Some questions about Conn College!

<p>Hi there,
My son, a junior, (I put his stats on another thread,) good PSATs, SATII in History 770, Math A, 690, will take Math B and Chem in June, lots of activities, three season athlete, very passionate about history, and loves chemistry now too.</p>

<p>We visited Conn College and my son loved it. From the moment he stepped foot on the campus, he liked the look of the campus, the location near the ocean, the size of the school, that most of the students live on campus, the centers that would allow him to mix majors, and the Honor code. We saw a professor teaching class in the student center, lots of flyers with many things going on at the campus. The other school he really liked was Bates, so we are trying to get to the differences between them.</p>


<li>Is the male/female ratio unbalanced enough that it is noticeable? It didn't seem to be an issue.

<li>How are the sports teams? Do the kids have school spirit for each other?</li>
<li>Is the school in good financial footing? They seem to be pretty generous with financial aid, which seems good, but are the sciences well-funded?</li>
<li>Do the Coast Guard guys ever come over and if so, is there any trouble with them?</li>
<li>Do these kids party like they seem to do in the Maine LACs? And if so, is there a lot of damage done to the dorms, etc???</li>

<p>Any info would be greatly appreciated!</p>

<li><p>The school reports it as 60/40 females, but it is only noticeable when you are in certain classes (ex. psychology and human development). All of the dorms are coed (there are single sex floors if desired) so you are always around both genders. Walking around the campus at any time you wont find any noticeable gender difference. Its also helped that the Coast Guard Academy is across the street, thereby sending flocks of young cadets on campus, especially on the weekends.</p></li>
<li><p>The sports teams vary in success, but are generally well supported. Because the soccer and lacrosse fields are literally in the middle of campus, they are quite popular. Ice hockey and basketball games are fun too. If there is a particularly successful team, students flock to those events (womens volleyball and swimming had excellent seasons). </p></li>

<p>There is an enormous sense of pride throughout campus- definitely one of the friendliest campuses I have encountered. You will also notice serious dorm pride! A lot of campuswide activities are organized by dorm, and just about everyone leaves their doors wide open, so it genuinely feels like home.</p>

<li>I'm not too sure about finances right now. They just got rid of a president who in a term of 4 years, somehow knocked down the USNews ranking from a 25 to 39. When I was there (just a few years back), I was fortunate to have a very generous financial aid package, but I'm not sure how things work now. I do know that the sciences are very well funded. Everytime I pop onto the conn coll website or read the alumni newsletter, yet another professor has received a substantial grant. They are HUGE with student research, and really pride themselves on that. They always send students to national conferences, and there is always a paid trip to the caribbean during spring break for environmental science or bio or some really cool excuse to go scuba diving. I'm not a science person at all, but apparently the science facilities are excellent. It seems like chemistry is particularly strong, because even though its a small department, just about everyone goes off to medical school or a top phd program. Some current student bio research: <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/li>

<p>The school is extremely well known for its environmental studies programs <a href=""&gt;;/a> </p>

<p>There is great optimism regarding the new president. He has a lot of experience in college administration, a successful career on wall street, and was once in the peace corps, and so far has been saying all the right things!</p>

<li><p>The coast guard cadets (known as 'coasties') can often be found in classes. They definitely flock to campus on the weekends, and I cant think of any issues that have arisen. The freshmen and sophomore coasties have to be in uniform at all times, so you cant miss them!</p></li>
<li><p>If you want to party, there are parties. If you dont, so what. You can live in a substance free housing which is one of the nicest dorms and cloest communities on campus. I wont lie, as there is a pretty lax attitude on campus regarding drinking, but nobody cares whether or not you wish to partake. Some dorms have reputations (mostly true..) regarding loudness and damage, and others are known for being more responsible. I lived in 4 very different dorms, and I didnt have any issues (and I can be a little intolerant). The campus preaches RESPECT, and I think that the students really attempt to live by that!</p></li>

<p>hope this helps, and as always, more than happy to answer any questions about conn!</p>

<p>I appreciate your time and knowledge. My son liked the Honor Code, which ties into what you said about respect. It seems that kids who sign a code like that will at least TRY to be more respectful and responsible.</p>

<p>Did you have the centers when you were there? My son liked that a lot. And do the students go to the beaches at all in the nice weather? And how do you think the college compares to Bates?</p>

<p>I personally love the honor code. Some of my friends are in disbelief that we take unproctored exams, but the conn students are totally into it. </p>

<p>We had the centers, which are a HUGE selling point for the school. I personally wasn't involved in them, but a lot of people are. They are amazing, and very unique to Conn. Perfect for people who have interdisciplinary interests, and 'save the world' types.</p>

