I'm looking for a more intellectual Trinity

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: I'm looking for a more intellectual Trinity
By Ilcapo (Ilcapo) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 11:29 pm: Edit

So I love Trinity, I love the environment, I love the co-ed frats, I love the students (yes, the pink polo collar up ones), but I also feel like they don't really care about their studies.

Anyone know of schools where the kids focus more on their studies but also enjoy an active, and preppy, social life?

By Mini (Mini) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 12:32 am: Edit

You could just run down my entitlement index, and check them off as you go. There are plenty out there.

By Ilcapo (Ilcapo) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 12:45 am: Edit

hah but entitlement index often = not so interested in academia!

By Mini (Mini) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 12:54 am: Edit

False. It is true that outside of the south, Trinity is top of the entitlement heap (in the index modified by subtracting Pell Grant recipients):

1. Davidson 119-6 113
2. Washington and Lee 113-3 110
3. Trinity 119-13 106
4. Bates 108-9 99
5. Middlebury 105-8 97
6. Kenyon 105-8 97
7. Williams 104-9 95
8. Colby 100-7 93
9. Connecticut 102-11 91
10. Univ. of the South 103-13 90

But you could get a fine education at any of those schools, and run into enough preppies to satisfy you.

And on the University side:

1. Notre Dame 102
2. Georgetown 101
3. Yale 97
4. Vanderbilt 92
5. Princeton 92
6. Tufts 92
7. Penn 91
8. Johns Hopkins 90
9. Brown 90
Duke 88

(Notre Dame and, to some extent Georgetown, are anomalies, reflecting large numbers of students from lower cost catholic high schools.)

By Chasgoose (Chasgoose) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 12:55 am: Edit


By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 01:11 am: Edit

There is PLENTY of academic challenge at Trinity.
You really need to email Twinkletoes who is now a freshman there. She is finding the workload to be very intense and the academic climate satisfying. It might surprise you that it is not the "slacker school" you are stereotyping it to be.

By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 01:42 am: Edit

Ilcapo - Not that I believe that Trinity students don't care about academics, but the Mini list above does have some excellent options. For your purposes I would sub Bowdoin for Bates though.

By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 10:48 am: Edit

Do the Guided Studies Program at Trinity.

Although Trinity is academically intense, it is pretty laid back. Has a good balance. Check out Colby, Hamilton, Colgate, which are similar. For more course work intensity, look at Bowdoin, Davidson, Middlebury, Amherst.

Just a thought.

By Leanid (Leanid) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 11:15 am: Edit

Mini - Don't know where you get your information on Notre Dame and Georgetown, but from what I have seen of matriculation rates from the top prep schools, I would say that Georgetown is right up there with the Ivies in terms of numbers who attend from Andover, Exeter, St Paul's, Deerfield, Choate, etc. Notre Dame is, curiously, less sought after. It ranks higher in US News... maybe it is the location that turns people off.

By Mini (Mini) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 11:22 am: Edit

I'm not really sure - I have no source of percentages on Catholic private schools. I do know that both schools encourage applications from Catholic feeders. I am sure they have very entitlement indices in any case - low percentage of students on financial aid coupled with low rates of Pell Grant recipients would do that - I just don't think they'd likely fall at the very top (which would otherwise be Yale, and by some distance.)

By Ilcapo (Ilcapo) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 01:35 pm: Edit

Don't take this the wrong way, but sometimes wouldn't it be HELPFUL to apply to the schools at the top of the entitlement index??

Better connections, perhaps a spring break on your roommate, ya never know!

By Mini (Mini) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 01:45 pm: Edit

Yes. I put together the Index not as a put-down to these schools, but to try to find a way to quantify what it was we saw on campuses (so for your purposes, it might be very useful.) I had no political ax to grind here.

On the Pell Grant data, though, I DO have an ax to grind, and I am very open about it. I think campuses shortchange the education quality of students -- ALL students -- when the percentages of students from low-income families is particularly low. I believe the academic quality -- the caliber of discourse -- actually suffers at some of our nation's supposedly best institutions as a result, and I believe it has signficant social consequences. (You don't have to look past the experiential base of our two Presidential candidates to see it.)

By Par72 (Par72) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 02:11 am: Edit

Might want to look at Holy Cross.

By Schoolmarm (Schoolmarm) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 09:30 am: Edit

Could someone please explain what the "entitlement index" is?

By Elleneast (Elleneast) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 09:37 am: Edit

How about UVA? I am not totally familiar with the school but the kids I know that have attended are popped collared types that were very strong students in high school.

By Hubbellgardner (Hubbellgardner) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 11:30 am: Edit

the 'entitlement index" is a creation of "mini" to illustrate colleges where a high proportion of the students come from affluent families and therefore do not need financial aid. She frequently bemoans the lack of 'economic diversity' at many of the nation's elite colleges and is a huge fan of colleges where there seems to be such diversity. There are many flaws in this 'index' and approach, which have been argued on numerous threads.

By Mini (Mini) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 11:37 am: Edit

Modified Entitlement Index = % not receiving any needbased aid (hence paying full freight) + % graduating from private schools - % receiving Pell Grants. It's just data, and make of it what you will.

By Schoolmarm (Schoolmarm) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 12:22 pm: Edit

Hubbellgardner and Mini: I'm relatively new to CC and hadn't read the prior postings about the index. Thanks for the explanations.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 12:46 pm: Edit

I correct HG on one point: Mini is a "he". Maybe not a Schwarzenegger, but definitely a he.

