Friendly Atmospheres?

<p>thisistheIBlife: </p>

<p>I'd have to second thestrokes comments. Carleton students are among the friendliest, happiest, least judgmental, most inclusive bunch you'll find anywhere. And the admissions people and school administration are generally given very high marks by incoming students and those already on campus. The reality of the college is that it IS selective. Hopefully admissions people at any similar school you visit will be just as honest in this regard. </p>

<p>Carleton, like any college, is not for everyone. But more than most, it makes no effort to hide this fact (a glance at the school's "different" website make this pretty abundantly clear). 144 years after its founding, not only is it not a "wannabe" anything, it is a fiercely independent minded place that prides itself, more than anything else, on offering the opportunity to choose a less traveled path.</p>

<p>If you really want to know if a particular college is one that fits, try to overnight. The vast majority of HS kids I've known to do so at Carleton have fallen in love with the school, mostly by virtue of falling in love with the character of the students they meet. But colleges are not, of course, one size fits all. </p>

<p>PS: Beware the motives of oversolicitous admissions officers and be careful not to pass judgment based on the warmth of their welcome. They are history once you start college. Instead, seek out a student body of kindred spirits that will surround you - seek out a campus that feels like place you'd like to call home for four years. Best of luck.</p>

<p>Coming a little late to this thread, but since my daughter and I visited St. Olaf, Carleton and Macalester, I'll chime in. Aside from the fact that the first two are in the same town, we noticed lots of differences. Both had friendly students. Both offer great academics, D liked the campus and things she would use there more to her liking at St. Olaf. She really didn't like Mac's campus at all.</p>

<p>St. Olaf and Carleton wound up being in her final 4 when all the acceptances came in, and until the night before deposits were due she narrowed it down to two, and St. Olaf was one of them. In the end she opted for another school where after three years she still says the people are all so nice, and that she hasn't met anyone who isn't nice. She attends Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.</p>

<p>Some other schools she was accepted to are Wellesley, NU, Scripps, Oxy, CMC and more.</p>

<p>One difference Carleton has over all these other schools is the trimester. It really is different, so look carefully at that.</p>

<p>There is another recent thread from someone (sorry, can't find it), that was looking for schools similar to Carlton and St. Olaf in the Northeast. The general consensus was that it was tough to find colleges similar to St. Olaf in this area. </p>

<p>We spent a day looking at St. Olaf and loved it. It was a unique place. Unfortunately, my D did not want to be that far from home and did not think she could handle the winters. The lack of a Greek scene was also a concern, if she decided that she wanted to join a sorority.</p>

<p>The colleges we looked at that had the friendliest atmosphere, closest to St. Olaf, was University of Dayton and Muhlenberg. They had a similar community feel and very friendly students. They are not, in my opinion, at the same academic level as St. Olaf. </p>

<p>The only other college that had an interesting quirky but friendly vibe was Kenyon. It may not be for everyone but may be worth checking in to. Good luck with your search!</p>

<p>In your experiences, have you encountered schools (even more competitive ones) out East that possess these same friendly atmospheres?</p>

<p>Just know this isn't all I'm looking at, and I know more competitive schools won't necessarily convey the same laid back attitude.</p>

<p>thisistheIBlife, if you're looking for east coast selective, but friendly, check out Bowdoin and Colby. My S loved both because for their the laid back atmospheres and inclusive friendly students.</p>