So I'm about to become an Obie - I got in ED last year, and tomorrow I start orientation (!) While I'm sitting waiting to start college, I figured I'd share some of the online resources that were really helpful to me when I was learning about Oberlin. The admissions website is obviously the best place to start, but these are some great places to investigate further and get a more informal perspective. They were really helpful to me when I was a prospective student... hopefully they'll be useful to this year's juniors and seniors as they think about where to apply.
Oberwiki. The ultimate resource: a wiki for all things Oberlin. Unofficial and written by students, its articles are either very helpful or very amusing. If you want a student perspective on the state of the dorms, the stores in town, the music scene on campus, or the most popular graffiti, take your questions here first.
Oberlist. The Oberlin website is... not the most organized, nor the most aesthetically pleasing. But you don't have to tackle it by yourself! Oberlist is a good way to find what you're looking for.
What's to eat? Hey, it's an important question. CDS menus – note the veg*n options at every meal. Or for an alternative way of dining (and living), check out OSCA, a system of student-owned cooperatives that house 175 students and feed 630.
The Oberlin website is chock full of interesting information, though it is, so far, pretty tough to access through the search function. As Quaere mentions, the Oberlist can be a helpful entry-point.
There is a new parents site. Oberlin Parents
Also, for those interested in Oberlin, either because they have been admitted or will be seeking admission, you might find the new admissions blog interesting -- it features students in the College and Conservatory and a faculty member (and former student). Oberlin - Obie Blogs
For those interested in the Conservatory, here are some faculty videos: Faculty Video Profiles
The website says: "More than 80% of our international students receive institutional financial aid, with the average aid package covering about three quarters of the cost of attendance."
PM me if you have further questions. I've done some amount of research into this issue.
And if you've been wondering why the admissions blogs have been so moribund lately, it's because a whole new blogsite is being rolled out, with 15 student bloggers. It should be linked from the admissions page in the next couple of days.
The "we are Oberlin" stories on the opening page of the new website are one of the best features of the new site; the new blogs should also be a good way for prospective students to find out about Oberlin. The new communications director, Ben Jones, seems to be doing a great job so far.
one of the students with a "we are oberlin" story, Lucas Brown, was just awarded a Rhodes Scholarship! I'm sure Marvin Krislov, himself a former Rhodes Scholar, is quite proud. Good job Lucas and Oberlin!
One thing I'm curious about the blog.. Does the administration moniter students' blogs? Like, can a student blogger post "I think fearless is stupid?" (Because I think that's the general sentiment about the new motto among students..)
this installment of one of the student blogs has a short student-produced film about Oberlin that prospective students should find interesting, including views of the campus inside and out:
you can find it by clicking on student blogs on the website http://blogs.oberlin.edu/
and looking for
Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | May 15, 2009
Why do some people complain about "fearless"? I think it's awesome. My wife thinks it's awesome. Our daughter, the incoming freshman thinks it's awesome. She wrote about it, embracing it, in her "Why Oberlin?" essay.
In general, I think Oberlin is way too complex for a single word (except maybe this ). What bothers me about "fearless", specifically, is that to me it implies recklessness or thoughtlessness, which is definitely not what Oberlin is about. While I understand that that's not what they're trying to evoke, it's hard to get across a more nuanced impression of the school when everything is branded with just "FEARLESS" in huge letters. (The new stories on the front page of the website are a step in the right direction.) The "we are Oberlin" also sounds weird - reminds me of sports teams at huge universities or something. It's got a triumphant, monolithic, "with us or against us" kind of tone.
I also dislike the design of the "fearless" admissions materials. The bold neon scheme is kind of gaudy and generic, and they're too light on actual information about the school. They definitely didn't give me the impression that Oberlin was the peer of places like Reed, Swarthmore, Wesleyan, etc. Then again, my first contact with Oberlin was through the old admissions materials ("Think one person can change the world? So do we"), which were very different...