Would love to hear more about Connecticut College

This beautiful and interesting college has very little posted about it on College Confidential compared to some other colleges of interest.

I would love to hear more about the intellectual environment, the social environment, the general vibe. Can any current or former students, parents, etc., add any commentary?

D19 and I are headed to Connecticut College this weekend (MLK 2018) and will report back!

Thank you. Although the ship has sailed for my son, who will be attending Williams next fall, I think that Connecticut College is wonderful and there should be more details about it on this site, so I look forward to your report!

My kid found it a little too preppy for her taste when she visited a few years ago. But as with all schools, YMMV!

I’m a CT resident. Conn’s reputation has always been very preppy, very elitist. I dragged my dd there because even though she wants out of the state for college, it does check all the boxes for her academically–she applied to somewhat selective northeastern LACs in suburban/rural areas. She liked the campus and everything she heard in the interview and tour (she’s planning on majoring in English and was very impressed with their program). But the biggest surprise to me was the students we met. I wouldn’t describe the school as preppy at all. Everyone we met was very nice/down to earth, and there was a wide variety of students there. It was a very pleasant surprise. In comparison to some of the other LACs we looked at and she applied to, it was one of the most diverse in terms of student body, and as I said, everyone was super friendly and went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. It’s still not in my dd’s top 5 only due to it’s location so close to home, but I came away with a very good impression of the school.

Connecticut College got the thumbs up from my D19 this January weekend. This was just a preliminary visit for us since admissions was not open and few students were back yet.

The campus is on a hill above the river and it was below 20 degrees and windy. We got out of the car and I proceeded to hunch over, shiver and wonder why I pushed for a winter college trip. D strode off, got a self-guided tour brochure, and started reading it out loud. She stopped in the middle of Temple Green, surrounded by mostly traditional stone buildings, looked out to the Long Island Sound, and pronounced the campus “Beautiful!”

The college center was open as was the biggest dorm complex and its dining hall (Harris). Most of the students were in sweats or even athletic shorts and t-shirts. Lots of Conn College gear. No make-up. D felt like they must have rolled out of bed and come to lunch. Maybe this was because classes had not started, but in any case, she liked the laid back vibe.

She also liked that the campus is compact and easily walkable, and she had no problem with the field house being on the other side of Mohegan Ave (there’s a pedestrian bridge). From the fitness center you can see the Thames–everyone in our family is drawn to water and water views.

As a mid-day break, we went down to the Waterfront District in New London by the ferry terminal and train station. It’s a picturesque little coastal area. D liked the wall murals, cozy coffee shops, and the unpretentious cafe we ate in. She wished it were walking distance from campus (it’s about two miles, and not really bike friendly).

D’s favorite thing about Conn College was the arboretum. Peaceful, well kept, and nice to be able to walk across the street from campus and into the woods (also, out onto the frozen solid pond).

Another big plus of the college is ease of transportation. We like train travel, and from New London the Acela will take you to Boston in 1.5 hours, NYC in 2, or DC in 5.5. Or in 1.5 hours you could take the ferry to Orient Point on the North Fork of Long Island.

D does not take the SAT until March, so we’re just collecting impressions and getting inspired at this point. If Conn turns out to be one of D’s top match schools, she’ll definitely return for a more in depth visit.

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^Great review!

Would love to hear from a current student.

I’m a current student at Conn and I love it. the intellectual environment is challenging but supportive- I’ve made so many friends from just being in class with people and forming study groups. Socially, it’s a pretty small school which does have it’s limits but I love feeling like I know a lot of people. I walk to class across campus and in that 5 minute trek I always see people I know that smile at me and wave, so it feels really welcoming. Everyone’s pretty kind, and we have an honor code dictating social and academic responsibility and integrity (and people take this really seriously) so that also makes the social vibe a lot better. I know Conn has a reputation of being pretty “elitist” and “preppy” (re: the above comment) but there are so many diverse backgrounds and people that that vibe doesn’t really penetrate social and academic environments.
The general vibe is super warm and welcoming. Everyone (especially peer tutors, professors, staff, and coaches) want you to do well and want to support students. It’s a great school and I’m so happy I chose to go here. I never regret my choice and I’m so proud to be a Camel.

I’m a current Conn student and would love to answer some questions. As for the intellectual environment, we have rigorous academics, but a non-competitive environment. From my time here I have come to realize that there is no stigma against getting extra help, but it is encouraged by peers.

