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25 New Ivies

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A guide to public-interest programs and curricula at America's law schools

College Guide

Guests: Jay Matthews, author of 'Harvard Schmarvard: Getting Beyond the Ivy League to the College That is Best for You' (Three Rivers Press, 2003) and 'Class Struggle: What’s Wrong (and Right) with America’s Best Public Schools' (Crown, 1998); Gerald Lampe, President, American Association of Teachers of Arabic

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College Special: The New Ivies

Guests: NEWSWEEK's David Kaplan; Bruce Poch, Dean of Admissions, Pomona College

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Colgate University
Hamilton, N.Y.

Can't decide between a university and a small liberal-arts college? Colgate has both, in an upstate New York setting that includes a lake and a golf course that Golf Digest rated as one of the top five collegiate courses in the United States. Naturally, the school has a Division I golf team. Colgate is "great for athletes, great for serious students and great for people who want to combine both," says Gary Ross, dean of admission. Despite a relatively small freshman class—about 750 students—Colgate offers an array of academic opportunities. The school runs 24 of its own study-abroad programs, with its own faculty; about 66 percent of the students at some point head for places like Australia, Japan, China and South America. Colgate is also the only college in the United States that offers students the chance to study for a semester for credit at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Students, mainly premeds or science majors, can spend fall or spring at the NIH. Overlap schools: Cornell, Dartmouth, Middlebury and Georgetown.

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Davidson College
Davidson, N.C.

This private liberal-arts college of 1,600 has benefited from a recent surge in interest. Last year, 3,900 students applied for the class of 2010; only 30 percent were accepted. A decade earlier, admissions officers were sifting through about 2,800 applications. "We look, feel, sound like a New England liberal-arts college—but we're in North Carolina," says Christopher Gruber, dean of admission and financial aid. About a third of students are from the Southeast. The most popular majors are biology, economics, English, history and political science. Students can also concentrate in a particular area within a major—for example, biology with a concentration in medical humanities. Overlap schools: University of North Carolina, Duke, University of Virginia, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Rice, Boston College, Pomona, Stanford and the Ivies.

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