What are your favorite “average” schools?

I agree. None of the schools where my three kids went/are going to are ever discussed here. With my older two, I wasn’t really using CC much yet but since then have gained a lot of insight here WRT college generally speaking. S21, who is off to college this fall, is not the type of student usually discussed on CC so the schools he was targeting are rarely mentioned on CC. Dayton was one of his top two choices in the end but even the Dayton board here is not very active. Fortunately having been twice thru the college search process, I had experience and was able to use other resources than CC.

I would love to see more discussion about these hidden gems/underrated schools, especially since in many cases, they offer great merit along with a solid education.

One of the “hidden gems” we really liked was Hobart & William Smith. My older son was recruited for a sport there but in the end, decided for him, it was too small. However, I was very impressed with the school and think had he gone there, he would have had a very good education.

I think Jesuit schools are often overlooked b/c they are Catholic. However, I think they are great options even for non-Catholics. Many are in great locations, and WTE of a few, can be pretty generous with merit aid, even for the “average” student. S21 will be attending one (Xavier in Cincinnati) for the same price as our flagship public, UMD.

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Being from MA there aren’t too many unknown schools (average or not). UMass Lowell is excellent for engineering but doesn’t get a lot of love on these boards.

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My daughter loves Mills in Oakland, which is unfortunately closing, as well as Goucher College in MD. It’s a tiny school with such a welcoming and friendly vibe.

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I’m from the Midwest and barely know any colleges in Mass.

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Until I started using CC, I’m not sure I even knew MA had a city named Lowell - well, I think Spenser solved a case in Lowell, so maybe I read about it there.

Reminds me of all the times I’ve typed/seen UNCC here and non-NCers sometimes assume the reference is Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) and not Charlotte (UNC Charlotte).

UM-Lowell is probably unknown to everyone in NC who hasn’t met someone who attended there. Personally, while I have heard about it now, without referring to a list I couldn’t tell you what it was known for until you helped us out.

In fact, looking at best-MA-Colleges list on N*che, once we get past the top 10, I’d say most are unknown to the majority of people below Deleware. Before starting the search for S20, I’d never heard of Babson, WPI, MHC, Wheaton, etc and can only assume I’d heard of Holy Cross. And I was someone who had been to Boston several times, starting as a teenager when I took classes at MIT as a teen to a few business trips to Boston in my 20s. What many of us assume are well-known items in one state are completely unknown to people in other states.

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Fair enough! I suppose I just assume everyone knows the biggies - Harvard, MIT, Wellesley, Amherst, Smith, Williams etc. There are a lot of schools in MA, many of them of really good quality, but I’m being parochial when I assume everyone knows of them. In addition to UMass Lowell, some of the lesser known schools in MA might include Wheaton, Clark, Emmanuel, Lesley (strong for teaching), Suffolk University. I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t know much about our state schools outside Lowell and Amherst (the two strongest) although there are several other campuses. The number of private schools in the state surpasses public ones by a pretty wide margin.

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Colorado Mesa University. Beautiful location, good merit aid, CU Boulder engineering at an affordable price.

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My niece is at Lowell for Nursing (another strong program) and Lacrosse. Wheaton in MA is somewhat unknown, outside the state at least. (ETA didn’t read all the responses and see that Wheaton has already been mentioned)

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St. Mary’s and University of Dallas, both Catholic schools in TX. Kids we know that have gone there were very happy.

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LOL, the UD board here is on life support. Xavier is a great choice. One of my best friend’s daughters is still deciding between Xavier and Baylor - she got extensions from both on her decision date. I’m hoping she’ll choose Xavier so he and I can double up on roadtrips and share the driving to see our kids. Selfish alert.

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Possible exceptions are states where the flagships also function as broad-access state universities, such as Arizona and Hawaii.

For most states with many state universities, most people outside the state are likely to be unfamiliar with those other than the most well known (and usually most selective) one or two of them.

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Average? If U.S. News includes 1452 four year colleges in their rankings, wouldn’t “average” be schools ranked around 500-950? I don’t think anyone has mentioned any of those schools yet.

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Similarly, when we NCers cross the border into South Carolina and reference UNC-CH as “Carolina”, they immediately think we mean UofSC - when every self-respecting southerner knows full well that the only “Carolina” is UNC-CH :grin:

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We are very lucky here in NC to have an excellent list of public universities to choose from - many of which are getting harder and harder to get into each year. Western is a bargain and even App & NC State are less than the UNC-system schools (but even those are still cheaper than state universities in some of the northern states).

I didn’t find this site until my D’s applications were in. Since she really wanted to go out of state but stay in the south, we based our list on where her older sister received merit offers and where I had seen others from her HS receive merit offers (our HS publishes senior class merit offers (not the amount) in its weekly newsletter). Although she didn’t want to go north, I was impressed by the offers received by other students from Dayton & Miami (Ohio), so I was aware of those schools. I was also aware of the many of the northern schools mentioned in the thread, since I am from NY, but I couldn’t nudge her past Virginia.

If your child is looking for a small college environment, there are almost unlimited choices of many “hidden gems”. If they have their heart set on a big university will all the bells & whistles - most of those are very well known.

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:+1:

Go Heels!

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Clark University, in Massachusetts

Friendly environment, no frats, good size keeps class sizes small, great LEEP program connecting studies to “real world” experiences

(note: it is easier to be admitted to Clark than to more selective schools, but both its psychology and geography departments are among the nation’s best, not average)

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