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Furman or Dickinson or Gettysburg?

nekothesoldiernekothesoldier Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
Hi everyone,
I am an international student who intends to study in the US class 21'. I have done some research on colleges and considering among Furman University, Dickinson College and Gettysburg College.
I am looking for academically rigorous schools with useful skills/knowledge and resource, engaging faculty and student bodies so that it will be worth the cost I have to pay for studying in the US.
I intend to major in Economics and Sociology.
Could you tell me your experience with this school and about the actual social scenes at these schools?
I am not a partying person and hope to be in a socially friendly and academically challenging school. Oh, the crime scene is also important to me (everyone wants to be safe, hands down). Since I am not in the US, I cannot visit the schools in person, sadly.
I have found many kinds of complaints about these schools in various sites (snobby/preppy/wealthy/rude kids, drunk/alcoholic parties with Greek life being overdorminant,etc.) but I still want to hear newer/fresher opinions from you.
Thanks in advance!
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Replies to: Furman or Dickinson or Gettysburg?

  • merc81merc81 Registered User Posts: 9,129 Senior Member
    Crime wouldn't appear to be an issue with respect to any of these schools.

    For an analysis of economics departments based on faculty publishing, you can read through "Economics Departments at Liberal Arts Colleges" (IDEAS).
  • beenthereanddonebeenthereanddone Registered User Posts: 414 Member
    Dickinson and Gettysburg are both located fairly close to each other in central Pennsylvania. Both attract similar types of students. Both could be considered preppy and both have a rather large Greek social scene. Both are safe. Both would probably welcome a full pay international student. Neither are located in a large city. Both are relatively small and both have very good academic reputations. Best of luck to you!
  • nekothesoldiernekothesoldier Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    @beenthereanddone thanks for your info. But could you tell me some distinct characteristics of each school? I mean... If the two of them are so similar, how could I choose one over another?
  • psychicphysicspsychicphysics Registered User Posts: 28 Junior Member
    Furman is essentially a country club, located just outside a smallish city in the South. Despite the atmosphere, I really did pick up the vibe that they were extremely academically focused for a school of that type, and had a plethora of research opportunities (They're like top 10 in the U.S in terms of publishing research papers). Their admissions rate is pretty high, and I think the financial obligation would be much lighter. The only problem would be adjusting to the southern heat.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,849 Senior Member
    We liked both the ones in PA but especially Dickinson. The kids were super friendly, and Carlisle has a lot of cute restaurants, etc. The kids from our school who have gone to Dickinson and Gettysburg have been very down to earth. Both schools, however, felt very homogeneous. That's not unusual for most LACS, so check those stats if it matters to you. No experience with Furman. Based on the description above, I think you might like Dickinson best.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,031 Senior Member
    Another vote for Dickinson. I had an aunt & uncle who were Gettysburg profs and a kid who attended Dickinson. Dickinson has a fair number of international students, and is slightly stronger academically than Gettysburg. Solid in Econ -- my kid's significant other was an Econ major there. He is currently in his 4th year as a consultant with Deloitte. I don't know about Sociology, you would have to check the school's website.
  • ColdinMinnyColdinMinny Registered User Posts: 902 Member
    Dickinson may actually run less expensive than Furman, as Furman has cut back on aid the last few years under a new President/policy.

    All three lovely, safe schools.

    Good luck!
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,638 Senior Member
    All three are safe.
    Politically, I'd say Furman is the most conservative (Christian/Southern), Gettysburg a mix of conservative and moderate, and Dickinson mostly moderate and liberal.
    Dickinson has fewer Greek groups than either Gettysburg or Furman, and they're not dominant.
  • nekothesoldiernekothesoldier Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Thank you all so much for your information!!

    @gardenstategal @intparent @MYOS1634 besides, do you have any information about the housing systems in Dickinson or Gettysburg?? some sources say it is pretty overcrowded in Dickinson...
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,849 Senior Member
    I think Dickinson has new housing opening this year or next. If memory serves me right, the 2018 or 2019 class had a higher yield than anticipated and ended up larger than expected. Our tour guide told us they were adding housing. You might try posting on the pages for each of those schools for more details. Dickinson was one of DS' favorites in the end, and housing wasn't an issue/concern. I also recall our guide telling us that she had been unhappy with her sophomore housing assignment but ended up thinking it was more than fine. Personally, this wouldn't factor into my decision making for any of these schools. At an urban school that doesn't guarantee housing for 4 years, yes, but at these, no.

  • zobrowardzobroward Registered User Posts: 3,933 Senior Member
    the biggest problem with dickinson is the road threw the campus. fix that with pedestrian bridges and it would be an awesome school.
    actually it is awesome that would just make it more awesome.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,031 Senior Member
    My kid was at Dickinson for four years. Yes, there is a fairly busy street through campus. She didn't find it to be an issue (no busier than you would find in an urban campus, has crosswalks). I think it is a bit ridiculous to then they need a pedestrian bridge; there are multiple crossing points with crosswalks -- pretty sure students wouldn't all go to a bridge if they built one. OP, if you can look both ways before you cross the street, don't let it affect your decision. Also, it the campus is quite pretty. Don't get the impression that it isn't because of this street.
  • zobrowardzobroward Registered User Posts: 3,933 Senior Member
    edited October 2016
    also you might want to look at hendrix college and muhlenberg college.
    hendrix has zero frats, muhlenberg does but not dominating. both have an overall very happy student body ,caring faculty and staff and great campuses too.furham is probably the best ALL AROUND school you listed but because of my personality I would choose dickinson of your 3. (just my personality)
  • FloridaDad65FloridaDad65 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    So far as academic rigor; I believe they would rank Furman University =1, Gettysburg = 2, Dickinson=3.
    I am biased as a Furman graduate (however, my children have not followed me there, but we toured Furman recently and the academic focus is still prioritized). The Furman campus is one of the top ten most beautiful campuses in the nation; that is something I took for granted when there. Certainly Furman is safe with a private gated campus. The city of Greenville, SC is a "large" small city and is also safe (Furman is about 5 miles north of Greenville). The Greek life on Furman campus is not near the 50% advertised, many are in student clubs that are not traditional fraternities that focus on the party life. My youngest is considering Furman and has no interest in Greek life or partying: I think it is a safe bet for academics and safety. I have family that attended Dickinson and since I am from Pennsylvania, plenty of friends who attended Gettysburg and all have had positive experiences. So far as diversity, I believe Furman is the least diverse of the three and it does have a Southern Ivy League feel.
  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia Registered User Posts: 3,155 Senior Member
    If you care about rankings, USNWR ranked Dickinson #41, Gettysburg #51, and Furman #53 in their most recent college rankings. They are close enough that I think it's safe to say that they are roughly peer institutions.

    I don't have personal experience of any of them. Based on reports here, student reviews on Niche, and the Princeton Guide, I get the impression that Gettysburg has a more dominant Greek scene than Dickinson.
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