<p>Students FLOCK to the beaches! In the fall and spring, everyone goes. I used to study for finals in May on the beach which is amazing. Definitely one of the highlights of Conn. The beaches are actually very nice, and during nice weather you will always see Conn students there playing frisbee, studying, having a barbeque, jamming on guitar, everything really. I love sitting on a beach so i went as much as possible.</p>

<p>In regards to Bates- Its funny, because when I was applying to schools, the people who didn't get into Conn would go to Bates, Colby, Hamilton. Its amazing how things change in 8 years or so, because a lot of people on these boards live by the USNews rankings and dont believe me when I say that Conn is better than its ranking. There are a lot of cross applicants with Bates. I personally have never been to Bates, but I hear the student body is quite similar. I'd give Conn the edge in location though, Bates is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and the winters are harsher. When I was looking at schools, bates never appealed to me for some reason. Becasue I dont have first hand experience with the school, I am hesitant to compare. I'm sure there are several people on these forums who have visited both.</p>

<p>I love talking about Conn on CC because it is SUCH an underrated school, and geniunely believe its one of the top schools in the country (and I've seen approximately 50 schools in my travels and experiences). I wish it got more press!</p>

<p>adigal -
My daughter is a jr at Conn - (currently doing a semester abroad in Kenya). She is a bio major with a concentration in environmental studies and a minor in antropology. She also had to choose between Conn and a Maine school, Colby. She felt many of the same things your son did when she walked on campus. There was just something about it...and she has been so utterly happy since the day she walked on campus as a frosh. The sciences are fantastic - I can't say enough about the professors, facilities and very importantly, the excellent advising she has received. She has been extremely involved at Conn, and really wasn't in HS, so this has been a great treat for us to watch!! She served as the Judicial Board Chair this year, serving as class rep fresh and soph years. She has also been involved in 'House' (dorm) gov't, etc. The adults that have mentored these kids, not just the executive board kids, but all members of the jboard and student gov't, have been so wonderful - they take great interest in the kids at Conn. D had to go to campus 2 wks early this summer to run a workshop on the Honor Code. The shy girl from Ohio spoke to incoming freshman and their parents at orientation. Shy no more! The skills she has learned are invaluable.<br>
Academically, she has been challenged and has found her classes interesting. They are small and intimate. They are difficult enough to keep her interested, but she has plenty of time for her other activities and parties. The workload is heavy, especially in particular classes. The students are all very driven and bright, but IMHO, learning seems to take place for the sake of learning, and cutthroat competition among the students does not seem to be an issue at all. These kids seem to be very supportive of one another.<br>
Socially she loves Conn. She has made some wonderful friends, many whom have visited over breaks and summer. They do drink, I don't kid myself about this. But weeknights, save Thursday night, are 'school nights.' I guess the saying 'they work hard, play hard' is true here. But I haven't seen or heard of too many extremes.<br>
They do go to Harkness Beach a lot in the fall, but in the spring it is rarely warm enough for swimming in the ocean. Music is huge there, they get a lot of bands on the weekends, the SAB - Student Activities Board - is good at getting these bands and attendance is good. They have some really fun traditions, such as Floralia in the spring, Winter Formal and Festivus before Christmas Break. I'm not sure how well attended sporting events are, but I know that lacrosse and soccer on the green are popular, as are hockey games (I think!)<br>
The dorm situation is a good set up as well. They identify with their particular dorm, and compete against the other houses in things such as Camelympics. The floors are busy and social, and like Huskem 55 said, doors are open and the kids get to know one another quickly. D says 99% of the kids stay on the weekends. Having singles starting soph year is really a plus, although D was crowded in w/2 other girls in a double freshman year. Some of the dorms are presently being remodeled, which they desperately needed. Everything is close by. Vandalism in certain dorms, like Hamilton have been a problem, but Jboard is dealing w/the kids causing the problems fairly harshly now, as is the administration.<br>
The trip to Belize for tropical Bio soph yr as mentioned above was quite an experience. But it was not free - there was the cost of the trip in addition to tuition fees that semester. But it was pretty cheap for 10 days. D said she thought, not positive, but thought that if kids were getting financial aid, the trip was covered. Don't quote me on that, but I seem to remember questioning what would happen if a student in the class didn't have the means to take the trip. They had a great time.
Two other things - Conn's study abroad program is excellent. Again, excellent guidance and support from the school. The program D is in in Kenya is quite competitive, and with her good courses and recs, she got in. She is presently studying wildlife management at the base of Mt Kilimanjaro, totally roughing it with 34 other kids from all over the country. She has seen every kind of wildlife, and from her letters is learning and experiencing things she never dreamed of.<br>
Internships, or paid internships are a big thing. Summer after jr year the school funds $3000 for each student to do an internship. This funding allows the kids to take an internship regardless of whether or not it pays, and they don't lose out on a summer salary! D is going to be interning at Mystic Aquarium working with rehabilitating marine life...(injured seals, beached dolphins or whales, etc.) I am in awe of the opportunities she has had, and the atmosphere has really promoted much growth and maturity in our daughter. I only wish my senior in HS daughter would have applied there!<br>
All in all, it has been a very positive experience for her and us. I really think the new president is going to get the school back on track, getting it the recognition it deserves. I think it's one of the best kept secrets in the NE LAC world!
Oh yeah, the Coasties - don't think they are a huge presence on campus. They are around, and do take some classes at Conn. D has not spoken much of this, think she has one aquaintance from there.<br>
Good luck to your son with his decision - I too am going thru this right now. But all I can say in summation is that D had a gut feeling, she followed it and we followed her lead. And it's all been great. If you have any other questions, or if there is something you would like more specifics about, such as the sciences, PM me. If I cannot answer your question I can get the answer. ~Nikki~</p>