And one indirect point in defense of Mini's entitlement college: I was reading a quote from a student at one of the top-but-very-white-upper-class LAC's, "It's kinda pathetic when we're discussing discrimination and you look around the table and all you see are upper-middle class white girls" or words very proximate to that effect.

I would not have thought to frame some things the way Mini does--I admit to having an aversion to looking at things through the lens of class, must be the anti-Marxist in me, though I've come to conclude that it's sometimes valid--but certainly some of the differing reactions my D had to visting Wellesley and Smith at least *could* be plausibly explained in these terms.

By Mini (Mini) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 12:58 pm: Edit

You callin' me a girlie-man? (I don't mind in the least.)

Hard data is just data - you make of them what you will. What you can't do is deny that the data differences are there, and that, in some instances, they are very great. To think that they wouldn't affect people's lives or the way they see the world (when one number reflects a family's ability to pay out $168k over four years, and the other reflects family incomes at or below $40k a year) would seem really strange to me.

If they help Ilcapo find a studious place, with "an active, and preppy, social life", they will have served a purpose, won't they?

By Hubbellgardner (Hubbellgardner) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 01:10 pm: Edit

my apologies to 'mini', I guess I was thinking of 'mini-mouse'. Since I attend Davidson, mini's 'sine qua non' of privilege, I just do not think the differences are as vast between a Davidson and a Smith(or whoever the economic diversity champ is) as HIS theory suggests. Must be my rose-colored glasses.

By 3togo (3togo) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 01:11 pm: Edit

I think the "entitlement index" is great ... is it perfect? Of course not ... but it certainly provides two big indicators for me. First, it gives me pause to think and will definately effect my observations about schools when my kids start their school visits. Second, I will recommend my kids go to a school with economic diversity and having a qualitative measure to indicate differences (however roughly) is a great starting point for converations and research. Thanks Mini!

By Mini (Mini) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 01:24 pm: Edit

Well, my theory "suggests" there are differences between Davidson and Smith. The federal government's Pell Grant data (for just one element) prove it. At Smith, one quarter of the students population comes from families with incomes below $40k or so. At Davidson, it is 1/16th. The schools themselves publish the data regarding the percentage of students receiving financial aid. You are then free to interpret it any way you like.

Does it affect stuff? Well, since no two students attend both schools simultaneously, they might find it difficult to see it. The cross comparisons are only useful to try to make sense of things prior to admission, or to try to explain phenomena similar to what Thedad posted above. Or to try to find Ilcapo a place where he'll be happy! (Davidson would be a great choice!)

By Ilcapo (Ilcapo) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 01:58 pm: Edit

Mini- I too really appreciate the entitlement index, it has been a great guide in that it shows me the "type" of student at a particular school. When I finished my tour of Haverford, I wasn't entirely sure of the exact student body makeup...were they preppy? were they eccentric? The index certainly helped me put my finger on the type of school it is relative to a school such as Trinity.

So thanks!

By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 09:12 pm: Edit

Mini, no, I just thought you'd be more comfortable with the non-Schwarzenegger group over here by me. Digression: Whatever group Ahnold is in, I want no part of his outlook on what constitutes masculinity.

By Baybabe (Baybabe) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 11:20 am: Edit

Thank God for the NE polo preppies at Trinity whose parents are paying full tilt so that my D and so many of her extremely smart (lower and middle class friends) can also attend through generous merit aid. The academics are top notch and getting even tougher, and the student body is changing in remarkably wonderful ways as Trinity's continues to strive for greater racial and economic diversity on campus and seeks students who also have a strong commitment to community service. It is one of the few LAC's we came across that has the abaility to incorporate almost any type of person into its' environment -

By Oldman (Oldman) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 12:17 pm: Edit

Just how valid is the concept that diversity - be it economic, ethnic, geographic, gender, religious,etc.- contributes to the overall education? At age 18 does it influence development? At age 8? At 80?

By Mini (Mini) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 12:22 pm: Edit

In my personal experience, HUGELY, and at all ages. My life would be immensely different if hadn't been for the lack of diversity I experienced early in my life, and the cornucopia of diversity I experienced later (and on into today.) I'd go as far as to say it has played a far more important role in my life than anything I formally studied (which says a great deal, having been in school for 21 years).

I could write a book! (I have....)

By Cangel (Cangel) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 01:44 pm: Edit

Mini, Oldman, I respectfully disagree. I don't think we really yet know the impact of the concept "diversity" as practiced by elite colleges, on the lives of individual students, and some of the anecdotal evidence we do have is a mixed bag.
By this I mean the notion (as expressed by some college presidents) that the purpose of matriculating students of different (read poor and/or minority) backgrounds is the "betterment" or "enlightenment" of the majority. Maybe it's just me, but if I was a poor student, I would feel a little insulted and used by the attitude, a little like a lab rat to be paraded past the majority, then "discarded" when the experiment is over. I hope I'm totally off base, but read about Candi's experiences as a low income URM freshman trying to get help with a situation a more wealthy student wouldn't have.

Sure, being exposed to people vastly different than yourself is broadening, whether it's through travel or education, whether the differences are racial, cultural or financial. What bugs me is the way policies of "diversity" are apparently implemented, and the feeling I keep getting that students are to some extent being exploited in order to keep the media and activist groups off the elite schools' case - I hope I'm wrong, and these kids grow up to be CEOs at Ford and stick it to ... oh never mind.

Ilcapo, the one thing we don't know about the entitlement index is the INTENT of the schools at the top of the list, we infer, but we don't really know.

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