Advice on college list for environmental science

My daughter is a junior and we’re starting to plan for college visits throughout this school year. She wants to major in environmental science or ecology at a small to mid-size school. Particular interest is ecological restoration and thinks she’ll want to go on for a PhD.

Wants to be in the mid-Atlantic or maybe as far north as Mass. or upstate NY but ruled out going as far as Maine, Vermont, etc. Not interested in sororities and would prefer a school where Greek life is not dominant.

1400 SAT
3.9 UW/4.1 W
Budget up to $40k, would need merit aid outside of VA state schools so not really planning on applying to reach schools.

Right now looking at:
W&M
University of Mary Washington (in state admissions and financial safety)
Juniata
Allegheny
SUNY ESF
St Mary’s College of Maryland
Washington College
Mount Holyoke
College of Wooster
Susquehanna

Anything else we should take a look at?

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I would take a look at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate NY. It was on D’s short list and they have some pretty cool facilities including a research boat, a biological field preserve, and the Finger Lakes Institute. They have good merit opportunities and their lakeside campus is gorgeous!

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Great list so far! Connecticut College, Ohio Wesleyan, and St. Lawrence U are also well worth a look for environmental science. Conn College does not have Greek life.

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I would investigate Washington College - not to hurt them but there are financial issues now - they are cutting back a lot, the staff has threatened to unionize. Just not sure it’s something to get caught up in. It may have cured itself - but I’d investigate to be safe.

It’s not mid-Atlantic or close but for anything water related, I’d add Eckerd in St. Pete which is on the water - and is strong in the area. U of Rochester for mid-size which has a not dominant greek life from what I understand. Guilford - a little South of you as a safety.

Vassar as a reach.

Good luck.

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UMass Amherst
The Sierra Club recently announced that the University of Massachusetts Amherst is among the top-20 environmentally friendly institutions of higher learning in North America.
UMass, [which ranked 18 out of 328 is among those that “have displayed a deep and thorough commitment to addressing climate change, protecting the natural world and encouraging environmental responsibility both through their campus operations and course curricula,” according to “Sierra Magazine.”

See article at:

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Good list, how far west is your daughter willing to go?

Even though she has ruled out Vermont, she should really give UVM a chance - it’s really not that much farther away than Syracuse (SUNY ESF).

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I noticed UCONN was on there too. Then there’s UMASS - the best food in the country.

These are larger but you can make a large school small but not a small school large…so they say :slight_smile:

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Thanks, all. Will definitely check out U of Rochester and encourage her to take another look at U of Vermont. The midsize that gives merit definitely seems to be the hardest to find. A friend’s son just started a UVM for environmental science. After spending time at VT with her brother she is a hard no on big schools.

Yeah, definitely unsure about Washington C. The main attraction is their Chesapeake Semester and 3:2 program with Duke’s master’s program for environmental science. The other regional schools that participate in the Duke program are Gettysburg (too Greek-life focused) or Franklin & Marshall, which doesn’t give merit aid.

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Warren Wilson College outside Asheville, NC might be worth a look if she’s interested in a small LAC. It’s a really great location for environmental studies. No Greek life. It’s one of the work colleges. Every student is on a work crew on campus. They have a working farm too. Super outdoorsy and hands-on.

Maybe Appalachian State? UNC-Asheville?

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It does sound amazing - the Washington College thing with Duke - I’d simply check to ensure they’ll have the full offerings.

Sounds great though - and the school seems fine. Just wanted to highlight what I had read related to their finances so you don’t get unexpectedly caught.

One can always apply and decide later.

Good luck.

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I think you have a really good list. We know several kids who had the means and the grades to go to higher ranked schools but chose Juniata. I’m sure you have done your research on the school. Wish I had some other names to throw in the hat but just from the students we have known who have gone there it seems Juniata is a special place.

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Thanks. We’re going to the Juniata open house in November and I really hope she likes it. From research so far I think it’s likely to come down to W&M for ED and if she doesn’t get in there Juniata if she ultimately prefers smaller/rural or SUNY ESF if she prefers a bigger environment (since ESF itself is small but co-located with Syracuse will feel bigger).

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Just also as a suggestion would be Dickinson when you go to visit Juniata. It is more competitive so not sure how the merit would work out. They are one of the greenest schools in the country in terms of the campus itself. Also I believe that their environmental science major is well regarded.

The campus can be a little off putting to some. It is really integrated into the town and there is a public road that runs through the middle of it. You get a really socially conscious vibe there and it is a true liberal arts education. The town of Carlisle though not big has a pretty interesting downtown and walk-able from campus. Good luck in any event your daughter has some great schools to choose from.

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