Grinnell Vs Bard

<p>Any thoughts? We've only visited Bard and my daughter will visit Grinnell next week.</p>

<p>You can use the search feature and type in Grinnell. There have been many threads on Grinnell and the campus feel etc...</p>

<p>Our S will be going to Grinnell in the fall and we fell in love with the school. Great school, incredible academics, one of the best endowments in the country, top notch campus, very accepting attitude and not pretentious at all. Lots of very intellectual kids, yet very supportive of one another. Ranked in top 15 LAC's in country.</p>

<p>What is your daughter looking for and what type of school? Does location matter? Major? Can't say enough great things about Grinnell.</p>

<p>a little more on Grinnell:</p>


<p>Is Bard a better financial deal for your daughter? Is there some geographical preference for her to be at Bard? They are both good colleges with interesting students. I think almost anyone would rate Grinnell's academics higher. Bard has a more spectacular performing arts center. Grinnell is more isolated and not always easy to get to in winter, at least from VT, but it has been worth that little difficulty and more for our son. I think your daughter needs to visit and make her own assessment. We trusted our son to decide for himself.</p>

<p>Bethie, in what way are you saying that Grinnell's academics would rate higher? These are two schools my S is choosing between as well. I know Grinnell is higher on USNWR, but from everything I've read and heard about Bard, the academics there are quite rigorous!</p>

<p>The academics at Bard are quite rigorous. I don't think any individual class at Bard would be easier or less demanding. However, overall, Grinnell does have a better academic reputation.</p>

<p>What does that mean if there is equal rigor in classes? It probably means that each department at Grinnell is strong, whereas Bard probably has some departments that are stronger than others.</p>

<p>All kids at Bard write a thesis. It is a demanding program. One thing to be aware of is that kids must apply to their majors at Bard and can be rejected. I don't think that's the case at Grinnell which operates closer to the true liberal arts model.</p>

<p>All that said, neither of my kids would consider going off the east coast. Both applied to Bard; neither to Grinnell though I wished they would have. The more I come to learn of it, the more I like about it.</p>

<p>Still, Bard does have a lot to recommend it, though a large endowment per student like Grinnell's is not one of those things.</p>

<p>DD's best friend just graduated from Bard with a wonderful experience. Ditto a young cousin of mine about to graduate. One majored in physics; one in theater.</p>

<p>Neither of my kids ended up attending, but only because their #1's came though (Barnard and Williams if you want a frame of reference.)</p>


<p>I think mythmom gives a more informed answer on Bard's academics than I could give. We visited it for one day and read about it in guide books. I was going on things like PhD productivity and whatever the guidebooks said. This was 3 years ago, so the memories aren't perfect.</p>

<p>My cousin taught at Bard and was not impressed with the caliber of the average student. My daughter had a choice between the 2 and chose Grinnell (of course it is closer to home) and has loved it. If being on the East coast makes things easier than that is important but otherwise the facilities, teaching quality and opportunities at Grinnell are really exceptional. I believe Bard has a music conservatory so that is a different issue...</p>

<p>wow, merpoule, this is pretty contrary to what people have been posting on the Bard forum. Check out a thread I started there called "I Don't Get it."</p>

<p>I teach in a college. There are always those teachers who run down the students. I hate to hear that.</p>

<p>The two students I know who went to Bard were brilliant, talented kids.</p>

<p>Of course, that's not saying all the students are.</p>

<p>I think in general Grinnell is the more highly regarded institution and the students probably have slightly higher stats, but I think Bard has quite an accomplished student body.</p>

<p>Perhaps it also depends on when the cousin taught at Bard. If it was a while ago, then I do think that the stats have gone up for Bard more recently, and Botstein did allude to the overall higher quality of the student body now than in the past. However, I do know that whenever I mention Bard to someone who knows a past graduate, they also say "Oh the most interesting people are the ones who come from Bard!" Also, a parent who is an Ivy League professor and has a kid at Bard gushes about Bard over on that thread I mentioned above. </p>

<p>Note: this is not a comparison against Grinnell, but just a reflection on what I've heard about Bard. We love Grinnell, too! (at least on paper: haven't visited yet)</p>

<p>I'm reading a fascinating book, "How We Decide" about the neurobiology of decision-making and the author says (based on lots of brain research) that life's biggest decisions are best handled by the emotional parts of the brain rather than by the pre-frontal cortex that handles facts and logic. I'm ptretty sure that's how my son chose Grinnell over Carleton, Pomona, Vassar, etc. They were all great schools that we could afford to send him to. Grinnell was the one he loved the most. So, OP, if you can afford them both, I suggest you encourage your D to go with the school she's more emotionally attracted to. I was telling a friend the other day that the "best" school (given ok finances) on her son's list was the one he most wanted to attend, not the one ranked highest by UNSWR, not the one people on a CC thread tell her is best, etc. Students are happiest and perform best where they feel comfortable and like they are with "their people". Facts and logic don't have much to do with it. JMO.</p>

<p>that's interesting, because everything I read about Grinnell, makes me feel that this is the place where my S would be most among "his people." Even though he hasn't spent NEARLY the amount of time I have looking into -- okay obssessing over -- these different schools, I think he feels this connection to Grinnell. That mascot question was his favorite among all the application questions! It's just the travel thing that's an issue, because my S HATES flying!! </p>

<p>I am convinced, though, that he will find his place wherever he ends up, maybe more as a niche player at some, but that's okay, too.</p>

<p>Bethie -- I agree with you. And you know I think Grinnell is fabulous. I don't mean for Grinnell to suffer in any comparison with Bard, or any school for that matter.</p>

<p>And I echo your insight -- the student should attends the schools that is most inspiring to that student.</p>

<p>That said, I want to go back and attend quite a few of them!!!! Or create the uber school, like put Vassar's library at all the other schools, LOL.</p>

<p>I meant, of course,USNWR.</p>

<p>The same author cites studies that found that if you try to pick some decisions apart too much, to give logical reasons, you often end up making a worse decision. Like, your "gut" was telling you the right thing, but it can't really be put into words or logic. </p>

<p>I sort of think of it as a short term marriage. If the student is excited by the school and also comfortable there, the outcome is likely to be good.</p>

<p>yes, there is a lot to be said about what the gut feeling of the student is during his/her visits to the schools..</p>

<p>a lot...</p>

<p>My daughter got into both Grinnell and Emory Oxford, she also got into Bard, George Washington U, Brandeis and bard. She is interesting in pre-med. She dislike the location for either Grinnell and Emory Oxford, but these two are great profile schools. She like GW location being in DC or Brandeis in Boston or Bard in NY, but it seems they are not as good as Grinnell or Emory Oxford on pre-med. Can you help her to make decision?</p>