<p>A couple of my dearest friends are Earlham grads. They loved their experience and found it really formative and have been gently nudging my DD in that direction for years :) We were delighted by her acceptance and very happy to see the merit scholarship, although the full package hasn't come out yet so that's still an unknown. We plan to go to Accepted Students Day in April and it is her most likely choice at the moment. I have been worried by a couple of things though-- Earlham's retention rate and something I read recently of their having been downgraded from A to B on Moody's. My friends went to Earlham in the 1980s. My daughter is a conscientious, self-motivated kid with a strong superego :) She is peace-loving, passionate about social justice, and spiritually inclined. I am worried that Earlham may have changed enough to make it less of a good fit than it might have been in the '80s when my friends went there. Are there any current parents or students out there who can speak to the climate now? Will there be enough hard-working, focused kids to make a community? Will financial aid remain consistent, or do I have to worry about drops from year to year? </p>
<p>I went in the 80’s and my children go there now. The schools was different in the '80s than it was in the '50’s, and similarly it has changed from what it was in the 80’s to what it is now. Some changes I like, some not so much but I would be more worried if it hadn’t changed at all.
As for concerns, some of the ones you list would not be high on my list. The school for many years put its money into people rather than facilities. Arguably that is the best approach, but ended in a place where they were educationally quite competitive, but on objective measures like facilities were not. From a Moody’s perspective, they are taking a gamble by putting a lot of money into upgrading facilities, being very generous with funding to get more/better students, and keeping/expanding their curriculum. If 20 years from now, they are the same size school or smaller, they will have lost their gamble and need to pull back. If 20 years from now the school is still a lively dynamic environment, the investments will have paid off. From my perspective, the investment in the future was prudent, especially when borrowing was so cheap.<br>
I am sure you can find someone to disagree, but as for financial aid, it should pretty closely track your need as demonstrated by FAFSA. It is not known as a bait and switch school.<br>
As for social climate, hopefully she can find what she is looking for. Not everyone is hard working and focused, but to be honest not everyone was in the '80s. She can find others who are. The transition from a dry campus to a moist campus can be rocky at times.
The thing to understand about Earlham is that it is more about process than answers. The process of learning, teaching, administering, religion, conflict resolution etc is more important than getting the “right” answer. This has not changed over the years (although it takes new staff/faculty a while to catch on), and is what makes Earlham the community it is.</p>
<p>Our daughter is a first-generation Earlham student, so we can’t speak to how it has changed. But we can speak to what an empowering,stimulating, and supportive environment Earlham is. Our daughter has blossomed into a confident, assured, thinking, risk-taking, interesting, young woman. Her professors challenge her AND care about her. In high school, she was very happy to fly under the radar. At Earlham she has numerous leadership positions, takes courses outside her comfort zone, and has friends from so many varied types/groups. I am a professor myself, and I cannot say enough good things about Earlham. It truly is special. </p>