Davidson...or Duke?

<p>Nobody in the Duke forum answered me :(</p>

<p>I'm down to my last application, and I told my counselor I was going to apply to Davidson, but I'm rethinking that because a) it's way on the other side of the state and it would take me 4-5 hours to get there, probably; b) it's a little small; c) it just never really had that "special" something to me; d) I've heard about it being kind of like one of the "old boy" Southern colleges...definitely not what I want, even though I know it's a fantastic school. I am definitely not a cookie-cutter type person, though I'm not a freak or anything. I do like to be different and be myself, and I'm not going to conform to the masses...and I don't really want a school where there's some insane pressure to conform. Even though I know my list so far has a few of that type of school:</p>

<p>Wake Forest
William and Mary
U. of Richmond

<p>My GC did say that she thought Davidson was different enough from my other schools for me to consider it...can anybody really comment on that? Anyway, I've been thinking about replacing Davidson with Duke, a school I've been toying with applying on and off for quite awhile now. (I'd be applying to Trinity.) So...is it worth me paying $70 or whatever for the app fee plus whatever it'll cost to get my scores sent, or is it going to be a waste of my money? Be realistic. It won't hurt my feelings. I've just been debating this for several weeks now and now I need to make a decision on it. Sorry for the long thread, but thanks for your opinions in advance.</p>

<p>My stats:</p>

<p>White female at a small private school in eastern NC
I live an hour away in a more rural area, a small town of 10,000 (which I know is an area of NC pretty underrepresented at Duke) and have been making the daily 2-hour commute to school since kindergarten
We don't rank, but I should be in the top ten kids of a really competitive senior class of 33 students, lol.
GPA: 3.8941 out of 4.0 (we don't weight GPAs, either), it's going up this year
PSAT: 200 selection index junior year: 62 V, 66 M, 72 writing skills (or whatever that section is called). I got an 80 on the writing skills part in sophomore year.
SAT: 1410 composite - 710 V, 700 M (not entirely happy with it, but I guess it'll have to do - I've already taken it 3 times)
SAT II: 730 on Writing and US History and 660 on Math IC
ACT: 31 composite
APs: 4s on World History, US History, and Biology - by the time I graduate, I will have taken every AP except European History and Studio Art (which is new this year)</p>

<p>Senior Class Schedule:
AP English, 95 first nine weeks
AP Spanish Language, 92 first nine weeks
AP Calculus AB, 101 first nine weeks
Honors Physics, 90 first nine weeks
General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Intro Sociology (dual enrollment at the local community college), got a 96 in general psych for course

-Played flute in school band from 9th-11th grade and am playing bari sax this year
-Member of church handbell choir playing bass handbells
-Softball: I made All-Star team in 9th grade for the city recreation department and we went to the state tournament. I am also a 4-year starting and lettering catcher for the varsity team at school and won an award for spirit and made all-conference team last spring.
-I'm keeping stats for the Middle School boys basketball team this year (lol...I'm on pretty good terms with the coach and he needed somebody "responsible" to do it, as he said. I guess none of the middle schoolers fit the bill?)
-SGA rep 9th grade
-Inducted into National Honor Society 10th grade and am secretary this year
-Performing Arts Club which puts on a show in the spring: 10th-12th grade
-Spanish Club: 10th-12th grade
-Quiz Bowl: 9th-12th grade. I have been on the "starting" team for the public library quiz bowl competitions since sophomore year and am captain of the team this year.
-Junior Class Treasurer: this involved taking care of over $3000 worth of money that we raised for prom
-Writing Center Intern: 12th grade. Our English teacher handpicked 8 of the best writers from her 11th grade honors class to serve as interns this year. We volunteer during our study halls and help kids with papers, etc.
-Volunteering: unfortunately I don't have a lot of hours or anything because I babysit my little brother after school and all summer and couldn't drive until last summer. However, I did work about 50 hours this summer at the city parks and recreation office this summer doing clerical stuff and helping with field maintenance. I also voluntarily maintain my dad's work's website after I redesigned it a couple of years ago. I don't know if this counts because it was really part of the class, but last year, our Spanish class volunteered to go teach the kindergarten and first graders Spanish one day a week for 12 weeks.</p>

<p>Other stuff:
-Summer Ventures in Science and Math: kind of a big honor here in NC, almost as big as Governor's School. I spent 4 weeks on a college campus learning about...well...science and math, lol.
-Job: In addition to volunteering there, I also got paid to work for the parks and recreation department last summer, keeping score for baseball and softball games. I worked about 7 hours a week from June through August.
-Sailing Camp: again, I don't know if this counts, but I went to a sailing camp for years and hope to get a job there on sailing staff this coming summer after graduation. I got my lifeguard and CPR certification last summer in anticipation of applying.
-I had a science fair project about snails in 9th grade that won first place and the Naval Science Award in the biological division at the regional level and won 4th place in biology at states
-I've been on honor roll with an A average every grading period
-AP Scholar</p>

