Southern VS. Northern LACS

<p>What would the major differences be between, say, Middlebury & Washington and Lee.. or Colgate (as a lower selectivity rating school compared to Midd) and Washington and Lee? What about Davidson? </p>

<p>Social, academic, "feel" difference...</p>

<p>W&L and Davidson are way more fratty than Middlebury</p>

<p>Yes, being that Middlebury does not have frats at all. What about academics?</p>

<p>I'm not sure if this is a certain common anti-Southern bias or not, but Northern LAC's (Midd, Amherst, Williams, Bowdoin, etc) are almost always higher rated and more well known than their Southern counterparts (Davidson, W&L, Rhodes, Sewanee, etc). They're probably a little better, academically. The Southern ones are definitely frattier in general, and more conservative politically.</p>

<p>IMO, Davidson is on par with any other NE LAC. I'm not sure about W&L.</p>

<p>It should be emphasized that "more conservative" does not equate to conservative. The vast majority of the southern LACs are moderate, with a few like Furman leaning slightly right and a few like Warren Wilson and UNCA leaning left.</p>

<p>I agree with GTalum's assessment of Davidson. For comparison purposes, it's fairly close to Haverford in feel. I was also quite impressed by Rhodes; it's a beautiful campus with friendly students and extremely nice facilities.</p>


I'm amused that you picked up on that. The belief that there are no quality LACs in the South is #40 on my list of common misconceptions.</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>dumb question, but what is a LAC?</p>

<p>LAC = liberal arts college (four-year colleges that usually offer only BA or BS degrees)</p>

<p>See this list for future reference:
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<p>muchas gracias</p>

<p>My impression being at a southern lac (Rhodes) and having visited some in the NE is that the differences in feel at norther and southern schools pretty much tracks the differences in feel of the respective geographic regions. Both northern and southern lacs have smart, nice, hard-working students.</p>

<p><---Here's an example of someone who chose a "lesser" southern LAC (Davidson) over one of tradster's northern colleges</p>

the differences in feel at norther and southern schools pretty much tracks the differences in feel of the respective geographic regions


<p>School ... Full Days of Sunshine per Year* ... Avg January Low (degrees F)
Davidson .... 109 .. 32 (Charlotte, NC)
Middlebury ... 58 ... 9 (Burlington, VT) </p>

<li>excluding partly sunny, partly cloudy days</li>

<p>Weather</a> Today - Weather Forecasts, Radar, Maps for 1000s of US and World Cities
Burlington</a>, Vermont - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Charlotte</a>, North Carolina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</p>

<p>If climate matters to you, this is a quality of life difference far greater than the academic differences between a #4 college and a #8 college.</p>

<p>Congrats BigBlue. Davidson was very competitive this year.</p>

<p>Tradster, do you have any facts whatsoever to back your assessment? And I am not talking about USNWR rankings. As a person whom graduated from a distinguished northeastern institution and whom has spend much time on the campus of a LAC in the south, I can tell you that the southern schools I know of are quite rigorous and their alumni compare very favorably with any LAC alumni anywhere. W&L, Davidson, Wofford, Milsaps, Agnes Scott, Rhodes, Furman, Sweet Briar, etc.</p>

<p>The time when Davidson is not very competitive each and every year is long gone.</p>

<p>One difference I can't help noticing is that when you compare campus maps between, say, Wesleyan, Williams and Amherst with say, Davidson, Washington & Lee, and Sewanee, is that you can immediately spot the science facilities at the top New England campuses; they comprise the largest single portion of the campus after the athletic buildings, anywhere from a quarter to one-half of the geographic center of campus. The same does not seem to be true of the southern LACs.</p>

<p>A significant expansion of the primary science building at Sewanee---Spencer Hall---was completed last year, perhaps to address the point raised above the degree of emphasis on the sciences.</p>

<p>Davidson is, without doubt, a top school. In terms of standardized test scores, though, it's a half-step behind the better northern LACs. For example, Davidson's common data set indicates that 32% of its incoming freshmen scored between 700 and 800 on the math SAT and 39% scored in that range on the critical reading test. At Wesleyan, it's 54% and 50%. (These are 2009 -2010 data for Davidson and 2008 -2009 data for Wesleyan. If anything, Wesleyan's data improved in 2009 - 2010, when it applications went up by 10%.) Davidson's scores at the 25 percentile and 75th percentile also lag behind Wesleyan's (by 40 aggregate points -- math and CR --at both the top and bottom). Those differences, though small, are not insignificant.</p>

<p>The spread between Davidson and the very top northern LACs (e.g., Williams, Amherst, Middlebury, Swat, Bowdoin) would be even greater. But, Vassar, Claremont McKenna< Wesleyan and Haverford all outpace Davidson on this measure.</p>

<p>Obviously, SAT scores are only one factor in assessing the quality of a school. But, Davidson's place on the USNWR list (#8) seems a bit out of whack when viewed from that perspective.</p>

<p>They're also adding a huge new building specifically for geology and forestry as well, if that matters.</p>


One of the excavations I was recently on in the Middle East hired a chemistry professor to analyze finds, and she brought a couple of students with her, fully funded by their school. The school? Tiny Davidson.</p>

<p>I've seen the science facilities at many top universities and am intimately acquainted with those at Duke and UNC. Davidson and Rhodes do not seem at all lacking in this respect; I was extremely impressed, actually, especially given their size and smaller endowments. I can't vouch for the other southern LACs, however, as I've never visited them. Furman could give any northeastern LAC a run for its money in chemistry, though. :cool:</p>