Conn College vs Lawrence University


The Decision Day’s coming, and now I’m still confused to choose one. I got into Con Coll, Grinnell, and Lawrence University (Wisconsin), but I’m no longer interested in Grinnell. Both Con Coll and Lawrence have limestone buildings, a nearby river, strong vibe with me. I’m considering about city the setting, academic prestige, and social sense. Could anyone have advices for me to opt for? I do feel grateful for your opinions.

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I would love to hear what you chose - and what it’s like there, and if you’re happy! Those were three great choices to have.

I choose Lawrence and now I’m happy to be a Lawrentian.


Thank you for letting me know! My son has just dropped Conn from his list and Lawrence is his number one choice. Could he email or text you to talk about the college? We have visited twice and he LOVES it but he wants to talk to someone who goes there. (He’s better at texting.) He would love to chat with a real live Lawrentian! Thank you!

My son was accepted to Lawrence Early Action and while he’s still waiting on some regular decision schools, including Conn College, it seems he is really leaning toward LU. The communication from the school has been amazing. We haven’t visited yet, but hoping to do so this Spring. What did you think of the campus on your visit? What did he love about the visit? And how was Appleton? Where is your son coming from? Thank you!

Hi Summer1974,

My son is a senior and was also accepted Early Action, and I agree that Lawrence has been exceptional with timely and relevant communication. We have visited a lot of colleges and seen Lawrence twice - once for a tour mid-pandemic, and once for an open house kind of event when more students were on campus. What my son has talked about after both visits is the students. They are just a tad quirky, in a fun way, and clean-cut like him. Most importantly: they are happy. They hang out in groups, whereas so many campuses seem to have either cliques or loners. At Lawrence, they eat and laugh together but the community seems very inclusive. Our tour guides, both female, were very different in personality, but each seemed to know - and like - every person she saw during the tour. That wasn’t the case everywhere we visited! So I guess it’s the vibe that makes it so worthwhile to visit. You just can’t get that from a website! As for the city, we haven’t seen a lot of Appleton but the small downtown is walkable from campus. I think there is a ton to do on campus because of the conservatory. (I follow them on Instagram and the list they posted yesterday really gave us an idea of how much there is to do!) The river setting is gorgeous - windy and cold (on the river) but beautiful! And we are coming from Maryland where it’s usually fairly mild weather. Hope that helps…!

Is your son still interested in LU? My son is quite interested and we will be attending their accepted students day this upcoming weekend. I’ve been impressed with everything about this school so far, except for how far away from home it is! (We are from Virginia)

Yes, he’s very interested! We’re signed up for LUX Days in April. My son did a student panel via Zoom earlier this week and absolutely loved all the students. It seems to be a great fit! And we’re from Maryland so I feel your pain. My thought is: at least it’s not California!

We have visited twice (once driving and once by plane) and it’s not bad really. We just plan ahead and honestly I prefer driving there, even though there are so many airports nearby. I will be curious to hear about airport shuttles. Can you please let me know if you hear anything about how to get from campus to the airports? The other good news: they are on trimesters so they come home at Thanksgiving and stay home until January!

It is COLD but apparently (according to my son and the student panel) they really make the most of the weather with festivals and games (broomball?) and a day when they all pretend it’s summer during the dead of winter. We’re still waiting to hear from a few schools but nothing else has been such a good fit for my son. I hope you enjoy the weekend - ai would love to hear your thoughts when you get back!

We are flying out of Regan to Appleton via Chicago. I guess we’ll just take Uber to the hotel. If it wasn’t winter, I’d probably just drive, but it’s a LONG way! My son says he loves winter (he thinks) so it will be interesting to see how much he really likes it on a very cold February day.
We visited last summer, but the campus was very quiet and there was a lot of construction and the student center was closed…so I knew we needed to go back during the school year if he wanted to consider it. He has other choices as well that he will visit this spring but this one was small, personal and seems a good fit. If you send me your email, I will definitely get in touch when we return!

I made the mistake of putting my personal email on a public forum before - won’t do it again! - but would love it if you could post here when you get back. My son says they really have fun there in the winter - which he learned while sitting in a warm room listening to students on the computer - LOL! I’d love to hear how it goes.

