What College is right for me? (Safety Schools Especially)

Since it was brought up more than once, these were the middle SAT ranges for the matriculated class of 2018:

Hamilton: 1960-2210
Colby: 1880-2120

At least glance at Beloit College and Lawrence U - both in WI, both good ranking on nat’l liberal arts. However maybe not enough to draw you away from your geographic area.

If your main interest is LACs, Dartmouth is the most LAC like of the Ivys. Cornell is probably one of the least LAC like. Brown may also be worth a look. But Dartmouth has a very heavy fraternity and sorority presence (some LACs do as well).

Another parent circling back on the cost issue --every spring, it is heartbreaking when kids post about getting into schools that parents either refuse, or cannot, pay for. Sometimes parents still haven’t really appreciated that full pay means $60,000 a year, or sometimes parents were willing to liquidate assets to send a kid to an Ivy, but won’t do that for other schools. No matter what the cause, there are distraught seniors with few good choices because the finances were not clarified early in the process.

College applications and decisions are loaded emotionally, because they represent parents’ and teenagers’ hopes, dreams, plus the cold reality of money, all thrown together in an ugly, messy mix. Clarity at the beginning helps keep the whole process neater. If you have some time, and don’t mind watching the CC equivalent of roadkill, you can go back through College Selection and Admissions boards from March-May, and see the posts from kids saying their kids just found out they cannot afford their dream school. Actually, a much better use of your time would be to get your parents to sit down with the Net Price Calculator on some school websites, if they are thinking they will rely on financial aid. If you are not applying for financial aid, please make sure they know it is $60k+ and that there is no merit aid at Ivys or NESCAC schools. If merit aid is needed to make the college cost affordable, then showing interest to schools like Denison and St Lawrence, will be important.

Most rural schools are going to have quite a bit of drinking (not much to do).

Colby and Lafayette both have big drinking cultures. Williams does as well. Skidmore has a pretty big drug scene (mainly pot). If you don’t want to, you don’t have to get involved, but it is a pretty big thing on campus. I’m sure it happens at other schools on your list, too, I’m just not as aware of it.

Bowdoin is not particularly rural- at least, not in the way that Colby or Williams are.