Suggest LACs for a junior humanities girl?

Hi! Was wondering whether anyone could offer some help w/ building my college list for next year. I’m interested in English mostly but also love history polisci etc. I already know a lot (?) about the majority of the LACs discussed on here, but have no idea which would be a good idea to apply to. My dream school is Wellesley but idk if I’m qualified or if it’d be a waste to ED there lol. Thank you in advance!

General info

  • White (arab) lez girl from New England. I go to an online high school. Idk if that hurts, lol. First gen. Most NPCs I do give me full tuition aid and I generally have to pay for room and board and a few thousand extra, which…yeah that’s basically what my parents can pay for. So I’d <3 full need schools if possible.
  • My school only calculates Weighted GPA (4.26) but I have all As except for an A- in honors precalc. My school has an unofficial limit on APs (so idk if that would be included in my counselor report, very sad etc), and I took AP Gov and AP Lang this year. Next year I’m taking AP Lit, AP Psych, AP Enviro, and non-AP Calc (no honors </3) next yr, and DE Sociology at a state school if my school actually lets me lmao. I can still change my schedule, does anybody have any suggestions for how to change this if that seems necessary? For context wrt rigor my school has 14 APs, though I can’t exactly take, like, AP Spanish if I’m in French.
  • No test scores yet. Scheduled to take the ACT in June. Can’t really predict it right now. Probably subpar. Test optional???
  • ECs are okay? I’m pres of the Yearbook Committee next year and Co-President of GSA. Was treasurer/sec for 2 years before that in both. In some clubs, might be an officer for book club next year. Editor at an international youth literary magazine. Did a one-month mentorship under a WashU Classics prof and presented something. Kenyon Review online writers workshop this summer. Journalism workshop last winter. Post creative writing online. That’s basically it?
  • LORs from my Gov and Lang teachers will be ok I think. I’m a “good writer” but don’t really have a CA Essay topic yet but I assume it’ll be…passable.
  • As for the school itself, I don’t really care where it is. Any size is ok, but since I’m looking for LACs small is definitely good too. Some proximity to big cities if I wanted to go to a concert or something but it honestly doesn’t matter that much. Like Hamilton-esque location is fine. Also I’d prefer it to have a sizeable amount of single dorms, if possible (I’m going to be getting an accommodation for a ~disorder~ I have that will hopefully let me live alone). Defined campuses are dope. I love the Wellesley campus. Planning on law school so ummm places where a good GPA is possible?

Ok I think that’s a good amount of info? If you decide to suggest anything I really appreciate it! <3 <3

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First, congratulations on all of your accomplishments!

First, if you have a rigorous class set according to your High School, and you have all As except one A-, you are “qualified” for any college. That being said, most qualified applicants are not accepted to most of the colleges with low acceptance rates. Nonetheless, I think that Wellesley is within reach, and should be on your list, if you really like it.

Do you prefer a women-only college like Wellesley, or a co-ed (or you don’t care)?

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Thank you! And okay, that makes sense, thanks again!

I don’t really have a preference. I like all the women’s colleges I’ve looked at but that’s not the defining aspect of why I like them, so co-ed is great too.

Macalester. College of Wooster. College of Idaho (their PEAK program has you get 1 major and 3 minors).

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Aside from the colleges on @2plustrio’s list,

Haverford College, Wesleyan University, and Connecticut College

In the South, Davidson College.

In the West, Scripps College, Pitzer College (both in the 5-Cs), and Lewis & Clark. University of Puget Sound is worth your while to look at, as well.

There are other colleges which I would otherwise recommend, but they are generally too far away from a major urban area.

However, if 40 minutes by car isn’t too far for you, Carleton College in MN, and St Olaf, which is close to Carleton.

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If you are from NE you can increase your chances by adding some Midwest schools. This strategy definitely paid off for us since all schools seek geographic diversity.

Kenyon is the obvious one, but I’d also consider Oberlin, Macalester, Carleton and Grinnell (our favorite).

You might receive some generous merit at them too.

Consider submitting work to the Scholastic Art and Writing competition this fall.

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If you like writing check out Hollins. It’s an inclusive women’s college with a great writing program. It’s in Virginia.

Also Agnes Scott in Atlanta/Decatur is super LGBTQ friendly with some really great programs.

Maybe Kenyon for writing/English, but it is pretty small and remote.

If you are outdoorsy and would like to be around a bunch of outdoorsy LGBTQ kids check out Warren Wilson near Asheville. It’s tiny and unique with a work program integrated into the school. Really sweet and Asheville is a super fun town in a gorgeous setting.

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Beloit

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If you’re ok with Hamilton’s location, then you might be ok with Kenyon, another LAC in a rural area. I loved it for my D22, who also loves English and writing, as well as political science, sociology, philosophy.

Kenyon is also home to the Kenyon Review, a well-known and respected literary magazine that invites Kenyon students to serve as first readers and interns. They also have a year abroad in Exeter which seems made for English majors.

Smith, in Northampton, might be a good fit too. Northampton is adorable and has good music passing through town regularly (all my daughter’s favorites stopped there this year—Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, Waxahatchee, etc). Plus a ton of indie bookstores. Enough to keep you occupied.

Reed might be good, it’s in Portland but a little removed from the bustle of the downtown areas. Pretty quirky and intellectual culture—definitely visit to confirm if it’s for you.

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First off, congratulations on all of your accomplishments!

