Writing Lifers: By extraordinarily unscientific means, we narrowed “our” list down to five schools:
These schools are worth our consideration, I think, because with one exception (UAB) there’s a certain doppleganger thing going on. You can compare UNC and UA (though it didn’t make the final five). Same with Montevallo and William & Mary and Knox College and Birmingham-Southern (which also didn’t make the cut but, like UA, it should still at least be on your radar). There are important differences between these pairs, to be sure. But UNC and UA are both large public research universities that also have some reputation for their humanities programs; Montevallo and W&M are both public liberal arts colleges, which is something of a rarity. And, of course, Knox and B-SC are both private liberal arts colleges.
Again with the disclaimer: we make no representation that these five schools are better than any others, or that any of you should end up attending one of them. We’re just trying to refine our search criteria and apply them in the wild, as it were. Speaking of search criteria, here are a few we identified:
- Teaching focus
- “Quirk” — Curricular flexibility and/or innovation
- Location — Far away/New
- Location — Close by/Familiar
- Specific programs — Honors programs, departments/majors, study abroad, etc.
- Setting — Urban/rural, quintessential college town, etc.
- “Consortia” — Partnerships with nearby colleges and unversities.
So here’s what I want you to do. In the comments section of this blog post, answer the following question:
If you had to apply to one of these five schools, which one would it be and give three reasons why. Be specific. Feel free to comment on some or all of the other schools in comparison. Think in terms of the criteria above and also this post on how to get a general read on a school’s quality of professors/teaching from afar. Feel free to introduce new criteria that are important to you as well.
An important caveat: for our purposes right now, exclude cost from the equation.
Your comments are due by Thursday, April 15.