{ Why Choose Oberlin? }

Today is April 1st. This day may seem like nothing more significant than April Fool's Day to most people, but to many high school seniors, April 1st holds a special significance-- April 1st signifies the official start of when their college acceptance (and/or rejection) letters start rolling in. Soon, all of the hoping and waiting and dreaming will turn into deciding and organizing and planning. For some of those people, the decision of where to go to college is obvious. For others, it isn't a decision as much of a financial assessment of what schools are most affordable. If you're somewhere in that in-between category, though, and have little more than a month to decide where you'll be spending the next four years of your life, and have received an acceptance letter from Oberlin, then read on. This post is for you.

"So why did you choose Oberlin?" is a question I've gotten asked a lot. For me, my answer has always been something along the lines of, "because they have a circus, and I can cook my own food, and it's small."

That's just my own little conversational snippet, though. And really, it's pretty specific to me. Choosing the right college is different for everyone, so I've created this flow chart in the hope of accounting for most kinds of people. Please don't base your college decision entirely off of this, but do keep in mind your "flow" when the time comes to bite the bullet and send in your decision.


So there you have it, folks. An overly simplified, non-comprehensive flow chart that should in no way be the basis of your college decision, but that nonetheless may be helpful. Happy choosing!


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{ Responses To This Entry }

My final decision (in 1967) came down to Oberlin or Brown, and even the elaborate spreadsheet (made by hand, no computers!) didn't help break the tie. Ultimately I took a nap and when I woke up the decision had been made: Oberlin! I think it was the significantly greater presence of bicycles in Oberlin which made the difference. (I rode by bike to high school every day, back in an era when it was distinctly UNcool to be on two wheels -- and wearing an even more dorky backpack!)

Oberlin turned out to be a great place for me! Went to my 40th reunion two years ago, and I still feel teh same way.

Posted by: Bruce Ente on April 1, 2013 6:22 PM


This is so cute and creative, well done Dara! I particularly like your use of lentils and the images of the toast/bread etc. Great job!!

Posted by: Paris on April 4, 2013 3:45 PM


My daughter is about to deciding on going to either a big state school (UCLA) or Oberlin. Financially, Oberlin is a bit of a stretch more so than the public school. However, having a personal relationship with professors is probably one of the strongest asset in sending my daughter to Oberlin. Would you say that you have a close relationship with your professors and do you know what the average student to professor ratio would be?

We have visited Oberlin and we love the creative thinking and spirit of the Oberlin community.

Posted by: John Lee on April 22, 2013 1:09 PM


@ John-- I believe the current teacher to student ratio is ~1:11. I definitely have a close relationship with many of my professors- I've even been to one of their houses. Its a huge plus about being a student here; being in such close proximity to the professors makes me want to work harder, and makes it easier for them to get feedback from the students. I think it keeps everybody involved in check.

I'd like to refer you to Veronica's blog post (http://blogs.oberlin.edu/applying/applying/go_small_or_go.shtml), which gives reasons why going to a smaller school is better than going to a bigger school. Look at Reason #1 specifically.

Hope this helps, and that your daughter is happy wherever she ends up!

Posted by: Dara on April 22, 2013 3:33 PM


My son in going to senior year of high school. We are interested in Obelin. He like to know if the student body diversied? easy making friends? Any Asian food in the Cafeteria? Please help

Posted by: Ming Spelic on August 14, 2013 1:42 PM


Posted by: Ma'ayan on August 19, 2013 4:49 PM



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