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Help us balance out a visit/explore list!!!


Replies to: Help us balance out a visit/explore list!!!

  • momrathmomrath Registered User Posts: 5,927 Senior Member
    @Itisatruth I think your daughter is a strong candidate even for more selective colleges. She has that winning combination of academics, arts and sports (plus interesting other activities) that would appeal to most colleges. Of course there are no guarantees but I wouldn't rule out some other reaches like Williams, Pomona and Wellesley.

    I hope your daughter plans to submit an arts portfolio (and possibly music performance as well) even if she doesn't intend to major in an arts related discipline. Her participation in photography, art, music are good ECs appreciated by many small LACs.

    In addition to the schools already suggested (Wesleyan, Skidmore, Vassar) I would also suggest that she look at Williams, Kenyon, Hamilton for vibrant arts programs and rigorous academics. While in Western MA, you might want to visit the Clark and MassMoCA art museums.

  • ItisatruthItisatruth Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    Agnes Scott, Simmons, Goucher, and University of Mary Washington are all great suggestions, thanks @glittervine @hop @happy1. I've totally got my eye on Skidmore but D20 has ruled it out for the dumbest reason (which I should go post on the "dumb reasons to rule out colleges" thread).
  • ItisatruthItisatruth Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    edited August 2018
    @momrath Yes, I think she is planning to assemble and submit a portfolio, that is a big focus of the Senior Studio class she'll take Senior year.

    Thanks for the encouragement on her chances! My parents lived in Williamstown for many years and still have a house there so Williams College, Clark, & MassMoCA are annual summer visits for us! Somehow didn't think about Bennington (duh) but we could easily visit there, Skidmore, and even Bard when we're there later this month.
  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College Posts: 1,933 Forum Champion
    Regarding your interest in low matches and safeties, you might look at these colleges that are similar in tone and personality to some on your list:

    Hampshire College in MA (visit when you go to Smith and Mt. Holyoke— same consortium)
    Clark University in MA
    Wheaton College (I mean the one in Norton, MA, not one with the same name in Illinois!)
    Goucher in MD
    Eckerd in FL

    Very, very small colleges of a similar sort:
    Bennington in VT
    New College of Florida in FL
  • ItisatruthItisatruth Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    Just circling back here to say that I've done a fair bit of research into Bennington College (since we will be in Williamstown MA next week anyway) and all I can say is -- WOW! Holy mental update, Batman! I definitely had an outdated, tired impression of that school from 70s/80s reputation and then the 90s upheaval.

    I was super impressed (like, seriously, she's amazing) with the new president, Mariko Silver, and also pretty persuaded by Bennington's version of open curriculum, The Plan, and the yearly 7-week Field Work Term in Jan/Feb. Yep, it's tiny (still <800 undergrads) but incoming class is 220 or so, and Silver and her new team are working hard on selectivity, yield, retention, diversity, and more strategic use of merit aid. The no-tenure thing is controversial for sure (my spouse and I are both tenured faculty, so I'm admittedly biased) but I can see why they did it and how it works to support Bennington's unique ethos.

    Anyway, all that to say that I'm very excited to visit next week with D20 if I can talk her into it. It would come right on the heels of Smith + Mount Holyoke visits, should be interesting comparison. If D20 likes Bennington that should give us more info about including Bard, Hampshire and Sarah Lawrence on the list.
  • hophop Registered User Posts: 882 Member
    How did your visit to Bennington go?
    My daughter is a very happy alumna, who went to Bennington for the arts (after attending an arts-magnet public school) but was so academically inspired while there that she directly went on to get a PhD in Clinical Psych.
    Although we live in and she went to high school in a very urban west coast city, she loved her four years in rural Vermont. She did her doctorate back in our urban area, where she still lives.
  • ItisatruthItisatruth Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    Hey @hop - visit to Bennington was really great. I wrote it up in more detail here:


    D20 liked it a lot, and it seems to be on the "definitely maybe apply" list. (As opposed to the "definitely apply" list (Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Barnard) and the "maybe apply" list (Macalester)).

    Mount Holyoke was fabulous, great visit, super tour guide and particularly impressive student who spoke at the info session. The half day there was a detailed, compelling, friendly, and encouraging advertisement for what seems like a wonderful community.

    Spent the afternoon of the same visit at Smith which was sadly really disappointing. Maybe my expectations were too high for Smith and so weren't met, while my expectations for MHC were lower and therefore fairly easy to exceed. D20 took Smith off the list before the visit was over.

    Thanks for all the input above, everyone. We have a little more clarity on our list and will be doing the next round of visits in March -- probably a big loop through NY/NE to see Sarah Lawrence, Wesleyan, Brown, Wellesley, Bates, Middlebury, Skidmore, Bard, Vassar. Might ask D20 to cut 2-3 off that list so we can squeeze the trip into 6-7 days vs. 8-9.

    Also scheduled to see Penn and Haverford this fall (we're local) and D20 would also like to visit NYU just to confirm whether the hyper-urban large university is for her.
  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 3,946 Senior Member
    Perhaps take a look at Conn College
  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers Registered User Posts: 3,256 Senior Member
    Goucher just nixed its math major and some others (!!!) I was sad because now I simply cant take the college seriously any more.
  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers Registered User Posts: 3,256 Senior Member
    She should also look at --

    Rhodes -- very undervalued school IMHO , excellent academics, attractive.
    Washington College -- small school, small town, surprising amount of arts. She might like it.
    St. Mary's of MD -- public LAC -- country-club location on the bay.
    did someone mention Simmons? Very nice school in Boston.

    If she likes Mt. H and Bryn Mawr, she may want to look at Mills, which has a similar feel (or at least I've known at least two young women who loved MHC and BMC, and they also loved Mills -- one ended up attending Mills and enjoyed it. Also it's not as pricey)

  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 5,796 Senior Member
    You could double up on a couple of these schools and do a car trip in 6 or 7 days. We've found that 1 school in the morning and another in the afternoon is doable. Wellesley and Brown, Vassar and Bard are pairs that are less than an hour's derive from each other.
  • ItisatruthItisatruth Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    Great advice, @Sue22. D20 did complain about the two-fer days we've done so far (St. Olaf + Carleton and Mount Holyoke + Smith) -- says she's too burned out by the afternoon to give the second school a fair shake.
  • rosered55rosered55 Registered User Posts: 4,219 Senior Member
    I'm a fan of Bennington, but if St. Olaf, Carleton, and Grinnell are too remote, it seems Bennington would be, too.
  • xanthippexanthippe Registered User Posts: 169 Junior Member
    Just have to point out that St Olaf and Carleton College’s are not urban, but are definitely not remote colleges. They are both 40 miles from the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, with a population of over 3 million people. Both colleges run buses multiple times a day from campus to the Twin Cities, and students go in for concerts, shopping, etc.
  • ItisatruthItisatruth Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    Update: Visited Sarah Lawrence a couple of weeks ago and loved it. Smith and Bennington off the list post-visit.

    Has also said she's staying in a 4-5 hour driving radius so lots of earlier possibilities drop off the list. (Though she still may apply to Macalester). So the def apply list is Barnard. Bryn Mawr, Mt Holyoke, Sarah Lawrence. Will encourage visits at Bard, Vassar, Wesleyan, Wellesley, and maybe 1 or 2 of Conn College, Clark, College of the Atlantic, Skidmore, Bates. I'd be happy with just 7 or so and hoping that Mount Holyoke and Sarah Lawrence could be considered likelies.
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