Why Goucher? Why not?

<p>I would love to hear what Goucher is like - the good and the bad - from those who have experienced it personally or have a close connection (as a student, visitor, parent, friend or sibling of a student). I've just spent a couple of hours looking at Goucher's website for my D (HS class of 2014). D is interested in languages (French, Hebrew, maybe Arabic), International/Global Affairs, Study Abroad Programs and Internships. She wants a school with diversity, a challenging curriculum, smaller classes, lots of class discussion/collobarative learning environment. Goucher looked like a great match from the website. All of the above seem to be important points about Goucher, plus a beautiful campus and nice location. We're feeling pretty excited about what we've read. I got the impression that it is not a big party school or preppy. Of course, the website is created by marketing people and may not tell the whole story. We're interested in all aspects: academics, lifestyle, dorms, food, surrounding community, anything that you can think of. We'd appreciate all input. Congrats to those who have received recent acceptances. It looks like a great school.</p>

<p>ohmmom, I just happened to speak to someone last night whose daughter recently graduated from Goucher. She had nothing but fantastic things to say about the school. She described it as a very warm and nurturing school; it’s not only that it has small classes, but the profs seem to take a genuine interest in their students and really mentor and guide them. While this can be helpful to any student, it was particularly helpful to her daughter as she was quite shy and not overly confident. She gave an example of how her daughter’s math professor saw her potential in math as a freshman and approached her and asked her if she would like to tutor others. Her daughter agreed, it boosted her self-confidence and she ultimately became a math major. She also spent a semester abroad in Scotland and had a great experience. However, for whatever reason, she was unable to take her required math courses while abroad, which caused her to graduate a semester late. (I was not happy to hear that; since Goucher requires its students to study abroad, I would have hoped that they could all graduate on time.) She said that her daughter really “found herself” at Goucher and both mom and daughter couldn’t have wished for a better school for her. I don’t know if this is important to you or to your daughter, but it also has an active Hillel and a great kosher meal plan. Her only complaint was the lopsided ratio of women:men (more girls!) I wish that I had more info on it since DD is interested in it as well. We may have our daughters get in touch with each other and I will share whatever info I get!</p>

<p>Terrific, thank you so much for the info. I would appreciate your passing on any additional info and I will do the same. An active Hillel is important to us. The only thing I saw that D would not be happy about is the male-female ratio.</p>

<p>ohmmom, unfortunately Goucher may be off the table for us. DD got her merit award letter today and it wasn’t as much as we had hoped, not making a significant dent in the overall cost. Hopefully the FAFSA will bring a bit more. We were very disappointed for sure. However, I will continue to pass on any info that I get and I would still love to read any that you may have. Still holding out hope…“It’s not over 'till it’s over!”</p>

<p>What is the range of merit awards at Goucher? Anyone know?</p>

<p>daisy, not sure what the range is but DD received 10k per year with the Global Scholars Scholarship.</p>

<p>My D received $12.5k per year, with the Alumni Scholarship.</p>

<p>Congrats daisy! Is Goucher one of your D’s top choices?</p>

<p>Congratulations to everyone on the scholarships!!</p>

<p>Terrific, I am not asking her that question till we hear from all the schools, but she’s definitely happy with the offer!</p>

<p>As a student currently enrolled at Goucher, I can say that there are a lot of pros and cons. I’ll try to keep it brief, but to name a few:</p>


  • Top notch faculty. Professors are friendly, accessible, experienced, and knowledgeable. Because of Goucher’s small size and intimate class settings, students are not just another number. Professor’s are there (and only professors-no TA’s at Goucher) to help students in any way they can. It’s exceedingly rare to hear a student complain about his/her professor here.</p>

<li><p>Location. Goucher, despite what there mailing address leaves many to believe is located in Towson, MD, a very pleasant and quiet Baltimore-adjacent suburb. Towson aside from it’s small town where there are a collection of shops and restaurants to be found, has the biggest mall in Maryland, just down the street for Goucher. And than of course, Baltimore is a 20 minute bus ride away, and it really is a fun city with so much to do and see. </p></li>
<li><p>Openness. You’ll probably find this at most liberal arts colleges today, but Goucher especially has a reputation for being a very friendly place, especially towards LGBT students. It’s also not uncommon here for people who were probably considered socially awkward in high school to have a great many friends here. Although, some people see this as a con. Not everybody is so open-minded, and this is the reason that Goucher students sometimes get stuck with the “weird” label.</p></li>
<li><p>Food. It’s not exactly 5-star dinning, but compared to other colleges I’ve eaten at while visiting, Goucher’s fare is pretty solid. Lots of options. </p></li>


