Comparing LAC Colleges - social & academic

<p>Comparing campus community </p>

<p>--------------------------------------------------------------------------(I posted this in the parent section and then realized it should probably be here...) </p>

<p>Living in AZ, we may not be able to travel to all of the LAC's on my daughter's list. We visited one LAC and my D's was appauled by the blatant consumption of alcohol during her overnight stay. On the other hand, she considers herself liberal and would like a tolerant, slightly-to-the left kind of school. She is a hardworking student who likes to have fun, but is not into the frat or party scene. She wants to be around other highly motivated students.</p>

<p>We visited Whitman and absolutely loved it; realistically, though, her stats are probably a little low for acceptance. GPA 3.8, a couple of AP's and several Honors classes, SAT about 1220, lots of wonderful experiences and Extra Curriculars. We are considering Early Decision, but not sure we can swing the tuition. [ We have eliminated all schools that require SATII -- she doesn't test well. Did not take ACT either.]</p>

<p>She is undecided about majors, though seems to be leaning towards the humanities/creative writing. Music is important, though she does not want to major. She wants to play in a quality orchestra/wind ensemble/jazz group. Above all, she wants to be around other motivated students.</p>

<p>We are also looking at Knox and Lawrence, Occidental and possibly University of Rochester. She does not want any religiously affiliated school.</p>

<p>Can anyone comment about these schools in terms of the social scene, alcohol, campus safety? </p>

<p>We plan to order the video tapes we read about in this forum...but would sure appreciate feedback from other parents who visited these schools. Thanks!</p>

<p>Knox and Lawrence would be excellent choices. You are going to find alcohol on every college campus, including the "dry" ones, but both of those schools would be below average in consumption. Both have safe, secure campuses, though Knox would likely seem a bit safer. Lawrence would get the nod for a music-oriented student. I believe that both schools have Early Action (EA) and very high EA acceptance percentages. This would give you more flexibility than ED.</p>

<p>I suggest you also take a look at St. Olaf. Again, strong academics, very safe environment and a good place for a music kid.</p>

<p>I'm going to U of R this weekend, so I can tell you about the social scene/alcohol on Monday.</p>

<p>Almost all the Rochester students on the hall I was staying on were self-proclaimed rejects. Only one student had U of R as her first choice. They were all still somewhat bitter about that. On the whole, they seemed to be pretty smart academically, but also very much into having a good time. Just about everyone I met was either pre-med or a biology major. I think the other one was architecture. Very science-oriented school it seems. Eastman, while on the one hand, is a first rate music school, it might hinder your D's opportunitites to play in ensembles if she is not on the same level of musicianship as Eastman students. Not all the students went out and partied, and not all of the ones who went out drank alcohol. There weren't a dominating amount of parties, and there were activities to do if that's not your thing.</p>

<p>Rochester is a great place for a humanities student, as well as other non-science majors. Also, the Take Five program is awesome. It's for people who felt that they did not get all they wanted from Rochester in four years, so are taking another year at the school without having to pay tution for it.</p>

<p>Rochester has a very good business school and nursing school also. And, they give great financial aid packages.</p>


<p>I confess, I went to Rochester. And what was true when I went there, is still true today. Rochester is a safety school for ivy league rejects. Which means, the quality of students is pretty high. As for music, don't worry about being up to Eastman standards. On the River Campus, there will be students like your daughter who are interested in music, don't want to major in it, but attracted to Rochester for that reason. As for social scene, hard for me to compare to my experience - which was at a time when drinking was legal at 18 and beer was a college staple. When we visited with my son a year ago, he was hosted by members of sports team. The coach and the players went out of their way to be friendly. Took my son along to classes, met him for meals, etc. We were there on a weeknight - either a Weds or Thurs. and it was definitely not a party night. S brought his math homework - and studied right along with the rest of the students. He was impressed with the intelligence of students. There are frats, but it's a small percentage of the student population. I'm certain there are parties with alcohol, but it's not a huge party school. Rochester has a high percentage of students from NY state - just something to think about. It feels like a small university more than an LAC - small enuf that students don't feel overwhelmed, large enuf that there's variety in class offerings and some very good research opportunities. It tends to be very strong in the sciences. Not sure about creative writing. When I was there, Rochester really did strive to have excellent faculty - and many used Rochester as a stepping stone to the top, top universities. I went on to a top public university for grad school - and, on the whole, my profs were better and my fellow students were brighter at Rochester. As for safety, the campus is isolated from the city - bounded by the River on one side and a cemetary on the other. As far as I know, it's safe. </p>

