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

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

  • BmacNJBmacNJ 79 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    Monmouth was beautiful. As a lifelong Northern NJ resident I had never seen the campus. We were pleasantly surprised. I put a full description under the CampusVibe section. I will cut and paste it here. Feel free to ask any specific questions:

    Monmouth University was a pleasant surprise. The location is amazing as it is a half mile from the beach and has housing options oceanfront. The campus is well manicured with a nice mix of old world charm and newer modern buildings and facilities. The on campus arena is brand new and houses D1 basketball games, concerts, student gym, indoor track. Many newer academic buildings with state of the art equipment/labs. There are numerous dining options thruout campus. It’s a Dunkin’ Donuts campus, lol. Asked numerous students about social scene as it’s a dry campus. Was assured by all “we are college kids”, plenty of bars, restaurants, clubs in area. Many upperclassman live off campus as there are hundreds of options in area, thus a robust social scene. 85% of first year students live on campus. Sophs live in apt style on campus units. The upper classmen live in school housing in beachfront apartments. Amazing location to say the least. Cars are allowed on campus from freshman year on. Seemed like an abundance of parking. 20+ sports teams all play on campus, 80+ clubs,10% of student body in Greek life. PNC arts center is 15 minutes away. NYC is 1 hour by car, 90 minutes by train ($32 r/t) 57% female to 43% male
    MU is $52,000 per year tuition,fees housing. Merit aid ranges from 8-25k, AP classes with scores of 3 or higher get accepted, seemed easy to transfer credits in from other schools/community colleges. Large selection of summer/winter classes available. Seemed easy to double major or major/minor as there’s a minimal core required. Study abroad available to 10+ countries, including shorter summer option. Internship fairs and job fairs on campus Fall/Spring. Career services very active. Bruce Springsteen archives are housed on campus, strong music program, strong nursing, business school was certified, Bloomberg terminals, real estate school.
    Acceptance rate is 70%, bulk of student body is from NJ, upstate NY, Long Island but 30 states represented.
    Bottom line, Monmouth University has a great location, beautiful campus, 4500 student body, D1 sports, 85% white student body. It deserves a good look from B students with 1000-1200 SATs, is a serious safety school that I’m sure wouldn’t be a disappointment.
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  • 4kids4us4kids4us 560 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 564 Member
    @natty1988 I live in the mid-Atlantic. One of D17’s classmates goes to Montana State. He’s a fun ”outside the box” kid and comes from a pretty outdoorsy family. He’s having a blast out there. I just found out last week that one of S19’s classmates is also headed there. I wouldn’t be surprised if more kids from our area start putting it on their list. That seems to happen with certain schools that are previously not a “thing” - one kid goes off somewhere, loves it, starts posting on social media, etc and next thing you know more and more kids are applying there from their h.s.

    I’ve found at my kids’ h.s., universities that aren’t highly ranked have become attractive for those students who arent tippy top students but who want to venture further afield. While I don’t foresee a huge amount of students from our area applying to Montana State in the future, I do think it will start getting a handful of apps from kids who know the boys from our h.s. and are looking for that type of college experience.
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  • sahmkcsahmkc 586 replies19 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 605 Member
    When considering hidden gems, I think it's good to think about the national reputation instead of the regional reputation. I know that Truman State is a fabulous bargain because I am from Missouri. If Truman had a better location, it would be impossible to get into it. If you are pursuing a degree in elementary/secondary education everyone in Missouri knows the Northwest Missouri State is a really affordable choice that has amazing placement outcomes. It's funny how a school in your region can have a great reputation but people who are from other areas don't know about it. I love this thread because it helps pinpoint schools that you might otherwise overlook. It's really funny to see the different reactions we get from my husband's Texas co-workers versus our Missouri friends when we tell them our daughter will be attending Trinity U in the fall. From the Texans we get "Oh wow, that's great school!" and from the Missourians blank stares.
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  • sensation723sensation723 554 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 555 Member
    I agree with Baruch especially for Accounting majors. For the price you can't beat it.
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  • milgymfammilgymfam 654 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 666 Member
    To echo @doschicos some very good schools are highly rated and not even well known in their own region. Haverford (where my daughter will attend) is an example of that. Sitting just outside of Philly and NO one that we know in the area, save a single alum and his wife, have any idea where/what it is. Even here on CC I don’t think it’s as well known as a number of other selective LACs. Luckily that doesn’t affect the quality. Ha!
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5017 replies64 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,081 Senior Member
    edited June 8
    Lol. I really don’t care that random people know anything about my school. Many schools get confused anyway. The Loyola’s. The Wesleyans. Trinity’s. UCs and CSUs in the east are more monolithic and all considered good. Etc. the list is endless. NEU and NU. Outside of cc in the real world are not really defined. Bc and Bu.

