Mills College (Oakland, CA)


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I'm a mature student at Mills and I can say it seems like a wonderful and supportive environment to have a traditional college experience. It's true that a lot of students live off campus but I get the impression that many start on campus and then move into apartments with their friends their sophomore or Junior year. I've also lived in the area (Laurel District) and quite liked it. If your daughter is coming from an insulated suburb it will definitely feel more urban to her but I feel perfectly safe in the neighborhood (you just use common sense like you would in any urban setting). Most students don't seem to hang out in the local neighborhoods in any event, there are shuttles that goes to Berkeley and Bart regularly so students seem to travel further afield when they are going off campus. The only thing I would say is that it is a quiet campus, more studious than raucous but the traditionally aged students all seem to really love it and make wonderful friends and have great connections with their professors due to the small class size. Plus, the campus is just gorgeous. I went to Vassar for my first BA and the beautiful insulated campus and surrounding urban area is very reminiscent. It wasn't a problem there or at Mills. Good luck to her on her college search!

If you're looking to have her stay in the bay area you should check out Mills! It's an all women's college and has a very supportive/community feeling. I believe they also let students cross register at California College of the Arts so she could explore metal arts, etc.. Mills has a strong activist community as well and an excellent womens and queer studies department.

That said, if she is more interested in the arts, California College of the Arts is also a wonderful experience just not as heavy on the academics.

Both, in my experience, offer pretty good financial aid and scholarship packages. Both are very supportive environments for LGBT kids.

As a queer woman I really enjoyed my time at both schools!