COA is a fantastic school. That being said, it's not for everyone and it might not be for you. If you're looking to major in Chemical Engineering, go to grad school, etc., it's not for you. If you want a rigid education focused on one subject, COA is not right for you. COA is interdisciplinary. If you've looked into the college at all, you've undoubtedly heard this. If you're really interested in biology but also journalism, or math but also art, or climate politics and theatre, this is for you. You shape your own education by picking classes that make sense for your specific route.
Above all, I have to say the professors is what makes the school shine. They're not there for the pay. They're there for the students. All students have an advisor with whom they regularly meet, an advisor who will provide advice, help, and bend over backwards to make sure the student has the opportunities they desire. And of course, they're knowledgeable in their subjects. Classes rarely have more than 20 students each and professors are as a result super attentive to students. Lots of one-on-one time.
We're a weird school. We're so far left that we can sometimes be intolerant. We're super small, we have a very abnormal (yet wonderful) culture, but it's all worth it if you want an interdisciplinary education with a focus on community. Financial Aid is really quite good, especially considering the size and cost. If you're unsure, at least pay the campus a visit.
In a world where more and more colleges appear to be becoming businesses focused on profit, COA is a clear exception. Students, faculty and staff are the ones that make policies. The school cares deeply about its students. If you want a clear-cut, specific-major education, a state school will suit you just fine (and be much more affordable.) If you're looking something more alternative, COA might be a good option for you—check out its website and message some students—we're happy to talk.