Coe College vs Randolph College

<p>Hi all,</p>

<p>I am an international student and I just got accepted into Coe College and Randolph College (among some other schools, but my family cannot afford). I am going to major in mathematics in college, having been serious about the subject since high school. I hope that I can get into a very good graduate school for mathematics.</p>

<p>I have done some research on both schools, but it is hard to find information on the strength of the math undergraduate department for liberal arts colleges. Can someone give me advice on which school I should attend for a better quality of mathematics education?</p>

<p>Any help is appreciated. Thank you. :)</p>

<p>Randolph has a better overall academic rep. Hard to evaluate small LAC just for math.</p>

<p>Randolph has only two full-time faculty members in math. I would definitely go with Coe. It has a better reputation overall, as well.</p>

<p>Thank you for your replies.</p>

<p>@barrons: It’s true, since there’s no quantifiable output, unlike graduate math where there’s research activity, paper citations etc. I know that math isn’t the strength of both schools though. :(</p>

<p>@Hanna: but Coe also has only 4 full-time faculty members (excluding the CS professors), and it has more than double the student population. Although its true that with only 2 faculty members, there’s limited course offerings.</p>

<p>Hoping to see a few more replies. :)</p>

<p>RC has about twice the total endowment and 4 times the endowment per student. Very nice campus in nice area of Lynchburg which also has Lynchburg College, Sweet Briar and Liberty in the area. Nicer weather, hills and only an hour from UVa. Which is cheaper for you?</p>

<p>The thing is, I haven’t heard from Randolph regarding my FA yet. Coe is still a bit expensive for us, so if Randolph offers much better FA, I’ll definitely go there.</p>

<p>Randolph definitely has a lot of plus, such as greater endowment, more diverse student body, rigorous academics etc. The only thing that bothers me is that it does not offer a lot of advanced math courses. Coe has 2 courses on Abstract Algebra and 3 courses on Analysis with 1 course on Set theory and Topology while Randolph only offers Introduction to Analysis and a course on Abstract Algebra. I don’t know a lot of advanced mathematics but Randolph’s course offerings seem very lacking in comparison to Coe’s…</p>

<p>Wise to wait until $$$ comes clearer. I would not put too much stock in catalog listings. Some might not be given once a decade if ever.</p>

<p>You need to go to the place with the strongest Math program if you want to have a chance at getting into a decent Math graduate program. It looks like Coe is the better of these two. Unfortunately, that still doesn’t mean that Coe is a good choice for Math overall.</p>

<p>Must you come to the US for your undergrad degree? Do you have any decent options in your home country for Math? An LAC is probably not the best choice for Math. If you can wait a year and reapply you might have better options - especially since even Coe isn’t really affordable for you.</p>

<p>If you must come here, and it must be this year, I’d suggest that you re-post this question in the Parents Forum. Change the title to “Coe or Randolph for Math Major” and see what kind of advice you get.</p>

<p>You also might try tracking down b@r!um who is in a Math Ph.D. program now. She started out as a Math major at an LAC that had a well-developed academic exchange with a nearby large university. She has written about the challenges that she faced in getting the Math that she needed in order to apply to grad school. She often posts in the International Students Forum, and is one of the experts there on finding money for college here. You will need 15 posts before you can send her a PM, so go find some threads elsewhere that you feel like commenting on. Then use the search function to find a thread with one of her posts in it, click on the username and follow the instructions for sending a PM or email.</p>

<p>Wishing you all the best!</p>

<p>“but Coe also has only 4 full-time faculty members (excluding the CS professors), and it has more than double the student population.”</p>

<p>Ok, but what I’m concerned about is not the size of the math classes, it’s the absolute breadth of the program. In my opinion, getting your entire undergraduate education in your major field from two people is a big problem in a field as diverse as math. I mean, it would be a concern in any field, but an English professor whose specialty is Chaucer can probably do a fine job teaching a senior seminar on James Joyce if that’s what the program needs. I question whether that’s true in math. Do the topology people know the first thing about dynamical systems? Maybe someone else can tell us.</p>

<p>Thank you all for your advice. I will try to track down b@r!um and re-post this question on the Parents Forum. </p>

<p>Taking a gap year isn’t a great option for me, because I am already 2 years behind my peers due to studying abroad. I’m thinking of transfer if the college I enroll in is not a good fit for me academically (it’s too early to say that I know, but I’m just planning ahead). Is it a good idea to just go with the school with the better FA and place my bet on transfer if things don’t work out or is it too risky? I do think that if I reapply, it will be a lot better but starting college when most of my friends have 1 year left until graduation…ughh</p>

<p>The problem with betting on transferring is that if you are dependent on FA, most colleges are very stingy about awarding it to transfers. It might work out, but that is a risky bet.</p>

<p>I would completely forget about what your friends are doing. Why does it matter when they graduate? You have to do what works for you.</p>