You started this thread by answering your own question.
You’ve never really moved off your original position despite continually citing @Lindagaf as a source of your enlightenment.
Your assertion that all arts and science units within a university should be called LACs is provocative, but not widely supported.
But, you be you.
It must have taken some time to compile that information. Is this a case of a pot calling a kettle black? The cow-horse analogy is accurate here.
I don’t see anyone saying all research experiences are the same. They clearly are not. I don’t care if Bates doesn’t rank in terms of money spent on research. My kid certainly knows how to do it though, and she learned it at Bates. She does it so well that it has helped her land two very desirable jobs. Anyone else’s kid on this thread might have done completely different types of research, and anyone else’s kid might have moved on to totally different career paths.
This crux of this debate, which indeed it is, and which is actually against Forum Rules (yes, I am possibly breaking the Rules), is that some believe students at LACs don’t conduct “true” research or have good research opportunities because LACs lack the resources of R1 unis, and others don’t believe that.
We really are going in circles now, so I’ll flag my own post and see if another mod would like to step in.
That’s not what distinguishes an LAC. Caltech, for example, in addition to its heavy requirements in math and sciences, has greater minimum requirements in humanities and social sciences (including intensive writing requirements) than most, if not all, LACs. It’s also smaller with smaller classes on average than most LACs. But no one would call Caltech an LAC.
I wouldn’t call Harvard College an LAC, either. Its SEAS is much more integrated with the College (than, say, Columbia or Cornell’s). It was only a division until about a decade ago.
The thread has become circuitous and snarky. I think the OP has received sufficient input. Closing.