The social environment at Conn is really supportive. People tend to be extremely down to earth and kind. There is little to no peer pressure to partake in activities you don’t want to do. There are always things to do on campus as well on the weekends and I never really get bored even though it is a small campus. People here tend to actually care about one another’s well being along with pushing each other to be the best we can be.

The general vibe of the school is pretty laid back. I don’t find myself always in a super stressful environment. Most people spend a lot of time doing work but to me, it never seems like people are projecting stress onto someone else. I really love it at Conn and would have never picked another school over it. I have enjoyed every single day here and if there are any more questions I would love to answer them :slight_smile:

My D19 and I were back at Conn this weekend. By noon on Saturday, all the students were emerging and it was a vibrant scene. A lacrosse game in the middle of campus drew plenty of kids and families cheering for the athletes, and for some reason, a plethora of dogs. Once D had pet a majority of the dogs, we walked over to the arboretum where about 70 kids were lounging on the lawn listening to a likable student do a dry stand-up routine. Other students were preparing instruments and what looked like gymnastics mats for later acts.

Next, we walked to the field house which has a view of the river where a sailing regatta was in progress. At Conn, you can take beginner and/or intermediate sailing as a PE class. There was also a track meet going on, and we loved seeing the students come down to watch, hang out with their friends, and mingle with kids from the other participating schools.

We were particularly impressed with the student art on display in the museum and our tour guide. He’s an Architectural Studies major who speaks Arabic only while living in the language house, plays volleyball, was the lead in Rocky Horror, and spoke genuinely about Conn’s inclusive atmosphere and stance against sexual violence.

Our overall impression was:
Well-rounded, well-adjusted kids with many talents.
An easily walkable, classic campus.

Very supportive administration–each student given four advisors (academic, career, staff and student).
Great location (we dislike traffic, so train = ideal).
Everyone wants everyone to feel welcome and to succeed.

I agree with all the rave reviews. I honestly can’t say a thing against the school. I know a current student who just loves it and is thriving there.

I have read online reviews that make it sounds like the weekend culture is dominated by people getting very drunk, followed by random hookups. Is that not the case?

@CollSearchSite do you go to concoll?? just curious because of ‘coll’ on ur username. and if you are enrolled there is it true that the weekend culture is dominated by drunks?

Does anyone have a feel for Conn’s Environmental Studies Major? My daughter and I are very interested in Conn and she is leaning toward an Environmental (non-engineering) Major. Conn doesn’t seem to be mentioned with the Middlebury’s or Colby’s for Environmental however what Conn presents on their web site looks interesting. We have a beach house about 30 minutes from Conn so I wondered if being close in the summer would afford her better opportunities to participate in research that takes place during the summer months.

To any current students: what would your opinion be about a student that is unsure of what he wants to do attending CC vs. a university with open curriculum that stretches wide across every major. My son is trying to decided between the 2. He loves the Conn College culture the most, but also feels like it will be tough to figure out what he wants to do with more of a broad brush liberal arts education. The other school is University of Rochester, which is bigger and has all of the majors that he may be interested in, with him able to decide which classes to take (no major requirements, just clusters). He feels like he now needs to decide between loving the culture the most at CC, but needing more breadth at UR. Any insights about this dilemma would be appreciated!

It’s now 2 years later since the last post in 2019 and here we are in a middle of a pandemic and despite just having an outdoor only tour, it’s still challenging to get a real feel for Conn and I so appreciate hearing all the earlier experiences on this thread. I imagine 2 years later the culture is still similar. Any current students/parents out there that can comment? My D’21 is laid back, kind, artsy yet loves science, liberal, not “preppy”, not into sports but is ok about watching some games, not into partying but still wants to have fun things to do in the evenings that do not revolve only around alcohol. Some of the reviews on Unigo are so concerning but seems so different in a positive way on all I read on College Confid and from our own brief experience visiting Conn. Thank you!

My daughter just got in and she sounds similar to yours. We were able to book an in person tour during our spring break (3rd week in April). They require a COVID test but we are excited to visit, esp. since we’ve never been there!

I was also stalking Unigo this morning and didn’t like what I read.

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I was disappointed in the in-person tour access given we paid for covid tests to be there.

My friend went there 30+ years ago, and both of her kids go there now. If Conn is in the final running, I will bug her for info… Equestrian barn? We will have to check it out since my daughter rides (casually).