Which Colleges Suit Laid Back Boys?

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Which Colleges Suit Laid Back Boys?
By Cheers (Cheers) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 01:31 am: Edit

CC parents; please recommend a few colleges for two laid back nephews, ie neither is a competitive student.

Schools with 4000+ undergrads. Acceptance Rate over 50%
College basektball/baseball/football team to follow if possible.
Both liberal minded, decidedly unpreppy. Prefer mixed social scenes over homgeneity.
Open to location suggestions but not 1 stop towns.
Cost not an issue.


University of Arizona


By Mini (Mini) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 01:37 am: Edit

Evergreen is laid back and uncompetitive-- but you must take initiative in fostering your own education. Nothing is spoon-fed to you. Definitely liberal minded - NO preppies. The basketball team is called the Goeducks, which gives you an idea regarding whether it is worth following (LOL!)

Great town, though. I live there.

I have heard good things about the University of San Francisco (Bill Russell's old school), but I can't tell you much.

By Patient (Patient) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 01:42 am: Edit

Arizona would be good I think. I know you said no geographic preference, but acceptance rates will vary by whether they are in-state or out-of-state. Also some of those below are in small towns, like Sonoma, but not too far from San Francisco.

In California: how about some of the CSUs?

Cal State Sonoma
Cal State Long Beach
Cal State Fullerton
Cal State Fresno
San Diego State

Oregon State
Washington State

...I can only speak to their baseball teams but those are all top notch. You can research the website to see about the other teams.

Also--University of Hawaii. The ultimate in laid-back-ed-ness...good teams I believe.

By Alan5 (Alan5) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 08:27 am: Edit

How about the University of Vermont?

By Achat (Achat) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 08:41 am: Edit

Rutgers University. Although the acceptance rate into school of Pharmacy and Engg may not be 50%. I'm not sure of the numbers. RU is very diverse and great at athletics. Liberal minded as well and New Brunswick is very diverse.

By Achat (Achat) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 08:48 am: Edit

I meant that New Brunswick has a lot to do. Plus it is close to Philadelphia and NYC.

By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 10:01 am: Edit

Why are these kids going to college? Your description makes it sound like they're looking for a party school--and if they were my kids, I'd suggest they work for a few years.

I did notice you said cost was not an issue--but still: why waste money before they're ready to get something from college?

I have several former students who went to college because everyone else did--they flunked a few courses, drank a lot, went to football games--and ultimately dropped out, came home, and now wish they could start over--but their parents are tapped out.

By Irishbird (Irishbird) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 10:27 am: Edit

I agree with DMD. Maybe the parents should really discuss with the boys exactly what they are hoping to get from college. The parents might be hoping that the 'right' college will 'turn on' the student & help them become motivated, but it oftentimes turns out as DMD outlined above.
Additionally, I'd encourage community college if the guys can't readily articulate why they should go immediately to 4 yr college & they aren't interested in working.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 10:32 am: Edit

Dmd, while I get your point in regard to SOME kids, I did not get that impression from the OP's post. I think she was saying that these kids were not "competitive students". She is aware that many posters on here are of the type involved with selective college admissions. But surely college is appropriate for students who are not competitive academically. The majority of students in fact, fit THAT mold, not the elite college admissions mold. I would not go as far as saying college is a waste for that kind of student. I don't think "laid back" implies total slacker and someone who could care less about education. These kids need to pursue an education for their future. If they have some sort of "direction" or any ambition at all, that is all that matters. They need not be kids who make academics as huge of a priority to the degree that some of our kids here do (including my own). Their college criteria, therefore, would differ than some of our kids'. For instance, my oldest child wanted a challenging academic learning environment. Another kid might feel that as long as there is a cross section of coursework of interest, the level of challenge might not be that important and other factors may be more important...such as this poster mentioning a large school with spectator sports, etc. I think it is a big jump to go from that kind of thing to the kind of student who is just going to college just to do something and waste the time. I think college is for all types. Education is important. Plus this is a stage of life where college is kind of a transition to adulthood. Students start living semi on their own, obtain education, possibly some "training" or preparation for a future career, etc.

I do understand that college could be a waste of money for kids who could care less and are close to flunking and never attend class, etc. etc. But I did not get that impression from this inquiry. And I really think there are kids out there, again, the majority, who are not as keen on the higher end of academia as is represented by the typical CC student or parent poster.


