Transfer Student. Carleton vs. JHU

<p>I was all set to go to Carleton (visited the campus and all) until I found out I got into JHU today. I left with a fairly good impression of Carleton. I've always wanted to attend a small residential liberal arts school with a challenging academic experience, and Carleton fit the bill. The biggest concern I have with Carleton is that it is extremely liberal, and I'm extremely conservative (though not in the Christian way, mind you). Another concern of mine is that the course selection is limited, especially in anything China related. But I loved the campus and the relaxed attitude on campus. No one was fighting for grades. People left their backpacks unattended because stealing is unheard of. I was amazed. </p>

<p>I'm planning on majoring in political science/ir/economics. I'm highly interested in Chinese foreign affairs and Chinese politics. </p>

<p>Pros
*Well known
*Great location for internships
*Great ethnic food options
*More course offerings
*Decent weather
*Close to many major cities</p>

<p>Cons
*Cutthroat
*Little sense of community
*Baltimore is dangerous?
*Terrible administration</p>

<p>Carleton</p>

<p>Pros
*Friendly people
*Small classes
*Professors focused on teaching
*Strong sense of community
*High level of trust on campus</p>

<p>Cons
*Hardly anyone has heard of it
*No ethnic food
*Limited opportunities for internships
*Overwhelmingly liberal</p>

<p>I never got to do the whole college deal (I commuted to UT-Austin), which is kind of why I want to go to Carleton. </p>

<p>Any thoughts?</p>

<p>Go to Carleton. You will have your whole life to learn more about Chinese affairs, but only one chance to have the small college community experience. You will make friends for life. You WILL find work after graduation!</p>

<p>Chasing perceived prestige is a mistake. Go with where you think you have a best fit. Carleton kids strike me as being very accepting of different viewpoints. However, if you are not accepting of different viewpoints, it might be a poor fit as Carleton is quite liberal. Personally, I'd rather listen to different perspectives than listening to others saying the same thing I am. YMMV.</p>

<p>I've never been to Carleton so I can't compare the two institutions. I can, however, refute some of the "cons" you listed for Hopkins:</p>

<p>"Cutthroat" is mostly a myth based on the large number of premeds on campus. The areas you want to study are not at all cutthroat. You will find the students very cooperative with each other. Even premeds at Hopkins are, for the most part, not cutthroat although they do tend to be unnecessarily obsessed with grades.</p>

<p>"Little sense of community" is, in my view, totally wrong as well. It is true that, as an urban research university, JHU will not have the same closeness as a small liberal arts college but there is a strong sense of community if you seek it out. It has an exciting, wonderful intellectual atmosphere.</p>

<p>"Baltimore is dangerous." Baltimore has more than its share of high crime neighborhoods but, as a Hopkins student, there is no need or reason for you to be in those neighborhoods. The areas around the Homewood campus--Charles Village, Cantebury/Oxford, Roland Park, Hampden--are fine and reasonably safe as long as you use reasonable judgment and remember that you are in an urban environment. Other areas you are likely to visit--downtown, inner harbor, Fells Point, Mt Vernon, Federal Hill, Campden, etc. are fine as well. Most Hopkins students end up really liking the city. </p>

<p>"terrible administration." I don't know where you heard this from but it is not true. Students complain about the administration just about everywhere. Even though Hopkins has a relatively small undergraduate population, it is nevertheless a large institution (e.g., the largest private employer in Maryland) and, as a result, there is more bureaucracy than students think is necessary. The people in the administration--and the ones students interact with (deans, etc.) are generally quite good. </p>

<p>It is very hard to get admitted to Hopkins as a transfer. You should be proud of yourself. Good luck with your decision.</p>

<p>Go to Carleton.</p>

<p>I am usually concerned about students choosing schools based intended majors, but I will say, in this instance, that international relations is a huge major at Hopkins and I was really impressed with the east asian studies part of it. You really might find narrower course offerings at Carlton. And I have also heard that the cutthroat thing is primarily the pre-meds.</p>

<p>Slight bias since I'm going to JHU, but your con list

[quote]
*Cutthroat
*Little sense of community
*Baltimore is dangerous?
*Terrible administration

[/quote]

is completely misinformed. Hopkins is not cutthroat (it is a rigorous academically, but there is nothing cutthroat about it - most students are helpful and do not try to sabotage you), there is indeed a sense of community, the campus was voted safest in America (and there is a safe 10 block distance around the campus), and I never even heard anything about the administration being "terrible."</p>

<p>I don't know much about Hopkins. I guess those were the stereotypes that I pulled out of my head. Glad to know that they mostly aren't true. Another thing with Hopkins is that I have to find my own housing, though I was told by my friend there that this isn't a big deal. But I've never done the whole residential college thing and I am kind of curious about it. </p>

<p>The admissions office was, uh, not very responsive, which turned me off. And the course schedule listing thingy is very intimidating. </p>

<p>I'm not accepting of liberals. I am constantly waging war against them. My views, are to put it bluntly, quite extreme and unorthodox. It seemed to me that everyone at Carleton was trying to "outliberal" one another, which was both highly amusing and strangely disturbing. </p>

<p>Bubble or real life? Tough choice.</p>

<p>"I'm not accepting of liberals. I am constantly waging war against them. My views, are to put it bluntly, quite extreme and unorthodox. It seemed to me that everyone at Carleton was trying to "outliberal" one another, which was both highly amusing and strangely disturbing."</p>

<p>You might be more comfortable at a school like Bob Jones University. Not wanting your narrow world views challenged doesn't bode well for you in learning how to think critically and have an open mind in a liberal arts environment.</p>

<p>This is a difficult question. The student in question might be better off at JHU because the larger number of students might allow him to find a compatible group of conservatives. </p>

<p>However, the JHU campus is not exactly a beacon for student free speech, according to FIRE, a group which monitors free speech on campus:</p>

<p>Johns</a> Hopkins University - FIRE</p>

<p>Carleton has had few if any free speech incidents:</p>

<p>Carleton</a> College - FIRE</p>

<p>The "Minnesota Nice" feeling on Carleton's campus may help defuse a lot of campus rancor. But it is not easy being a conservative at Carleton:</p>

<p>YouTube</a> - Carleton Conservatives</p>

<p>I still find it amusing that MrFantastic wrote the following:</p>

<p><<you might="" be="" more="" comfortable="" at="" a="" school="" like="" bob="" jones="" university.="" not="" wanting="" your="" narrow="" world="" views="" challenged="" doesn't="" bode="" well="" for="" you="" in="" learning="" how="" to="" think="" critically="" and="" have="" an="" open="" mind="" liberal="" arts="" environment.="">></you></p>

<p>I agree that the OP will have his world views challenged on almost any campus. Bob Jones is out because he already said he would not be happy in a Christian evangelical environment. </p>

<p>But when over 90 percent of the faculty and students on a campus share the same liberal world view, it is ludicrous to think there is an open minded and critically thinking environment. This goes to the very heart of how academia seeks the holy grail of "diversity". Diversity is wonderful, as long as everybody comes from different backgrounds and ends up having the same liberal political view at the end of their educational process.</p>

<p>It is nice to see that Carleton is one of the few colleges and universities which include differences of political views in their official definition of diversity.</p>

<p>On balance, perhaps JHU is better if the OP wants a more pre-professional university - certainly a factor in this economy - and perhaps Carleton is better if the OP is looking for a happier four years before moving on to grad school.</p>