greek life, pretty much everyone is greek (except the freshman, because you have to be a sophomore, I believe, to go greek there). There's also a huge drinking culture because it's in a very small town. Lots of bars.

    Based on what you say, I'd cross Washington and Lee off your list if I was you.
  • timetodecide12timetodecide12 Registered User Posts: 788 Member
    Carleton is an echo chamber of liberalism. Even though a lot of colleges lean left, there is a difference between being outnumbered compared to being one of the few conservatives on campus.


    There are a lot of top colleges that have sizeable conservative factions that I think you would be happier at. Some of the colleges listed below have more liberals, but all of them are colleges where a conservative can find their niche and express themselves freely:

    Top LACs: Amherst, Bowdoin, Bucknell, Claremont McKenna, Colgate, Davidson, Hamilton, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Middlebury, Richmond, Trinity, Washington and Lee, Williams

    Top Universities: Princeton, Dartmouth, UPenn, Duke, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, USC, University of Virginia, Boston College, Lehigh, Pepperdine, UT-Austin
    Based on what you wrote, I feel Davidson would be a perfect school for you.
This discussion has been closed.