By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 10:36 am: Edit


Would they be interested in Big Ten schools? Plenty of sports and a diverse community, plenty of school spirit as well.

By Starryeyedgirl (Starryeyedgirl) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 11:00 am: Edit

how about the Florida schools? Lots of fun, and UF is becoming an awesome school

By Cheers (Cheers) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 03:38 pm: Edit

Thanks for the suggestions...

They both live in a Big Ten State but want to go away to school.

But what's witht the suggestion they take up plumbing or something?? I never said these boys were stupid or party dogs--although have you noticesd that young people like to party?? ( I can't anymore. It makes me sleepy). Crikey.

Education for the sake of education is a worthy reason to attend college. And--just for the record--a HUGE number of "C" students are happy with their lives. Lighten up.

By Kfergy (Kfergy) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 03:52 pm: Edit

Plumbers aren't stupid. My dad is a plumber and he has a four year degree in philosophy. He is quite intelligent and is very involved in our community. He just decided after going to college that plumbing was what he wanted to do. He started up his own business and hasn't looked back.

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 03:58 pm: Edit

Some of the Big Ten schools are excellent. UMich, UIUC, UW-Madison, UT-Austin, Texas A&M, Colorado, these are all excellent schools.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 04:32 pm: Edit

Kfergy, Sorry. Posted that and regretted it. Thought that I might hear from a plumber. I'm an architect so I know quite a few well educated craftsmen. Does your Dad regret his years at college? I'll bet not.

Marite; UMich too hard to get into for out of state kids. What about UT at Austin? Or UW at madison? Any idea how hard they are to get into? U Maryland is very hard right?

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 04:36 pm: Edit


I don't really know. Perhaps a look at the ACT/SAT scores of admittees at each college, and comparing your nephews'? Out-of-state applicants would have to fall in the top 75%, I'd think. Indiana is another great school. University of Kentucky is another. Perhaps not the same caliber as UMich or UIUC, but definitely worth looking into. Would UVT be attractive? Quote popular in the NE, especially for those who enjoy winter sports.

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 04:37 pm: Edit


UConn has the top women's basketball team. Don't know about men's, though.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 04:56 pm: Edit

UVT and Kentucky are good thoughts....I wish they would break out the numbers for out of state applicants.....

By Patient (Patient) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 05:21 pm: Edit

You know that old joke about the neurosurgeon who had to call a plumber to fix his leaky faucet. The plumber came out and fixed it in 5 minutes and handed him a bill for $100.00. The neurosurgeon gasped and said, "That's outrageous! That's more than I charge as a neurosurgeon!"

The plumber said, "I know. It's more than I charged when I was a neurosurgeon, too."

By Cheers (Cheers) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 05:33 pm: Edit

Marite et all;
What do you think about Univesity of New hampshire as an option? My guide doesn't list the stats for UNH.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 05:46 pm: Edit

Here's the list for Nephew 1...

University of San Francisco
University of Oregon
University of Denver




University of Vermont
University of Maine
University of Mass at Amherst

Wish I had another private school for the Northeast. So many cutbacks for public education for this generation...

By Sokkermom (Sokkermom) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 05:47 pm: Edit

UNH is not very diverse (one of your conditions).
Durham is pretty much a one stop town. It is close to Portsmouth, NH (maybe a two stop town), and about an hour from Boston.
The UNH basketball program is horrible, I think they dropped baseball due to funding, football is pretty bad, but hockey is great!

They had a major brawl on campus (with a few arrests) celebrating the NE Patriots Super Bowl victory this year! (It made the national news.)

There is never a shortage of parties on campus.

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 05:58 pm: Edit


I don't know UNH. I suspect that Sokkermom is right about it. UVT is also very lily white as most of its students hail from VT. I was focusing more on the sports scene.

Depending on their stats, they might consider BC. It's big on football. Some major League players graduated from there. Northeastern might also be suitable. (Northeastern had an even bigger brawl after the Patriots won the Super Bowl).

Do consider private colleges in CT as well as public ones. New Haven has other colleges besides Yale. I believe Western Connecticut State College is located there. Quinnipiac is close.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 06:04 pm: Edit

BC WAY out of their GPA range. 72% in top 10% of class....

What about Emerson??

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 06:09 pm: Edit

Emerson is very focused on media and communications. It's right in the Theater District so I doubt there is any sports.

