Last Saturday, we visited Davidson College for S2 who is a senior this year. For context, we have previously visited
-- UNC Chapel Hill
-- University of Michigan (S1 is a currently a senior there)
S3 is currently a sophomore in high school, so we will probably have to do this all over again in a couple of year. We currently live in Charlotte, the closest city to the campus.
1. The campus is gorgeous. Parts of it reminded me of Harvard Yard.
2. The students are extremely friendly and outgoing. Everyone seems to say Hi, to a greater degree than other places.
3. The facilities are good, but not extraordinary. They seem to be about on par with UNC but lag those at Duke.
4. The student guide was not on par with the ones we had elsewhere. She didn't try and make the sale. Also, she talked about the Eating Clubs, without telling us that they were for women only.
5. The admission counselor was much worse. There was no information during the presentation received that didn't duplicate what we heard from the tour, and no audio visual presentation. This lackluster presentation detracted from my impression of Davidson as an institution.
6. Students can keep a car on campus, which is a big plus for us.
7. Students generally spend all 4 years on campus, which is also a positive in our view.
8. Presentation didn't really speak about pre-professional programs. They cited some numbers to the effect that 80% of applicants to Med school are accepted, but couldn't point me to a source. Without that, I view this as one of the 97% of statistics that are made up.
9. Grade deflation is a concern, as this will not be my son's terminal degree. He will have to compete for admission to professional and graduate schools with students without deflated grades.
10. Son is not thrilled about the lack of a nationally known NCAA D1A program he can brag about. Also, the lack of a national footprint for Davidson.
11. I didn't like the fact that the Admission Counselor went over Financial Aid in such a perfunctory fashion. We are at an income level where we count on it, especially trying to put 3 children through college.
At the end of the trip, Davidson is on the list, but is probably not our first choice. Again, these are my impressions and I encourage you to form your own.