Suggestion Needed: Liberal Art Colleges

<p>Hi!</p>

<p>Would you suggest some match/ safety LACs for my child?</p>

<p>SAT I 2300+
SAT II 2350+
UWGPA 3.95+
Intended Major: Undecided
Asian Male (if that matters)</p>

<p>Amherst
Swarthmore
Williams</p>

<p>Mom2collegekids: Thanks but we are looking for match and safety LACs.</p>

<p>We are tryning to include couple match and safety LAC's in my kids college (visit) list.</p>

<p>Do you have any geographic preferences?</p>

<p>Midwest or Northeast could be better.</p>

<p>If this student is undecided about major, it would still help to know about some of his / her interests. Also, city versus country versus suburbs, size, etc.</p>

<p>What is your home state?</p>

<p>Lots of choices for kids with stats that strong:</p>

<p>Colgate
Middlebury
Macalester
Carleton
Grinnell</p>

<p>...to name a few.</p>

<p>Any particular EC's or interests?</p>

<p>Any preference for urban or suburban? Size?</p>

<p>There's a slew of PA schools that would likely be match or safety for those stats and SAT scores (some are not just Liberal Arts, but have strong Liberal Arts programs):
Lafayette, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Ursinus, Muhlenburg, Gettysburg, Susquehanna</p>

<p>Also...a bunch in Ohio....Denison, Otterbein, Whittenberg, The College of Wooster, Marietta</p>

<p>I know he prefers surburb or country setting,and we are in the midwest.</p>

<p>Pomona College and Claremont Mckenna. I know they are on the west coast but Claremont is a pretty town nestled in the foothills. He might like that and they are excellent colleges.</p>

<p>Just my opinion, but here goes:</p>

<p>There are a great number of LACs in the midwest that could well be safeties worth considering. Beloit, Macalester, Lawrence, Wooster, and I'm sure many others. I'd start looking through Colleges That Change Lives.</p>

<p>In the NE, colleges like Colby, Bates, Connecticut, Dickinson, F&M would probably be matches. Safeties could include Ursinus and Goucher.</p>

<p>In my view the most selective LACs should be considered reaches by everyone: Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore, Pomona, Bowdoin. I think Vassar is somewhat easier to get into, especially for a male applicant.</p>

<p>One of the advantages of the U.S. college universe is that there a great number of choices at many different levels of selectivity. Especially if Fin Aid is not a binding constraint.</p>

<p>Question: Can Kenyon and Macalester be his safety schools?</p>

<p>Oh, I also forgot about Pitzer College.... That might be a safety...</p>

<p>Being an Asian male probably provides diversity at many LACs. They want him!</p>

<p>As with the top research universities, there are no real matches for a high-stat candidate. He should be a competitive candidate anywhere he applies (assuming he also has a rigorous curriculum and at least a little bit of personality and writing ability), but he can't assume that he would get accepted everywhere.</p>

<p>One approach to finding safeties is to look at former women's colleges. These are often educationally excellent, but because their traditions are different they have to work hard to attract male students -- and they want to have at least 40% male students because otherwise they start being less attractive to female students, too. As a result, I think everyone believes it is much easier for qualified men to get accepted. This would apply to Vassar, Connecticut College (which is in the competitive, prestigious NESCAC, along with Williams, Amherst, Wesleyan, Tufts), Sarah Lawrence, Bennington, Goucher, Wheaton (in MA).</p>

<p>Except for Williams and Middlebury, more isolated LACs tend to be somewhat less selective. So places like Colby, Grinnell, Kenyon, Dickinson, Bucknell, Lawrence, Beloit deserve a look. Maybe even Bard, Hamilton or Colgate, although I suspect they may not quite be safe enough.</p>

<p>If he prefers a more urban environment, I would suggest Trinity (in Hartford), Rhodes, Occidental.</p>

<p>I am talking about potential safeties here. There is a whole 'nother layer of wonderful LACs below the most selective 10 or so where he would be a strong candidate, and you certainly shouldn't ignore them because they aren't totally safe. Lots of the schools already mentioned fall into that category for me, including Macalaster, Oberlin, Bowdoin.</p>

<p>Kenyon and Macalester are both great LAC's but I am not so sure I would be comfortable calling either of them a safety. In the midwest, I would consider a college like St Olaf a safety.</p>

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<p>More like matches.</p>

<p>Being an Asian male helps in LACs?
That is really surprising to hear. I was told many times that it will hurt his chances.</p>

<p>Will LACs know that they are safety schools if my child does not visit them?</p>

<p>No, they will have no idea that they are safety schools due to his not visiting. To be honest, you wouldn't want them to know that. They would find that insulting. Colleges don't want to know that your son would only consider them if he didn't get in somewhere else.</p>

<p>BTA: The top brand-name research universities are swamped with applications from highly qualified ethnic Asian students, and they are often accused of trying to hold the number of Asian students they enroll to some kind of quota in the 15% range. The LACs of equivalent quality, however, do not get nearly as many applications from Asians, especially Asian boys. Many of them struggle to get classes with 10% Asian students, and they know a class like that does not reflect the talent and ability in the various Asian communities. Furthermore, they care about diversity, and Asians are not "overrepresented" in their applicant pools. (Especially since "Asians" is hardly a homogeneous category. So, if a college like Oberlin is only 7% Asian, first of all that means there are probably fewer than 200 Asian kids at the school, and taking into account the gender imbalance, it probably means that there are fewer than 10 South Asian or Korean boys per class. That's low enough for them to consider it a problem.)</p>

<p>So, at the very least, Asian applicants do not face the competitive barriers at LACs that they may at the most popular research universities. I don't know for a fact that being an Asian male is an actual benefit, but I would be surprised if it weren't.</p>

<p>I do think you ought to visit, though, or at least try to get an alumni interview in your area. I think most LACs -- especially those that are not confident that they would be a student's first choice -- do track applicants' interest.</p>