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Opinions on Ohio Schools from Ohio residents

1235

Replies to: Opinions on Ohio Schools from Ohio residents

  • carlson2carlson2 Registered User Posts: 353 Member
    edited June 19
    My D is now a rising sophomore at another school, but we are from Ohio and we looked at all of these schools (and visited them). Thoughts are as follows: Denison - personalized, individual tours. Cute downtown. Even though it didn't seem overly Greek to my D, she did not like the vibe - said it was too preppy for her taste. Not a lot of diversity at all. Oberlin was too liberal for my D (and our family is pretty liberal, so that's saying something). Tour guides were very artsy, and did not seem particularly well informed. We toured the dorms here, and they were abysmal. Kenyon was the school she liked best of all, but had concerns about eventually outgrowing the school. Their dorms could use some work as well. Not a lot of diversity, either. It is beautiful and rural. Our NPCs were more or less equivalent at all three. Denison at one time had a full tuition NMF scholarship, which would have put it in the running, but I think they dropped it a couple of years ago. The food at Oberlin is very good -- my next door neighbor is one of the chefs there. Case was never an option for my kid -- she felt it was too close, and the most merit we heard of anyone receiving was $32k. Most of kids from my D's HS stay local, and OSU is pretty much the holy grail for these kids, although we do have a few going to Kent, University of Akron, College of Wooster, Miami of Ohio, Ohio University, Otterbein, University of Cincinnati, Ohio Wesleyan, and the University of Cincinnati.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    We toured the dorms here, and they were abysmal.

    @carlson2

    How so? While there's some variability in dorms, most of the dorms at Oberlin in the mid-late '90s when I attended were fine.

    Certainly better appointed in terms of furniture/furnishings than many other colleges I've visited/toured in the same period.

    Granted, I was coming at this as a near-full FA/scholarship student who found the dorms to be better than the apartments I grew up in in NYC or my first two post-college apartments.
  • carlson2carlson2 Registered User Posts: 353 Member
    Cobrat - maybe they were going for authentic -- but the building and the rooms we saw were dark, dank, and depressing. They looked and felt mediocre, and they smelled, and not in a good way. Maybe we caught them on an off day.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 2,910 Senior Member
    Most recent Kenyon acceptance rate rose to 33%, there was an article in Kenyon student paper about trying to figure why their apps dropped this past year, and some speculation that Trump/Pence yard signs in Ohio turned off applicants.

    Denison '21 is reported to be 37%, from what I've seen.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    Cobrat - maybe they were going for authentic -- but the building and the rooms we saw were dark, dank, and depressing.

    @carlson2

    The only dorm which smelled when I attended Oberlin was a house notorious for having residents who didn't shower for long periods because they wanted to maintain their perception of neo-hippie cred.....and those students on average came from the wealthiest families by SES background.

    However, that hasn't been the case for ~15 years according to younger alums as that dorm has since cleaned up their act.

    As for dark....none of the dorms/houses I stayed in fit that description. Plenty of light....especially when the sun was out. .

    If I may ask, which dorm was it that you and your family visited?
  • carlson2carlson2 Registered User Posts: 353 Member
    Cobrat - I don't know the name of the dorm. We probably visited 15 schools and there's no way I would remember its name. What I remember is that my kid walked into it and looked at it, and said "i can't go here -- and what were they thinking that they thought this was suitable for viewing?" So much of what kids go on is their impression of a place -- in her instance, it did not make a good impression on her.
  • carlson2carlson2 Registered User Posts: 353 Member
    I'll echo what others have said on this thread about Wooster. I think it's a gem. Rural, but there's a busy enough downtown, and close enough to Akron and Cleveland. I think it's one of CTCL, and if I remember correctly, I think everyone has to produce a senior thesis. Both my kids spent summers at various programs there and liked it a lot -- it just did not make the cut financially for us.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    edited June 19
    @carlson2

    That's very unfortunate as even first-year students are allowed to pick and choose from many dorms to enter...most of which are on the nice side IME. Well...unless the incoming student concerned is expecting a 4-5 star posh hotel treatment.

    While there is one official "first-year" dorm(Dascomb when I attended), not all first-years opted to live there.

    Instead, they are spread around many other dorms/houses with older classes which IMO helped acclimate incoming first-year students into the academic/social spirit of things sooner and greatly tamped down some of the excesses which seem to be a common thing at other colleges/universities where most first-year students stay in "freshman dorms".

