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Schools for my Quirky, Nerdy Kid?

ChristiGabiChristiGabi Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
Hi parents. I am looking for school recommendations for my daughter. She just began her senior year in high school and we are on the hunt for a great school! A few things about her:

- She is a math and science nerd and wants to study either math or physics, maybe with a minor in computer science. She currently thinks working as a data scientist would be her ideal career.

- She is shy, and one of my biggest worries is that she'll struggle to make friends at college. Because of this, we think a small college would be ideal. Definitely under 10,000 students, and with mostly small classes. I'm afraid she would get lost in the crowds of huge lecture halls.

- Her test scores are excellent: 35 ACT composite, 1480 SAT (740 each test), 770 Math 2 subject test. Her GPA is not as great, 3.72 weighted.

- She has ADD and struggles with organization, thus the less impressive GPA. So we are hoping to find a school with good disability services, study skill groups, etc. We are also open to various schedules. I think she would thrive at Colorado College, on the block plan, with only one class at a time to stay organized for. But she hates the idea of sitting in one class for hours a day. But perhaps a trimester plan, or other less traditional plans.

- We live in Colorado, and she wants to go out of state for school (although I'm making her apply to 2 in-state schools just in case she changes her mind). She is excited about the opportunity for new experiences, living some place new, etc. We recently visited New England and toured 8 different schools. There were four that she liked - Bates, Bowdoin, Brandeis, and Wellesley. Her absolute favorite was Bates. She loved the atmosphere, the feel, the culture of the campus. I don't know how to explain it, other than it felt like a quirky, nerdy kid would be accepted well there. We both felt that. However, we are viewing those 4 schools as her "reach" schools, and would like to find some less selective options that have that same welcome, accepting, quirky atmosphere.

- She is not interested in schools in the south, and would like to focus on the northeast, northwest, and midwest states.

Any suggestions on what we should research next would be much appreciated! We especially welcome comments on the culture and atmosphere of various campus, as you can't tell that at all from websites!


Replies to: Schools for my Quirky, Nerdy Kid?

  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 2,992 Senior Member
    Case Western
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,475 Senior Member
    Take a look at Bryn Mawr. Lots going for it. Good location, bi-college with Haverford, strong academics including sciences but due to it's women's college status, easier to get into than comparable coed colleges.
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 1,591 Senior Member
    There are so many schools that meet that criteria. How about narrowing it down a bit. Does she prefer rural, suburban or urban? Any chance she might want to major in Engineering because most LACs don't easily accommodate that.
  • lr4550lr4550 Registered User Posts: 870 Member
    Bates does sound like a good fit for your daughter. I'd also recommend looking into Carleton as it seems to embody the vibe your daughter is looking for (it's on the trimester plan to boot). For more of a target type school, have her check out Whitman College in Walla Walla. Very laid back student body, non judgmental vibe, intellectual students with excellent academics.

    Personally I do love Colorado College so would recommend she take a look at it even if the thought of a long class doesn't thrill her!
  • pkchamp89pkchamp89 Registered User Posts: 475 Member
    @ChristiGabi Olin college of engineering. it is definitely quirky and small. Add that to your list to investigate. Gods luck!
  • svcamomsvcamom Registered User Posts: 138 Junior Member
    Whitman and also Willamette College might be a good idea
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 6,928 Senior Member
    I second Whitman, and I also suggest U Rochester. Definitely nerdy and quirky kids there, though it isnot a LAC of course. Merit is possible.

    My D sounds similar to yours and is happy at Bates. She also really liked Kenyon and Dickinson. Dickinson could be a low match, but show interest there and at Roch if she considers it.

    How about Lewis and Clark as a safety?
  • rosered55rosered55 Registered User Posts: 2,706 Senior Member
    What are your financial constraints?
  • 1012mom1012mom Registered User Posts: 874 Member
    Sometimes shy kids struggle in too small of an environment, particularly if they do not fit the mainstream of the school. Some bigger schools to consider might be University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology. There are also a bunch of smaller schools in upstate NY like Colgate and Union that have a Bates like feel. If she would consider women's colleges both Smith and Mt Holyoke are smaller supportive communities with access to the other colleges in the consortium ( UMas, Amherst, Hampshire) for further academic and social variety. Consider schools with house system housing that might help her reach out and build a social circle. I know Rice and U of Chicago do this, - but these are big reaches for anyone. So does Smith and I think Franklin and Marshall in PA.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,342 Senior Member
    St Olaf, Beloit, Kalamazoo College, Carlton come to mind.
  • svcamomsvcamom Registered User Posts: 138 Junior Member
    Forgot to mention Reed College. Steve Jobs attended this school and he was a bit Quirky and Nerdy.
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 538 Member
    Math/computer science kids often like engineering. If that is possible, you may wish to consider which of your options offer that degree as well.
  • MusakParentMusakParent Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    edited August 31
    Does she want to pursue a BA or is she interested in a more tech oriented BS degree? That would make a big difference in programs to look at. You'd be looking at more like engineering schools if she wants a very techy route. I have a BS in Math and Comp Sci and my husband has a MS Software Engineering.

    I have a similar kid actually who I thought would go a comp sci/math route. Now he wants to do music. Which is not out of left field. He has taken piano for 11 years, takes voice, guitar, has perfect pitch, etc.

    Anyway - we JUST yesterday toured St. Olaf and neither of us expected to like it at but we LOVED it. He is atheist, we are not Lutheran. I could definitely see quirky kids finding their people there. The campus is gorgeous. We will go back and check Carleton too which I think might tend even quirkier, but the music program isn't as strong there unfortunately. I know a kid starting at Carleton this fall I know that is definitely an absent minded professor type.

    If she might be interested in bigger tech programs, that might bring a bunch of different answers.
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