What are the HYPS of LAC's

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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: What are the HYPS of LAC's
By Jerome12345 (Jerome12345) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 10:58 pm: Edit

what are the HYPS of LAC's
in other words, what are the best liberal arts colleges

By Davidrune (Davidrune) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 11:03 pm: Edit

Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore

By Davidrune (Davidrune) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 11:03 pm: Edit

Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore

By Tkdgal (Tkdgal) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 12:06 am: Edit

I don't like this question. If Carleton were on a coast, it might just be the hottest school out there. Same for Oberlin, Grinnel, Kenyon, Macalaster, and other great Midwest schools. If Wellesley were co-ed, it would get A TON of applications (great location, great academics and faculty...)

By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 12:17 am: Edit

what are the HYPS of LAC's
in other words, what are the best liberal arts colleges

There are two different questions here.

By Jerome12345 (Jerome12345) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 12:20 am: Edit

sorry i realize that now

By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 01:26 am: Edit

To answer your question more fully:

Williams, Amherst, and Swarthmore have held down the top three positions in the "rankings" for many decades. More than anything else, this "conventional wisdom" results from these three being the hardest to get into, having huge endowments ($$$$), and enjoying traditions of academic excellence that go back the better part of a century.

Having said that, "rankings" are kind of a superficial way to judge schools and don't reflect the quality of schools completely.

For example, Wellesley has a better location than Williams or Amherst and more endowment money than any of them. However, because it does not accept men, its applicant pool is smaller, and therefore its selectivity rank is lower. Yet, if you want an all-female college, Wellesley is fully the equal of the other three.

Likewise, schools that are not located in the "desireable" northeast are penalized. Davidson (North Carolina) and Carleton (Minn.) are also fully the equals of the others in terms of academic excellent, but cannot be rated as highly because of where they are located.

Although all of the top 25 or so LACs are similar in terms of class sizes and type of education, there are some rather significant differences in overall style and ambience. Because these are small colleges, it's pretty important that you pick a school with a style where you will feel comfortable.

For example, Swarthmore is famous for its ball-busting academic workload and lack of grade inflation. If you don't want to work your butt off, you don't want to go to Swarthmore. Williams is increasingly known for its heavy emphasis on varsity athletics. So if you are geek who couldn't walk up a flight of stairs and chew gum at the same time, Williams might not be the place for you.

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 01:56 am: Edit

amherst, williams, swarthmore, middlebury, carelton, pomona, davidson are at the top

By Collegeparent (Collegeparent) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 04:40 am: Edit

Also add to bunmushroom's list:

Claremont McKenna

Because each LAC offers something unique academically and socially, you should try to match your academic goals with your social ones. Also location may enter into your decision.

By Gnatcire (Gnatcire) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 04:02 pm: Edit

The HYPS of LAC's are AWSP (Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore, and Pomona), mostly due to prestige, selectivity, and location.

By Mini (Mini) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 04:35 pm: Edit

Depends what you're looking for. If it's a Ph.D., there are good stats:

Top Twenty Baccalaureate-Liberal Arts Insitutions by
Number of Doctorates Earned in ten-year increments

Institution Name 1991-2000 1981-1990 1971-1980
1 Oberlin College 1086 946 1120
2 Swarthmore College 755 532 599
3 Carleton College 752 538 559
4 Wesleyan University 695 473 415
5 St. Olaf College 591 400 376
6 Smith College 590 562 581
7 Wellesley College 570 573 615
8 Williams College 541 338 393
9 Reed College 495 401 411
10 Barnard College 476 571 716
11 Amherst College 460 334 499
12 Vassar College 456 446 443
13 Pomona College 455 438 560
14 Mount Holyoke College 444 442 403
15 Bryn Mawr College 440 318 359
16 Grinnell College 430 283 379
17 Bucknell University 422 430 431
18 Wheaton College 409 445 507
19 Haverford College 373 281 286
20 Colgate University 365 321 367

By Palomino (Palomino) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:13 pm: Edit

or how about the colleges that have the most success getting kids into top law, medical, and business schools:

Claremont McKenna

*Note: all of these schools are on the list of the top 25 "feeder" schools (which includes universities and LACs), ahead of the likes of Ivy Cornell and Johns Hopkins.

By Annakat (Annakat) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:32 pm: Edit

see above

the most success in ONE year (wall st journal).

as for other comments . . . middlebury and davidson over the likes of oberlin, reed, haverford, bowdoin, wesleyan, vassar, bryn mawr and smith?!?! maybe because of successful marketing and rankings pandering in the last 10 or 15 years, but in general? hmmm.

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