Where is a low income, geeky girl to go?

<p>Currently I'm looking at a lot of small liberal arts colleges in the Northeast. While most seem to have great academics and everything, I can't help ignore that there are some reviews about the schools that say that the majority of students are "rude, snooty white rich people". Now coming from a low income family and really not into drinking or going wild at parties... im really worried that whatever school I attend will have people that I won't feel comfortable in. Some schools that I noticed had these kinds of reviews were Colby, Bowdoin, Boston College, Vassar, Colgate, Bates, Hamilton, Williams, Haverford.... and some others. </p>

<p>I accept the fact that there will always be some difficult people at whatever school but the reviews make it sound like the majority of the student population is like this...
Should I even believe these reviews? Is it true that most of these schools have a majority of people like that?</p>

<p>Whether they are rich and snooty probably has more to do with your perception and comfort level. One of the great things about going to college is being around people who are different than yourself, and your own family. You can learn things you like about different cultures, and you can discard things that don't work fo you. But you have to have some inner strength to not let being different turn into feeling inferior or snubbed. I went to a school with a lot of rich kids and honestly--they are mostly busy worrying about themselves! It's not like Pretty in Pink where any one is actively targeting the kids who are different or not rich. Most colleges, including the ones you mentioned, have all different kinds of kids.</p>

<p>lalule, are you open to the idea of an all-women's school, specifically Smith? Your stats, which I read on another thread, would certainly put you in the running, and Smith has a strong financial aid program and strives for an economically diverse student body.</p>

<p>Brandeis. Small liberal arts school 20 Minutes outside Boston</p>

<p>The majority of students you'll find in any prestigious institute of higher learning will be from an upper-middle class/rich environment. However, you shouldn't let that influence what school you decide to go to. In general, i find that people are more likely to judge you on your intelligence rather than your income.</p>

<p>As far as LACs go, check out the Claremonts in California and see if you like them.</p>

<p>Although the stereotype of friendly Midwesterners can be overdone, colleges like Grinnell, Beloit, Carleton and Macalester seem to attract down-to-Earth types that don't really care about rich/poor/etc. Also, if you pick a rural school (where students don't have access to clubs, restaurants and other expensive diversions), the gap between rich and poor will not seem as wide. An added bonus is that some of these schools give great financial aid.</p>

<p>Mizzbee's suggestion that you consider the midwestern LACs is a good one. The NE LACs have a reputation for a strongly preppy culture and that was our impression of the campuses we visited. The midwestern LACs have many fewer of these kids and the unpretentious, understated vibe might suit you better. Also, some like Grinnell, offer very generous financial and merit aid. I also agree that being at a rural LAC reduces some of the obvious inequities - there just aren't places to spend a lot of money so most of the action is on campus where everyone engages as equal.</p>

<p><a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/grinnell-college/438138-why-grinnell.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/grinnell-college/438138-why-grinnell.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>If you're a low-income student interested in those colleges, you should definitely consider applying through QuestBridge, which is an organization that matches low-income students with full scholarships at colleges like those you mentioned, as well as universities like Stanford, Yale, etc.</p>

<p>Bowdoin, Williams, Haverford, and Vassar are all partner colleges. I don't think that all of those you mentioned are necessarily snooty. You can see the representation of low-income students at those four by going to QuestBridge's [url=<a href="http://www.questbridge.org/%5Dsite%5B/url"&gt;www.questbridge.org/]site[/url&lt;/a&gt;] and clicking on each school under the 'partner colleges' tab. From there click on 'overview' and you'll get a glimpse of the socioeconomic diversity, i.e. those who receive financial aid, including the Pell Grant (a common measure of low-income student representation at colleges).</p>

<p>The</a> 10 Most INTELLECTUAL Colleges (PHOTOS)</p>

<p>As a 'geeky girl,' you might want to check some of these out: Grinnell is just one of those listed.</p>

<p>DD2 was also looking for a geeky college. She liked Carleton and Smith quite a bit.</p>

<p>I'll second the previous comment about the majority of students being upper-income. One study found that at the top 146 colleges, 74% of the students are from the top economic quartile, while only 3% are from the bottom one. It's a fact that the higher your income, the more likely you are to be qualified for college - SAT scores are highly correlated with income, as well as non-quantifiable factors. For example, students who come from the higher income brackets tend to have the money for tutors, SAT prep classes, music lessons, service trips to other countries, summer programs, college counselors, etc. Not to mention that they tend to be able to go to better schools (either private ones or public schools in strong districts) with lots of advanced classes, extracurricular activities of every kind, and so on. That's why legacy students at top colleges get in at much higher rates - not so much because of explicit preference (there's little of it), but because they're naturally the most qualified students out there, having come from well-educated parents with higher incomes.</p>

<p>I'm a low-income student and when I was starting out at Stanford, I was afraid that everyone would be rich and snooty. I couldn't have been more wrong. Of course, there are some who are entitled and snooty, but they're few and far in between. My first roommate was rich (son of an investment banker in oil industry); another good friend I made early on that year was also rich (daughter of a chairman at a tech company); and my closest friend from college is very well-off (son of a well-known scientist, a high-up at a pharmaceutical company). Then there was me, coming from a family who was living far below the poverty line. Despite our radically different backgrounds, it was never an issue. It never interfered with our friendship - it rarely even came up. I started out thinking that all the rich people at Stanford were going to make assumptions about me, but I eventually realized that I was making assumptions about them. </p>

<p>Takeaway point: don't assume that rich people are necessarily snooty. They can be, of course, but likewise poor people can be very presumptuous about rich people. Go in with an open mind and you won't have to worry about how wealthy your classmates are.</p>

<p>Tufts and Brandeis.</p>

<p>If you haven't already looked, check through this list. <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/848226-important-links-automatic-guaranteed-merit-scholarships.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/848226-important-links-automatic-guaranteed-merit-scholarships.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>