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Suggestions for college tour itinerary traveling from Phila. to Worcester Mass.

sn189144sn189144 86 replies7 threads Junior Member
We are going to visit a son attending WPI in Worcester Mass. over a four day weekend for son2 , who is a senior in HS and currently looking for a college for himself. WPI is fabulous for son 1 who is now a junior. But NOT at all a match for son 2. We want to visit a couple of schools that may be fits for son 2 while we are on the trip. Seeking suggestions. There will be more than 1 trip up that way this fall and winter.

Stats for son2:
3.5 weighted GPA, all honors and AP Grades on an upward trajectory from 9th to 11th

1370 SAT 710 math, 670 English

ECs: President of class for 3 years, Theater with lead in non musical junior year, editor contributor to school newspaper, select choir, intramural sports, THON chair person, TADA captain, lots of service. Outside of school, Eagle Scout, and part time job waiting tables at a Grub Burger for over a year and a half. Will be doing Build On service trip to Guatamala post graduation.

Leaning strongly toward LACs and small colleges
Prefers under 5000 students, but not less than 1000. Amenable to 5 to 10000.

Major: Undecided with a leaning toward Theater Arts BA and second major/minor. He has so many disparate interests in terms of possible majors: Philosophy, Bio, Environmental Science, creative writing, film, government/poly sci. He is intellectually curious.

Wants to travel.

Has friends in all groups in his diverse public high school. All races religions and socioeconomic classes. Down to earth, friendly, open minded guy. In drama club , but stays out of "drama."

While he doesn't know if he wants to major in Theater arts , he definitely does want to continue involvement at least as an EC in college. Improv group would appeal. He also likes intramural sports and outdoor activities like backpacking, camping, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, biking, If in an urban area, he'd like the possibility of an outdoors club. Also interested in student government, and possibly campus radio and newspaper involvement.

Finances: We are in the position financially , as many are , that we typically make too much for needs based aid, but not enough that 60,000 to 70,000 per year is possible especially with two in college next year. We are not willing to have a potential actor/philosopher go into debt for his undergrad degree! We are also slightly older parents nearing retirement and help living aged parents, so potential for merit scholarship, etc. is a strong consideration.

Many schools are on his radar in PA, Ohio and Ill, but for this thread we are only interested in schools that are likely fits, that are located en route, or close to a round trip from Philadelphia PA suburbs to Worcester, Mass. We already plan to tour Clark as it is right there. Son2 also likes the tone of correspondence and their advertising ( How will you help the world vibe) Seems to be more diverse too than most LACs. However, he is not a fan of the city of Worcester. His brother however, has developed an affection for not only his school but indeed the city of Worcester, and assures him that he should not let it deter him from considering Clark.

Thinking of Wheaton, Fairfield ( we are Catholic, but don't usually prefer Catholic colleges unless they are Jesuit) Connecticut College, although a reach, and Salve Regina he added because we had such a ball in Newport on a family vacation and he loves the beach, but I know next to nothing about it except for its beautiful location. Any thoughts on these for son2 and/ or suggestions for others are much appreciated. I think we could fit in 3 for this trip.
edited June 19
36 replies
Post edited by CCAdmin_Vic on
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Replies to: Suggestions for college tour itinerary traveling from Phila. to Worcester Mass.

  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College 2262 replies104 threads Forum Champion
    edited September 2019
    Reachy but within realm of possibility: Bard, Skidmore, Connecticut College, Dickinson

    (He sounds like a kid who might like Bard. Maybe one of the many admissions options, like Immediate Decision, would give him a leg up. https://www.bard.edu/admission/applying/idp/)

    Match: Muhlenberg, Sarah Lawrence, Clark, Wheaton (MA), St. Lawrence

    Safe: Ursinus, Allegheny

    Pace? I don’t know a lot about Pace, but I know it attracts a lot of theater kids.
    edited September 2019
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  • sn189144sn189144 86 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Thank you very much TheGreyKing. We will look up Bard and Sarah Lawrence.

    He has visited Muhlenberg and plans to apply although he actually liked Ursinus more and also plans to apply there. We parents like Ursinus for many reasons including the likelihood of merit scholarship and 45 minute drive proximity. Interest in Muhlenberg has gone up a bit since his girlfriend is a freshman there this year : )

    He likes EVERYTHING he has seen on line about Skidmore and does want to visit, but is aware that it will be a reach. A friend whose daughter is attending Centre in Kentucky, seconds the recommendation that we look at St. Lawrence for my son and we will definitely research it.

