Williams vs Northwestern

No significant difference in terms of student body average. I would imagine that only a small percentage of students at either school identify as socially or politically conservative.

However, in terms of absolute numbers, there are probably far more conservative students at Northwestern than at Williams – simply because there are far more students of all kinds at Northwestern (undergrad enrollment = 8,000 vs 2.000). It wouldn’t surprise me if the conservative organizations at NU are more active and visible than at Williams, because they might have a certain “critical mass” of actively involved members that might not be reached at a much smaller school.

@ThankYouforHelp Which one do you think has more “raging liberals” for lack of a better term?

Agree there has to be a better term. Not sure there truly is a lack of them.

No significant difference. Raging liberals prefer Wesleyan over Williams. In absolute terms, there are probably more “raging liberals” at Northwestern because it is a much larger school, just as there are probably more conservatives at Northwestern.

In my opinion, you are focusing on the wrong things. This is like trying to choose between a BMW sedan or a Jeep Wrangler based on the color of the upholstery. There are far larger and more consequential differences.

@Corbett The family I was raised up in is very political. I don’t want to go to a school that’s flooded with liberals. I have nothing against them in any way shape or form. It’s still important to me though. Like I’d never go to Berkeley for example.

@Postmodern I chose such a strong term because I wanted to blatantly state that I’m referring to the extremes. Haha like Trump is a raging conservative.

All of the schools comparable to Northwestern and Williams are flooded with liberals. Intellectual conservatives in office are an endangered species these days due to the Koch funding available to challenge any independent thinker from the right. With so few intellectual conservatives in office these days, it’s no wonder that there are so few role models for young intellectual conservatives to emulate. Most conservatives I know take the “I’m not political” tack so as not to be attacked by the raging left, whereas the raging right is decidedly anti-intellectual and doesn’t hold them in any higher regard. It’s really a shame since I think we would all benefit from serious thought with some balance.

I would shoot for UChicago if you want a more balanced student body. That university seems to have gone out of its way to create safe spaces for endangered conservatives.

Be aware that Berkeley is jam-packed with business majors, has plenty of republicans, and mostly has thousands and thousands of students who mostly couldn’t care less about politics and just want to get good grades. It isn’t even remotely as leftist/extremist on a day-to-day basis as its reputation in the conservative media would suggest.

Neither Williams nor Northwestern is particularly extreme politically, there are fiscal conservatives and pro-military conservatives and old money conservatives at both of them. However, I suspect that if you walked around carrying a sign saying “Gay Marriage is Evil and Should Be a Crime” you would get a lot of pushback. Very few, if any, elite colleges are socially conservative anymore.

Citation, please.

And also, are you sure you meant Koch in your allegation?

I don’t want to violate the terms of service, and if I did I certainly didn’t intend to. I didn’t realize what I said is controversial or disputed. I’m still not sure it is. I’ll let you google “Koch tea party” and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of citations, and you can take it from there on whether you think there is a relationship.

I’m merely offering support and encouragement to a young person who is looking for an education not an indoctrination.

^^^ @ClassicRockerDad , I think if you did the same Googling, you’d find the Koch brothers are right wing supporters.

Is it possible the echo chamber line you meant said Soros and not Koch?

Forgive me if I find that statement ironic. Maybe if you would have just typed the last of your paragraphs, or simply recomended a source like the ISI guide (link below) I could accept it.


@ClassicRockerDad Thank you for your input. I’m very aware that there are no socially conservative schools left. I just want to distance myself from schools that are known for their social activism and openness (Brown for example).

Exactly. What is your point?

After Koch and their minions successfully vanquished 36 year veteran Republican Senator Richard Lugar in a primary, most others got the message that compromise will be punished and there stopped being any rational healthy debate in both chambers. Olympia Snowe retired over this.

IMHO, this is exactly why it’s hard to find any healthy rational debate on campuses that attract the most intellectual students either. The open minded center has been virtually eliminated from public life leaving nobody for intellectual conservatives to have intelligent conversations with. What remains are extreme positions where nobody is willing to see an alternative rationale point of view. As with Congress, this has gotten out of control on many campuses to the point of absurdity. I applaud the healthy actions taken by the University of Chicago to make sure that all points of view are welcome and that debate is based on principles, and not personal attacks.

We’re from Boston and my family tends to lean left, but what I saw when we went to visit campuses like Swarthmore made my skin crawl. I encouraged my kids to try to find schools where they would meet good well meaning folks who lean right and have honest respectful conversations, not view them as the enemy. I think both of my Ds are richer for the experience, and though they still lean left, they now see things like tradeoffs and recognize that not every problem has a simple minded solution. In fact my D has had real problems with some extremely liberal friends who begrudged her for making good money while they complain that the non-profits that they chose to work for don’t pay well enough. I just scratch my head.

Mr. Austere, I’m not sure what exactly you mean by openness and what you object about it.

@ClassicRockerDad There is nothing I object about social activism. That’s a great atmosphere for a lot of people, just not for me.

Also, what exactly did you notice about Swarthmore?

@MrAustere does social activisim = openness? I’m just not used to that word (openness) in that context (social activism).

Re Swarthmore, I can’t exactly recall the specific thing they were protesting that day, but it was some art thing prominently displayed with a way out of the mainstream in your face message. I asked the tour guide if everybody was so liberal, who was there to argue with? She didn’t think it was a problem - there are different degrees of liberal. Looked like a lot of group-think to me. D liked it. I’m glad she didn’t go there.

Mr. Austere, IMHO, Swarthmore is definitely not the place for you.

@ClassicRockerDad Thanks for the input on Swarthmore. Are there any other schools you wouldn’t recommend for me?

Off the top of my head, Oberlin, Brown (as you seem to already know), Vassar, Bard, Hampshire.

My point: Why would the Koch brothers fund challenges to thinkers from the right when they support them? What am I missing?

Maybe I should have said they fund (challenges from the right) to (independent thinkers). Independent thinkers being anybody that may have an independent opinion of their own that may differ from the Koch platform. Basically, they have been supporting primary challenges from people more conservative than independent thinking Republicans who consider compromise with Democrats. That is what I mean by a challenge from the right.

These schools are very different. Several good examples of differences can be found above. I’m concerned that the OP has not given enough thought to fit - since I think its unlikely that someone who has would consider these 2 schools their top 2 choices. OP, in the long run you will be happier and make better school selections if you can really identify what type of environment will make you happiest - and focus your application list accordingly.