Follow up to the 2022 February Admitted Students Day at Lawrence for my son:
He attended the physics workshop prior to LUX which he really enjoyed. The professors were extremely warm and attentive and he really got a feel for the academic environment at LU and how valuable being able to make connections with faculty would be for him at a small (versus large) institution. He also felt the students helping the workshop were super friendly and engaging. All in all, I felt the other admitted students and attending students seemed authentic and genuine and reflected his personality type.
The bad news for us, was my son was accepted into the dual degree with the LU conservatory and he found out shortly after returning home, that that Professor for his instrument would be leaving. This was kind of a blow for both of us because my son had very carefully chosen his colleges by taking trial lessons beforehand, in this case, multiple.
So he is kind of in a holding pattern now and unsure what to do. We are a bit back to square one in the process and relooking at schools on his list.
The music Professor did contact my son and attempt to recruit him to the university he was going to and it was an extremely tempting offer, but a curve ball at this point in the game. My son reluctantly decided to decline. He realized that it wasn’t just the professor, it was the professor AND Lawrence that together made LU an appealing place to go to school.
Anyway, LUX was great! The admissions staff were extremely helpful. The town is cute and I really like how it is right there amidst campus. Wisconsin was pretty cold in February but we were expecting that! I hope you and your son have a great visit in April!

This is such a great report - thank you so much for sharing. I am so sorry to hear that the professor you liked is leaving. My guess is that they will have that position filled and he could meet the new professor before year’s end (particularly if you email the admissions office and mention your concern). However… my older son (voice) had the same thing happen to him in high school: world’s best high school music teacher left after my son auditioned with him for chamber choir. The new teacher was nowhere near as good, left in two years, and the one after that was also bad. So I do feel your pain! (My son ended up taking voice lessons with a teacher from another high school; somehow that scenario just doesn’t work with college.) I sincerely hope he gets exactly what he wants! (My son ended up at Belmont which is a much larger music school.) Thank you again for letting me know how it went; I truly appreciate it.

The admissions office did promise to let him know when they find a new professor, so we aren’t ruling anything out yet, but I hope it will be before the May 1 date. It could go either way…great fit or not. My son is pretty particular about who he wants to work with. He has had many teachers and is flexible enough to work with anyone, but there are a few teachers who have really inspired him and work well with his playing style and that’s what he wants.
But Lawrence seems a great school! Their admissions department is really top notch, far better than any of the seven schools my son applied to. At one school, (a LAC somewhat similar to LU with a good music professor) he had such a bad admission experience that he was afraid to ask any questions of any admissions office since since they were so dismissive of him. They made no attempt to engage him further at all and contact was minimal and impersonal. He figured they could care less about him snd so he forgot about them. Ironically, they accepted him with the largest scholarship of all the schools. But it’s hard not to see the school through the lens of the admissions experience, rightly or wrongly.

Very true! My son had a similar experience - got his highest offer from a school that held no appeal, thanks to a bad admissions experience. Just shows how important that admissions office is! If he does hear back about the new prof, and decides to go to Lawrence, please let me know - maybe our boys can meet. We haven’t committed yet (still waiting to hear from four more schools) but all signs are pointing to Lawrence right now.

I definitely will let you knows Let’s stay in touch then. That would be amazing!

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Absolutely - and I would love to hear where he goes regardless! The search is stressful sometimes but so fun.

For us, it’s been kind of like a rollercoaster and nothing has been like it seems! Fortunately, my son is very pragmatic about the whole thing and has kept an open mind through it all. He was a bit clueless about where he wanted to go so it was easy to help him find a list of schools where I thought he could best thrive and grow. I was able to steer him away from the highly rejective schools that cause so much rankings/prestige hysteria. (Personally, I think they have an authenticity problem with a bunch of over packaged applicants) I told him to find a bunch of first choice schools where he could be happy at any of them. it will be interesting to see how it plays out!

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My son is also looking at Lawrence. We are still waiting on an admission decision. We were also very impressed with admissions interactions, the flexibility of the music program, and I love the trimester system.

@Harvey304 Would you be willing to message me with which studio the professor that’s leaving is in? It would be helpful to know if it’s the same one we are looking at.

That is an excellent strategy! And I 100% agree about the highly rejective schools (great term). It seems to me that schools with low acceptance rates get “ranked” (fairly randomly) and many people are so swayed by rankings. Lawrence - and many others that my son likes - are excellent colleges! We’re looking for a good fit, rather than a name brand. And my son sounds a lot like yours - very pragmatic and open-minded (whereas I am a ball of emotion). Looking forward to final decisions!

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Admissions will let you know if it is I’m sure! Which instrument does your son play?