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Quirky son and I ask for your help again...

jjsmomjjsmom 260 replies14 threads Junior Member
edited July 2006 in Parents Forum
Hi again, this was us a few weeks ago:


Now that we've recuperated from the "alternative school" visits, I'd LOVE some suggestions for more "typical" schools that may be appropriate for my wonderful son. :)

In a nutshell:
SATs are 1390 and he will not take again (his scores went up about 100 from initial testing; specifically: CR = 720; Math = 670; Writing = 760, US History - 720, will be taking Literature in October)

His unweighted GPA is approximately 3.7, weighted about 4.1. Not the very most rigorous schedule due to having problems with math back in middle school so he was only on the "college prep" track for math. But he took AP level classes for Engish and History and Honors for music, foreign language and science.

He can be shy and often gets into "loner" mode, holing himself up in his room. He is an avid reader of nonfiction. When he is with others who he knows and trusts he is absolutely hilarious, and is known to pepper his conversations with obscure pop culture references. He has volunteered with our town's Young Democrats since freshman year and is known to get into a good political debate with the more right leaning among his friends.

He lives and breaths history -- all kinds, from ancient to military to last year's -- and hopes one day to become a history professor.

He has leadership positions in the most important of his ECs: Model UN, Marching Band, Short Story Club (which he helped to create) and Student Government.

He is looking for a college experience where he can share his thirst for learning with like minded peers. There is nothing he has more contempt for than "grade grubbers." Dishonesty sickens and depresses him, and therefore schools with Honor Codes are very appealing.

He very much wants a small LAC that features opportunities to work in small groups with his professors vs lectures.

We would like to confine our search to within a 6 hour driving radius of the greater NYC area.

The schools that caught his eye:
Haverford was always his first choice, but that fell off his list with his most recent SAT results. He feels that even with exemplary ECs and essays he simply doesn't have the numbers to be in the running. Another academic and personal match is Brown but once again, he doesn't have the stats. :/ Boston U would be great if it weren't so big.

I think he should consider applying to Vassar ED. When we visited last year, he liked the campus, the history department, the rigor of the academics in general. Our tour guide was a riot which really does help to "sell" a school.

So, that's ONE school... now we are running dry of ideas. Can you think of any other schools for my terrific quirky son? Thanks!!
edited July 2006
64 replies
Post edited by jjsmom on
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Replies to: Quirky son and I ask for your help again...

  • minimini 26167 replies259 threads Senior Member
    "Dishonesty sickens and depresses him, and therefore schools with Honor Codes are very appealing."

    Have you run into ANY schools without Honor Codes?

    Does it have to be east coast? Macalester is a wonderful school with someone wih political (and/or international interests); Grinnell might fit the bill perfectly well for same; Earlham is a little bit more for the different drummer, but if the idea of honor codes is a big deal, then Quaker-style consensus might even be bigger. All very fine LACs with lots of personal attention, and away from the east coast hype. (On balance, I think virtually all the midwestern LACs are a better "admissions value" than their east coast counterparts.)
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  • jrparjrpar 2117 replies18 threads Senior Member
    Connecticut College or Wesleyan come to mind ....
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  • blawnedblawned 72 replies18 threads Junior Member
    I visited Skidmore College today and it sounds like it would be a great safety/ safe match for your son. It wasn't my type of school but the campus WAS very beautiful and the academics sounded outstanding.

    The students were VERY quirky. Think sarcastic, somewhat witty, crunchy, politically active, eclectic types. The school uses the honor code and the school is known for its excellence in humanities.

    It is located in Saratoga Springs, which I believe is about 3 hours outside of NYC. The town is cute and very young. It is VERY VERY artsy, even around the community.

    I really wish I liked this college more but I would definitely recommend it for your son.
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  • jjsmomjjsmom 260 replies14 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for a good suggestion. But... see the link in the original post. We did the tour info session last week. My son didn't think the academics would be rigorous enough. Oh well. I loved Skidmore, but I've already been to college. :)
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  • bemyparaguaybemyparaguay 54 replies2 threads Junior Member
    When I read the part about "thirst for learning," I thought immediately of the University of Chicago. Might be worth checking out if it isn't too far away.
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  • calmomcalmom 20882 replies168 threads Senior Member
    If your son is willing to travel, his thirst for learning, lack of respect for "grade grubbers", desire for a LAC environment, and overall quirkiness sound like a perfect match for Reed.
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  • bobbobbobbobbobbob 4751 replies20 threads Senior Member
    He definitely has a shot at Haverford ED!

    A kid in my school got in with lower SATs and around the same gpa.

    Apply there!
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  • twinmomtwinmom 2703 replies123 threads Senior Member
    My son will be attending Vassar in the fall. PM me if you have any questions that I can help you with.

