Denison Vs. Providence College?


A lot of fairly significant differences – Providence is about 2000 more students, plus some grad students, has a college of business with assorted business majors, is Catholic, with a core curriculum requiring 2 Theology and 2 Philosophy classes, and is D1. Admitted students stats are lower than Denison. If your username reflects a question about possibility of a student playing lax at Denison, both teams, but especially Men’s, are highly competitive and have great team cultures.

Nice description. A small quibble with the description of the PC students as “lower”. The two student bodies are very similar by the numbers with a small edge to Denison. But PC is twice the size, so they’re accepting a wider range of applicants.

The biggest difference is that Denison is a traditional small liberal arts college while PC has a liberal arts core but also offers majors that are in job-ready areas. Half their students major in those career oriented disciplines (40% business, 10% teaching). That leaves the other half, or about the same number as Denison’s total enrollment, pursuing a liberal arts track. PC also has a 3-2 engineering option with Columbia and Wash U/St. Louis. PC also received funding about a decade or so ago to develop a service component to their program, which is today the Feinstein Institute for Public

Another difference is that Denison is in a small rural town, which appeals to some. PC is in a city of 100,000, the state capitol, and has easy access to Boston… The city location appeals to some others.

Both are fine schools and both turn out successful alums. I would send a son or daughter to either school without reservation.

Agree that the difference between traditional liberal arts college and a smaller university with a B school is significant. Providence is. a great city, and Amtrak access to Boston and New York is highly desirable. I’d quibble about the stats of admitted students, since Denison middle 50% is 28-31 ACT, I believe, and has below 30% acceptance rate.

Where I have to definitely disagree is the idea that Granville, Ohio is a small rural town. Granville is small, but is 25 minutes from the state capital and a major airport, and about 15 minutes from New Albany where a number of corporate headquarters are located. Granville itself is a well-educated and “well-heeled” community with excellent public schools which has become a very desirable “bedroom” community for Columbus. For students who want a traditional LAC, it can be the best of all possible worlds – a picture perfect village, low crime, but 25 minutes from museums, galleries, business and politics internships, and big sports if you fancy Big 10 football.

I’m not sure what you’re quibbling about. Last year PC had a middle 50% range on the ACT of 27-30. I don’t call that a significant difference - especially when you factor in the larger accepted class at PC.

Yes, Denison had a 29% acceptance rate last year while PC’s was 49%, but that is not a description of the student body. The ACT scores are.

My apologies in not doing the research on Providence’s test scores and just relying on my general sense. I usually do better than that, I’m sorry. I don’t have specific experience with Providence but do know Denison very well. With the heavy increase in applications to Denison over the past five years (to over 9000), the administration has been clear that it is not using that as an opportunity to “goose” its admitted student stats but remains committed to enrolling students who embody the campus culture of inclusion, civil discourse, engagement. And it uses merit aid to attract an economically diverse student body, so that unlike many schools, Denison has more of an economic “middle” on campus.

No complaints.

Denison is a terrific school. I happen to be very familiar with Providence and like both schools a lot.

Leaving location aside, the real difference between the two IMO is the intimacy of the small LAC (Denison), which I personally prefer, or the options for career oriented majors at Providence in either their Business School and School of Professional Studies (Education, Social Work, Health Management).

Stay well.

The comments about economic diversity piqued my curiosity, so I checked the NYT profiles:

Funnily enough, out of 71 “highly selective private” schools analyzed here, Providence and Denison are ranked 17 and 18, immediately adjacent. However, Denison has double the percentage of students from the bottom 20% income bracket that Providence has. (4.7% vs. 2.3%), so that’s a notable difference that disappears into the larger averages.

It’s true that Denison does not have a b-school, but it still has a more “practical” bent than many LAC’s, with programs like Data Analytics that can be blended with more abstract academic pursuits. They’re also strong in political science oriented majors and internship programs. But Providence would be the way to go for traditional business majors. Both strong choices, but different strengths.

I realize I can get a bit tiresome as a Denison supporter, but the socio-economic diversity of the student body is a real strength of the campus, in my mind. Many LACs are “pointy” – they recruit low income students and also have 1% families, but not much in between. Denison’s generous merit aid makes it an easier for “doughnut” hole and other families to attend, so that there is more of a “middle”
among the student body.