Northeastern might be a better fit.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 06:12 pm: Edit

Choices for Nephew 2, the sports fan interested in music and politics

Proposed College Tour for nephew #2


University of Washington
University of Oregon
University of Arizona


University of Texas at Austin
College of Charleston


George Washington University
Penn State

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 06:28 pm: Edit

Cheers, I am in a hurry at the moment but would be happy to help out. I just want to say that as far as University of Vermont, a huge percentage comes from out of state. I need to look up those stats for you. Same with Michigan. Michigan is harder to get into academically than UVM.

It would help so much to hear a little bit more of what each nephew wants, plus some general stats. It is hard to suggest without knowing their qualifications/range and also what fields they may be interested in and so forth. For example, Emerson is only good for certain fields. Also not a school with sports. I do think UVM is a good choice for these boys but that is without knowing enough. Same with the big Ten schools.

I can try to look up what is my gut feeling from past reading of statistics but UVM and UMich have a larger percentage of out of state kids than many state universities. I live in VT and know that school well, plus have a kid who got in there. I have a child applying to UMich and just read the statistics of out of state percentages but cannot quote these without looking them up and am in middle of cooking dinner, so later!!

(My 17 year old is on the phone for the first time ever with her future roommate as they just found out who they got....LONNNNNNNNG call!)


By Cheers (Cheers) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 06:40 pm: Edit

Sooviet, Thanks for the endorsement of UVT. Think it is a good choice for #1. These aren't my kids and some stats as yet unknown....but estimate a 2.9 GPA with potential to get over 3.0 by 2005. SAT somewhere between 1100 and 1200 probably.

By Oldman (Oldman) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 07:36 pm: Edit

Texas is tougher than it used to be - especially out of state...UConn was suggested...a fit?

By Cheers (Cheers) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 07:51 pm: Edit

oldman Good point about Texas. Out of state numbers are really low. Thanks.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 08:01 pm: Edit

Cheers, ok, that helps a bit.

As far as the out of state percentage of the student body...I looked it up now. As I thought, at Univ. of Michigan, over one third of the student body is from out of state, which is a lot for a state university. However, to be honest with ya, your nephew's basic stats would make UMichigan a very far reach and he would have to have something very compelling to overcome his academic qualifications for that school. It is not worth getting into the stats for UMichigan as you could look them up but I am just being realistic.

As far as out of state students at UVM (by the way, Univ. of Vermont is UVM, not UVT)....just as I thought, a large number of students are from out of state....62% of the student body in fact! So, I am sharing that so you might not assume that being from out of state is an obstacle at some of these schools. Actually, UVM has many Div. I teams sports. As far as spectator sports, I know that basketball and ice hockey have a major following. We don't have Major League teams in VT, and so many follow UVM teams as far as spectator sports. The sense of "laid-back" is a bit of a sense you might get from the type of kids who choose UVM as it attracts a certain kind of person. The academics are very good there. The school has 7600 undergraduates and so while that is sort of big, it is not big at all for a state university. It has a lovely New England kind of campus, yet is situated right in Burlington, Vermont which is a great small city (though the largest in VT), where everything is in walking distance...a thriving downtown area, lots of cultural and arts events, and right on Lake Champlain, and then the mountains are all very accessible for those who love outdoor activities. Montreal is 100 miles from UVM. As I know so little about your nephew, I would say off the cuff that UVM would be a match school.

Some other possibilities might be Penn State, Indiana, University of Delaware, University of Maryland, UMass, University of Arizona, UConn, or Villanova. Maybe University of Colorado at Boulder?


By Thumper1 (Thumper1) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 08:12 pm: Edit

How about University of South Carolina? I know it is larger than 4000 undergrads...but as the adcom we saw there said "you can make a big school small, but you can't make a small school big". We just came back from a visit there and were very favorably impressed with the school. It seems less "competitive" than many of the other state U's, but had very diverse programs. They really LOVE their football!! To be honest, it's a campus we didn't expect to like as much as we did.

By Mini (Mini) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 08:55 pm: Edit

You know, I completely forgot the Oregon schools, and there are three that meet all of your qualifications.

The University of Oregon is beautiful and in wonderful city. Eugene. Very liberal. Known for granola munching, but big time football and basketball, yet smaller than most state u's. A few departments (music, environmental studies) are world-class, but regardless, you can get a decent education.Access to winter sports. Oregon State out in Corvallis is somewhat similar, a little more conservative, a little bit more science and engineering, very beautiful but smallish town, big-time sports, but not a very large school. And close to the ocean.