    Also, your son might want to consider taking the ACT.
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  • twinmomtwinmom 2703 replies123 threads Senior Member
    Would he consider Oberlin? A bit further than six hours but lots of kids from your area attend - he could probably easily get rides.
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  • 3togo3togo 5218 replies15 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2006
    The search for a LAC that fits well sounds like a good fit ... and there are a ton of them within 6 hours of NYC. This is a wierd suggestion but I'd suggest looking at www.d3hoops.com and then checking out the conference listings ... tons of the D3 schools are LACs and the conference listings might highlight schools to check out. On the home page about 1/3 of the way down the blue strip (right next to the Ask.com button) are choices for looking at schools by region and conference. There are a ton that might be of interest .... NESCAC (Williams, Amherst, etc) ... Liberty League (Union, Hamilton, etc) ... Centenial (Haverford, Mulenberg, etc). Good Luck!
    edited June 2006
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  • AlanArchAlanArch 146 replies15 threads Junior Member
    You might want to consider Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Hamilton, Colgate and Bucknell. We too live in the NYC area. We have visited all but Colby and they are all within 6 hours (maybe not Colby).
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  • weenieweenie 5444 replies349 threads Senior Member
    I just went back to your original post and enjoyed your tour reviews. They aere great! (Love the Hampshire story...)

    Well, you'll get a lot of the "usual suspects" recommended on this thread. Frankly I'd make sure he has some safeties though - some of these are into the reach category.

    Don't forget that at a decent sized school he may be more likely to find a group he fits in with. Your son sounds like an interesting kid!

    Also there's been no discussion of needing scholarship money, so I presume that isn't an issue for you? Some of the schools talked about here are notoriously expensive...
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  • cangelcangel 4054 replies73 threads Senior Member
    This is a little off the wall suggestion, because the student body is not "quirky", but look at Rhodes College in Memphis (the one Curmudgeon's D is going to attend). There is a great music scene in Memphis (obviously), and the school is on the edge of the downtown. It has a great history department - one of the history teachers at my kid's school (one of their favorite teachers) went there, and his brother is going there now. Your son sounds a lot like a young version of Mr. W.

    It is not 6 hours, but Memphis is an air hub, and I think you can get good flights.
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  • cloverdale7cloverdale7 337 replies7 threads Member
    Vassar could be a good fit. Great history department, small classes, and student body not as "collective" as Oberlin or as aggressive as Wesleyan. These are broad generalizations and there are all types in all schools, but we also searched for a school where someone who was at times somewhat of an introvert could find a niche without being overwhelmed. We came to feel that Vassar allowed more personal space for a kid who, from time to time, drifted into solitary before venturing out again. It was just our sense of things; I don't want to overblow this as more than one family's opinion, but check it out yourself. We felt there was more freedom for a kid of this sort to flourish at Vassar compared to Wesleyan and Oberlin. We too explored the alternative schools for our son, but they were too edgy for him --except for Bard, which we liked as well. Sometimes someone just needs to "be" without being a particular way --we felt Vassar would permit that more than many others.
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  • twinmomtwinmom 2703 replies123 threads Senior Member
    Cloverdale - Nicely stated.
    JJsMom - Have you looked at Brandeis as a non-alternative school?
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  • huskem55huskem55 User Awaiting Email Confirmation 4230 replies54 threads Senior Member
    if he likes vassar, he might like connecticut college- HUGE emphasis on their honor code, great history department, intelligent and friendly student body, vast majority classes are very small and discussion based (save for a few of the 101 classes). a nice presence of more 'quirky' kids, and i could actually see him fit in perfectly with one of the specialty housing options.
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  • cloverdale7cloverdale7 337 replies7 threads Member
    I will say that the atmosphere at Connecticut College is preppier vs. more left-leaning at Vassar --even though of course both have different types. The preppy aspect was not to our son's liking. I agree about Brandeis --son applied there too. We felt that like Vassar it allowed for quirkiness and some singularity but in a low-key way. Vassar appeared to have it over Brandeis in the arts emphasis, and its film department was much better. But for a history major, Brandeis would fit the bill for this type of kid imo.
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  • 2boysima2boysima 1737 replies57 threads Senior Member
    Good suggestions in Post #12. Also, Middlebury.

    Macalester is a great suggestion if he's willing to go a little further...will have fewer of the grade grubbers than most of the northeast schools.

    His scores aren't out of the range for Haverford and Brown. If these are schools he'd really like to go to...and thinks he'll be comfortable academically and socially at these schools, he should definitely apply.
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  • 1ofeach1ofeach 391 replies31 threads Member
    If Haverford is his dream- GO FOR IT! He is definitely in the running, especially as a guy. Apply ED, sell the love of history. I really think he'll make it with a well crafted application.
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  • ADadADad 3985 replies936 threads Senior Member
    Drew University, Madison, NJ

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