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Which is your favorite liberal arts college and WHY?

blourringblourring 222 replies58 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Question says it all! I'm curious and would like to learn more about LACs.

Here, I'll go first. My favorite LAC from all the ones that I have visited is Bowdoin, because of how tightly-knit the community is. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help each other out. In addition, the academics are competitive and top notch but nowhere near the cutthroat environments that I have heard some other schools to have. People at the school are capable of being as successful as their peers who attend Ivies, yet I find that Bowdoin students truly get to enjoy four years of their life doing something distinctive and memorable... like, wOW. Plus, there is always so much to do around campus and the whole school is lowkey chill. The security guards do their jobs: they are trying to make sure you have fun and stay safe instead of trying to bust you for being drunk at talking to trees at the middle of the night. Plus, the nature and surroundings are BEAUTIFUL. The greatest thing, though? The food. SuperSnacks is the best thing to happen since toilet paper was invented. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from 10pm to 1am, the dining halls are FILLED with junk food... I mean, administration isn't stupid. They know the students are some of the the biggest partiers around. I truly believe that Bowdoin is somewhere I can thrive.

The only thing that kind of sucks (not that I really mind because it's pretty hilarious) is that unless they have visited/know of someone who went to Bowdoin, NO ONE knows how to pronounce "Bowdoin"... Even though it's one of the best LACs in the country. Like, Bo-who? Bow-din? Bow-down? Wait no, is it Bah-d(win)? But hey, I don't mind, I'll stick to my tiny LAC community and you can stick to your large and busy research university (if that's the type of thing you're into)! (:
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Replies to: Which is your favorite liberal arts college and WHY?

  • LakeWashingtonLakeWashington 8865 replies474 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Columbia College of Columbia University; stimulating intellectualism
    Macalester College; very bright kids whom dance to a different tune
    Wesleyan College; were women are taught to enjoy college while learning
    Beloit College: see Macalester
    St Olaf College; Bright, laid back future doctors
    Williams College; I have liked everyone I have met whom is an alumnus
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  • merc81merc81 10364 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You seem to have posted as if you are replying to a question, not as if you are asking one.
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  • blourringblourring 222 replies58 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @merc81 I was asking this as sort of a poll/survey thing because I was curious, not exactly for application purposes
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  • CHD2013CHD2013 2355 replies173 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Based on just visits to a few LACs, I agree with the OP. Everyone on campus seemed happy and enthusiastic about being Polar Bears.
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  • ScaredNJDadScaredNJDad 224 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited October 2015
    You are mentioning one school after one, controlled visit in a very emotional way.

    In this strata of schools, which there are a few dozen, it will be the one you actually get in not the one you fell in love with. Hopefully, both happens.

    My advice is not to compare Bowdoin to other schools based on what you heard.

    Is the issue with the name really a priority?


    edited October 2015
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  • blourringblourring 222 replies58 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited October 2015
    You are mentioning one school after one, controlled visit in a very emotional way.

    @ScaredNJDad I do agree with what you said... and I hope that the school I hope to go to will also hope to have me as a student... but can you elaborate on what you mean in the above quote? Thanks!

    Haha, and I mentioned that the name isn't really a problem. I just find it kind of funny that most people don't know how to pronounce it. To be honest, turn back the clock to October of last year, I thought it was pronounced "Boe-d(woyn)".
    edited October 2015
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  • ScaredNJDadScaredNJDad 224 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited October 2015
    You have a crush on the school after one visit that was specifically designed to sell you on the school. Naturally, you loved it.

    Speaking about college choices in such an emotional way after one visit, not knowing if you will be accepted or whether it will work financially is dangerous.

    Try to be more objective, visit more schools and try to put together a list with lots of choices based on what you think, not what you hear.

    I think all the schools in that category have friendly, ambitious kids.

    I will agree with you on one thing, the food at Bowdoin, and Bates, is in another category of yumminess.

    More than likely you will get in, just don't marry the school right now.

    edited October 2015
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  • blourringblourring 222 replies58 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @ScaredNJDad Hm... I never thought about it that way but I guess it's true. I did a similar program at Notre Dame where they also paid for transportation, room and board, etc. for two weeks and at that point, I loved it AS much as I love Bowdoin right now. However, when I visited some other schools (Yale, NYU, Brown, USC, UCLA, Oxy, etc.) with my parents (not part of a paid seminar program), I was like, wow this place is nothing compared to ND.

