Kenyon College (Gambier, Ohio)
This won't answer all of your questions but you might take a look at Oberlin and Kenyon, both of whom have strong writing programs. Kenyon, especially, is known for the writing program. Brutal winters for both of them but the kids seem happy at both. Lots of BHS kids at Oberlin and I know of one at Kenyon, though there may well be more. Oberlin reputed high on the quirk factor.