Bard Vs. Wesleyan

<p>My daughter was planning on applying ED to Wes, but after a time spent at Bard and a second trip to Wes, she’s decided Bard is her top choice. She’s certainly got the grades/scores for Bard and Wes was a mild reach (her math could be better.) She felt the kids were more genuinely intellectual at Bard, less conventional, less safe, and that the writing classes she sat in on at Bard were more interesting than Wesleyans. I’d love some feedback from folks. A number of people have told us stories about people switchign from Bard to Wes, but not vise-versa. Thoughts on both places would be appreciated. My daughter is a real intellectual, hates sports/frat culture…which is why Wes was on the list as her top choice initially. But then Bard won her heart.</p>

<p>I can tell you a little about what we like about Bard. For one thing, the performing arts center is fabulous; they have very important performers come. My daughter just saw the American Ballet Theater - for $5!. A big plus at Bard is the Learning and Thinking course for freshmen the month before classes start. It eases them into Bard, and some how they make it so intriguing that the kids get very excited about beginning college. There is a similar course called Citizen Science between Christmas and the beginning of spring term that focuses on the sciences. I'm interested to see how my daughter takes to that.</p>

<p>My daughter called yesterday to tell me 'this is what college is all about." What she was describing was a long car ride back from a weekend event with three other students during which they discussed "intellectual frameworks," several specific political philosophers, etc etc ... I have no doubt (and certainly hope) they spend time being silly, but I can honestly say that intellect and intellectual discourse seem to be the common ground among the students and her freshman year experience. That was what she was looking for, too, and she seems to have found it. I am sure Wesleyan is a fine school (we actually were mildly turned off, too, but that might have changed had my kids pursued it) but my daughter has been won over by Bard and even visiting for Parents Weekend I can see why.</p>

<p>p.s. I'd recommend studying the Language and Thinking, Citizen Science, moderation and other very thought-out components of the Bard approach, as well as its commitment to extending into the community and the world. On the other hand, while Bard has a lot of special components, it still maintains all the 'normal' elements of college life (at a LAC.) I sometimes hear people talk about Bard being very different but in many good ways it is not.</p>

<p>This is all very helpful. We have been impressed with Botstein's commitment to education. My daughter, a nature lover, also fell in love with the beauty of the campus.</p>

<p>Bard is a wonderful place for students to delve (deeply) into their academic passions, with a faculty to back them up and wholeheartedly support those passions.</p>

<p>Because of Bard, my daughter has discovered the wonderful world of art history and has declared this to be her major, and through that she now has a wonderful faculty adviser who is also co-chair of the department. (She also loves that she has the freedom to study other subjects at Bard.)</p>

<p>She is thrilled with her classes and teachers and she is only a sophomore. As a parent, I can't wait to see what will unfold for her in the next couple of years.</p>

<p>I would suggest posting this topic on the Wesleyan forum as well if you are interested in both sides. I would say, though, that Bard probably is a little less conventional than Wesleyan, and has less sports/frats than Wesleyan in general (though that scene is easily avoidable at Wes if you so choose).</p>

<p>Thanks. I did post this on the Wesleyan site. I'm just learning how to use CC.</p>