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Amherst vs. Bowdoin vs. Brown vs. Carleton vs. Pomona


Replies to: Amherst vs. Bowdoin vs. Brown vs. Carleton vs. Pomona

  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 3,509 Senior Member
    @57special , re: 14

    I meant that Carleton is the least laid-back academically. If the kids are generally collaborative, that will help to make the reputedly massive workload seem a bit lighter.

    Socially -- yes, I've heard Carls are generally a gregarious, friendly lot.
  • 57special57special Registered User Posts: 288 Junior Member
    One other, obvious( but often overlooked), point about Carleton. If you are visiting during the fall/ summer/ late spring you are seeing it at it's best weather wise. Never forget that "winter is coming". If you are coming from the northeast it won't be too much of a shock....imagine Montreal in terms of cold, with a bit less snow and maritime bite in the air.

    I tell people the same about UBC. Absolutely gorgeous during the same time period, and then the rain and clouds come.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 10,139 Senior Member
    If you are this undecided and can't visit them all, don't apply ED. Wait and apply regular. Amherst won't let you overnight until you are accepted (unless you know someone there willing to informally host you), IDK about the others but I suspect Brown at least is the same.

    Why do you think you need to apply ED? Just to increase your chances? It's not going to be much help at those schools, honestly, except *maybe* Carleton.
  • college_querycollege_query Registered User Posts: 3,980 Senior Member
    My smart, very laid-back S was very happy at Bowdoin. I think the excellent food had something to do with it.
  • hokupaahokupaa Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Moxy813 wrote:
    Also, I have a feeling I am going to have to do an overnight at each college to really understand the vibe. But, because I am an New Englander, my parents don't want me to buy plane tickets to both Pomona and Carleton. So, I at least have to knock one of those two off the list.

    Delta has a major hub in Minneapolis-St. Paul. They have non-stop flights from there to Los Angeles as well as to dozens of cities on the East Coast. You can combine both schools on the same itinerary by purchasing a round-trip ticket to LAX with a stopover in MSP. There normally shouldn't be a big price difference between that and flying only to Los Angeles or Ontario. If you still have to drop one, I'd probably say drop Pomona. Carleton is less of a reach and, while all the schools satisfy your criteria to various degrees, Carleton generally seems the best fit, at least on paper.

    Carleton, my alma mater, has a long reputation for being queer friendly (it's actually one of the reasons I applied there, back in Dark Ages). If you haven't done so already, check out the Gender and Sexuality Center and talk to the staff and students there on your next visit. I've also seen Carleton on various lists of queer-friendly campuses.

    Carleton also has a long-standing reputation for being granola, very liberal and politically active (Paul Wellstone taught here). From the most recent CIRP freshman survey data I can find (2015), 76% of incoming students identify as either liberal (58%) or far left (18%) while 20% identify as middle of the road and about 4% identify as conservative. Less than 1% identify as far right.

    Carleton is "laid back" in the sense that people generally don't care what you look like, what you wear, what your GPA is, etc. Students and professors are on a first-name basis. Academically intense while also extremely casual. I never wore anything other than shorts and T-shirts and sandals to class during springtime. Jeans and T-shirts during cooler weather. Add flannel shirts during winter. I remember they sent out a memo during my graduation week saying something like, hey, we know this is Carleton, but could you guys please put your shirts on when you visit the president and his wife in the garden reception at Nutting House (the home of the college president).

    As for bio and chem, note that Carleton is about to build a new science facility. It will probably be completed by your senior year of college. In the mean time, the facilities that were housed in Mudd Hall are being temporarily moved to the former Music & Drama Center.
  • hokupaahokupaa Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    As for the other schools on your list:

    Most liberal: Carleton and Brown with Amherst probably coming in third. Dartmouth is probably the most moderate.

    Most hippie: Carleton and Brown

    Most preppy: Bowdoin, Dartmouth and Amherst
  • ThankYouforHelpThankYouforHelp Registered User Posts: 1,220 Senior Member
    Amherst is the most ethnically and economically diverse of all the top private schools. Pomona is also very diverse.

    Also want to add that the new Amherst science facility opening next fall will be spectacular, especially for a school of that size.


  • circuitridercircuitrider Registered User Posts: 2,431 Senior Member
    I think the OP should ditch the "laid-back" metric; it's a tremendous red herring. I am only aware of one, possibly two colleges where misery poker is a factor of everyday life. At nearly every other SLAC, you can expect to work your derriere off - not because of any kind of external pressure - but, because the type of student drawn to them finds satisfaction in doing good work. If anything, I'd beware of "the swan effect" or the stereotypical student who is all calm, and hail-fellow-well-met on the surface, but pulling all-nighters when everyone else is asleep.
  • Midwest father of 3Midwest father of 3 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    All or great schools. Middle child/daughter was dead set on going to small LAC. She was dead set on Amherst, Williams, Bowdoin as her top choices. On our east coast swing we had an extra day so I "made" her stop in Hanover, NH. Well everything change. She is liberal and never felt that Dartmouth was too conservative. She loved her 4 years there. Her ranking were Dartmouth, Amherst, Williams then Bowdoin. She really loved Bowdoin but felt it was the least diverse of the group. She also felt she would have been happy at all of the schools.
    Current son is a senior His rankings are Amherst, Williams, Wesleyan, Pomona, Bowdoin then Carleton.
    Pomona would be higher for all of my kids except they felt they would miss winter.
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