If you like Wellesley and need full-need, these are some other schools you may want to look into:

  • Union (NY)
  • Mt. Holyoke (MA)
  • Connecticut College
  • Bryn Mawr (PA )
  • Trinity (CT)
  • Smith (MA)
  • Lafayette (PA )
  • Denison (OH): CTCL
  • Vassar (NY)
  • Davidson (NC)
  • Barnard (NY)

These are some other colleges you might want to consider. Their percentage of need met is indicated

  • Kalamazoo (MI): 94%, CTCL
  • Lawrence (WI): 94%, CTCL
  • Clark (MA): 92%, CTCL
  • Dickinson (PA ): 99%
  • Skidmore (NY): 99%
  • Brandeis (MA): 99%
  • U. of Richmond (VA): 99%

Schools with CTCL by them indicates that they are a part of the Colleges That Change Lives, a group of primarily small liberal arts colleges that you may want to investigate further.

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Dickinson College. Great liberal arts college for your academic interests. Check out their 3+3 law school partnership that would allow you to finish undergrad early and start at Penn State Dickinson Law. Beautiful campus near downtown Carlisle PA, access to Harrisburg state capital and train to Washington DC. You can pull off the single room accommodation and it will likely work, my daughter knows people who have done so. Plenty of scholarships available and the college is currently working on a campaign to enable them to meet full demonstrated need of all admitted students. Big emphasis on global education and giving their students a broad worldview. Good target school for you

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Macalester
Vassar
Wesleyan
Smith
Mount Holyoke
Bryn Mawr
Scripps

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If Wellesley is your target and Hamilton’s location is ok, then I strongly second Smith, Mount Holyoke and Bryn Mawr. Of those, Smith has the most money fwiw. BM will have the best location regarding your preference to be near a city. They’re all really great places to obtain a top flight education. My D was at Smith for a year in their math post-bacc and she (and we) loved it. BM was perhaps my favorite in terms of campus and location during our visits.

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Mount Holyoke is in Massachusetts, not Pennsylvania.

@botchedresurrection There are many excellent recommendations posted here for you.

Kenyon is often maligned as remote on CC, but it is close enough to Columbus for an easy day trip. My daughter had an amazing four years there as an English major with a creative writing concentration. She and her friends made several trips to both Columbus and Cleveland during her time there. She never felt that it was isolated or too remote.

Other schools she considered:

Hamilton
Mt Holyoke
Bryn Mawr
Bowdoin
Bates
Vassar
Wesleyan
Oberlin

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Thanks for catching that! I don’t know what I was originally thinking, but I have edited my post.

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My D22 has a friend who just finished her first year at Kenyon who does find it too remote. That’s why I mentioned that. She’s not really loving it, but had roommate woes and then ended up in a single. She is considering her options as far as whether she will go back in the fall or transfer somewhere else. She was high school class of 2021 and couldn’t go visit. If she had been able to visit she might’ve made a different choice.

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It will not be for everyone, no school is. I just think it’s important to offer a counter view. My daughter and her Kenyon peers did not find it remote, they took advantage of many opportunities both on and off campus. In my opinion any school that is within an hour of a major city is not remote. This is the case with Kenyon. Just my opinion. Others will disagree of course. I wish your daughter’s friend well, wherever she chooses to finish her college years.

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I think it depends on why the student wants to be near a city. To go to a concert, museum, try out a new restaurant or just get a fix for Indian or Chinese food? An hour away for the big city is close enough. They are only going to drive that hour once a week at most.

If the student wants a city to do an internship, to work at the newspaper, to join an organization that meets or works together often? Probably not. If the point is just to have a bigger cohort for dating, interests, more movie theaters? Probably okay to go to a small LAC that is part of a consortium (Smith, Haverford, Scrips).

I think that many students, even those in smaller towns, rarely leave campus. I lived in Boulder and did do an internship at the state capitol in Denver (an hour on the bus, then and now). A friend and I also often went to pro hockey games (my father had lots of tickets) so we went to Denver quite often that year. Otherwise, I mostly did things on campus. I wasn’t a big shopper so only went to the mall when absolutely necessary. No money to eat out at a lot of Boulder restaurants so ate on or near campus (or at home). Big school, small town, didn’t matter. I went to concerts, lectures, comedy shows, athletic events on campus.

OTOH, daughter looked at Presbyterian in Clinton SC. Tiny school, tiny town. I knew as we drove onto the school grounds it was much too small for her. There is small and there is tiny. Columbia and Greensboro were only an hour away (each, different directions) and yet that was WAAAY too far. I don’t think the students went to those places except to get to the airport.

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A lot of people love Kenyon and it’s well worth a visit, but it is very small and the town of Gambier is very, very small (population 2,391). I think if you visit you will know if it’s a good fit or not. Great writing program at Kenyon. It’s just not for everyone, so visit if you can.

Agnes Scott is very LGBTQ friendly and in a great part of the Atlanta metro, walkable to many spots in Decatur and the Marta public transport station. Gorgeous campus. The library is like something out of Harry Potter with a fireplace and everything.

Warren Wilson is teeny tiny itsy bitsy (smaller than Kenyon), but it has the highest percentage of LGBTQ students of any school I have ever visited and is just 10 minutes outside the funky mountain city of Asheville. It is a self-contained campus, 99% of students live on campus and many of the profs do, too. They have their own farm that the students work on. The work program is unique and there are a variety of jobs, not just the farm, but that is the most coveted crew to be on. It is not a very hard school to get into, but it’s one of those schools that is so unique that you kinda know right away if it’s gonna be right for you. They are very well known for their environmental programs and writing programs (esp their Masters in Creative Writing, but also undergrad). Super hands on school.

Anecdotes regarding students we know or of whom we have heard extend only so far in their value. Kenyon, for example, has a first-to-second year retention rate 32 percentage points higher than that of, say, Warren Wilson. I’d be inclined to evaluate overall student satisfaction more by a statistic such as this than by isolated examples.

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