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

ItisatruthItisatruth Registered User Posts: 178 Junior Member
Hi, we are wading into the college search process for my D20 and would love some expertise from the wise CC group about rounding out a list of schools to visit/explore in more detail.

Basic overview:
  • Rising junior at mid-Altantic urban independent school
  • UW GPA 3.83 (school does not weight GPA or rank in class, no APs/IB)
  • PSAT10: EBRW 720, M 610. (She's be doing some independent SAT prep and practice tests that suggest the M should go up to 650-700, who knows. Will take ACT next spring.)
  • Junior course load: English 11, USH, Bio, Differential Calculus, Latin IV, photography, and 2 semester-long, psychology courses through an online consortium her school participates in.
  • Anticipated senior course load: English 12, Integral Calc, Latin V, Senior Art Studio, plus 2 out of Advanced Bio/Advanced Chem/Env Science.
  • ECs: Track & Field 4yrs, XC 3 years.
  • Club involvement: Beekeeping Club, Art Club.
  • Outside of school: Art classes, volunteer art teacher at local art center, runs own (small) design business on Fiverr, babysits. Wants to be a camp counselor at a farm camp next summer. Spends a lot of time doing her own art, music (writing, playing, recording), and digital design. Hasn't really gone after deep or broad involvement or leadership opportunities in ECs.

She's starting to plan her month-long Junior Project (January 2019) - hoping to work at a small winery/estate vineyard in Oregon that my in-laws own; or at a cacao plantation and chocolate factor in Hawaii (also owned/run by friends); or intern at a sleep lab at a research university.

Future academic interests: Psychology/neuroscience, with an art or design minor.

Based on previous teammates' experiences and her performance, she could be a D3 recruit for track/XC at a less-competitive program but at this point has no interest in pursuing that. (Alas.)

We've done some initial visits mostly to assess what kind of schools grab her attention and interest. She has pretty much settled on a LAC, and is very interested in a women's college. LGBTQ-friendly is a must. No Greek life preferred.
We will be full pay, so merit would be fabulous. Prelim list is:

Barnard (visited & loved - "dream school" right now, but a reach)
Bryn Mawr (visited & very enthusiastic - it's very nearby which is good + bad)
Smith (visiting soon)
Mount Holyoke (visiting soon)
Macalester (visited and liked a lot -- only school on our recent midwest trip that made her say "I could see myself here")
Wesleyan - big reach
Vassar - big reach
Sarah Lawrence

I'd like her to also consider (yes, lots of reaches here too):


But I realize we don't have a solid group of likely/safety there, and we haven't dug into the CTCL list or other amazing LACs that are further away/less known. Would appreciate additions to this list with more geographic and selectivity diversity! Thanks!
Post edited by warblersrule on

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

  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 Registered User Posts: 1,030 Senior Member
    What schools didn’t she like during your Midwest trip?
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,853 Senior Member
    Earlham and Guilford seem to fit the desired vibe which seems pretty well defined. Neither is super selective and Earlham is very strong in the sciences.

  • ItisatruthItisatruth Registered User Posts: 178 Junior Member
    Great question, @Eeyore123.
    Grinnell, St Olaf and Carleton: All appealed in their own way except the geographic isolation (Grinnell, particularly).
    UW-Madison: WAY too big.
  • gandalf78gandalf78 Registered User Posts: 1,876 Senior Member
    If you travel out to the Pacific NW to see Reed, what about Whitman?

    Or if you go back to the Midwest, perhaps Kalamazoo College?
  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 Registered User Posts: 1,030 Senior Member
    Knox has a beekeeping club

    I would suggest to look at Beloit as a safety. Likely to get the COA in around $30k with her stats. The artsy/science feel should be a fit. If you are trying justify another trip to the Midwest, I would add in Lawrence.

    You also have the Ohio schools. Kenyon and Denison likely would fall the same Grinnell.
  • TTGTTG Registered User Posts: 1,530 Senior Member
    Enjoy the trip to Smith and Mount Holyoke. I love that area. Smith is immediately adjacent to "downtown" Northampton, to my mind a great, funky college town. Look Park outside of town is nice, and there's an Eric Carle museum in Amherst. Did you know that Smith and Mount Holyoke are members of the Five College Consortium (with Hampshire, Amherst, and U Mass Amherst)? Students can take classes and take advantage of opportunities at the other other schools.


    If you are up there, you might also take a look at the University of Vermont. It is bigger than an LAC but nothing like Wisconsin. It doesn't feel very big. It is just up a hill from downtown Burlington, which is a great college town, right on Lake Champlain, with the Adirondacks visible across the lake, with beautiful sunsets. Church Street is just a couple of blocks off the lake. It's a great pedestrian mall with lots of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, etc. It's a long drive from Northampton/Amherst, but a nice one.

    Reed does seem like a possibility for her., and Wellesley too. The other one that comes to my mind is Colorado College. Students take one class at a time, so that might well be a positive or negative. Otherwise, it seems to check all her boxes very well.

    Good luck!
  • ItisatruthItisatruth Registered User Posts: 178 Junior Member
    Yes, @TTG we're very familiar with the Pioneer Valley and with the consortium. Love the area and the opportunities! My sister lives in Noho and my niece goes to MHC. Really hoping D20 digs these two schools!

    Thanks to @Eeyore123 @gandalf78 @gardenstategal for these suggestions (particularly the beekeeping club @ Knox!). We'll do some more research. Have heard great things about Earlham, Knox, Whitman. I'm intrigued by Colorado College. Not as familiar with Lawrence, Kalamazoo, Beloit, Guilford.
  • houndmomhoundmom Registered User Posts: 214 Junior Member
    Anyone mention Agnes Scott in Decatur, GA? Women's college in cool part of Atlanta not far from Emory. Very LGBTQ friendly part of the city.
  • ninakatarinaninakatarina Registered User Posts: 1,437 Senior Member
    Maybe Goucher for a safety?
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,036 Senior Member
    Lawrence has beekeeping, too, and I think there is a Claremont consortium opportunity for it, too. I will say that she might think about whether she can work beekeeping into her Common App Essay. It is a pretty unique hobby.
  • ItisatruthItisatruth Registered User Posts: 178 Junior Member
    @intparent - funny you mention that. Her older sister D17 wrote her Common App essay on autopsying a dead hive.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,036 Senior Member
    Sounds like a winning basis for a good essay to me. :D You should look at Lawrence, it seems like a good match for her.
  • hophop Registered User Posts: 883 Member
    I second Goucher as a good match as well as a safe bet, and the aforementioned MHC, Bryn Mawr, Smith and Wellesley.
    I would also toss Simmons into the mix as another urban woman's college that would likely be a safe school.
  • glittervineglittervine Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    Have you looked at Mills College in California? LAC, women's college, higher acceptance rate, Bay Area. I've never visited but I hear it has an artsy/activist vibe.

    It sounds like she will love Smith. You should visit Amherst while you're in the area - it will be a reach for her too, but we have great psych and neuroscience programs, no Greek life, and a beautiful college town. Possibly Hampshire for LGBTQ friendliness and her beekeeping/farming interests, as they have an 80-acre farm which I think has beehives. If she's interested in Reed and Pitzer, Hampshire has a similar vibe. Neither are women's colleges, though.

    Other schools she might be interested in:
    Sarah Lawrence
    University of Mary Washington

  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,428 Forum Champion
    Skidmore seems like it could be a very nice fit. Agree with Goucher as being a good safety.
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