Liberal Art College matches and safeties for me?

<p>So I'm definitely interested in LACs-- the vibe, neither educational nor social, of big research universities doesn't interest me -- but I'm having a hard time finding any that suit me. I'm a junior right now, so it's really time for me to start making my list. </p>

<p>(I'm taking the SAT in March, but these are my PSAT scores)
CR: 67
M: 54
W: 64</p>

<p>GPA: 3.8 weighted; 3.6 unweighted </p>

<p>Advanced Classes:
AP Psychology (jr)
IB Literature (HL) - 2 yrs (jr & sr)
IB History (HL) -2 yrs (jr & sr)
IB Environmental Systems & Societies (SL) (jr & sr)</p>

<p>ECs:
Field hockey (varsity freshman, jv soph. & jr., varsity sr.)
Student Counsel (freshman)
Student government (freshman)
American Sign Language tutoring (jr & sr)</p>

<p>With my scores being rather low (I don't know how much I'll be able to pull them up) I don't think I'm much of a match for the most selective LACs like Wellesley, Smith, Williams, etc., and aside from those I don't know of many others (besides Simmons- I'll most definitely be applying to Simmons and would love to attend). I'm looking to stay in the Northeast and want to be in at least a small city but would prefer an actual city, like Boston. I don't yet know what I want to major in, so I'll definitely need room and time to test things out before I decide.</p>

<p>What can your family afford?</p>

<p>@Erin’s Dad- not much (I’m not sure about specifics, but they make about 75k combined/year), so I think I’ll be relying on as much financial aid as I can get while they help out as much as they can.</p>

<p>Many great LACs in the northeast that are likely in your range (and many are SAT optional although your scores are fine and can improve if you study for the SATs). Look into Lafayette ¶, Union (NY), Siena (NY), Muhalenberg ¶, Franklin and Marshall ¶, Dickinson ¶, Goucher (MD), Trinity (CT), Skidmore (NY). And if all girl schools are fine with you there is Smith (MD), Mt Holyoke etc. Not sure which are good for financial aid though…</p>

<p>Add Juniata to happy1’s list.</p>

<p>^ and Gettysburg</p>

<p>Holy Cross-1 hour from Boston.</p>

<p>What general area of subjects are you considering (e.g. humanities, social studies, biological sciences, physical sciences, math and statistics, art and music practice)? The small size of small LACs often means uneven strength in the various subjects, so be sure to check course catalogs to see that they have sufficient offerings in what you might major in.</p>

<p>Put “net price calculator” in each school’s search box to get an idea of financial aid.</p>

<p>If course offerings are sufficient, consider University of Minnesota, Morris: ~2,000 student public LAC, list price is about $22,000 per year with no out-of-state surcharge.</p>

<p>However, Morris is a rather isolated small town.</p>

<p>I’m very much undecided about what I want to study, but I can almost guarantee I won’t be focusing on math or science. </p>

<p>After looking up some of the mentioned schools (thank you for posting so many, happy1), I notice that some of them, and other related ones, are Catholic-- does that tend to influence the social atmosphere? I didn’t mention it originally, but I’m definitely looking for a rather politically and socially liberal atmosphere…</p>

<p>Wheaton College (MA)
Hobart & William Smith (NY)
St. Lawrence University (NY) </p>

<p>Check these out for academics, financial aid, location etc. Best of luck!</p>

<p>As for your question regarding religiously-affiliated schools, that depends on the particular college. At most of these schools, it sounds as though there is a an open, accepting atmosphere where all are students feel comfortable, regardless of their religious (or non-religious) leanings. There was a recent thread about Christian colleges that may be better able to answer that question… </p>

<p><a href=“http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/christian-colleges/1163487-do-you-recommend-non-christian-go-christian-college.html?highlight=religious[/url]”>http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/christian-colleges/1163487-do-you-recommend-non-christian-go-christian-college.html?highlight=religious</a>
…EDIT: I had not fully read through enough of that thread to realize that it devolves into an arguement over evolution. Sorry.</p>

<p>I would definitely do your research about each school to see what the atmosphere is like, but I wouldn’t avoid a school just because it has a religious affiliation.</p>

<p>Of the schools I listed, I think only Siena might have a Catholic, more conservative influence . Muhlenberg, which is technically Lutheran, is about a third Jewish in terms of student body and seems pretty liberal. I believe that all of the other schools are independent. </p>

<p>I looked a quite a few LAC’s with my D and each school seems to have a different personality and student body. I think it is really important to, if possible, visit the schools and get a feel for which ones are good fits for you. The schools listed by other posters are good options as well.</p>

<p>Thanks for the link, familyof3boys, and no worries about the argument- it’s still a valuable thread! </p>

<p>happy1- you mention you looked at a few LACs with your daughter and earlier you mentioned Smith and MoHo…those have actually been on my radar for quite a while, but I figure I don’t have much of a chance; since they’re test optional, I suspect that they heavily weigh their applicants’ transcript, GPA, ECs, etc. While mine aren’t horrible, they’re not exactly stellar…did your daughter look at them, or any of the Seven Sisters for that matter, and do you have any advice about what they’d be looking for or just the schools in general? I’ve searched plenty of threads, but one more person’s experience can’t hurt :slight_smile: </p>

<p>And as far as visiting goes, I live in NH so I’ll probably visit the New England schools on my list (once I make it, of course) over April and February break and then most likely postpone any other visits (NY, PA, MD, etc.) until if/when I get accepted…I’d like to do it beforehand so I don’t waste time with apps in case I end up really disliking a particular school’s vibe, but it’s probably not the most feasible.</p>

<p>Holy Cross is a Catholic/Jesuit affiliation which is fairly liberal and vwery welcoming to students and faculty of all faiths or no religious traditions. HC website is very informative. Also Roll Call rated Holy Cross 1 among all schools with the most alums who are Congressmen per capita.</p>

<p>I think the best thing about Holy Cross for the OP, compared to many peer schools, is its financial aid policies. HC is a need blind, full need college. It is somewhat less selective than many other schools with these policies (e.g. Amherst, Bowdoin, Middlebury, Wesleyan). </p>

<p>Other LACs and small universities that are need blind, full need, and not super selective:
Beloit
Brandeis
Knox
Lawrence University
Trinity College
University of Richmond
University of Rochester</p>

<p>LACS that are not need blind, full need colleges, but still offer relatively good financial aid include:
Colorado College
Centre College
Lafayette College
Kenyon
Gettysburg
Smith
Connecticut College
Occidental</p>

<p>([Best</a> Values in Private Colleges, 2010-11](<a href=“http://www.kiplinger.com/tools/privatecolleges/index.php?table=lib_arts&state_code[]=ALL&id[]=none]Best”>http://www.kiplinger.com/tools/privatecolleges/index.php?table=lib_arts&state_code[]=ALL&id[]=none))</p>