Prestige/Ranking of Trinity College( How does it stack up to the other higher-ranked NESCACs?)

Hi all. So, I am highly interested in Trinity College. I have a 3.7 GPA( so far) at a boarding school in the NE area. I am entering my senior year in HS. First ACT score was a 33… I want to get that up… I visited Trinity and absolutely loved it. I really bonded with a specific Econ prof there. Would it hurt me to choose Trinity over “higher-ranked” LACs such as Bowdoin, Amherst, and Williams? Would doing well at Trinity( say 3.5 and above) put me on a fast track to top graduate programs? Besides the admission requirements, what makes Bowdoin/Bates, for instance much more different than Trinity? Why is Trinity’s rank on US News comparatively low? Will it move up? From my impression( In talking with students there from my school and past family friends that have attended) is that the school is for highly intelligent “slackers” from well to do families.These students are mostly very capable,but they seem to be more focused on partying rather than academics.Is this stereotype true? It does align with the “Camp Trin” moniker. Lastly, I am interested in Political Science/Economics so would Trinity be a strong choice? Do financial firms/consulting firms recruit students from Trinity? How would a degree from Trinity look comparatively to that of one from another NESCAC or “lower” ivy? I am really thinking of doing ED1. I will likely be a full pay.


Anyone? Would love to hear any feedback. Thanks

“From my impression( In talking with students there from my school and past family friends that have attended) is that the school is for highly intelligent “slackers” from well to do families.These students are mostly very capable,but they seem to be more focused on partying rather than academics.Is this stereotype true?”

Trinity is less selective than many of the other NESCAC colleges. Of the students I’ve known who have gone to Trinity, your description does fit the bill in many cases or kids who are bright enough but I wouldn’t call them 'highly intelligent". They do tend to be more preppy and conservative on average.

That said, Trinity does have good alumni inroads to finance jobs in NYC.

Additionally, although I would put Trinity on the lower end of the NESCAC rankings, ALL the NESCAC schools are good institutions providing a very solid education. With good performance, you can access any grad programs and have solid career options from any of them.

If you like the vibe at Trinity, go for it.

The key to the advice given in the post above is : “If you like the vibe at Trinity, go for it.”

Very preppy.


I visited Bowdoin( my sister went there), and it just didnt feel right. I just have one more question- why do you think Trinity’s ranking is comparatively low to that of other NESCAC colleges? I was reading stuff online about it and its dropped from like the 20s to now the 40s. Can it get back up?

Honestly- it seemed like a very inclusive place. All the NESCACs are but I just want to be in an urban environment. I feel like it would get isolating in Maine for instance.

Trinity College is still highly ranked since it is in the top 50.

Outstanding schools such as Rhodes College, Furman University, Lawrence, St. Olaf, Connecticut College, Denison & St. Lawrence are lower ranked.

Here’s the US News criteria and weightings for their rankings.

I’d suggest diving into the various components and using the schools Common Data Sets (CDS) and other info online to see how Trinity lines up on the various components My guess is that most of the NESCACs will outshine Trinity slightly in many areas.

Just one comparison, Trinity’s CDS shows the following:

6 year grad rate : 77%
Freshman retention rate: 89%

Since you mention Bowdoin, let’s compare:

6 year grad rate: 95%
Freshman retention rate: 96%

These 2 measurements alone make up 22.5% of USNews’ rankings.

US News reports first year retention rate at Trinity College to be 90% & at Bowdoin College to be 97.

Trinity’s 6 year graduation rate for 2016 was reported to US News as 85%. Must be seeing data for different years as 77% raises concerns.

Just using the data provided in the most recently published CDS by each college and comparing apples to apples.

Trinity’s 2010 cohort showed 77% 6 year grad rate, 2011 was slightly higher at 80%.

Trinity is the only really urban NESCAC liberal arts college (Tufts is NESCAC and urban, but not a LAC). In theory, this could be an attractive market niche; many large cities are significantly safer and more attractive than they were a generation ago, and today’s students seem to have a lot more interest in attending urban schools. The problem, though, is that Hartford has lagged behind many other cities in terms of revitalization or gentrification. If Hartford ever gets safer and hipper, like maybe Providence or Hoboken, then interest in Trinity would probably soar.

One thing that puts Trinity at a general disadvantage, relative to other NESCACs, is its endowment. The Trinity endowment is around $500 million, which is certainly respectable. But it’s on the low side for NESCAC; most other NESCACs are in the $1 billion to $2.5 billion range.

By economics faculty scholarly publishing – and, by inference, department strength – Trinity places quite highly and marginally exceeds that of NESCACs such as Colby and Bowdoin:

All the NESCAC schools are excellent. It’s quite a strong conference. But people do like to rank and because of that sometimes Trinity and Conn College come up with the short side of the stick. But if they were in another conference they may well be at the top.
For political science, Trinity does have a good internship program in Hartford with it being the capitol city and seat of government in CT.

Don’t worry so much about the rank. If YOU like it, it’s the right school whether it is ranked #5 or #15 or #55 - it’s the same school no matter what the rank.

U.S. News publishes early career salary data now. Of the nine NESCAC LACs for which this information is available, Trinity places third (trailing only Hamilton and Williams). This would seem to be another area (see reply #10) in which Trinity out-performs its general ranking.

Your areas of interest are strengths of Trinity. If you love it, why not apply ED?

There is no reason to go to a “higher ranked” college if you prefer Trinity. It is highly ranked compared to almost all colleges in the nation, so it is not like you would be going to some so-so school. It is a great college! You will find very many bright students there and the education is top notch. Its vibe may not work for some who prefer other small liberal arts colleges with very different vibes (the ones you mentioned- Bowdoin and Bates- have no fraternities, for instance), but all that matters is what works for YOU.

And there are very many types of students at every college, not just the prevailing stereotype. For instance, the person I know best who went to Trinity does not fit the stereotypes at all— and she loved it so much that she is hoping her own daughter will go there.