And Portland State. The largest of the three. In Portland itself. Sports. Urban attractions in a great town. Liberal. Decidely unpreppy. These days the most difficult of the three to get in.

By Dstark (Dstark) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 09:09 pm: Edit

Mini, Is Portland State well regarded in Oregon? How about the Univ. of Portland?

By Mini (Mini) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 09:35 pm: Edit

I don't follow much, but Portland State seems always to be in the news around their computer science and engineering schools. It has grown very large very quickly, and Portland is a prime destination city for college students these days. It has gotten more selective. We have quite a few kids going there from Olympia, including my daughter's best friends (twins), both of whom hope to be forensic pathologists (go figure.)

Univ. of Portland, as I remember, is a smallish Catholic school? I've never met anyone who is going there, or who graduated from there, so I can't comment.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 11:27 pm: Edit

Thank you for the intimate portraits on UVM and Univ of Oregon. They both sound like good fits. One nephew is more independent than the other and could handle a huge school. Me thinks anyway.

thanks again to all. Really really helpful. Insti-counselling, at your service, lol.

By Infopls (Infopls) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 06:02 am: Edit

What about UVM's rep as heavy on pot users? Is this true?

By Enjoyingthis (Enjoyingthis) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 06:56 am: Edit

Mini-- are you sure Portland State's harder to get into than U of O? Sitting here in Corvallis, this has never been our impression, and U of O has just upped its minimum grade point average.

Now you've "met" someone who's going to the University of Portland. The boy twin of my new Smithie will start there this fall. I think he qualifies as a "laid back boy." Lots of kids from here in Corvallis have been going up there in the past few years with reports of nothing but satisfaction. They have a dynamite soccer program, especially the women, and this is one of the appeals for my son, who is a big fan.

Some of the other boys we've known who went there seem to have in common a certain affability combined with a lack of interest in academic cutthroat competition. The school made that list someone had on another thread of schools that build character.

It has the advantages of being in Portland but has a traditionally beautiful campus, "on the bluff," for those who would prefer that to Portland State's downtown location.

OT, Mini, is your D going to the send off Smith party in Portland or is something like that happening for them in Seattle?

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 09:13 am: Edit

Cheers, I would get a copies of Loren Pope's "Colleges That Change Lives" and "Cool Colleges". Your kids sound like a cross between the two!

There is nothing wrong with sending kids off to college in hopes that it will work out. Sometimes it does. I have always called the US college system a combo halfway house and Disney World. Frankly, I find it difficult to see how so many parents coexist with their adult children. I have been on tetherhooks by the end of a summer with them. Sending them away to an environment that forms a sort of an umbrella over them until they are mature enough to make some sort of decisions themselves and take care of themselves (mundane things like bill paying, scheduling, discovering a community--all pretty much done for you in a college setting)really is a good stop gap measure.

There is a book out that I cannot recall the title or author about alternatives to college. This author, a New Yorker, sent her son off to college and basically wasted the money, as her son was just not interested in going and not ready to take on that life. Personally, I have known kids like her son who were shipped off and somehow they managed to make it through, in fact, I know many of them--some are mine. But, yes, sometimes it does not work out and if they do not want to go, these alternatives are interesting that she has listed in the book. As the subject was so near to her personally, she put a lot of research in the book and the programs are really worth checking out.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 09:25 am: Edit

Infopis...I truly am not aware of UVM rep as for pot heads. Many types of kids attend UVM. You have the out of state kids and the VT kids. Frankly the VT kids that I know attending, are all very good students and I am not aware of any of them being pot smokers. My own child is not attending though had a full ride there and also got into the Honors College. I don't believe any party/drug activity is different there than on any campus. I think there is a niche for everyone. It is a school for good students, not a total gut college by any means. Some of the top students in our school are heading there. I can think of kids from this year's class, as well as from previous classes, in the top ten of the class, going to UVM. My daughter's best friend is going there and she is not only one of the top students in our high school but likely could have gone to many of the most selective colleges, given her accomplishments, particularly as a musician, but is going to UVM because she can attend for free as a parent works there. Many excellent students in our state go to UVM with cost being a factor. Last year, the valedictorian of our school went there. I, myself, having grown up in NJ, applied to UVM way back when but ended up at a more selective college, but I give this as an example that UVM attracts high achieving students. I would recommend UVM most for very good students, maybe not the most talented, but not the lower half of a class either.


