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Atmosphere at Lafayette

NUJerseyDadNUJerseyDad 7 replies3 postsRegistered User New Member
Our son is a rising junior. We're looking at the PA schools in addition to TCNJ. We visited Lafayette during the second to last week of April. School was definitely in session, but the campus seemed placid. No vibe whatsoever. You could hear a pin drop. It was a Thursday mid-morning, but few students were walking around, even between classes. We left with a very "meh" impression, which is a shame because from what we read, hear and were told in the info session, it seems like it could be a perfect place -- a much better fit than Lehigh, which our son really liked even though he's not really STEM (he's interested in International Relations) and it seemed like non-STEM/Business majors are an afterthought at Lehigh. Also, he's not much of a partier, if at all. He loved TCNJ and we plan to visit Dickinson, Muhlenberg and Bucknell in the fall. Is it worth visiting Lafayette again? If so, how could we get a better feel for the atmosphere?
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Replies to: Atmosphere at Lafayette

  • JaspersJaspers 83 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I would definitely visit Lafayette again. It was my second choice behind Bucknell. I finally chose Bucknell bc of the college of management but I also loved so many things about Lafayette. When I visited colleges, I would spend time in the library, cafeteria, common areas of academic buildings and recreation areas. This provided an up close view on how the students interacted with each other. If you visit Lafayette, spend time in Skillman Library and Gilberts Cafe (Kirby Hall). i found the students very open and friendly.
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  • WalknOnEggShellsWalknOnEggShells 592 replies27 postsRegistered User Member
    I would also recommend visiting again. Did you do a tour? I took my oldest on a tour there and I thought the place was beautiful and the kids were very impressive. I don't really remember the level of activity, but it didn't seem dead and we were there on a Saturday morning. In fact, there were kids in the engineering lab when we passed it. A lot of them, because they were getting ready for a competition.

    I can see where it would look dead compared to Lehigh though. Both times we went there, there were kids all over the place, playing sports, running around. And that was a Saturday morning too, if I remember correctly.
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  • HanesAnnexSuxHanesAnnexSux 8 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    Timing is everything, as they say. Last week of April is getting close to exams and students are gassed from working and playing hard all semester. No surprise that the energy level might wane at that time. My daughter is a rising Jr at Laf and she would argue that the campus is typically full of energy.
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  • Leigh22Leigh22 635 replies9 postsRegistered User Member
    Lafayette was my kid’s first pick but it just wasn’t financially feasible. I loved the laid back vibe on our first two visits - completely the opposite of Lehigh. Found the students to be very friendly. I will say that the accepted student day seemed a bit pretentious to me, compared to other schools.
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  • NUJerseyDadNUJerseyDad 7 replies3 postsRegistered User New Member
    Where did she wind up? The other school we've visited is TCNJ and my son really liked that too, which is re-assuring if the private schools don't work out for us. Wife and I both feel that Laf would be a better fit socially and academically than Lehigh, which seems like it would be a blast for another type of kid (the type I was, back in the day). Or maybe I just don't know my kid as well as I think :-)
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  • tenniswimvballtenniswimvball 95 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    My girl is a rising JR at Laf. She is busy all the time, but does spend a lot of time in Skillman. She is active in a club, is a member of a sorority (not really her style but she does enjoy it) and is engaged in lots of academic endeavors on campus including tutoring and research. PM me if you have any questions.
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  • Formula1fanFormula1fan 14 replies0 postsRegistered User New Member
    My daughter is also a rising junior and loves the school. She plays club basketball and is a member of a sorority. There is always something going on and we find the campus has a wonderful vibe. If you visit early on a weekend (before 1pm) the campus can seem bit quiet. She is an international relations major and loves her professors. Her 2nd choice was Bucknell but she was concerned the location was a bit too remote.
    My other daughter just recently graduated from Muhlenberg in case you need some help on that front
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  • happy1happy1 22649 replies2223 postsVerified Member Senior Member
    edited July 19
    It is hard to know why the campus would be so quiet but if you can re-visit I would try to do so. It is still early in his search so there is plenty of time. Perhaps your S can arrange with Admissions to shadow a student for a day so he can really get a sense of what life is like on campus.

    My D graduated from Lafayette a few years ago and had an absolutely fantastic experience. It seemed to me that Lafayette has figured out a formula whereby the students are academically challenged and still have time to develop strong friendships and have a social life, get involved in ECs, do research with professors etc.

    edited July 19
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  • NUJerseyDadNUJerseyDad 7 replies3 postsRegistered User New Member
    Very helpful insight. We will be looking at Muhlenberg and Dickinson this November. My S is interested in IR, and my wife was blown away by the building where the IR classes are held at Laf. I had to take an emergency work call during most of tour, so I sat in the library cafe area. We were both very impressed by the school -- especially the advising, undergrad focus, and community vibe -- and we do plan to give it another look. Love the idea of a student shadow. Only concern is my son is not athletic. He's more of a musician/gamer. Would a kid like that feel out of place at Laf?
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  • Momof3kidzMomof3kidz 109 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Lafayette was one of my D19’s top choices. We visited when it was raining and cold. The campus was full of students everywhere. It was one of the biggest appeals to my D that even with the bad weather, students were still active and friendly. Maybe something was going on that day or it was exam time? I absolutely loved the school and was very impressed by the academics. It was my first choice ☺️
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  • happy1happy1 22649 replies2223 postsVerified Member Senior Member
    My sense is that Lafayette really manages to get all different kinds of kids even though the school is pretty small. My D is not athletic and she had zero problems creating a nice social life. There are many different outlets to meet people. For example my D played in the orchestra all four years, worked on theater productions, did community service etc. I think your S would be fine at Lafayette.

    FWIW my D did have a few friends who were IR majors and were very happy there. They have done different things after school -- as best I can remember most got jobs and one went directly to law school.

    My D was a STEM major but when we visited Dickinson we had a sense that IR was a strength of that school as well.
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  • TemperantiaTemperantia 247 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Piling on here. My son is a rising Junior and loves it. He was able to switch from an biochem track into ChemE with no problem. He's in a fraternity and a member of a few clubs. It's a work hard/play hard path for him and he embraces that but there are other paths too. We are hosting seven of his college friends this weekend and all seem smart, polite and well rounded.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28759 replies56 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Check out Stevens Institute too. Kids’ gamer friends went there over the years and some are in the business now! All of them great people too
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