  • Size. Goucher’s student body consists of just about 1500 students. It’s very, very small. Which is nice, in the sense that everybody knows everybody, but also not nice in the sense that people who don’t make friends within the first month of school will have a hard time finding people to hang out with later on. If you don’t find your social niche, it can be a very lonely time here.</p>

<li><p>Boy: Girl ratio- Anyone who’s applied to Goucher probably knows this, but Goucher is about 70 percent female. As a heterosexual male, this is an obvious plus for me. However, most students applying to Goucher will be female, so it feels right to put this in the con category. There are guys on campus, ladies, plenty of straight guys (and a surprisingly large “lax-bro” population), but keep the percentages in mind. </p></li>
<li><p>Weather. I only put this because I know quite a few people who travel to Goucher from the West Coast are initially shocked by the cold. Maryland is technically in the south, but it is JUST south of the Mason-Dixon line, so conditions are more akin to NY than to NC. The school year primarily takes place in the fall and winter, and it gets cold quickly.</p></li>
<li><p>Diversity. Like most liberal arts colleges, Goucher isn’t very diverse. Most students here identify as politically liberal (although a lot of them are what you would call “campus liberals”–people who claim leftwing politics only because it’s fashionable to do so. I would submit that Goucher is not as politically conscious as the administration would have prospective students believe.), are from wealthy families, are mostly white, and it seems mostly Jewish. Something to think about.</p></li>

<p>Thanks for all of that information, ci0616! One of the things we really like about Goucher is that whenever we read any cons about it, we shrug and think “that’s fine”. :slight_smile: You said that most students are from wealthy families and are Jewish. Do you think a middle-class agnostic kid would feel comfortable at Goucher or do you think he’d feel out of place?</p>

<p>Many thanks to all who responded. Goucher still sounds like it could be a great school for my D (aside from the male female ratio, but what’s perfect?). My concern is that it does not sound like they are offering the amount of merit money that D will need. I’m wondering if they have any larger awards</p>

<p>Can you tell us about freshman dorms ci0616?</p>

<p>I have a daughter, high school class of 2014, who I think would fit well at Goucher…similar to ohmmom’s daughter in many of her interests. I’d like to know more about the internship opportunities. She’s also looking at other schools in or near cities and internships are important to her. Thanks for any info!</p>

<p>Foreste: Yes, I think a middle-class agnostic kid would feel very much at home here at Goucher. Most students aren’t very religious, and so the Jewish thing is only as big an issue as certain non-Jews make it. </p>

<p>MeerkatMom: Most Frshman are placed in the biggest dorm on campus, called Stimson. Certain people really like living there, and some people can’t stand it. One thing about Stimson is that there’s a sense of community from within that dorm that doesn’t exist in the other buildings on campus. Students leave there doors open so anyone can walk in and hang out, and most of the partying that goes on here on campus takes place in Stimson. This, however, is also the reason some students don’t like Stimson. People living in that dorm are more likely to be exposed to drug, alcohol, not to mention loud music which is played at parties into the late hours of the night (although, it should be said, there is no pressure to partake in the use of drugs or alcohol for students who don’t want to). Anyway, Stimson is not exactly the Taj Mahal, but as far as dorms go, it’s not so bad. Some might even say they like it.</p>

<p>Would a freshman feel comfortable in the substance free dorm?</p>

<p>So, I was accepted to goucher with 17.5k a year… and it is my top choice. However, it is very expensive… Is there any way to get the price lower?</p>

<p>Shulamit: While there are parties that go on on-campus, Goucher has a very large substance free community. Sondheim, the substance free dorm, is by far the nicest on campus. You have to actually apply to get in, and some people get rejected from substance-free housing–that’s how in-demand it is. So, yes, a freshman student would feel very comfortable in the subtance-free dorm.</p>

<p>Carolynleekidd: There is a way to appeal for more money, I believe. I forget exactly how to do it, but I did and they threw me an extra 2K. At 17.5K, I don’t know how good your chances are (Goucher’s endowment is not very big), but it’s worth a try. E-mail the admissions office to find out how to do this.</p>

<p>From my experiences on going to visit and such here’s what I have to say. The pros and cons are mostly all in how you view them. The campus is nice, the kids seem friendly. The campus is big which is great but compared to how small the amount of students that attend it makes everything look a lot more empty. The surrounding area is great lots of things to do very close to campus. The one thing that I think concerned me the most, not that it’s a bad thing, is that everyone is white and many of the kids seem from well to do families. I’ve heard many kids say on here how they didn’t get as much aid as they hoped for and I look at mine which is pretty extensive and along with observing the students realize we come from very different backgrounds. These kids are clearly from, and admitted to it when asked, families with lots of money whose parents are paying for all their college. I so used to living in the city with lots of diversity I might just find it weird and awkward. The academics, campus everything else however is fantastic.</p>