<p>Just wanted to say, thanks for the info. It's great to see this school discussed on this site and the comments have been very helpful.</p>

<p>Conn compares favorably in every regard to Bates..except I think Conn has it all over Bates from a physical plant standpoint and location. Lewiston is downright depressing. I looked at both schools last spring and Bates just looked run down comapred to Conn. New London isn't the most striking town either but there is something about having the ocean nearby and being in between NYC and Boston that says alot for it. Other than that I don't think you could go wrong at either school. But, if he liked Conn so much, don't miss a chance to check out Hamilton and Colgate..especially Hamilton. In the end, I chose Colorado College over all of them due to the Rockies and it also being a great LAC.</p>

<p>Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. We talked again about this school last night, and I think he is going to apply EDI, which seems to improve the chances to get in. The only catch for him, after getting in of course, will be financial aid, but they seem to be pretty generous, so we are willing to do what we can so that he can have a positive college experience (I went to a big state university, and I hated it!)
Thank you again - if he gets in next year, I'll be sure to let you know!</p>

<p>My son loved Bates, too, better than Colby or Bowdoin, but I found the area depressing, and I was not crazy about the housing situation - that the kids go into individual houses sophomore year, for the most part. I did like that all of the kids ate together, and they have a gorgeous new student union/academic building. Plus erything was in top shape, and the faculty he met were wonderful!! If he did not get into Conn College, I am sure he would be happy there too.</p>

<p>He is a skier, and some people recommended Colorado College, but we don't want him to go that far.</p>

<p>Hi again,
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions - a few more, if you have the time. How is New London? Is it safe? And is it undergoing any kind of renewal? (I was surprised to hear that it was depressed; I never understand how a city so near a body of water with incredibly valuable real estate can be depressed - like Asbury Park in NJ.) And do the students go over to Mystic? How about parents? Is that where they stay when they come up to the school?
Thanks again for all of your info!</p>

<p>New London is as safe as most other urban areas in New England. It may appear a little depressed bcause it is a one horse town as far as industry goes, as you may know. Don't know if you followed the eminant domain issue during the past couple fo years (I think it went to the Supreme Court), but they are trying to revitalize the city. As for Mystic, it might be fun for a day but there really isn't that much to do there for college students. That being said, it might provide for some interesting internships depending on what your son is interested in studying. Don't overlook the opportunity for parents to stay at the casinos in R.I.---even if you're not going there to gamble it provides for some nice lodging opportunities.</p>

<p>I am parent of a high school jr. in Mystic. Although New London is somewhat depressed and does have crime issues, there are wonderful areas all around. State parks, coastal villages, beaches, and the already mentioned location between NYC and Boston make it a great place for college. There are Marriott and Hilton hotels, as well as several B&Bs within ten miles.</p>

<p>Actually in my latest alumni magazine, there was a huge article devoted to the revival of the city, which would be absolutely fantastic. A cab ride from campus to downtown New London is $5 if i remember correctly (but most students have cars, especially after freshmen year). Parts of New London are shady and students avoid them, but which cities dont have those type of sections?</p>

<p>When parents come to visit, everyone goes out to the nice restaurants in Mystic that they wouldnt normally go to on a college students budget. Mystic is beautiful, a true quintessential new england town, and students definitely go there (there are many cheap and affordable things there too!)</p>

<p>Waterford is the town directly west of New London, and there is a nice mall, and a relatively new outdoor shopping plaza which has great stores.</p>

<p>Understanding they are in many ways difficult to compare, any opinions on Conn College for an IR major vs American University? Thanks!</p>

<p>Seems like the opportunity to study IR in DC couldn't compare, although there are great opportunities outside of both schools for study abroad. If IR was my field, I'd pick American for it's geographic location.</p>

