LAC accessible with no car

One of the Collegekids was at NE LAC and chose not to take her car to college, b/c she would have had to park in (metaphorical) Siberia and dig her own car out, whereas there were a couple of Zipcars parked just outside the backdoor of her dorm- that she didn’t have to dig out! As @Meddy pointed out, there are always a bunch of ways to get places, including college shuttles to the big airports at the end of term, etc.

The bigger challenge is differentiating which LAC will suit her best. From a distance they all look alike, but they have really distinct personalities- differences which in my not at all humble opinion are more important than who has the better X department (at least within some very broad tiers). Push her to learn about each school the way she would a character in a show, getting past the lazy shorthand that people often apply to LACs. She needs to know which one will really suit her.


In which reality?

That’s the technicality. It was formerly the exclusive option available for women to attend Columbia as undergraduates. Now, not so much.

Thanks for clarifying the “former” assertion.
It still is the exclusively “… women’s undergraduate college of Columbia University” - in addition to Columbia College, which has been co-ed since the 80’s.

Regardless, I still question the validity of:

According to US News, “The National Liberal Arts Colleges emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in the liberal arts fields of study” (, or according to the U.S. State Dept (Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)) :

A liberal arts college offers courses in humanities, languages, math, social and natural sciences, and students take 25-50% of their courses in their major.

For the fields of studies and majors at Barnard see:
and for the actual majors awarded in 2021, see from page 8 onward:

Unless you consider all LAC’s a mere technicality, certainly Barnard College seems to check all boxes - even it’s part of an Ivy League university.

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Well, what’s good for the goose (Barnard) should be good for the gander (Columbia College) except, I suppose, when it isn’t:

Thus, in 1896, the trustees of Columbia College, under the guidance of Seth Low, approved a new name for the university as a whole, Columbia University in the City of New York. At this point, the name Columbia College returned to being used solely to refer to the original undergraduate college, founded as King’s College in 1754 and renamed Columbia College in 1784.>

Complete agreement as far as the history of Columbia University you cited: There is indeed a Barnard College and also a Columbia College, two of four undergraduate colleges of Columbia University, having its roots in King’s College of 1754.

Should we be drifting off-topic, though?

Should we be drifting off-topic, though?>

Don’t look at me! :innocent:

Well at least we tangented the OP’s question: In 1754 her daughter would not have needed a horse and buggy to get to Trinity Church — assuming she would have been able to enroll at King’s College.

No plans for my kiddo at Bates to have a car.


That is for sure!! Thank you all for the help!

I completely agree! She’s looking at Amherst and Wesleyan since they seem to be less remote and isn’t into the idea of women’s colleges or the very intellectual Swarthmore (although they all are). She is looking into poli sci/IR if you have suggestions that would be great!

Eastern(ish) LACs for polisci/IR include: Middlebury, Dickinson, Carleton*, Macalaster*, Williams, Amherst, Colby, Vassar, Bowdoin. Some are stronger on one side of PoliSci/IR than the other.

Two schools that are not LACs, but live a lot like an LAC, that a serious Polisci/IR student should consider are Tufts, which has the Fletcher School, and Georgetown, which has the SFS.

Finally, GWU, which is nowhere close an LAC at all, is worth thinking about if she is truly a go-getter polisci/IR person- the internship opportunities are unparalleled.

*don’t @ me- I said “ish”!


You are invaluable! She has most of these on her list, including GWU, I just have the fear that we’ve missed something so thank you again for validating her choices!!

Based on your daughter’s academic interests, these sites may help her refine her current choices and identify additional potential picks:


My D attended Bates. She never had a car. It was not a problem, though admittedly, as an upperclassman she had friends with cars and they did venture out of town occasionally. But necessary? No.

Selective LACs will most likely have shuttles to local places and plenty of planned excursions too, in which transport will be provided. In the time my D was at Bates, there were always free shuttles to places such as Portland, Freeport and the Mall of Maine. I think at least twice a month, there was a shuttle to Boston for a small fee. There were ski excursions and apple picking trips. And of course, there was always a lot going on on campus.

As far as getting home, my D lived five hours away. Three good friends lived in Washington State, Florida, and Hawaii. They all managed to get home relatively easily because Portland Airport was pretty well connected. My own kid got home via planes, buses and cars. Your D really shouldn’t be too concerned with this.

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