Decision Time Looms ...or Help Me Choose My LAC

<p>I am going to add my question to the already swollen list of posts seeking help in making a final college decisions. One thing to note is that I enjoy sociology a great deal but I don't know if I would want to major in it or not.</p>

<p>The Choices:
Carleton College
Lawrence University</p>

<p>The Cost:<a href="after%20FA%20and%20what%20my%20parents%20can%20chip%20in">/u</a>
Carleton College: $18,300
Lawrence University: $4,300</p>

<p>The Pros and Cons</p>

<p>**Carleton College<a href="approx.%201900%20students">/b</a>
--Closer to home
--Likelihood of having a car
--Lots in common with students
--No frats/srats</p>

--Classes I sat in on were less engaging (I doubt that this is the case across the board, but it was my experience)
--Academic rigor (I definitely don't want an easy college, but I don't know if I can handle Carleton hard)
--Less "downtime" not devoted to something specific</p>

<p>**Lawrence University<a href="approx.%201400%20students">/b</a></p>

--Rigorous but more manageable academics
--Class I sat in on was amazing
--Interesting freshman studies program
--More down-to-earth students</p>

--Huge musical presence because of the con (I like listening to the radio and everything, but music isn't my big thing)
--Less prestige
--Farther from home
--Freshmen can't have cars
--No Sociology</p>

<p>If anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate their sharing of it. I can't believe I only have 4 days to decide!</p>

<li><p>So where did you feel more comfortable? </p></li>
<li><p>From what I can tell, Carleton will put you an additional $56k in debt. IF you can get a loan for the total $73.2k at 8.5% (I have no idea where you could get it, but just presuming), and could start paying after graduation, it will cost you $907.58 a month, every month for the next 10 years. (More likely, interest will start to accrue as soon as you take out the loan, so it will be more like $1,150 a month for 10 years.) Do you know precisely what is it is you are purchasing for the extra $56k? Could you actually write it down on a piece of paper? (It could be less with work-study and/or summer work, but will still amount to a hefty chunk of change.)</p></li>

<p>And once you have done that, and assumed you could come up with the extra $56k, what alternative educational uses might you have for the money? In other words, it wouldn't be Carleton v. Lawrence, but Carleton v. Lawrence + x.</p>

<p>If the weight still comes down on the side of Carleton, then it's worth considering.</p>

<p>It seems to me you are choosing between two colleges that you like almost equally well, and one costs more than 4 times as much as the other. Under these circumstances, I think you should choose Lawrence. </p>

<p>It would be much different if you were faced with the more common dilemma of expensive dream school vs. a school whose only saving grace was the cost. I'm not sayng that in all cases that a student should choose the less expensive school.... but the particular pro/con factors you listed simply don't justify the cost differential in your case. You like Lawrence; you liked the class you attended there and you liked the kids you met. Obviously you will be happy there. It appears that you like Carleton about the same. Maybe you even like Carleton a little more... but it's pretty clear that it isn't a $14K differential. </p>

<p>As far as the car thing is concerned - $14K pays for a lot of cab rides. Save your money; you can buy yourself a better car in year #2.</p>

<p>When we visited Carleton this summer they made it very clear that very few students get permission to have cars. If you had a family illness or some other compelling reason you needed to travel home frequently, you might get permission, but otherwise cars are not allowed.</p>

<p>I decided to attend an LAC myself (DePauw University) despite being iffy about the small size... my deciding factor was the student body and the professor involvement with the students (i.e. flexible office hours, outside of class study sessions, etc.)</p>

<p>But with Carleton, even people in California may have heard of it and have a favorable impression...</p>

<p>I went to Carleton and graduated a few years ago. I can't speak to Lawrence but I can say that Carleton completely shaped how I viewed the world, taught me to think critically, etc. It's an amazing institution. And while there are some so-so classes (inevitable) upon leaving Carleton and starting grad school I'm floored at how many AMAZING professors we had -- engaging, dedicated, great at getting us to think.</p>

