Your vote for "Most Underappreciated" lesser known colleges?

Learned about Lawrence University in Wisconsin on CC and now my D goes there. It has a lovely campus that overlooks the Fox River, Architecture on campus takes advantage of the beautiful views over the river. Has a music conservatory so lots of great performing arts opportunities. Appleton is a cute town with a fun downtown district that borders campus. My D has gotten to know lots of professors during her time there and had great research opportunities.

Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA. Applied there ED. Very prestigious among those in the know in California and engineers across the country, but otherwise, not many have heard of it. In fact, one of the school’s sayings is “the greatest college you’ve never heard of”.

Amazing STEM program, tight-knit student body, brilliant professors, all in beautiful Southern California. Its curriculum is rigorous, but rewarding. Boasts one of the best job placement rates out of any college in the US, and its grads have the highest average starting salary. A true gem.

I’ll second Earlham!

Also Union in NY. Not well known outside the it’s region. Engineering school as well as liberal arts.

Connecticut College

Seconding Susquehanna and Lawrence!

Adding St Olaf College in Minnesota, less than an hour south of Minneapolis - very strong music and choral programs, well integrated into a liberal arts setting. Excellent programs in math and the sciences as well.

SUNY ESF
Excellent programs in environmental studies.

Sewanee, Earlham, Wells, Alfred

Re Harvey Mudd, we toured a year ago (I’ve known about it since the mid-1970s when my brainy BF applied). It seems a great place for the hardcore brainiac who loves the idea of a Spartan environment. The stark, barracks-style dorms will appeal to the anti-Ivy set for sure.

My favorite part of the tour was toward the end when the guide stopped us and pointed out, with extra emphasis, the mental health office. She made a strong point: if you feel you need some help, do NOT hesitate. A lot of nodding heads and knowing looks among the parents with that one.

As a native of SoCal, I should add if you’ve never been in that part of the region, note that most of the publicity photos show the Claremont Colleges in a glorious, postcard-worthy setting, with snowcapped mountains in the background. In reality, this happens maybe a few days a year. At least half the year, that area is shrouded in a hazy smog and you can barely see those mountains. But the beach is about an hour’s drive.

In Iowa, Dubuque is located on the Mississippi River at the junction of MN, Wisconsin, I’ll, and is a beautiful area. Loras, Clarke, and the University of Dubuque seen in Field of Dreams. Tuition at one allows students to take classes at the other two. Good schools. Webster University in Saint Louis

Um… what an unpleasant set of comments about Mudd. For all the smog in the LA area, my experience the many times I visited the Mudd campus was that it isn’t bad most of the time in Claremont, and I could usually see the mountains just fine. My kid also hiked in them all the time when she needed a break.

Also, it isn’t that “Spartan”. The new buildings in recent years (Shanahan for classrooms, Drinkward dorm) are really nice. They’ve done extensive internal remodeling in a lot of the lab & classroom areas, too. And I think the dining hall is maybe the best of the 5Cs.

The inside of my kid’s suite style dorm room was no more “barracks style” than any other dorms we saw on our 40 college visits across 2 kids (Mount Holyoke had nicer rooms, and Amherst had nicer common areas).

Plenty of Mudders have overlap acceptances to Ivies, so not sure what that is about. They aren’t “hardcore anti Ivy”. But they may want to go to a school with a heavy STEM focus – nothing wrong with that.

UIUC and U-Wisconsin are great, maybe “lesser-known” schools?

Beloit College in Wisconsin! Nicest school EVER.

Union College, Schenectady, NY
SUNY Binghamton
SUNY Stony Brook

It’s funny what some are saying are lesser known. UIUC, UWMadison, SUNY Binghamton and Stony Brook are all major Unis. Harvey Mudd is super highly rated and extremely well known.

Rose Hulman is less well known and deserves mentioning. (I might have missed it if someone already mentioned it.)

Mudd is much better known on the West coast. Surprisingly little recognition in the Midwest. Remember that they graduate less than 200 students a year and have only been around since 1955. That is an entire alumni population of around 10,000. It is an amazing school, and my Midwest kid adored it.

Binghamton and Stony Brook are known in the NY, NJ, PA, CT area. Outside of there, not so much.

It is very common for students and parents on these forums to think of a potential admission safety as one that is unworthy of the student in that the student “should do better” (i.e. attend a more selective college).

We were happily surprised by Siena College in NY (near Albany). While my S ultimately did not attend Siena it went from being a safety to a final contender.

–In terms of admission they offered a very quick decision so my S was “in” by October which took a ton of stress off the entire process and saved us money as we did not apply to schools that were lower on his list.
–In terms of finances, Siena was less expensive than most private schools and offered merit aid.
–S did an overnight and was impressed by the students, professors he met there. The school moved way up on his list after that visit.

denison, dickinson, connecticut college, union, and rhodes!

Hobart & William Smith? RIT, WPI, Case Western?