    Some of those first-year dorms I visited were close to the "Lord of the Flies" in terms of resident behavior/antics than what existed at Oberlin when I attended.
  • bclintonkbclintonk Registered User Posts: 7,323 Senior Member
    edited June 19
    cobrat wrote:
    Keep in mind one likely reason for CWRU's edging out the LACs is the fact CWRU has a well-respected engineering school which draws students from across the country and world.

    Yes, they draw different types of students. If you compare middle 50% SAT Math scores, they stack up this way:

    CWRU 680-770
    OSU 620-740
    Oberlin 620-720
    Kenyon 610-710
    Denison 600-700

    But middle 50% SAT-CR looks like this:

    Oberlin 630-730
    Kenyon 620-720
    CWRU 600-720
    Denison 590-680
    OSU 540-670

    So CWRU clearly leads the field in SAT math stats, with OSU second, a nose ahead of Oberlin and Kenyon. But in CR, it's Oberlin and Kenyon edging CWRU by a nose, with OSU clearly lagging the field. Another way to look at it: CWRU and OSU are more math-heavy, with significantly stronger M than CR scores, while Oberlin, Kenyon, and denison are all more balanced. Still, CWRU students are right in the ballpark with Oberlin and Kenyon in CR scores, while being significantly stronger in M as one would expect from a school where 30% of the students are in engineering and 62% are in STEM fields. In contrast, at Oberlin about 35% of students are STEM majors, and at Kenyon only about 16%.
  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 2,054 Senior Member
    edited June 19
    @cobrat @ohiodad51 slightly off topic but as a Penn (SEAS and Wharton) grad,at least from my experience it is not the case that Whartonites were viewed as superior to other Penn students, and it was definitely not the case that Whartonites were exclusively the smartest people on campus. Sure Wharton is top in its field and a major draw for people but Penn is an ivy/strong across the board.

    A more relevant example in your case would be Stern/ rest of NYU, where there is a vast disparity in the quality/competitiveness of students between Stern and the rest of NYU undergrad.

    Pretty much all schools have better departments than others but if we are talking about a top school the disparities amongst the different cohorts inside the school are mitigated. For example, Yale or Brown engineering have a lower standing than Yale/Brown humanities, but engineering students are not seen as lesser in these schools, since these are top schools and it is hard to get into regardless and overall school strength/prestige tends to factor a lot in undergrad college decisions in addition to specific departmental strength.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    Yeah, CRWU is more lopsided than most LACs, but saying that the top OH LACs are far better because of that is as silly as stating that HYP are far better than MIT because MIT is more lopsided.
  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 Registered User Posts: 2,243 Senior Member
    @penn95, I was referring exclusively to the relative "prestigiosity" of particular subsets of institutions vis the institution as a whole. I have no beef with Penn at all. My son almost ended up there, and had no desire to attend Wharton specifically because he is a science geek. Penn's a great school. As is Oberlin, or CWRU for that matter.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    edited June 19
    @cobrat @ohiodad51 slightly off topic but as a Penn (SEAS and Wharton) grad,at least from my experience it is not the case that Whartonites were viewed as superior to other Penn students, and it was definitely not the case that Whartonites were exclusively the smartest people on campus. Sure Wharton is top in its field and a major draw for people but Penn is an ivy/strong across the board.

    A more relevant example in your case would be Stern/ rest of NYU, where there is a vast disparity in the quality/competitiveness of students between Stern and the rest of NYU undergrad.

    @Penn95

    My point in the prior post is that @Ohiodad51 's point in practice, only applied to the Double-Degree students at Oberlin as they have to apply separately and meet the admission standards of BOTH separately to qualify as such.

    As such, they are the only Con and College students who tend to get more respect as a cut above the rest of both con and college students.

    Con students alone, not so much. Especially considering some come in with really lowish SAT scores or marginal GPAs because most of what determined admission to the Con was based on a series of auditions to see if their demonstrated musical talents are of the sufficient standard to be admitted to be shaped to be topflight musicians.

    That and the decades-old jokes by students from the college about the Con students' supposed lacking of academic acumen in class outside of their virtuosity in their musical instrument(s).