By Infopls (Infopls) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 09:49 am: Edit

Thanks so much. Will definitely consider it as possibility.

By Willywonka (Willywonka) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 10:26 am: Edit

"U Maryland is very hard right?"

UMD *is* kind of hard to get into out of state, but I don't think it's that bad. A good deal of the raw selectivity percentages might be based on undergrads trying to get into the Smith School of Business and the school of engineering, both of which are regarded very highly. It's much harder to get into those schools than the regular college. If your nephews make themselves personable in the essay and have decent scores, they should be able to get in.

And, if they do, I wholeheartedly recommend they matriculate. UMD has an excellent student body- staggeringly diverse walks of life, 25,000+, everyone friendly, and not a big feeling of competition (except, again, probably in the engineering and business schools). If it matters, I was shocked at how beautiful the campus is.

By Thumper1 (Thumper1) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 11:34 am: Edit

DS did not get accepted at U of Maryland last year with 1320 combined SAT (730 verbal, 590 math), great EC's, great recommendations, great essay (he received very positive comments about his essay in particular at interviews at the places to which he WAS accepted), 3.4 GPA with a high level course load, top 20% of class. He is a student at Boston University. Go figure (BU was a higher choice on his list anyway, but he was very surprised he was not accepted at Maryland, as was his guidance counselor). Maryland has become much more competitive for out of state students.

By Mini (Mini) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 11:44 am: Edit

"Mini-- are you sure Portland State's harder to get into than U of O? Sitting here in Corvallis, this has never been our impression, and U of O has just upped its minimum grade point average."

--Only impression I get from out-of-state. PSU has become a very desirable destination, and I do know kids rejected at PSU who got into UofO (if it were me, I'd think UofO more desirable, but then what do I know?)

Glad to hear about U of Portland.

D. went to Smith picnic in Seattle. Lots of alums, and current students. Very exciting! My d. just found out that a Quaker friend from Alaska, who spent the last year living and working in Shanghai, is entering as a first-year at Smith, and living not only in the same house, but on the same floor! (she's very excited.)

Baldwin House -- where's your d.?

By Enjoyingthis (Enjoyingthis) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 04:33 pm: Edit

Mini-- she's in Albright. That's exciting about meeting up with the old friend!

By Mini (Mini) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 04:38 pm: Edit


By Cheers (Cheers) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 04:45 pm: Edit

Jamimom, lol, I was one of those half-baked cookies myself in 1975 so naturally I believe in the power of the lights coming on during the four to five year journey. And I couldn't agree more about living with grown boys in particular. When my son discovered he had a nine month gap year before uni, I gave him a list with a hundred options on it. Only thing on the list of what he couldn't do? LIVE AT HOME.

He wasn't making progress any more and we weren't perfecting parenting skills let me tell you. More like bulls butting heads non-stop.

His intermittent ten day visits are lovely. For him and for us.

Portalnd State sounds like a good add. Thanks for that!

Both boys want to go away and want to do well. Hopefully the money is not wasted but even if it is...money gets wasted on all sorts of things. Education at least has residual gains.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 01:04 am: Edit

Portland State, 21,000 students, but only 11% live on campus....

Mini, any idea about on-campus life or is it primarily a commuter school??

By Mini (Mini) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 01:08 am: Edit

The vast majority of students find apartments in the area. Not quite a commuter school. Kind of more like -- NYU? Some commuters, but a lot of out-of-town Oregonians (and Washingtonians).

By Bookiemom (Bookiemom) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 01:22 am: Edit

I know a little about Portland State, because my sister and family live in Portland and my nephew is considering transferring there. You can find out quite a bit from their web site. It isn't too hard to get in, and they have a diverse student body with many older students. They do have some dorms, but many students live off campus. I do think it is more of a commuter school.

University of Portland is much different, private, more difficult to get into. We have a family friend going there for nursing. I don't think the stats you mention would be high enough for here.

You might look at Hope College in Michigan (in a town called Holland). My friend's son was a good kid, but a very so-so student. He went there and did very well, is now a teacher and coach. I think Hope College is one of the schools in "Colleges that Change Lives," mentioned in a previous post.

By Enjoyingthis (Enjoyingthis) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 02:03 am: Edit

This is OT but hi there, Bookiemom, from a fellow SCBW member. (or maybe you're not a member, just know about it?) I'm curious who you are. You mentioned being a reviewer of children's picture books. My good pal is on the Caldecot Committee this year!

