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Dickinson, Muhlenberg or Wheaton for NYC hipster girl

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Replies to: Dickinson, Muhlenberg or Wheaton for NYC hipster girl

  • yabeyabe2yabeyabe2 Registered User Posts: 2,454 Senior Member
    You seem to have done excellent groundwork already. In case I missed them being mentioned already, have you looked at McGill, Oberlin, Clark, Drew, Shimer and Hobart? And the Colleges That Change Lives schools, such as Juniata (although it is so isolated it makes Carlisle seem like NYU) or McDaniel?

    I suspect the list of places with a lot of piercings but not much reefer madness may be small, but I am not sure Ursinus is completely straight (a campus tradition is said to be sliding naked down a fountain, but I have heard it has more stereotypical jocks than one might expect). Oddly, I was worried Union was too new wave for my son when I could not find a business major, but saw gender studies prominently listed.

    Goucher prides itself on being very diverse, having no frats and non-preppy (as opposed to Gettysburg, a very good, but very frat and preppy place). Obviously, these are all stereotypes, but I do not think of most places south of UVA as being good for indie hipsters. I worry that small schools with large frat/sorority presences or very rural locations are not likely to be good for hipsters.

    I look forward to the results of your search.
  • LilyMoonLilyMoon Registered User Posts: 1,832 Senior Member
    I can vouch for SUNY New Paltz being a good fit for those looking for a school with social diversity. It would work well for an indie hipster, but a smart one since it's getting harder to get into in the past few years.
  • hudsonvalley51hudsonvalley51 Registered User Posts: 2,474 Senior Member
    "I think jusayswhat hit the nail on the head with "indie hipster" (pink hair, piercings) and D felt that Hampshire was filled w/ kids like her, but she would prefer a school with all one type of student."

    I'm not sure what you are saying here nyc, specifically "she would prefer a school with all one type of student." Is this what you intended to convey? A lack of diversity? The statement just doesn't seem like you or the way you've described your daughter.

    Re: Hampshire, I was up there today. Definitely not just one kind of student. I saw a cowboy, several back-to-the-earth granola maidens, a gay Bavarian, a half-dozen or so hipsters, some mountain bikers, nerds, a kid dressed up like Farmer Jones, some rather conventional looking athletic kids, swimmers. Lots of tees and jeans and shorts and flip-flops. Black kids, white kids, Asian kids, multi-racial kids. Locals and internayionals. A very interesting mix. The one thing I didn't see -- or smell -- was marijuana (although several flyers referenced "reefer" and "ganga". I've spent many many hours at Bard so I'd know it if I smelled it. It was only mid-afternoon, however, and a lot of students had already left campus for the summer or were in the process of packing. Anyway, while I'm sure drugs are used by Hampshire students the stereotype is probably overblown, just as drug use at other, more "traditional" colleges is often underestimated.

    Anyway, if your daughter is really looking for a school with only one kind of student, Hampshire is definitely not that.
  • nycnyc Registered User Posts: 1,355 Senior Member
    "I'm not sure what you are saying here nyc, specifically "she would prefer a school with all one type of student." Is this what you intended to convey? A lack of diversity? The statement just doesn't seem like you or the way you've described your daughter."

    I was distracted and mis-typed.

    D wants a school with more diversity of style than we have observed Hampshire, which she described "all one type of student." I took this to mean that she wants her style to be outside the school's norm, but still enough indie hipsters that she would not feel isolated. (It's difficult to maintain you counter-culture identity on a campus where pretty much everyone is an oddball.)

    When we have visited Hampshire, I have seen more style diversity than D has seen, but primarily variations on the odball theme. As for racial diversity, D is black, so black enrollment is my primary concern and in that regard Hamp is merely ok (the black and bi-racial students with whom we spoke lamented the fact that the school was "so White").

    I can't comment on marijuan use at colleges in general, but we have never gone to Hamp and NOT smelled marijuana. And posts on the Hampshire board repeatedly state that there is probably less alcohol use at Hamp than on other campuses, but there is more marijuana use. Also, maybe there was less marijuana today b/c it's the end of the semester (what at other schools would be called finals week).


    Yabeyabe2, yes, I have looked at CTCL (and will attend the upcoming NYC college fair). I can't remember why we took McDaniel off the list. Juniata is not only isolated, but I recall that in an earlier edition of the book, the author stated that Juniata's mission was to educated kids from rural PA, so probably not a good fit for D.

    We're still toying with Clark (low black enrollment) and Hobart (preppy);Oberlin and McGill are great, but we don't want a list that's heavy with "reach" schools. We will look into Drew and Shimer. And maybe D will be willing to give Ursinus a second chance.

    Very funny about Union.
  • PlainsmanPlainsman Registered User Posts: 1,503 Senior Member
    NYC: I'm black, my D is biracial. She considered Ursinus, Muhlenberg, Dickinson - was accepted at all three - but chose Oberlin. It was a reach school for her but she got in and is ecstatic to be going in the Fall. We visited twice and absolutely loved it, before she made her decision. In the end, it came down to Oberlin or Dickinson. She also liked Dickinson (two visits), which is a lot closer to home. She also really liked Muhlenberg. As late as January, a ton of Muhlenberg dorm windows still had Obama signs. But there are very few black/biracial kids at Muhlenberg. Something like 2.2%. Dickinson and Oberlin are better at about 6% each but still not overwhelming.

    Oberlin just felt right. It felt more liberal and less cliquey than Dickinson, which my daughter liked. Oberlin has no frats or sororities; Dickinson does have a Greek presence on campus. My D does not want the Greek scene, so this was another argument in favor of Oberlin. It's also the only LAC we visited, and we visited a ton of them, that allows freshman to have cars on campus. My D will leave her car at home for freshman year, but it's nice to have the option in case she changes her mind. Oberlin's higher selectivity was also a factor in her decision (Ursinus was a safety, Muhlenberg a match, and Dickinson a slight reach) though not the major factor. The final factor was location. Although both Oberlin and Dickinson have a significant number of students from New York, Oberlin has the more national reach mixed with a midwestern sensibility the East Coast LACs can't match.

    Your daughter might want to reconsider and add Oberlin to her list, even if it is a reach.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 34,554 Senior Member
    It isn't geographically as close as you would like, but Macalaster in Minnesota might be a good fit.

    Just an FYI about Dickinson where my D just finished her freshman year (and loved it!), Greek life had zero impact on her life. She said she went to one party, but that is it. A couple of her friends are rushing, but most are not. Just wouldn't want anyone to avoid Dickinson because of that concern, it isn't a factor unless you want it to be.
  • Juniper18Juniper18 Registered User Posts: 32 New Member
    I totally agree with intparent. My D was originally concerned that Dickinson was too "preppy" (she is a born and bred Manhattan kid - not a total hipster, but a true independent thinker and dresser) but she met like-minded kids the very first week of school. Greek life has not been an issue at all. The only thing that marred her first year was an incompatible roommate, something that can happen anywhere. Next year she will be living off-campus. The first thing she said when she got home was that she missed her Dickinson friends!
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