    In short, the NYU-Stern vis a vis rest of NYU doesn't exist between most Con students vis a vis their college counterparts.
    Pretty much all schools have better departments than others but if we are talking about a top school the disparities amongst the different cohorts inside the school are mitigated. For example, Yale or Brown engineering have a lower standing than Yale/Brown humanities, but engineering students are not seen as lesser in these schools, since these are top schools and it is hard to get into regardless and overall school strength/prestige tends to factor a lot in undergrad college decisions in addition to specific departmental strength.

    Not too sure about some of that considering one HS classmate who turned down MIT to attend Harvard as an engineering major regretted it later on during our undergrad years(mid-late '90s) as in her words, Harvard DEAS was the "neglected stepchild" of FAS and regarded as one of the weakest links in the Harvard academic chain.

    Also, up until the end of the '90s/early '00s, a similar dynamic existed between Columbia College and to a lesser extent Barnard College and Columbia SEAS because the former two had much higher GPA/SAT admission requirements than the last.

    In fact, the gap was so wide that so long as one was lopsided heavily in favor of math, if one had a B/B+ average and a 1200 on the pre-1995 SATs, one was a practical shoo-in as was the case with many HS classmates and NYC area students. As a result, the SEAS folks were heavily looked down upon by their Columbia College counterparts and to a lesser extent, Barnard counterparts back then.

    This wasn't helped by the fact that many lopsided students whose stats only qualified them for Columbia SEAS used that admission as a backdoor ticket to Columbia college and its associated perceived higher prestige as back then an internal transfer between colleges only required one to be in good academic standing for 1 year and filing some pro-forma paperwork which was practically always approved. This was an open secret among many students...especially those at STEM-centered public magnets like Stuy or TJSST...and likely a reason why Columbia U changed their policies so now it's much harder to effect such an internal transfer.

  • LMC9902LMC9902 Registered User Posts: 135 Junior Member
    @homerdog I have visited all three with my rising first year, who decided to ED at Oberlin. It hadn't really been on her radar in the spring of junior year when we did a spring break trip to Ohio to see Denison, Kenyon and Wooster but it really impressed her once she saw it. I originally thought she would gravitate towards Kenyon because she's a writer and already had a good friend there but she was luke warm after spending the day there because the town was just SO small. Well, there actually wasn't a town, it was just a nice hotel and one restaurant. She also didn't like that there was only one dining option. She liked Denison a lot more than I expected and had the stats to get great merit from them so it was exciting. She said the students were very friendly and the classes were interesting. She's not looking for greek life but they convinced her it wasn't a big deal if she didn't. The town of Denison was cute, though a bit of a walk if you're going there in the winter! The campus (to me ) was very hilly - I kept saying that I would be worried about her if it was icy. She rolled her eyes though.

    Once she saw Oberlin, things changed. One thing I love is that Oberlin has regional fly-in programs in the fall and they are one of the only schools to do this. Many other schools have them for minority/under represented students but Oberlin has a program from major cities where anyone can pay something like $200 and they send a member of the admissions staff to the local airport (ours was BWI) and you travel with a group of 20 students and spend two days on campus. This meant I didn't have to take time off of work or spend money flying myself AND she got to see campus with a group of students. A win-win.

    She is not a SJW (social justice warrior) but does acknowledge there are several at Oberlin. That being said, I was expecting a lot more of that when we visited and was somewhat surprised by the fact that many students were more mainstream. What she loved most was the attitude of the people at Oberlin - smart, curious, driven but not cut throat competitive. Her focus is creative writing and cinema studies and they have great programs and opportunities for both, including a movie theater run by the college. Now that I've visited I can also see why she loved the town - it is a great little college town and everything is just across the street from campus. The town was bigger than I expected with several restaurants (maybe 5 or 6), two coffee shops, a brand new hotel and other shops that were cute. Things that make Oberlin unique include the art museum and the fact that students can rent art for around $5/semester, the ExCo which is a separate program of classes taught by students, faculty or people in town around topics ranging from beginning Korean to Dungeons and Dragons. They also have the option of traditional housing and dining or living and eating in a co-op. And of course there is always music everywhere and it's really amazing - I was impressed and I only went to a jazz lunch during accepted students weekend.

    Good luck to your son! Enjoy the visits!
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 1,459 Senior Member
    @LMC9902 Thanks! Every time I think I have enough reasons to cross off Oberlin, I see a post like yours. :))

    I had not heard about the fly-in program so we will definitely check that out. Sounds like your daughter found the right fit for her!
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