<p>You have a chance since you are from NC. I would not apply to Davidson, since UNC-CH and its arguably as good a school plus you are in state so it will be crazy cheap. Duke gives an edge to NC apps, so you have a shot. ITs worth it to have it as a major reach, you never know.</p>

<p>It really depends upon what kind of college experience you're looking for. Davidson students are known for being hard-working -- Davidson is also known for the amount of work it requires and its lack of grade inflation. It's much less sports-oriented than Duke, and is very different from Chapel Hill from a size standpoint. I'm from NC and have similar stats - I am not applying to Chapel Hill because it's too big for my liking, but Davidson is among the top on my list. Good luck with you choice!</p>

<p>Have you visited Duke or Davidson? I've always liked Duke, but I wasn't too impressed when I visited, although I'm still applying. I live in Charlotte, so Davidson is about fifteen minutes away. I was really impressed when I visited; the classes are small, and the students are very friendly. There wasn't much "pressure to conform." The town of Davidson is a great college town; Durham is NOT. It really depends on whether you want a large university with a multitude of resources or a small, focused liberals arts school. By the way, what college did you attend for SVSM? I went to WCU.</p>

<p>Hey -- Yeah you might as well apply to Duke. I mean you are from NC and you have a spectacular academic record. Plus, what could be the worst thing -- they say no and you're out 70 bucks or that Davidson realizes that they might have to pull a little harder for you with scholarships in order to sway you away from Duke? Might as well give it a shot -- although I would visit both campuses sometime this year and get a feel for the people there too. Good luck!</p>

<p>I'd go to Davidson before Duke -- it's not just a given that Duke is the better school. I would definitely recommend visiting them both if you haven't already; it's really the feel that you get on campus that will help you to decide.</p>

<p>Thanks, y'all. That helps some. I like things about Duke...but I spent a month in Durham this summer (I was at NC Central, warbler...it sucked, lol). What I saw of Durham, I didn't like too much...although Duke itself is excellent. Of course, that probably had something to do with feeling like I was in prison while I was there -- we had no freedom at all. I visited Duke last year, and liked it other than the fact that nobody was really talking to anyone else at all. However, I decided it was probably because it was 10 AM and they were changing classes. My friend is a freshman up there this year, and she loves it. She's quiet but pretty friendly, so I guess she would have told me if everyone was really stuck up or antisocial like that all the time.</p>

<p>I need to think it over a little more, but that does make me feel a little stronger about Davidson. And yeah, I do need to go visit...</p>

<p>I like Chapel Hill -- it really is a great education for the money and IMO, it is the quintessential college town -- but I am a little put off by the size, so I most likely won't go there unless they give me a scholarship. It's going to take me forever to decide where I'm going in April!</p>

<p>Figured I should post in here because I saw Davidson in the title, but I don't have any advice for ya.
I personally never visited Duke when I went down to North Carolina last April, but I loved Wake Forest and Chapel Hill. I agree with you, Chapel Hill is the greatest town I've ever been too, and I agree again, that the college is a little large.
The reason I loved Davidson was because of the small classes and the tight-knit community, much like Wake Forest (which was my top choice until a few months ago).
Your stats are much better than mine (your SAT is 90 points higher) and if I can get in and am out of state, you shouldn't have a problem.</p>

<p>Duke has a much better national reputation</p>

<p>seems like you're kind of a science person, and duke is one of the best for that. what is your potential major?
and yeah the reputation is better, but of course you shouldn't decide based solely on that.
sorry we didn't answer you in the Duke forum!</p>

<p>It's ok that y'all didn't answer me, lol.</p>

<p>My potential major is completely undecided. I think about something to do with English/writing some days and the next, I'm thinking about a career in medicine, either by becoming a doctor or a researcher or something. And then my dad tells me I'd probably be good at law because I can write well and see both sides of things...</p>

<p>I'm okay at science, and bio is my favorite of what I've taken in HS. I like computers, too, but if I did something with them, it would definitely have to be IT and not programming or anything. I'm probably not as great at math (that's where the Bs have come from, lol.)</p>

<p>Yeah, that's why I'm looking at LACs though -- hopefully I can explore around and make up my mind.</p>

<p>Duke and to a lesser extent Davidson will both be more diverse than the schools on your list, except UNC-CH. However, though Davidson is trying to change, it is definitely bogged down in old-fogey-ish Southern propriety and cronyism.</p>