Since my son is going to UP, I'm happy to have you characterize it as "more difficult to get into."

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 09:34 pm: Edit

I'll add one more suggestion to the list: Trinity University in San Antonio. Very enthusiastic sports fans and a smaller LAC-like environment. It's also fairly reasonable compared to similiar peer schools and generous with merit awards. Nice laid back kind of school that seems to appeal to a lot of boys.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 10:09 pm: Edit

Gosh, the description of Trinity in "351 Best Colleges" is a real turn off.

"Our parking lots look like luxury car dealerships" and "Don't say you're an atheist unless you want 2,500 Christians trying to convert you!"

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 11:43 pm: Edit

Cheers - LOL! My daughter's high school has been sending several students to Trinity each year for the past few years (including the head guidance counselor's own son) and none of them fit the "351 Best Colleges" description...and all seem to really love the school.

I personally find the "351 Best Colleges" book to be the most negative guidebook out there - I prefer the Fiske Guide myself. But, then again, as I just said in another post, none of the guidebooks really tells the whole story. We just returned from a bunch of college visits and daughter re-read the Fiske guidebook description of each school and said she felt like it was describing totally different schools! Take a look at Trinity's web site and see what you think.

By Patient (Patient) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 11:59 pm: Edit

Cheers, we know some people around here whose kids have gone to Trinity and have loved it. All 3, by the way, athletes (from northern California to Texas is a big leap in more than a geographic way). Try reading Fiske or Insider's Guide too.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 01:24 am: Edit

Remember that old espression, "you never get a second chance to make a first impression?" Both boys read the Trinity reviews in "351" and blanched.

I like the guide in general and must say that the blurbs seem to 'fit' the schools I know really well...

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 09:36 am: Edit

Cheers -- I think these kids have two basic options. First, state universities, and second, "second tier" LACs. I should note that there are very, very few schools in the 5-8K number of undergrads range. Most are very tough to get into (a few exceptions, like Vandy).

I think either is a good option, but often the second-tier LACs are not very diverse, because of the high price tag (and merit aid only helps a small portion of kids) and lack of name recognition. But they have the advantage of small classes and more nurturing atmosphere.

State universities are of course more likely to be quite diverse, but you have the concerns people always raise about big classes and anonymity. Personally, I would vote for the state U option -- there are some great state schools, esp if cost isn't an option. Even if you leave out the elites like Michigan, Berkeley, UVa. My D went to hs in DC, which as of a couple of years ago gives in-state tuition rates to any DC resident at any state U in the US, so we've seen people choose that option increasingly. A few schools I can recall people selecting (in addition to Michigan, which is always popular) -- Minnesota, Vermont, Indiana (music school, picked it over Northwestern), Wisconsin.

By Kiddielit (Kiddielit) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 01:37 pm: Edit

"I should note that there are very, very few schools in the 5-8K number of undergrads range."

Slightly OT, and at the risk of sounding disingenuous, but I have noticed that too and I am wondering if anyone knows why this is?? State schools, of course, have a mandate to serve a large population; but why are so many LACs so very, very small? Why not more in the 3 to 6 thousand range? I know the answer is probably very complicated, has to do with physical plant and endowments, but I do wonder.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 01:42 pm: Edit

Kiddielit -- I don't know the answer to that. I know my D was interested in that size school, and in looking for safeties, did a search by size and came up w/very few true safeties. I think Vandy was the only one, and D REFUSED to go south (aside from Vandy's southern belle rep, which put her off). Carnegie Mellon was one relative safety, but didn't even have a department in one of her intended majors!

Most of the schools in that range are fairly selective -- I think she had Northwestern and Tufts as matches, neither of which she had visited, and both of which she had some reservations about (particularly NW), but they were the right size.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 04:14 pm: Edit

History? Many LACs were founded during eras with few college bound students?

Mind you, there are over 3000 college options in the US--a phenomenal number compared to oether nations.

During the Baby Boom and Baby Boom Boom era, larger private universities (Tulane, USC, Emory) increased their undergraduate class size--and their selectivity too.

I agree, most of the schools on my nephew's lists are state schools. (My son noted that most of them are on the "Reefer Madness" list in the back of the guide. Oh well.) These aren't the best years for state school education budgets.

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