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Best way to find school for undecided student

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Replies to: Best way to find school for undecided student

  • homerdoghomerdog 4967 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 21
    Thanks @Theoden I just meant that Bates isn’t known here in Chicago. Bowdoin isn’t known here. We went to a Welcome to Bowdoin party last week and there was a Bowdoin rep there who said there are only eight kids from the whole Chicagoland area going. Supposedly, 11 were admitted (total!) and eight are going. So.... those of you on the coasts have one impression of the NESCAC schools and their popularity but it’s a different ballgame here in the middle ;)
    edited July 21
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5602 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 21
    I love Bates! But for what your D said she'd be looking for in terms of environment, I would say that Colby is the closest, then Bowdoin, then Bates. I know you feel like Colby is too fat out of the way, so I would suggest that she join you at Parents Weekend in the fall and that you pop over to Bates and check it out. Of those you have seen, it is probably closest to Grinnell in feel.
    edited July 21
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4967 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @gardenstategal super helpful as usual. Thx!!
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5191 replies74 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 21
    Middlebury is an awesome school and has many wonderful characteristics. However it has become much more activist and sjw oriented comparatively.

    I would say Colgate and Hamilton. Along with Colby and Bates are great based on your description of your child. Definitely all liberal schools. As are nearly all LACs in the NE. But the ones mentioned above seem to be simmering beneath the boiling point than can be said of some other campuses.

    Even traditionally even keeled Williams has changed dramatically. They rejected the university of Chicago protocols for free speech after an outbreak of protest. Originally 100 professors asked for it to be implemented and they were roundly attacked. So just be aware of the current atmosphere versus people’s historical perspectives.
    edited July 21
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33542 replies367 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 21
    Yeah, I'm super biased toward Bates. Not only did it fit just what D1 was looking for, in terms of community engagement, but she wanted a college where she'd be stretched by peers. Not the automatic top of the heap but not running just to keep up. Both came away highly educated. And we love Maine.
    edited July 21
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4967 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @lookingforward I hear you. Your specific comments about Bates above make it very appealing. I know I've listed D's preferences as small classes, big social life, big school spirit and Greek life...but I think she needs to check out a few schools that veer away from that just a bit that still include small classes but have a sense of camaraderie without stereotypical sports/Greek life. Couldn't hurt to compare. I think Bates in particular would be appealing because she'd be close to S19. (For instance, I don't think I could sell her on Kenyon or Grinnell which may be comparable but no where near friends or family.)

    Also, when S19 was looking, we took Richmond and Wake off of the list because they seemed a bit more preprofessional than he wanted. Might be better for D21 but it's so early. Maybe she should look at a few schools that offer a more typical liberal arts education. I have a feeling that, if we visited Bates, she would know pretty quickly if it was a good fit.
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  • writingpumpkin03writingpumpkin03 156 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @privatebanker Again, many (not necessarily all) of these instances stem from small and vocal groups of activists on college campuses, and making extrapolations based on such instances can be highly misleading and hyperbolic. Take the free speech debate at Williams, for instance. In addition to reading right-wing news sites that have vested interests in painting colleges in certain ways, it's good to listen to firsthand sources such as the president herself: https://www.wamc.org/post/williams-college-pursue-strong-pro-speech-policies-and-principles
    If we actually look at the published committee report, we see that the college will "adhere to policies and principles regarding campus speakers articulated by AAUP and PEN America", which "consider disinvitation as an option only in the rarest circumstance".
    It's also important to note that choosing to follow free-speech guidelines set by institutions other than UChicago doesn't mean that a school has went down a "dramatically" different path. If that were true, then places like Dartmouth and Bowdoin would also be incorrectly characterized as super liberal. On the flip side, Columbia--which has adopted the Chicago statement--is known for having a politically charged campus (not a bad thing!).
    Honestly, as a Williams student, I have to laugh when I see the college described as nontraditional. As a queer POC, I would love for it to become less traditional! But many historical perspectives hold quite true regardless of what the College Fix or Breitbart says.
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  • writingpumpkin03writingpumpkin03 156 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Sorry for being off track, but I wanted to correct what felt like many misunderstandings about my school.
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  • tkoparenttkoparent 172 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @homerdog You mentioned not being sure whether she'll be ready for an ED round. A couple of the schools mentioned here might be good EA choices - our son applied EA to Trinity University and Lawrence University and was accepted at both with merit.
    It was the CC community that led us to start thinking about EA, and it really did give us all peace of mind to have those acceptances in hand before Christmas, and the merit, which we had not expected, was eye-opening. We also thought about applying EA to Colorado College, but he decided the block plan wasn't for him. Rhodes also offers EA, and I'm sure I'm forgetting others. Regarding Santa Clara, it seems to be a school that inspires strong feelings one way or the other, so you'd probably want to visit. It is regarded as something of a feeder school for Silicon Valley. I remember somebody on here was deciding between Santa Clara and St. Andrews, which was a striking contrast. St. Andrews is really something special - would she consider Scotland?
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  • tkoparenttkoparent 172 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I had missed the discussion regarding Bates. Bates is a lovely school, with a very distinct character - first co-ed college in New England, first black graduate in 1863, very socially responsible but without a SJW vibe. The town itself is a little gritty but improving - we liked it - and it is walkable from the school. Only about 45 (?) minutes from Bowdoin, a bit more inland.
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  • TheodenTheoden 172 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @homerdog I think some schools are better known regionally. My son will be attending Knox College in the Fall, and very few people from the NE know about it, whereas Chicago folks are pretty familiar with it. Allegheny, which I never heard of, (and he was accepted to) is more familiar in the NE when I talk to folks.