<p>What class did you sit in on?</p>

<p>Carleton and Lawrence professors will be chosen out of exactly the same pool. Only if you saw substantial differences in how you might feel among the students (which I doubt) would I take that into consideration.</p>

<p>Any other opinions?</p>

<p>Our D visited both Carleton/St Olaf and Lawrence and was accepted at St Olaf and Lawrence, and rejected at Carleton. She chose St Olaf over Lawrence but it was a tough decision.</p>

<p>Carleton does have a more known national reputation, but Lawrence is known as well. Lawrence is famed in aacademic circles for the high quality of their Faculty and Presidents. Harvard required Nathan Pusey to be its President direct from Dr Pusey turn as Lawrence's President.</p>

<p>Lawrence is a very good college and while Carleton is as good a college academically, is the small aura of the slightly more recognizible name going to be worth the $76,000 to 90,000 cost over 4 years. </p>

<p>If you are as good a student as your acceptances say you must be, then graduate/lawmedical/wahtever will be so much easier if you don's have that 76/90,000 of debt around your neck and over your shoulders. </p>

<p>Recognize the fact that Lawrence wants you so much that they are putting their $$$ to back up their liking of you.</p>

<p>Appleton is a neat town, very safe setting, the music college is kinda separate yet the students are comingled and it seems to work well.</p>

<p>My two cents is enjoy Lawrence.</p>

<p>PS: The reason my D is not going to Lawrence is actually a demonstration of the excellence of the school. My D wants to study the Japanese language, in her visit in February, the Admission's office informed her that the Tenured Japanese Professor (the only one) , has just informed them that she would not be returning in the Fall.</p>

<p>Later, the VP of Admissions called our home and explained that situation and apologized - he said they would fill that tenured position ASAP, but that they might have to hire someone for a next year to fill the gap as finding a tenured level Professor of Japanese would take some time. Since they was my D intended major, that caused her to look elsewhere. She really liked the college otherwise and so did my W and I.</p>

<p>As I listen between the lines, it sounds to me that Lawrence feels to you like a better fit all-round. Given that it is also less expensive and a great fit, I'd say let someone dying to go to Carleton have a chance and go for the one that sounds both more comfortable and more exciting and will leave you less in debt for the future direction that will emerge.</p>

<p>I would like to thank everyone for their kindness and the wealth of advice you provided. I have made my decision. I will be a part of Lawrence University's Class of 2010! Checking the little "NO" box on the Carleton reply form was quite possibly the hardest think I have ever had to do, but I am (fairly) confident that I made the right choice. When I really thought about it, I found that I was clinging to Carleton mainly because of its prestige. I really did love the school, but it wasn't worth the enormous debt it brought with it. Even if both colleges had cost the same amount, I don't know which one I would have chosen. Thank you all for helping me discover what I believe was in my heart all along.</p>

Lawrence Class of 2010</p>

<p>Congratulations Angela! :)</p>

<p>I know that you will do well. :)</p>

<p>Congrats, Angela - and best wishes for a grand college adventure.</p>

<p>P.S. - many would consider the greater distance from home a plus, LOL.</p>

<p>Congrats Angela! D's good friend is a dual degree student at Lawrence U in the conservatory and the college and LOVES it there! Actually turned down a "higher ranked" dual degree conservatory LAC for Lawrence because she thought they were too "exclusive".</p>

<p>Congratulations, Angela - Lawrence will give you a great education@</p>

<p>Angela, congrats. You don't need a car. Take a bike! :)</p>

<p>I'm going to Lawrence to (unless I get off the 600 person waitlist at Bard which I am 99% sure isn't happening)! </p>

<p>Anyway. I heard that you don't have to bring a bike because you can get them locally for really cheap</p>

<p>Tsssil, my son did buy one recently at a shop near campus. I don't know how much he paid ?!?</p>

<p>Hm. </p>

<p>How do these kids ride around in the snow?</p>