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Underrated gems. Colleges that are never mentioned on CC but are really fantastic.


Replies to: Underrated gems. Colleges that are never mentioned on CC but are really fantastic.

  • bhs1978bhs1978 700 replies12 threads Member
    With the increasing popularity of Occupational Therapy I recommend looking at St. Catherine University (St. Kate’s) in St. Paul Minnesota. Well established highly ranked OT program. All women’s catholic LAC with approximately 4800 students.
    I don’t believe they have direct entry (which I highly recommend) but they do offer a dual degree program, allowing students to work toward their advanced degree while getting their Bachelors.
    St. Kate’s is also part of the ACTC (Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities) consortium with
    Hamline and
    St. Thomas University.
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  • taverngirltaverngirl 1654 replies45 threads Senior Member
    A few that we liked after visiting and don't see too much on CC are Gannon, Siena, and Merrimack. Never visited Washington & Jefferson, but it looked great on paper and D applied. Just realized that the first three are all Catholic, so maybe that's why. All have very nice campuses. Gannon is in Erie, if you're looking for a small school in a city setting. ABET accredited engineering. Merrimack is close to Boston. Solid liberal arts. Siena good for sciences and very service-oriented. Wash & Jeff strong for pre-med and liberal arts, fantastic merit aid.
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  • FallGirlFallGirl 8464 replies28 threads Senior Member
    I rarely see Bradley University mentioned here. ABET accredited Engineering (in the top 30 undergrad engineering programs per USNWR), well regarded business and nursing as well as liberal arts. The school is always ranked high regionally overall. Division 1 sports, nationally ranked speech teams, total cost around $45K and merit aid.
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  • brickkickerbrickkicker 24 replies1 threads Junior Member
    You're totally right, though--when I started looking at colleges for my son I was kind of confused as to why Carthage doesn't get more love. It has some really neat things about it and honestly the setting is beautiful.
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  • washugradwashugrad 1161 replies13 threads Senior Member
    Ooh I was just wondering what St. Catherine's was known for, @bhs1978 ! We are touring Macalester in a few weeks and then I'm dropping D20 off at St Catherine's to catch a bus to her summer camp (Concordia Language Villages). I think she has stayed on the campus there after flying into MSP previous years on her own for the same camp.
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  • MWolfMWolf 2564 replies14 threads Senior Member
    @Corinthian Evidently, although the personifications are generally based on pagan gods, Hope carries an anchor, or an anchored cross, because of that quote from Hebrews. So Hope College's anchor and the anchor that lady Hope carries indeed have the same origin. It seems that I have also learned something because of the bit of trivia I mentioned

    Just for your amusement, here is the illustration in question from the Hunting Of The Snark: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hunting_of_the_Snark#/media/File:Lewis_Carroll_-_Henry_Holiday_-_Hunting_of_the_Snark_-_Plate_6.jpg

    PS. The more unhappy woman in the picture is Care:

    "They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
    They pursued it with forks and hope;
    They threatened its life with a railway-share;
    They charmed it with smiles and soap."

    (First stanza, Fit the Fifth, "The Beaver's Lesson")

    The link between Hope College and The Hunting Of The Snark is one more reason that Hope is an excellent college.
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  • ninakatarinaninakatarina 1619 replies44 threads Senior Member
    We had the senior theatre awards night last night, and three of my kid's classmates are going to Susquehanna. Great merit for great artists, lovely campus if a bit remote. We know a kid who started there 2 years ago and is absolutely killing it - she was an average student in high school and has totally blossomed.
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  • EyeVeeeEyeVeee 673 replies7 threads Member
    Not sure why Drexel doesn't have a higher rank (not that rank overly matters) because everyone always raves about its Engineering Programs (as among the best of the best).
    Drexel has a solid reputation, but "best of the best" is probably a stretch. Not that rankings matter.....but it constantly falls in the 75-100 range. I have close friends who are Drexel Engineering grads (as well as business/econ), and they will tell you it's a good school....but not among the best. Last I saw they still offered free applications and had an acceptance rate in the mid to high 70's.

    In Philly, the size of the school and the co-op programs deliver a nice network for students upon graduation (similar with other Big 5 schools....St. Joes, Villanova, Temple, and to a lesser extent and falling...LaSalle).

    Drexel is also probably a bit large and too centrally located to be a "hidden" gem.
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  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1729 replies2 threads Senior Member
    @ninakatarina Susquehanna is huge by us! Great merit often brings it to the cost of our in state publics in NJ. It's high on D21's list.
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  • hgtvaddicthgtvaddict 139 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited May 2019
    Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA. It's in a safe, suburban area about 20 miles away from Malibu. It's a small campus with friendly students. We recently took D20 to look at CLU and she really liked it. I like that she could live on campus all four years.

    CLU doesn't have an overly religious vibe. We visited nearby Pepperdine the same day as CLU, and Pepperdine seemed much more religious.

    CLU has the Public Promise program, in which students who are also admitted to either UCLA, UCB, UCI, UCSD, or UCSB are offered merit aid that makes the COA for CLU equal the COA of the UCs; the current award is $26,188. The Public Promise merit is offered to out of state students, too.
    edited May 2019
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  • CreeklandCreekland 6869 replies93 threads Senior Member
    H has had encounters with Drexel (Civil) Engineering grads and has been less than impressed to say the least. They are only data points, so I won't make a conclusion about their whole program of course, but they are data points connected to the school and I know he (and several he works with) definitely have their impression.

    First impressions mean so much to folks. Penn St, Virginia Tech, great (for regional options). Some other schools? Not so much.
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  • natty1988natty1988 831 replies12 threads Member
    @mamaedefamilia Western Washington is amazing! I was hoping someone would mention it on this thread!

    My H has a friend who went to Appalachian State and raves about it! Definitely an underrated gem!
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83368 replies741 threads Senior Member
    OneMoreKid wrote:
    Not sure why Drexel doesn't have a higher rank (not that rank overly matters) because everyone always raves about its Engineering Programs (as among the best of the best).

    Perhaps Drexel did not do as much (or as successfully) as Northeastern did to game the rankings?
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  • natty1988natty1988 831 replies12 threads Member
    My nephew who loves to ski applied to Western Colorado University in Gunnison, CO. It's a great school for the outdoorsy kid. Lots of skiing, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing areas nearby! It's a small school with about 2500 undergrads and Gunnison is small town with about 5000ish people. And it's kind of remote as well (something to keep in mind with regards to going back and forth for vacations and for moving in and out). Definitely not a school for someone who wants a big city! But for some kids it's the perfect place! On the application you have to write an essay based on the prompt "Why Western," which means the kids who apply and attend Western genuinely want to be there.
    As someone said on the Western schools 3.0-3.3 board, Western has a record of meeting kids where they're at and moving them forward.
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  • CorinthianCorinthian 1808 replies63 threads Senior Member
    @natty1988 I agree about NAU. Also you can stack merit aid on top of WUE discounts with NAU. I did a visit report about NAU a year ago. It was one of D19's favorite choices. NAU gets a lot of students from CA and Hawai..
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  • natty1988natty1988 831 replies12 threads Member
    edited May 2019
    @Corinthian I remember your report on NAU. It's a great place! And yes, it is very popular with kids from California and Hawaii! We have a family friend from Reno, NV who attended NAU and played soccer. And one of my coworkers went to NAU, and she grew up in the San Diego area. Her mom and grandmother attended the school too! My D who now lives in Reno, says she's run into a few people up there who attended NAU, so it seems to be popular all over the west!
    edited May 2019
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