    For this trip, we will include Clark and Wheaton due to proximity to WPI. I have to look at travel logistics and son's interest in the others that you mention to determine a third. Thank you for your very well targeted suggestions.
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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 310 replies10 threads Member
    I was going to suggest Clark but see you already have it scheduled. Others recommended Skidmore and Bard and those would be great options, too. How about Quinnipiac?
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  • sn189144sn189144 86 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Quinnipiac fits logistically on this trip and for my son's stats and desire for merit scholarship, but I don't think fits my son over all. Not an LAC and at 10000 undergrads probably too big for my son's preferences. Thanks though.
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  • sn189144sn189144 86 replies7 threads Junior Member
    The more we read about Clark, the more we like it! Theater, outdoors club, general philosophy of education and global perspective..... all up his alley. We were initially just visiting due to proximity during our visit and the fact that it fits his LAC leaning, and has a solid academic reputation. But after perusing a bit on line, my son is truly excited to go and tour.

    He also likes the LOOKS of the green expanses at Wheaton and Bard. Some reviews sound like there are a lot of angst filled hipsters, likely donning all black and a scarf at Bard. Will be interesting to see how the vibe of Bard fits him. He is a real mix who is a bit of a chameleon, able to blend with whoever he is with. Looking forward to seeing where he is most comfortable over all and if Bard suits him or not.
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  • eb23282eb23282 877 replies25 threads Member
    Perhaps Springfield? Marist?
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  • HCPP20HCPP20 89 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Clark is a great suggestion. Worcester is a great college town- and getting better. College of the Holy Cross is a fantastic LAC (and Jesuit) with a good theatre department. It would be a reach but worth a visit. Good luck.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6711 replies10 threads Senior Member
    You could do Bard and Union on the same day. Polar opposites in terms of vibe, but my kid liked both. He could pursue his interests at both. Union is more generous with merit.
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  • sn189144sn189144 86 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Not familiar with Springfield . No to Marist.
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  • sn189144sn189144 86 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Oh sorry , I was thinking of something else. I’ll suggest he look up Marist . Since he is not sure of his major and it is set up into “ schools” is it difficult to be undecided there or to move between majors ? Create your own? It is a bit bigger and less LAC like than I think he is looking for but we will see.
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  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1794 replies2 threads Senior Member
    @sn189144 thanks for starting this! We’re heading to Clark from NJ in November for D21 and I was going to post something similar. Different major, so not sure for you, but we were thinking about Siena. Love Marist but I believe maximum merit is $25k so it might be out of our range.
    We also love Newport but D crossed off Salve Regina based on locals talking it down - don’t know how valid that feedback it. Again not sure on majors, but Roger Williams is near Newport and looks gorgeous.
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  • MAmom111MAmom111 295 replies15 threads Member
    I think I answered your other post earlier today but it seems like we are looking at a lot of the same schools. We looked at Clark, Marist and Wheaton. Only Marist is still on the list.

    I thought Clark was great but D couldn’t get over the area it was in and she thought the students were just a bit too quirky. It’s not a bad area, it just doesn’t all all have a “college town feel” to it. The campus also just seemed very small. Academically, we both thought it seemed great.

    Marist- campus is stunningly beautiful. Poughkeepsie is not a great college town but has everything you need nearby. Sounds like there are cute towns nearby that the kids visit. I think it is easy to switch majors. Academics seemed strong and kids seemed really friendly. Also, they do $25 bus trips to NYC to see Broadway plays. You can also take the train to NYC. Merit isn’t great but tuition is lower than a lot of other schools.

    Wheaton- we live nearby so we just did a walkthrough. Campus is prob about same size as Ursinus but not quite as pretty. Kids either looked like athletes or a bit quirky, esp the boys. D took it off her list. In reading reviews, it doesn’t seem that strong with career services but academics seem good.

    Fairfield- D won’t look at it as we send about 8 kids there a year from our small high school but the kids that I know that go there seem to love it. Close to NY for theatre.

    Have you thought about Catholic Univ or Loyola MD? Those are next on our visit list.

    Salve Regina and Roger Williams honestly don’t have great reputations around here. They are just usually considered safeties. Both are very beautiful though.
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 2255 replies28 threads Senior Member
    I'll second Marist, Bard, Clark & Skidmore.

