Looking for a rigorous SLAC in the northeast where the students are supportive/collaborative with one another, rather than competitive with another. Considering Hamilton, Middlebury, Vassar & Wesleyan (female student interested in politics/government, public policy, French, if that matters). Thoughts on those schools? Any other recommendations? thanks!
You might want to add Bates to your list, as it is known for its collaborative and friendly vibe (my daughter just started her first year there, but so far, the reputation seems to be well-founded). Middlebury has a reputation for being a bit cliquish, though I don’t know how much this bears out in fact, and it would be worth getting more insight from someone who has attended (or whose kid has attended).
Mine looked at all of those schools also, and really felt Vassar had a nice collaborative vibe. If there is an interest in politics and French as majors, would look at Bates and Bowdoin as well (strong in both - especially politics at Bates - and definitely collaborative). Middlebury had an over-enrollment issue this year, so would look into how that might affect things for next year.
All of these are fine choices. Add Conn College, Skidmore, and Brandeis (not really an LAC, but a nice and kind student body and rigorous academics).
Mt. Holyoke might fit the bill.
Political science, international relations and government studies are very strong at Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. (Obama’s chief speech writer, John Favreau is a graduate). There is a long established Washington, DC semester that is very sought after for any major, not just political science majors. Foreign language departments are rigorous and study abroad opportunities are very popular. Nicest students and a collaborative atmosphere is a hallmark of Holy Cross. (Jesuit founded, but as secular as any of the other colleges mentioned above if that’s your preference).
With respect to your daughter’s academic interests, these sites may be worth a view:
good to know - Conn Coll and Skidmore are also on the list, Conn Coll is a strong second choice (behind the first four, lol).
If you might like to read brief subjective comments on a few of the colleges mentioned in this topic, this post may be of interest: Struggling with D21’s List. ED & ED2: Amherst, Hamilton, Wellesley, Vassar - #7 by merc81 .
Wesleyan has a very strong arts community (film students, theater people, lots of musicians) and my feeling is the same spirit of cooperation/collaboration necessary to raise a show insinuate themselves in other parts of academic life.
You may want to look into Wesleyan’s College of Social Sciences, a rigorous interdisciplinary major that connects economics, history, and political theory and is built around close-knit major cohorts. Alumni have gone on to top jobs in government, economics, law, etc. It also incorporates a study-abroad element, with Wesleyan’s top-notch Paris program (coordinated with Vassar) an option. Seems like a great option for you!
Definitely Bates. It is known for being collaborative and friendly while being rigorous.
Are you aware of any “SLAC in the northeast” where the students compete rather than support & collaborate with each other ?
All of the four schools on your list are fine and should be viewed as being supportive & collaborative.
P.S. I find your username interesting in light of your question.
Based on the vibe you seem to like, you may want to look at Bard, Oberlin, Skidmore, Sarah Lawrence, Haverford and Bryn Mawr.
At many LACs, students take their academics seriously, but few have environments that are competitive and non-cooperative.
Maybe none! Can we think of any? (I can’t).
Perhaps those at which students report a dearth of race/class interaction?
Obviously that’s a less than ideal situation, but how might that translate to a competitive vs collaborative environment? Serious question, I don’t know…
This sounds fantastic, will definitely check it out!
hahaha, my username reflects me (competitive type A personality) but my question is for a student who would not thrive at my alma mater imho
Are you confortable sharing some basic stats (such as U/W GPA, class rank, ACT/SAT score). There are many LACs, specially in the Northeast - but some are highly selective, and may not be a fit for everyone (as far as application, or other criteria).
My daughter describes Barnard as supportive and collaborative, both between cohorts and from faculty, even if students individually take academics seriously.
However, that is not to be confused with “hand-holding” - not every “type” will be equally comfortable having to “make it” in the NYC environment.