I thought Id post this because a lot of people have private-messaged me to ask my thoughts about Denison.
So...Here is one parents perspective of Denison:
My son is a freshman at Denison, and he is very happy there. When we first visited Denison he liked it right away.
The admissions people are amazing, and their personal approach truly reflects the overall atmosphere of the school.
The campus is beautiful. They really should have more photos on the web site! Its perched on a hill above the quaint, lovely little town of Granville, Ohio. Granville has no chain businesses (no mini-marts, fast food places, chain hotels; no chain anything). The nearby town of Newark has all the sprawl stuff (including several hotels). Granville has plenty of places for necessities there is a drugstore, a grocery store, banks, pizza places, etc., but it is NOT a college town in the traditional sense of a main street lined with bars. There are a couple of charming inns and B&Bs for accommodations. The nearest mall is Easton Center, and it is widely regarded as one of the most progressively planned malls in the country (Im not kidding its not like anything youve seen before it is like a huge, fake Main St, only with great stores, restaurants, and a HUGE movie theater). There is a bus that goes there on Friday nights, and maybe other times too.
Denison has a nice mix of kids from all over the country as well as some international kids, and, of course, lots of kids from Ohio -- and they are so friendly in that great Midwestern way. Denison is serviced by the Columbus, Ohio airport which is about 40 minutes from campus. They have a free bus that goes back and forth frequently at break times.
Denison is a residential college students MUST live on campus all four years. The dorms are average dorms and there are very nice apartments for seniors (and a few lucky juniors). Freshmen live together. One of the freshmen dorms (Smith) has been recently remodeled and is very nice, but the kids think Shorney is the friendliest, liveliest place to live. There are no frat or sorority houses anymore. (You can join a frat, but you cant live with one.) The lovely, former frat houses are now general housing, called the North Quad. A couple of these are reserved for freshmen, and I think you have the best shot at one of those if you apply ED. They are nice and the kids get very close in those houses.
Sophomores-Seniors can also choose to live in Denisons sustainable housing project called The Homestead. There are about 12 kids who live there who are off the power grid, grow their own food, heat with wood, and cook their meals together. It is on the 300+ acre nature preserve adjacent to campus. If you are truly a self-sufficient kid who is passionate about the environment (OK, you need to be more than a little granola-ish) you will love it.
Im not going to lie - my son hates the food. OK, what else can I say about that? Only that his dorm has a fully functional kitchen and he does cook there now and then.
There is a full office for the first year students, with a very helpful and supportive staff. They run a great summer orientation with lots of info for kids and parents. They also offer special student orientations like a backpacking trip, a cultural trip, and a service trip. Freshmen benefit GREATLY from going on one of these trips (its just a great chance to make friends), although my son didnt have time. Denison all but guarantees kids a 10-hour a week job on campus if they want one. There is a 24/7 staffed health center where kids can stay if they are sick.
Classes are, of course, small and interactive. Professors will know you. You will eat dinner at their homes, and all that good stuff. The academic quads are scheduled to go wireless this spring. The library, like all the buildings, is beautiful. The science buildings are all new.
My son plays in both the orchestra and the jazz band and is enjoying them. There seems to be plenty of activities on campus for weekends, and they host trips to skiing, Broadway shows, Washington DC etc. He is also active with club sports and is having a great time with those.
Like ALL schools, Denison struggles with student drinking and related problems. About all I can say is that if you dont drink you will find friends who dont drink.
Denison gives out great scholarships, and they consider you for them automatically, so there are no extra essays to write (yay!). They are trying to shrink the student body by a couple of hundred though, so admissions could get more competitive.
I hope that covers some of the issues people might be wondering about. If you have further questions I can try to answer them