    I do not see St. Lawrence or Union as a match.
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  • sn189144sn189144 86 replies7 threads Junior Member
    MAmom111. Wow! I think we are following eachother around ! lol! Yes considering a trip to DC to maybe Catholic U ( theater program and government programs and philosophy here appeal) But primarily wanted to visit AU. He crossed off Loyola for some reason during on line research. Not sure why. I have a brother and family in Jamestown, VA and we were thinking of checking out nearby Christopher Newport too Is that on your list? However if we start heading south on this particular thread, we will be derailing. On this thread I am just looking for visits doable on a long weekend (one day is a Sunday so no visits) to Worcester to visit another son, attending WPI.

    So Marist can be on the way up or back. The English/theater combo may be of interest to him and certainly the campus location on the river and more. I am concerned that only about 40 percent of their professors are full time. It makes me question whether they are truly comitted to building their academic programs? They use a lot of adjuncts, who can certainly be terrific but often have issues with office hours and lack relationships with students as the school lacks a good relationship and dedication to them. Anyone out there that can expand on this for Marist?
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  • blossomblossom 10429 replies9 threads Senior Member
    I wouldn't let the hype about Clark students deter you. I know a LOT of kids who have gone to Clark and they range from Boho/Hipster to buttoned down pre-professional. It's a great environment for a kid like the OP's son who mixes with all crowds and types in HS- he won't have to declare his tribe at Clark and can be a sports fan, a music lover, a theater kid, and a political animal all in the same week.
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  • Btown1238Btown1238 13 replies0 threads New Member
    I’m not sure why Holy Cross is barely mentioned here? Elite LAC, fun, plenty of theatre opportunities (constructing brand new building), top notch network, academically rigorous, one of the most beautiful campuses in the country etc etc. No brainer to take a look.
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  • Jon234Jon234 415 replies10 threads Member
  • sn189144sn189144 86 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Empireapple. In looking up Bard, I happened upon a comment that you made in 2017, copied here:

    "Union College is also in the area, small LAC, expensive and more than half pay full tuition. Nobody in the Capital District thinks Union is a joke. Bard...um hum. Just sharing what the locals think. We have many, many colleges and universities to compare with (and yes, judge). "

    Has your opinion on Bard changed? Or are you recommending a college for my son that you view as a "joke" college? I certainly hope it is the former. Or maybe your were just relaying that there is tension between locals and the college kids at Bard?

    I had initially thought that Union would be a good match due to the fact that it is an LAC that is also rather strong in sciences. My son is relatively balanced in his english and math/science aptitudes. He also enjoys biology, and is pretty handy with coding, and was a big Lego, robotics kit kid growing up. So, I thought that since he is undecided, the fact that sciences and tech are available would be good as possible options. In thinking about careers, he said once that he would like to replace Bill Nye the Science guy ( he grew up as a fan) and become "Jo No the Science Bro " ( Jo No combo of first and last name and a nickname at school) to satisfy his love of presenting and performance AND interest in sciences. He is hard to categorize. Laid back but also hard working ( managed 10 to 40 hour per week job waiting tables and is responsible for all of his leisure expenses and bank account, while performing the responsibilities of all of his positions in ECs and outside of school, senior patrol leader and Eagle Scout) He is artsy but also pragmatic, and enjoys sports as well.

    However I had noticed on several different web sites, comments about the social/frat drinking and predominately preppy vibe at Union that did not seem like a match and had not included it for touring) Plus his stats are only 36 percent higher that the average admit, so if he did get accepted, merit would be very unlikely. Which is roughly the same at Skidmore and St Lawrence and many others. Finances will be important with two in college next year.

    For this thread, suggestions for schools that could be reasonably added logistically for the upcoming trip, and are reasonable for son's stats and interests are appreciated. Driving from suburb of Philly to Worcester Mass. Thanks!

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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6711 replies10 threads Senior Member
    ^^I'd look at Union and decide for yourself about the vibe. I've known quite a few kids there who did not fit the "profile " and were really happy. But that won't be everyone, for sure. Personally, I was quite impressed by both Union and Bard, different as they are from each other. Both seem pretty intentional in how they connect with and mentor their students.
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  • hophop 1032 replies3 threads Senior Member
    Someone above mentioned Drew in NJ, and I would second a closer look there.
    Great BA Theater programs with a London semester, in addition to proximity to NYC.
    Other strong majors as well.
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