Current parent perspective

Just came to see what the latest buzz is about CoW bc we are in the throes of a college search with DS19. DD14 is a senior at Woo in the middle
of that much discussed Senior IS. I now understand why it was discussed at our hs visit - it’s a big deal, and these kids leave with incredible credentials that put them in amazing position for whatever their post-College plans are…and a sense of camaraderie from the shared IS stress.

Overall, she has had an amazing experience, with fabulously involved professors. As a grad of a big university, I am beyond impressed with the relationships and mentorships she has had with her profs. I feel like for the past year, they have dedicated themselves to seeing that she successfully achieves her next step (grad school). With their help, she discovered a passion in an area of study that was certainly not on her radar in hs…and she was able to even complete a 1 on 1 tutorial in this area, which led to a paper that she has submitted with grad school applications. Another paper she wrote her sophomore year was published. So far, these two things alone are big reasons that she has a grad school interview at one of the top programs in the country in her field coming up. This is a kid who by test scores alone in hs, wasn’t a superstar (a 29 ACT).
Socially, she was probably considered a bit of a prep when she went to CoW, and still is. But CoW isn’t what she would call a preppy school…and it’s fine bc I think Woo is a place where students don’t really get into labels or care much about what you’re wearing. She went off to Woo anti-sorority…and pledged her second semester bc sororities there were not what she imagined. They’re not national. It’s an incredibly diverse group of accomplished young women. Her roommate from her freshman year is her sorority sister and has remained her roommate all four years. And she’s basically a family member now!
Drawbacks…we moved when she was in college which now means she must fly home, which has made us acutely aware of how “in the middle of nowhere” the school is. (She doesn’t have a car there.) And honestly, as she wraps up her fourth year, she is ready to move on bc I think the campus/town has her feeling a little claustrophobic. Recently, there has been some tension between the students and the townspeople, but I really think the new president, Sarah Bolton, is working hard to improve those relations with some new initiatives. And she has been extremely responsive to student concerns and student ideas. My DD and her friends really like her. She even went out in the cold and helped the students fill the Arch (a student tradition) with snow a few weeks ago - not many presidents would do that!

Thanks for your post. My D19 and I are looking forward to exploring CoW soon. It looks to be a wonderful school! Can you tell me anything about the sit-in that occurred in late January? Are sit-ins a regular occurrence at CoW?

That’s the first sit-in my DD has experienced in her 3.5yrs at CoW as far as I know. It’s certainly the first one my DD has ever taken part in! For the most part, I believe the students had reasonable demands. Although, as idealistic college students, I think they overestimate how much the college will really be able to do to change culture of some people in the town. I think they also don’t fully appreciate the importance of due process, even for a student who has seemingly engaged in hateful action. So they’re impatient on both fronts bc they are a group of idealistic 18-22 yr olds. And sadly, they’re in college during an incredibly politically polarizing time and experiencing what many K-12 schools and other college communities are experiencing these days, where a small minority feel emboldened to essentially be bullies.

Everything I’ve learned about the school so far makes me want my daughter to apply. Trying to make a visit in March or April!

We’ve returned from our open house visit, and am grateful for your original post which gave us a good background going in! My daughter likes the school a lot and it is high on her list. Your senior must be finished with her IS, so big congratulations! Hopeful for a great grad school outcome for her, too!

Glad to hear your daughter enjoyed her visit! I hope she picks Wooster! We just returned from a visit there this weekend, where we took her advisor and his wife out to dinner to thank him for all he has done for our daughter. My daughter’s boyfriend’s sister just decided she will be a freshman there next year, after also getting offers from Oberlin, Kenyon and Bucknell. I hear an added bonus is that all the dorms will be air conditioned finally next year!
My daughter got into multiple graduate programs, including her top two choices, and received full tuition, as well as a living stipend from each school. She had to make some tough decisions! Great problem to have. Funny to think this is a kid who had ZERO interest in anything beyond four years of college, four years ago.

I hope you have better experiences at the College of Wooster than we did. Our son was a recruited athlete and received a scholarship even though we did not qualify. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to study and felt that a liberal arts college like Wooster was a decent place. He was miserable and transferred. His five best friends also transferred, four of them after freshman year They were bored out of their minds. Classes were a repeat of high school. Social life was limited to begin with and extremely stymied by an administration that calls the police if they smell pot smoke. Students have to live in dorms all four years because there is no housing - the town is not welcoming to students and the college does not want them living off campus. his is no place to go if you want to grow as a young adult. I think it is a good school for helicopter parents and that’s about the best I can say.

It doesn’t matter if you go to a huge university like Ohio State or a tiny school like Wooster, colleges aren’t there to entertain students during every waking moment. Part of growing as a young adult means learning to get involved and stepping out of your comfort zone, whether it be joining clubs, playing intramural sports or taking part in other activities. Maybe your son did try to get involved or maybe he didn’t. I don’t know. But in my experience with my own kids, students who are miserable are usually the ones who won’t put themselves out there and expect the fun and friends to find them. I agree that Wooster isn’t for everyone, and I’m sorry your son had a bad experience. Hope he found his right place wherever he ended up. And by the way, I’ve never encountered one helicopter parent at Wooster. Quite the opposite.

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Wow @johnc33. Your second post and you’re already insulting other parents and their students on here? I’m sorry to hear your son did not enjoy his experience. While not as high as some more elite schools, Wooster’s sophomore retention rate is pretty decent, so most students seem to enjoy their experience there. No school is perfect for everyone. My DD and her friends were super busy - in fact, I kept begging her to please slow down and take some time to rest and take care of herself since she seemed to be constantly on the go. As far as classes being like high school, fortunately, graduate schools don’t seem to agree. And all that I can tell you is that my DD grew and stretched beyond anything I could have imagined during her time at Wooster.

Oh, and as far as pot smoke, maybe this makes me a helicopter parent, but I have zero problem with police coming to investigate where the smell is coming from. I fail to see how the inability to smoke pot in the dorms limits social life.

In response to your comment about your son receiving a scholarship for which he did not qualify, I’d like to add that Wooster does not list any kind of specific cutoffs for scholarships. I am not certain how you would know he did not qualify? Is your intent to somehow defame Wooster as though they are breaking NCAA rules?