    Most wouldn’t be able to find them on a map with a gps.

    It’s not like a Rolex and Timex do more than tell time.

    Unless it matters to you. Which is ok too. To each their own.

    Sophisticated employers and academics know. Even employers who don’t know, don’t care as long as it is an accredited school and your qualifications, communications style and attitude are what they are looking for in a candidate.

    Hidden gems require no minimum prestige-o-meter levels to qualify.

    What someone is Missouri, or wherever, thinks about my school in PA ,or wherever, has a value approaching less than zero for me, personally.
    edited June 8
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  • CreeklandCreekland 5684 replies88 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,772 Senior Member
    I just found out last week that one of S19’s classmates is also headed there. I wouldn’t be surprised if more kids from our area start putting it on their list. That seems to happen with certain schools that are previously not a “thing” - one kid goes off somewhere, loves it, starts posting on social media, etc and next thing you know more and more kids are applying there from their h.s.

    @4kids4us This definitely happens. My youngest went to Eckerd - no one around us (including us) had heard of it before it was suggested to him. There's a young lass from his school going there this year and now it's a recommended place to consider if the fit seems right.

    The well-known academic schools also run into "huh?" issues too as @doschicos stated. Whenever I mention Rice, the most common response is a chuckle, followed by, "Oh, you're serious? That's a college?" That typical response around us turns many off from even considering it TBH.

    I fully agree that most folks "on the street" know a couple of Ivies, Stanford, MIT, and big name sports teams - learning more if a team becomes good for the year, but often with a "Where's that?" accompanying it. Around here they'll know Slippery Rock, Shippensburg, and Kutztown though. Very doubtful if most could place those PA schools on a map, and many would have the same chuckle first wondering if it's a joke.
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  • CreeklandCreekland 5684 replies88 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,772 Senior Member
    FWIW, I've also occasionally asked both adults and students if they can name all 8 Ivies. So far, no one has gotten them all correct at one sitting. It's really common to forget Columbia, Brown, and Dartmouth in our area. When I add them to the list I'm often asked, "Are you sure?" A few wonder if Cornell is one too, even though it's one of the more common Ivies for our students to attend (and U Penn).
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  • EyeVeeeEyeVeee 670 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 677 Member
    @milgymfam - Haverford benefits from some name confusion with "The Haverford School", being located on Lancaster Ave., and a town that is relatively large (~50k residents). The number of people who return blank stares about Swarthmore is several times more than Haverford.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5017 replies64 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,081 Senior Member
    And good quiz question is what school was offered a spot in the Ivy League and said no thanks.

    Rutgers.
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  • milgymfammilgymfam 654 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 666 Member
    edited June 8
    @EyeVeee I would venture that name recognition/confusion is a very limited Main Line thing. We are originally from philly and so we are talking tons of people who’ve no clue the school, the college, or the town is but a few miles away. Seriously, most people are in a bubble. My sister is in a higher ed non-profit so her blank stare surprised me the most.

    Back more precisely to the topic, I would add Mills in Oakland, CA to the list. It’s a woman’s college that is a good bit easier to get into that Bryn Mawr, Barnard, Brown, or even Agnes Scott. It’s got cross registration with Berkeley and they have low tuition, decent merit, and a beautiful campus. They are also incredibly inclusive with 50% of the student body identifying as LGBTQA. There are not as many schools for the average student who wants to go out of state to Cali, so I definitely think it’s a hidden gem.
    edited June 8
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  • sahmkcsahmkc 586 replies19 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 605 Member
    @privatebanker "What someone is Missouri, or wherever, thinks about my school in PA ,or wherever, has a value approaching less than zero for me, personally. "

    Isn't this the point of the thread - highlighting schools that are hidden gems? The point I was making was some people may see a college as not being a hidden gem because it's regionalyl well-known, but to those outside the region it would be a hidden gem. So Trinity U is not a hidden gem to those in Texas, but to those outside of Texas it would be a hidden gem. Obviously we don't care what people in Missouri think about Trinity because we are sending our daughter there. Our son goes to American U which almost no one from the Midwest knows about either. If I say he goes to school in DC people are like oh Georgetown or maybe they know GW. On the East Coast American is a popular college choice. One of our friends was talking about how a coach from Richmond U had contacted his son about coming to play there and he was like my son can do so much better. I almost died because they obviously knew nothing about how hard it is to get into Richmond or what a good reputation the school has out East.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5017 replies64 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,081 Senior Member
    edited June 8
    I was not speaking to your post directly.

    Agree with your perspective 100 percent.

    Just my thoughts on the subject you brought up.

    Thanks for the insight! Very interesting topic to me.
    edited June 8
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