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Carleton College: Worth the distance?

ocflavocflav Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
edited March 2014 in College Search & Selection
Hi, y'all! Though I've been waitlisted at my top choice (UChicago), I've been accepted to a lot of awesome schools, including Carleton College. I've read so many awesome things about Carleton, and it seems like a good fit for me. However, I'm a northeasterner and have yet to visit campus (will do soon).

Can anyone speak to ethnic and geographic diversity at Carleton? Intellectual passion of Carls? Quality of professors and classes? The town of Northfield? Overall feel of the student body? Strength of language departments? Being in Minnesota (it just feels so diff from my home state)? Name recognition/job prospects? Is it imperative that I become a champion at frisbee?

Also, I'd really appreciate reading other related comments!

Replies to: Carleton College: Worth the distance?

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,978 Senior Member
    it's an awesome school, clearly among the best in the country, but quirkier and a bit more laid back than its Eastern counterparts (although Carls are *intense*). It's definitely more intellectual than preprofessional so it's be a very good fit for someone very interested in UChicago. Northfield is a nice college town,a "classic river town", they re-enact the day Jesse James came to rob the bank at the beginning of the school year too :p and it's 45mn from the Twin Cities.
  • ocflavocflav Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    Thanks @MYOS1634 ! (:
  • 11901190 Registered User Posts: 628 Member
    Fair warning, very biased response to follow.

    "Can anyone speak to ethnic and geographic diversity at Carleton?"
    Midwesterners obviously constitute the largest group with lots of kids heading over from Chicago. But ~ 20% of the class will be from your neck of the woods, the Northeast, and ~ 10% of the school is international due to successful recruiting on the part of the admin. Economic and social backgrounds are remarkably diverse as well with kids mixing from Manhattan, Manhattan Beach, and Miami Beach along with farmers from Iowa, ranchers from Colorado, and, yes, even Texans (or do they count as internationals?).

    Intellectual passion of Carls?
    Legendary. Think U Chicago with more sun, more fun, more Frisbee, more Broomball.

    Quality of professors and classes?
    Legendary. For what ridiculous rankings are worth, #1 for Best LAC Teaching per US News. Probably the only ranking Carls might actually care about.

    The town of Northfield?
    Town of "Colleges, cows, and contentment" - one of the friendliest I've ever known. Expect total strangers to treat you like neighbors. Minnesota "nice" is very real. Big city of Minneapolis and St. Paul ~ 50 minutes away when the mood strikes. Jesse James Days - you get to see a yearly weekend celebration drawing thousands, with horses in full gallop, guns (well, blanks), a blazing. All re-creating Jesse James' failed attempt to rob the local bank leading to his ultimate downfall (must check out "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" with Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck!).

    Overall feel of the student body?
    Highly individualistic, passionate, friendly, accepting, unassuming. There's no such thing as not fitting in here. And because this is Minnesota, everyone is above average.

    Liberal streak?
    Of course, this is a selective college outside the South. But Midwestern values hold true and temper this, with religion playing a significant role in many students' lives.

    Strength of language departments?
    Standard languages, strong like everything else on campus, with huge numbers - about 75% of students - going abroad for anywhere from 1-3 trimesters. Obscure languages? Better served up at large uni.

    Being in Minnesota (it just feels so diff from my home state)?
    You'll become a nicer person. It's a wonderful state, Northfield's almost a magical town. Think Brigadoon.

    Name recognition/job prospects?
    The school's rigor and educational quality is legendary among grad schools, law schools, and med schools. Alums are insanely devoted with a higher annual giving rate than any other school in the nation (with the occasional exception of Princeton) and provide an incredible resource when the time comes to leave the nest and connect to employers.

    Is it imperative that I become a champion at frisbee?
  • ocflavocflav Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    edited April 2014
    @1190‌ thanks for the awesome reply! (: you pretty much affirmed all the awesome things I've read so far!! It's great to get a first-hand opinion. Btw love the comment about Texans lol thanks again! If the college confidential website would let me, I would 10/10 mark your response as helpful AND like it :D carleton really sounds like the place for me; can't wait to visit! Btw I'd assume you're a Carl, right? or just extremely passionate about Carleton hahah
  • BrownParentBrownParent Registered User Posts: 12,776 Senior Member
    There are quite a few recent posts if you do, a Search. Also check the Carleton forum. don't know how active it is.
  • sally305sally305 Registered User Posts: 7,604 Senior Member
    Carleton is a great college. Totally worth the distance, for all the reasons 1190 stated above.
  • ocflavocflav Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    @1190 just visited Carleton this weekend and loved it! Quick follow-up question: Any idea what job opportunities after Carleton are like? Right now I'm choosing between Carleton and Barnard (rural & outside a smaller city vs. center of the world)...it's tough...especially since everyone at Carleton was awesome! There are just so many possibilities in manhattan
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 30,106 Senior Member
    Getting a job after Carleton is like getting a job from most colleges these days. If you have a solid academic record and have wrangled yourself some good internship opportunities, and you are willing to hustle on your job search (working with the career center on your resume, practice interviewing, targeting companies you are interested in, networking with older students who have graduated and your internship contacts), you will do fine. If you don't do those things, you will have a harder time. Doesn't matter if you go to Barnard or Carleton, that will be the case. Now if you absolutely must work in NY after graduation, then Barnard may give you an edge there. But you will come out of Carleton with an excellent education in whatever your major is, and if you have some drive in your job search you will be fine.

    I do agree with 1190's post about Carleton's strengths, although I actually wouldn't go straight to "legendary" as often as he/she did... but generally I think that post does hit on the strengths of Carleton. If you loved it when you visited, then you should attend.
  • ocflavocflav Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    Thanks for the great response! @intparent‌
  • 11bawb11bawb Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    Carleton v Barnard. The decision really should come down to where you want these next four years years to play out. Personally, I'd take the Arb and a campus centric undergrad experience and head off to Big City Lights for grad school.

    And I must admit intparent is spot on.

    My reputation for hyperbole is legendary.

  • ocflavocflav Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    @11bawb‌ I was thinking the same thing! Go off to a nice, small LAC in a beautiful area and then make my way to a large uni in a city for grad school :) and ikr intparent gave a killer response!
  • ocflavocflav Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    edited April 2014
    This post has officially reached Pi x100 views ✌
This discussion has been closed.