    Of course, it is possible that ND and Bowdoin have environments that suit me, but now that you mention it, it may also be that fact that everything was planned for us... kind of like a PR stunt LOL.
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  • blourringblourring 222 replies58 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Also, the thing is that I can't really get to "know" most schools because I only understood what ND and Bowdoin are like from living there for many days and actually "exploring" the schools, eating there, taking classes and talking to people at the school. For most other schools, I don't have the opportunity to do so. Take Brown for example, the moment I stepped foot on Thayer Street, I was completely disappointed. It was nothing like what people talked about on the internet. Of course, this was only from my observations. I could never know for sure what campus life or the community or classes are like at Brown.
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  • ScaredNJDadScaredNJDad 224 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Well, the schools you have your sites on, and their peers, get so many applications for a reason, so you really can't go wrong.

    If you did the fly in, then the schools have already reviewed your qualifications. They would not have spent the time and money if you didn't have a great chance of being accepted.



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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I have a soft spot for Haverford (communal feel and I like the campus), Kenyon (they love BOOKS and have a lovely campus), and Mount Holyoke ( solid academics, another lovely campus, and a nice international flavor).
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  • merc81merc81 10364 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Some Interesting Colleges, with Possible Drawbacks Included

    Swarthmore: World class academics with consortium opportunities. Perhaps offers less of the traditional college experience in comparison to its peers.

    Amherst: Top academics with access to a consortium. Area wide collegiate gender imbalance can distort social interactions.

    Pomona: Excellent academics within a nice consortium. No real change of seasons. Bring your own water.

    Hamilton: Curricularly balanced and architecturally interesting as a result of having once been two colleges, one of which was formed during a progressive period in American history. Winter snow is suitable for the adventurous.

    Wesleyan: The best students here are willing and capable of questioning conventional thought. That's saying a lot. Lacks traditional quads.

    Reed: Has adhered to its own philosophy of educational integrity that has manifested itself systemically. Curricular breadth is relatively limited.

    Williams: Refuses to apologize for its isolated location. That's a good thing.

    Grinnell: Students here seem to have been looking for something different. With luck, they have found it.

    Kenyon: Perennially holds its own amid competition from both Midwestern and Eastern colleges. Middle Path integrates the college aesthetically. As with Reed and Grinnell, lacks a geosciences major.
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  • merc81merc81 10364 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    St. Lawrence: Perhaps the best location among northeastern colleges for students interested in the outdoors. Lack of competition for admission may result in softer academics.
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  • blourringblourring 222 replies58 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks, everyone! I'll definitely look into all of these. BTW can someone tell me a bit more about what Reed is like? I've heard a lot of amazing things about it but rank-wise, it doesn't seem very competitive??
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  • ScaredNJDadScaredNJDad 224 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I have been to Reed twice while on business trips. It would be hard to accept that a person who liked Bowdoin and Notre Dame would like Reed.
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  • merc81merc81 10364 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "I've heard a lot of amazing things about [Reed], but rank-wise it doesn't seem very competitive??" (#14)

    By average SAT/ACT scores, read is 44th nationally. This is a case where conventional rankings can be ignored.
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  • merc81merc81 10364 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    Beyond that, in terms of one aspect that is identifiably different about the school, Reed has a near absence of intercollegiate sports.
    edited October 2015
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  • NavalTraditionNavalTradition 1058 replies2 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My sister went to Bowdoin. Was rather meh on the experience after four years. Glad you like it though.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Reed refuses to submit info to USNWR for ranking. Hence its low ranking. Don't be fooled. But it has its own flavor, important to visit before committing.
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  • whenhenwhenhen 5530 replies111 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    I'm a fan of LACs which attempt to mitigate the problems associated with being a small college. Places like Pomona, Oxford of Emory, Amherst, Barnard, Westminster (UT), etc are IMO better for a number of upperclassmen students than many rural, small institutions.
    edited October 2015
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