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Which is your favorite liberal arts college and WHY?

124

Replies to: Which is your favorite liberal arts college and WHY?

  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,992 Forum Champion
    edited October 2015
    @ScaredNJDad -- I knew I liked you from your post. My H was well before you, my S recently got his MS degree there. Go Irish!
  • blourringblourring Registered User Posts: 280 Junior Member
    Haha, no need to get uptight, guys! This is purely an informational discussion. Please try to refrain from making offensive comments!!

    Also, everyone has a school (or schools) that is/are well fit for them personally, so there is no need to be overtly forthright and act like a certain school is below you because it is not ranked in the top 10 according to US News or whatever. For all you know, that school can be the perfect one for someone else.
  • blourringblourring Registered User Posts: 280 Junior Member
    If you guys are going to continue to posting about LACs, I'd be happy to listen/participate but if you are going to downgrade everyone else, I kindly suggest you make your own post.
  • blourringblourring Registered User Posts: 280 Junior Member
    Okay, this is kind of irrelevant to the original thread, but #GoIrish!! I'm wearing my 2015 "The Shirt" t-shirt right now!! :D
  • ScaredNJDadScaredNJDad Registered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
    @blourring If you really want to close the deal on ND, read up on Father Hesburgh. I had the pleasure of being there while he was President.
  • Waiting2exhaleWaiting2exhale Registered User Posts: 2,839 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    @happy1: You could do worse is to say, there are many great things about Bowdoin, and you'd be choosing a great place to choose it. Not that "it is near the bottom, but not the very bottom." I meant it when I said Bowdoin is a great place. Perhaps it is a usage thing.

    Who said anything about those from Lafayette and Lehigh doing well or not? It was not I. Nor was a reminder needed, as ScaredNJDad intimated that those from Lafayette and Lehigh would, in fact, place well among the employed - even before Swatties.

    @ScaredNJDad: Where my daughter and I see her "fit" being is not either of those places. Doesn't mean one of the other kids won't look; doesn't mean one of the other kids isn't in contact with admissions at one of those schools. Interesting that you feel the way you do about the early entrant into the work world, and who may be writing the evaluations. I know others from the Mid-West who have a completely different view of what their degrees have meant. The arguments we've had where I am defending the strength of the degree, no matter where it came from, the industriousness and ability to form connections in the work world fall on deaf ears for those who view graduates from the eastern seaboard as inherently higher in stature. Some regional thing, I guess.

    And, yes, teenagers can be arrogant. As she mingles, she will reassess; as she reassesses, she will grow.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,515 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    Um... Trying again. This thread is just about what LACs people like and why. Not fit for your kid. Another thread to discuss that would be a good idea.
  • Waiting2exhaleWaiting2exhale Registered User Posts: 2,839 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    I hear you, @intparent. Got it.

    To that end, Bates is also a great school. The range of interests featured in their viewbook a few years ago were amazing and inspiring. The programs of study that were put together by some of these students were unique and beyond interdisciplinary. Were I to do it all over, I might choose to put Bates on my list, and attend if accepted. They are also among schools that have decided the standardized tests that students take are simply not to be used in determining who will be accepted into their college. I deeply respect that, because they are looking to assess the nature and fit of their institution to the sense they get of the students who apply.
  • circuitridercircuitrider Registered User Posts: 3,207 Senior Member
    @Waiting2exhale
    @circuitrider: Pomona actually makes a point to not fill its campus with Californians, and to draw from the vast array of students from across the States and the globe. They are proud of that, so that the numbers in that regard might reflect your statement I am not surprised. That stat is, also, definitely not a draw

    I dunno, W2E. A lot of people have never seen a Californian outside of capivity.
  • am61517am61517 Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    @ScaredNJDad (referring to post #38), the good news is that there are many different college options available to fit the differing ambitions of applicants. If an applicant's desire is to potentially become an academic, Nobel Prize winning scientist, or left leaning policy wonk there are few better alternatives than Swarthmore. If their hope is to become an investment banker there are probably better options (if only because the investment banks tend to predominantly choose other schools for on-campus interviews).