    Some schools also have their internships, research opportunities and alumni networks more geared regionally. One interesting exercise is to look on LinkedIn and do a search for a college. When you find their page you can always look at alumni and see how many they have in a particular city.
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4967 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Theoden we did the Linked In experiment when looking at a Bowdoin and we were surprised to see how many connections my husband had with Bowdoin alums and how far reaching the alumni base is. I think that’s a great idea.
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  • PublisherPublisher 7763 replies80 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    One of the "best ways to find a school for an undecided student" for those without affordability concerns is to have an actual ACT or SAT score in hand.

    Next is to be realistic about school cultures.
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  • PublisherPublisher 7763 replies80 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 22
    @homerdog : A perspective worth considering is that your daughter's preference for a small to medium sized school should not rule out large universities since she is interested in joining a sorority and because she is likely to be admitted to an honors college--two factors which can make a large school small.

    This may be important for an undecided student as large universities offer a wide variety of majors & activities not commonly found at LACs.
    edited July 22
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4967 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Publisher she is completely uninterested in a big school. She made that abundantly clear when we were in Madison last week. I tried. She didn’t like the big dorms, the long walks to class, the tall buildings, the busy streets, etc. She wants a walkable campus that has no busy streets. I thought Madison was way more manageable than Michigan or UIUC but she was having none of it.
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  • PublisherPublisher 7763 replies80 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 22
    There are many large universities with small theme houses for dorms within a reasonable walking distance to classroom buildings. Honors dorms also tend to offer many benefits which she may find attractive.

    My point is that it may be worthwhile to further, and more fully, understand the options available to her--especially since she is just a rising junior in high school.
    edited July 22
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4967 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Publisher Understood and thanks for that. If anyone has any suggestions as to what those schools are (U Vermont?), I'm all ears. I've been to all Big Ten schools and those won't work. Thought about USCar and we looked at a virtual tour and she said it looks like Wisconsin - big, industrial looking buildings on streets with cars. Lol. Let's all remember that she liked the Davidson campus and Bowdoin's too. One where it's all contained and all pedestrian.

    I understand that something will have to give. She will eventually have to start weighting how important each of her wants are.
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  • TheodenTheoden 172 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @homerdog I found that LinkedIn exercise enlightening. Of course, those are only data points for the conversation with your daughter. ;-) In my discussions with my son, he picked the college he had the best "gut feel" on. Talking to my son about the low amount of alumni in the Northeast for college A vs, the higher amount of alumni in the Northeast for college B didn't trump the very positive interactions he had with the professors, the general friendliness of the students on campus, the nicer dorms, and, to his taste, the better food at College A ;-) Of course we had a sunny day at College A, and rain and snow at college B during his accepted student overnights.
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  • rickle1rickle1 1878 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    How about walkable state flagships like UMass Amherst. About 25k kids so not crazy big. Campus is very walkable. Big difference between layouts like that and the massive schools.
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