These two liberal arts colleges are near the top of my daughter’s list if she doesn’t get in or decide to go to UW. However we are having somewhat of a difficult time really discerning the differences between the two. We visited Lewis & Clark before the pandemic with students on campus and my daughter liked it. Seemed sort of a mix of athletes and casual/liberal type students. We only visited Puget Sound as a DIY self-guided tour of the pandemic-closed campus so didn’t see any students.
Academic reputation seems similar. UPS has a slightly higher endowment and might be slightly more selective, but only marginally so. My daughter is interested in biology and especially molectular biology and genetics and both seem to have decent bio departments.
UPS is a more traditional quad type campus in the English style in an older nice residential part of Tacoma with more shops and restaurants nearby in walking distance. Lewis & Clark is in a tony leafy residential part of Portland that is tucked into a wooded hillside. It looks like an old estate that was expanded into a college sort of ad-hoc rather than a planned design around quads. There is nothing for students to do within walking distance of campus so one must take shuttle buses to other parts of Portland.
UPS has Greek life and athletics. My daughter is not interested in either. Lewis & Clark has no Greek life but an equal percentage of athletes I suspect. So that seems sort of a wash. Lewis & Clark probably has the edge there due to lack of Greek life on campus.
I suspect she would probably be equally happy at either school. I think she likes the setting at UPS better in that it is more integrated into a neighborhood with groceries, coffee shops, arthouse theaters and such. And it is further from home. But it is really hard to get a read now that we can no longer visit schools with students present.
Are there any parents or students her with experiece at either school who can more definitively comment on the differences between these two schools?