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West Chester University of PA

walkinghomewalkinghome Registered User Posts: 7,708 Senior Member
edited March 2012 in Parents Forum
In our quest for an all around (financial and academic) safety school my Junior son, I've been looking at our public Universities. One that has son's potential major is West Chester University of PA. According to my favorite stats only site, College Navigator - West Chester University of Pennsylvania It's affordable and his current stats are above the accepted student range. However, it says there is only a 47% acceptance rate, which is lower then any of the other schools we're looking at. A quick look at 5 other State U's in this system shows acceptance rates of 55% to 70%. Even PSU main campus lists a 51% rate!

Would this be because of a self selective group of students - meaning that a lot of students with really, really low stats apply?
Post edited by walkinghome on

Replies to: West Chester University of PA

  • jyber209jyber209 Registered User Posts: 653 Member
    I live about 20 minutes from West Chester and took some grad classes in education there myself. I do not think that a LOT of students with "really, really low stats" are driving the admit percentage. IMO the school is thought of as a good buy, especially in this economy, and more personal than the Penn State main campus.

    I have known of some very good students from our local public who went to West Chester. Perhaps not Ivy material, but certainly strong honor roll kids. One senior I recently heard of who is planning to attend West Chester is going pre-med. Perhaps some kids figure they will save the tuition bucks for grad or professional school. The school also apparently has a strong music department -- a lot of the local high school music teachers went there.

    I think lots of people think of it as a "good buy" school with more of the feeling of an LAC (although it is actually a university) without the high price tag of most private LACs.

    I would imagine it overlaps a lot with U Delaware, but has a more attractive price tag for PA residents. Both schools also draw a lot of students from New Jersey.
  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild Registered User Posts: 21,837 Senior Member
    Agree with everything jyber said. West Chester is a good buy, and actually is well-respected around the area. I grew up near there and still spend a lot of time around West Chester. The town is very trendy now and has improved tons in recent years. There are a lot of education majors and a fair amount of commuters, but there is definitely a campus life. There is definitely overlap with UDelaware applicants.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,073 Senior Member
    I think the deal with West Chester is that it's the state college system college for Philadelphia and its suburbs, and it's especially well-located to serve the high-income, high-educational-achievement western and southwestern suburbs. That's an awful lot of people, even though many of them have other options, and a lot of them have stats higher than than the averages you might find elsewhere around the state.

    I think it probably DOES pull in a bunch of applications from people with lower, "normal" stats -- those people DO exist in its market area, and in pretty large numbers. I'm sure lots of them apply to West Chester, if only because it is convenient, but they seem to wind up actually attending other state colleges.

    I also agree that it's very attractive. West Chester itself is cute cute cute and quite upscale, a nice college-town feel. It has decent commuter train service into the city and nearer suburbs, too. In addition to UDelaware, I think it overlaps with Villanova, and with the myriad LACs in a 100-mile radius (not Swarthmore or Haverford, exactly, but places like Gettysburg, or Dickinson).
  • raideraderaiderade - Posts: 2,499 Senior Member
    I don't live too far from West Chester. It has a reasonably good reputation in the area, better than Immaculata and Saint Joes but not as good as Drexel and University of Delaware. A lot of kids from my high school who go there aren't terribly weak but certainly aren't strong. However, many strong students go there to study education as it has one of the best programs in the area.
  • JustAMomOf4JustAMomOf4 Registered User Posts: 4,563 Senior Member
    West Chester is one of the most popular schools in the PA State system. They are rolling admissions and the school fills up quickly. It's advisable for kids to apply early rather than later in their senior year. Our high school has sent a number of kids to West Chester in recent years and they are excellent high school students. I can think of a couple who graduated at the top of their class with excellent stats and turned down more prestigious, expensive schools.

    I think PSU Main is more self-selecting. A lot of kids don't apply there but to their local campus instead.
  • JustAMomOf4JustAMomOf4 Registered User Posts: 4,563 Senior Member
    JHS - I think you are right. As West Chester had become more popular and more selective there has been a big increase at Kutztown; from the greater Philly area. Probably because they could not get into West Chester.
  • collegemomof2collegemomof2 Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    I am a WCU grad myself and back in the day anyone could get in there. However, that is NOT the case anymore. I know some pretty impressive kids who either didn't get in or were wait listed. My own d who ended up at Penn State UP had applied to WCU and was being recruited as an athlete too. She was a very good student but waited months to hear from WCU, even with the coach pushing! Shortly thereafter she was accepted at PSU and decided to go there. I think it is a function of all you can read above (location, cost, quality of education, etc). Overall it is an excellent value. Personally, I loved it there.
  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild Registered User Posts: 21,837 Senior Member
    Besides, it isn't far from the mecca of shopping, the King of Prussia Mall!
  • irishbirdirishbird Registered User Posts: 432 Member
    JustaMomof4 points out the reason the accept % may be lower - rolling admissions. If you send your application in "too late", regardless of stats, you may be waitlisted.
    Which is technically "not accepted", so their accept rate will be lower.
  • walkinghomewalkinghome Registered User Posts: 7,708 Senior Member
    Thanks for the comments and suggestion to apply early. I am very familiar with the West Chester area myself as we lived in the area and attended a WC church for ten years. We moved though when our youngest son was four so he really doesn't remember much about the area at all.

    In our area many of the kids seem to go to Kutztown and Millersville so not much is said about West Chester.
  • jessh414jessh414 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    I just recently applied to West Chester. I realize that applied pretty late, but I do believe I am a pretty stong applicant...4.0 GPA, top 10% of my class, volunteer, etc. I take all honors/AP courses. Is there still a chance that I can get in?
  • jmindsjminds Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    does anyone have any insight as to which school has a better reputation - west chester or rowan university? my son was accepted to both and is really on the fence.
  • RubymomRubymom Registered User Posts: 38 New Member
    jminds, I cannot speak about "better reputation" and I think that the major would matter too. I know that Rowan offers engineering. I have not visited West Chester U, but I have heard the area around the school is pretty nice. Sadly, I don't feel that way about Rowan. Would being instate for either NJ or PA (I am assuming that your son is considered instate for one of these schools) factor into your son's decision?
  • maggiedogmaggiedog Registered User Posts: 532 Member
    I think that West Chester has definitely taken kids with higher stats than it had in the past, sort of comparable with Temple U. Most kids who go there seem to speak highly of it. One thing to note, though, is that since a lot of kids are local, many leave on weekends. As for comparisons to LACs or other universities, I would not compare it to Dickenson or Villanova, however.
  • horsfeathershorsfeathers Registered User Posts: 89 Junior Member
    ^I agree with the poster above. West Chester is a decent school, but I doubt there’s much of an academic overlap with Villanova, Gettysburg, or Dickinson. According to the common data sets, West Chester’s middle 50-percentile SAT range is 480-580 (R) and 500-580 (M). The range for the other three schools is about 610-700. Also, the environments are quite different. Dickenson and Gettysburg are small town/rural, and although Villanova is also close to Philly like West Chester, it has an upscale Main Line vibe that I definitely did not get at West Chester. Not saying that’s good or bad, just different.
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