<p>Thanks! Is your child thinking of applying there?</p>

<p>I had not made the connection about the eminent domain class - I had forgotten it was New London! I know my son loved the water being nearby, but we did not go to the beaches. Are there waves, or is that part of the Sound more like a bay?
I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with me!</p>

<p>Thanks again! I do appreciate you sharing info about your school. It is a very good sign that alumni think so highly of it they are willing to spare the time to inform others about the opportunities at the school!</p>

<p>Just to chime in with another voice:</p>

<p>My son is a senior at Conn and has greatly enjoyed the experience. He spent a semester in New Zealand, which he absolutely loved, and had a fantastic summer intership experience between junior and senior year. He's a psych major and he's gotten to know all his professors extremely well, developed relationships with them, and so on. He's doing a "practicum" in the City of New London, which -- since it does have its run-down portions -- offers many opportunities. I have never felt the town is dangerous; it's just waiting for some development. </p>

<p>I also agree that the new President is going to get Conn's ranking up higher. In fact, I think he has said so specifically. </p>

<p>My son met with the President to discuss his experience in the Peace Corps. (It's something my son is considering.) the guy was warm and welcoming and encouraging. I thought that was great.</p>

<p>I really like the place.</p>

<p>I think New London is really starting to come around - there are several new shops and restaurants popping up. The newest edition of CC Magazine which is sent to parents and Alumni highlights this, featuring some of the long standing and newer places. The Coast Guard Academy also contributes a lot of students for the town to capitalize on. I know D mentioned going into N.L. to eat at favorite places a lot more often last semester than prior years. The school has the 'Camel Van' which has regular routes into N.L. and the mall next town over in Waterford. I think for the 21 and over crowd, the Camel Van also picks up at bars. But even the 21 and overs stay on campus a lot. We stay in a Hampton Inn in Groton - (5 mins from campus) when we go to move D in or out, and store her things in a storage unit near campus as we live 11 hrs away. It's a nice Hampton Inn, with lots of convenient stuff around it that would be useful on move in day. There is a really nice Mariott in Groton where we have stayed as well. Expensive, but for long wknds like Parents Wknd it has been worth it. There are a lot of hotels around.
Last spring I went for a wknd to help her get ready for her Tropical Bio trip to Belize, actually it was a great excuse for some one on one! We had some errands to run, and on Saturday spent the whole afternoon down town. Had a delightful afternoon, had lunch at this little rooftop cafe that over looked the Sound.<br>
Mystic is fun for the families, and a great place to go on a warm day. Also have some fantastic restaurants and great little ice cream shops. I don't think the kids go too often except to eat. The aquarium is great - D will be doing her internship there this summer. We go into Mystic everytime we are there - like it a lot.<br>
As for any danger in N.L. I'm sure there is some - but not to the extent that the kids are or should be afraid. Lots more people around since Pfizer has set up shop in a big way on the waterfront. At Conn anyway, it never ceases to amaze me how safe the campus is. I think the kids almost have too much trust...i.e.never lock their doors, I'm always telling D to lock it, especially at night, which she swears she does??? I know they leave their laptops all over campus and nothing ever happens. In 3 yrs, she has never had anything stolen. But I also saw this phenomenon at Colby and Bates. Maybe a function of honor code, small school, knowing everyone? Don't know, but I really like that. I can remember (at Big State U) having everything from toothpaste to textbooks stolen!<br>
i don't know much about their FA situation. D knows some of her friends get it, or might, she can't tell. Point being, I asked her once if any kids worked a lot off campus or on wknds. She said no - they work on campus if at all, as far as she can tell. My thought was that Conns FA must be fairly generous if the kids don't need to supplement it w/outside jobs. I know there are a lot of weathy kids there, but I honestly couldn't tell you which one of her friends might be. D spends very little money on her social life, most things are done on campus and must be free. She is responsible for her books and all spending money and personal expenses (less flights home) and in 3 yrs has never asked us for a dime. She worked very hard every summer, and saved, and manages her money well. I was afraid that there would be a lot of expenses bc some of the kids would have the $$$ to partake in expensive wknds, etc. But any time she has gone into NYC, Boston or Cape Cod, they stay w/someone's family or a friend.<br>
Now I wait and see what D2 decides, should be an interesting and very different ride! =)
One more thing. Lots of the kids have cars, D brought hers soph yr. They really don't need one at all, but I think she likes the autonomy of being able to go where she wants and when, but that's just her. She put so few miles on it I still laugh at the "I neeeeeeeeed it" plea. The other kids are generous in giving rides, and I know they are all pretty free and easy with handing over their keys so someone w/o a car can go to the store, etc. Not sure how I feel about that?</p>