I was accepted to both Grinnell and Holy Cross (and Whitman/NYU, waitlisted Wesleyan/Hamilton) as a transfer student as a major in International Relations (I’ll probably model my degree pathway after Oxford’s PPE), and find that the positives of each school are starkly different. I haven’t yet gotten an aid package yet from Holy Cross, but Grinnell gave me a substantial amount of aid that is ostensibly a full ride.
Financials aside, I am heavily leaning towards Grinnell for several reasons. Grinnell is higher ranked, has more diversity, and a larger international student population. The student body, from what I’ve heard, seems to be one that I would very easily fit in with. Grinnell’s endowment seems to bring a lot of interesting events on campus and provide ample funding to club activities, which seems to add up to an incredibly enjoyable environment – even considering the location. The open curriculum is one of the more enticing elements of Grinnell. The location does seem ideal in many ways, but it does have some downsides. I think I’d like to live in the North East after college, and Holy Cross would simply provide more career opportunities since it is more local.
Additionally, I’m worried when I compare Grinnel alumni average salaries with most liberal arts colleges. To put it bluntly, it’s poultry relative to most other similarly prestigious colleges. Holy Cross has 20k higher in average median earnings, and that’s a data point that is too hard to ignore. I’m aware that some of these median earnings need to take into account the specified career fields of students, but the gap is so high that it’s worrying. I don’t know if I want to go to grad school, which makes me more hesitant when considering these outcomes. If I definitely wanted to go to grad school, I would choose Grinnell without a second thought.
The biggest downsides to Holy Cross are the disparity in selectivity and being a D1 college. I’ve researched a bit into Holy Cross’ athletics and how it relates to the college, and it seems as though athletes are given priority in aid over incredibly accomplished scholars. There was a thread a few years back that pointed out how Holy Cross did not have a single National Merit Scholar. 1/4 of the school are D1 athletes, which also is a huge issue for me, and makes the previous points a bit more potent. Obviously Holy Cross is not easy to get into, but Grinnell simply has a higher aggregate in GPA/Test Scores. This isn’t to say I dislike Holy Cross – I wouldn’t have applied if that wasn’t the case. The academics seem to be very rigorous, the campus appealing, student body seems quite inclusive, etc. As I mentioned earlier the location is a general positive.
I suppose my main concern is Grinnell’s career services, as it seems to be much weaker than Holy Cross’. As a freshman at a public university without using career services, I’ve worked at a startup, interned with the Department of State through a virtual internship, and have engaged in political campaigns. I have some strong skills with Adobe Suite and am a fairly strong writer, and have reason to believe that I should be able to market myself well. This all said, are there positives about Holy Cross I’m missing? Are Grinnell career services as bad as I’m making them out to be? Thanks everyone!
Merged two threads