    I don't know Lafayette well enough to comment on its strengths, but I am certain there are many and have no doubt they are effective in placing their students in jobs.
  • blourringblourring Registered User Posts: 280 Junior Member
    @rayrick Thank you for that! Carleton is one of the choices that I'm considering. Can you perhaps tell me more about what the environment/campus community is like? Do students have a lot of activities to bond over? Are they willing to help out visiting prospies, parents, etc? Any info about Carleton would be helpful.

    Also, what are some of the other LACs you have visited?
  • warblersrulewarblersrule Super Moderator Posts: 10,062 Super Moderator
    edited November 2015
    Davidson gets my vote.
    • Lovely, sprawling campus, highly intelligent students, friendly people, nice weather, great facilities, and D1 athletics (esp. basketball)
    • Emphasis on the arts and community service/outreach
    • In a quiet college town but close to a large city
    • Awesome town-gown relations; for example, people in the town have baked students cookies during finals.
    • Unusual emphasis on the honor code (along with Haverford) that goes along with a lot more student freedom and trust on campus than usual.
    • Nearby lake campus lets students participate in sports like water skiing
    • Good financial aid and loan-free for all students

    I'm also quite fond of Haverford and Bowdoin, the only LACs I might choose over my alma mater were I to do college all over again.

    I also like/admire Deep Springs, Swarthmore, Knox, Lewis & Clark, Rhodes, the College of the Atlantic, Allegheny, Earlham, Wesleyan, and (though my Y chromosome disqualifies me) Agnes Scott.
  • Waiting2exhaleWaiting2exhale Registered User Posts: 2,839 Senior Member
    @blourring: Carleton is one of those schools that will keep in touch with you once you make initial contact. They will ask if you're still interested if you've been out of touch for a while, and would love to see that you'd like to visit them. I say reach out to them if you're interested.

    While you're waiting on rayrick, the one thing I remember the Carleton rep saying to a group a few years ago is that Ultimate Frisbee is like a major past time there, as well as (virtually? actually?) being a varsity sport. They take extremely bright kids who can walk away from narrowly self-identifying as top-scorer this and top-scorer that. Also, I believe the kids from this school go on to earn a Ph.D. within ten years after graduation at a higher rate than any other LAC in the nation.
  • rayrickrayrick Registered User Posts: 855 Member
    Yep, concur with everything @Waiting2exhale said. I'm kind of an Ultimate fanatic, so there's another reason Carleton holds a special place in my heart.

    The thing that struck me about the student body at Carleton is the students seemed very happy and friendly. Random smiles, greetings, offers of help, etc. They call it "Minnesota nice", and it seems to be a real thing. There's also a subtle quality that makes it feel just a little different than its Northeast brethren...not sure what to call it... earthiness? Relaxedness? Lack of pretension? Maybe it's the higher percentage of public school kids, or more midwesterners? D went to a New England prep school and never felt truly comfortable there. She did two overnights at Carleton (one in the fall and again during accepted students days when she was agonizing over her final three choices) and felt totally at home.

    As far as other schools we've visited, like I said, it's a long list. The truth is, I liked virtually all of them. Considering just LACs D applied to, we saw Williams, Middlebury, Bowdoin and Carleton, and there wasn't a bad apple in the bunch. She probably would have thrived at any of them. We went to Davidson, too, and like @warblersrule said, it seemed like a terrific school. Mainly got crossed off the list because the only dance studio was in the the basement of the gym and had no windows (sometimes it's the little things...)

    Just in the Minnesota/Iowa area, we also saw Macalester, St. Olaf and Grinnell. Liked all of them, too! For both of my kids, it's helped to have a few specific areas of interest where they were looking for strength, because, otherwise, it's awfully hard to narrow down the field. There's a lot of great schools out there.
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