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Small Colleges - Narrowing Choices

GiftedEdGiftedEd 4 replies1 threads New Member
Trying to narrow choices to visit colleges is driving me crazy. Any suggestions of great ones that meet the following criteria is appreciated!

- Smallish - 3000-10,000 and NOT urban
- Diverse, friendly, not cliquey, charming school/town feel, and not crazy competitive that will burn you out in the first year but still a good reputation!
- Good Sciences AND Critical Languages of Chinese or Arabic
- Not interested in sports, the Greek system or drinking
- Affordable for a student coming from an average middle class family with a 3.0 GPA and ACT of 28
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Replies to: Small Colleges - Narrowing Choices

  • aquaptaquapt 2266 replies47 threads Senior Member
    Weighted vs. unweighted GPA?
    Home state?
    What's the definition of "affordable" for your family?
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  • GiftedEdGiftedEd 4 replies1 threads New Member
    Unweighted around 3.0-3.25 - Weighted will be around 3.75
    Open to anything but the West Coast
    Affordable is under 20K w/ scholarships but we'd consider under 30K w/scholarships
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 29934 replies179 threads Senior Member
    I like the College Navigator search engine. https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/ Click on the option for "More Choices" to sort the list by size, setting, etc. Asking for both Arabic and Chinese, maximum of 10,000 students, and a location anywhere but urban, yields a list of only 36 places: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=all&p=16.1101+16.0301&l=93&ct=1+2&ic=1&ex=10000&lc=4+3+2 You should be able to work through that short of a list pretty quickly.
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  • inthegardeninthegarden 1415 replies26 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    I dont have an answer for you, but just FYI (since you seem to be new on this forum) there is a thread in the parent's forum called "Parents of the H.S. class of 2020- 3.0-3.4. GPA. There is also one for the class of 2021 (as well as for previous years). Lots of good discussions and info about schools for students in this general range. These threads are friendly and supportive, should you want to join in.
    edited December 2019
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  • GiftedEdGiftedEd 4 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you. I tried a search and I knew I did it wrong when it came up with only 1 college, lol. I'll look through these this week!
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  • GiftedEdGiftedEd 4 replies1 threads New Member
    Yes, I definitely do! I'm so new I don't know where to begin so this helps :)
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  • GiftedEdGiftedEd 4 replies1 threads New Member
    happymomof1 - I just clicked on the link and how could I have NOT known about this navigator? You are awesome! Thanks again :)
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79796 replies715 threads Senior Member
    Does your home state have a public LAC with the desired majors?
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23692 replies17 threads Senior Member
    It is often hard to get everything you want or need in a small school. I see you are defining 'small as 3000-10,000, and most people think above 5000 is a medium sized school.

    Some of the smaller schools cannot offer enough languages classes in Arabic and Chinese to even offer it as a major. You need a critical mass of students to offer the courses in the upper levels, to offer them more than once a year (so easy to get off sync and that can cause you to take extra semesters). One way to get around that is to go to a school that is part of a consortium, so even if your college only has 3000 students, you can take classes at the other schools in the group.

    You don't have to be interested in football, Greeks or drinking, but if you cross off schools that have those, you are really (really) limiting your options.
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  • aquaptaquapt 2266 replies47 threads Senior Member
    It's fairly unusual to get enough merit from a private college or university to get down to under-20K or even under-30K. When it does happen, it's usually for really high-stats students. Your best chance of getting down to that price-point is at a public LAC or university - which is why I asked about your state of residence. You're not necessarily limited to only that state - there are reciprocity agreements too, but we can't make suggestions without knowing which programs you have access to at in-state or reciprocity rates.

    To be honest, I doubt that all of your stated conditions can be satisfied. A school as small as you want may not have critical mass for the robust foreign language programs you want, unless it's an extremely well-endowed elite LAC that would be out of reach stats-wise and/or cost-wise.

    You may need to ask yourself where you're willing to compromise. Could you, for example, be happy at Truman State, an excellent and very affordable public LAC (not urban, minimal Greek life, and in your desired size range) with good sciences and a Chinese minor https://www.truman.edu/majors-programs/majors-minors/chinese-minor/ ? Or would it be better to compromise on size and identify one of the Language Flagship programs that would be affordable for you?
    https://thelanguageflagship.org/content/arabic
    https://thelanguageflagship.org/content/chinese
    There are ways to "make a big school smaller" if need be.

    If you happen to be in New York, there are some great options in the SUNY system. (If you're out of state, the sticker price for the smaller SUNY's runs in the mid-30's). URI - a great smaller non-urban flagship - has great foreign language programs, and the Global Language & Area Studies major is eligible for reciprocity tuition for residents of all the other New England states. Just examples - a lot really depends on your residency.
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  • TheodenTheoden 239 replies7 threads Junior Member
    I would second you look at the SUNY system. Aside from the 4 Research Universities: Buffalo, Binghamton, Albany and Stony Brook, all of the rest are between 3000 - 7000 students with a heavy undergraduate focus. All have Sciences, none have Chinese or Arabic as majors, though most would have Asian Studies minors where you can get pretty advanced with Languages. Have a look at SUNY- New Paltz, they have an Asian Studies program.
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  • HapworthHapworth 572 replies0 threads Member
    Seconding Truman State, Missouri's public honors college. In many ways, it fits the bill perfectly, though the languages thing is the difficulty, though Truman does have a Chinese minor.

    The only problem? Its reputation is terrific, but few people know it, as the school sounds--at first blush--to be a generic, non-flagship State U. Too bad. It checks most of your boxes, OP.
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