<p>When I hear LAC, music, left-leaning and creative writing...I have to think Oberlin. It would be a reach, but it's such a fine school. Expensive and not the most generous with merit aid.</p>

<p>I very much appreciate all these points of view. It gives me a much better "feel" of the UR the campus, even though many viewpoints were expressed. </p>

<p>Blaineko - Were you a Humanities student at UR or know someone who was? As I'm reading all of these comments (and the Fiske book) it seems like it has more emphasis on science/research. </p>

<p>We did consider Oberlin, Topcat, but thought it might be a bit of a reach. We'll take another look.</p>

<p>Your d sounds like she should look at some of the girls schools--they are more flexible, generally, than co-ed schools and are pretty sober.<br>
Mt Holyoke, maybe Smith or Bryn Mawr, Scripps come to mind.
She might also look at St Johns (not religious) in Md or Goucher.</p>

<p>Mommamia -- I thought many girls' programs were top-notch, but my daughter won't consider any of them. She wants to attend a college with a fairly good co-ed balance. [Sidebar: She attended a Girls State program last summer and had the time of her life -- made lasting friendships; I thought a girls' college would offer a similar experience. But she definitely wants a co-ed experience for college.]</p>

<p>I don't know if this will swing her:</p>

<p>Mt Holyoke and Smith are a part of the 5 college consortium, so you can take classes at Hampshire, Amherst, and UMass if you attend either. And since Hampshire students have to take one course at each of the four colleges in their first year, there are guys in the class.</p>

<p>Sort of the best of both worlds.</p>

<p>But if she wants a male prescence ON campus, it probably won't be the right choice for her.</p>


<p>If Oberlin's a bit of a reach, then consider Skidmore, Furman, St. Lawrence, Sarah Lawrence, Muhlenberg, Goucher, Ithaca, Chapman, Mills, Pitzer, Whittier and Denison.</p>

<p>Try Bryn Mawr.</p>

<p>It has a very close relationship with Haverford, she can even live and major at Haverford, which is co-ed. Guys also use Bryn Mawr for its majors and live there too.</p>

<p>Just my 2 cents.</p>

<p>Blaineko, please explain. D would really like a great number of female profs but doesn't want an all girl social scene. Elaborate, if you can . That is VERY exciting. Have your cake and eat it too.</p>

<p>There is a shared Bryn Mawr/haverford dorm, as well as the opportunity for students to cross-major and live on each others' campuses. They share a lot of facilities, such as a swimming pool, and many students take classes at both places. Extremely close relationship. Bryn Mawr's slightly easier to get into than Haverford, but she could look at Haverford too.</p>

<p>Thanks for these suggestions. I'll read up on them. Pitzer (Claremont colleges) is similar to what you describe, Rabokarabekian -- All girls, but you can take classes at any of the other Claremont schools, or so I've been told. </p>

<p>Did anyone here visit Knox? If so, what were your impressions overall about student body, academic rigor, social climate?</p>

<p>Coyoteweb: Scripps is all girls at Claremont colleges; Pitzer is co-ed. The late NBC newsman David Bloom was a Pitzer grad, originally from Minnesota.</p>

<p>Coyoteweb - take a peak at Allegheny College - would be a match. Visited - very safe, very nice.</p>

<p>Oops - thanks for correcting me, collegeparent. I'll check out Allegheny, ohio-mom.thanks.</p>