I can do my best … Wofford is smaller (quite a bit) and more southern. We left feeling positive about the school. Wofford is significantly more money and their rate of increase was higher than Elons. My da was offered a very nice Wofford scholarship (had two visits/interviews) that brought the cost lower than Elon where she got the presidential plus a fellows stipend. Like I said though, Elon’s rate of increase was lower and over four years the difference was inconsequential. Wofford ranks higher on most college lists (or at least did last year), but my family that lives in NC confirmed that Elon is now seen as the more impressive school overall. It is, of course, all about fit and my da decided in the end that she liked the adults at Wofford a lot, but wasn’t sure she’d fit as well with the kids. Elon hit #1 on her list on our first visit. We didn’t visit NC State, but I grew up in the area. State is an entirely different feel as a big, public university. (Tuition cost for next year is Elon: $38,275 Wofford: $49,500.)
Thank you @onemoremom12. I would agree with you on the perception between the two. I would offer another observation as well. Speaking anecdotally and looking at both from outside the southeast region, Wofford is viewed more as a regional college, whereas Elon’s reputation appears to carry more beyond the south. In the northeast, Elon is viewed as one of the up-and-comers and is attracting more students from the northeast. While I do understand that not everyone may want people from NY, NJ, CT, etc., it does often elevate the status of a university. This is largely because many northeastern colleges have become so incredibly competitive and are now unattainable without an ACT of 33+ or SAT of 1500+. Look at the rise of schools like Northeastern and Villanova over the past decade or two. They’ve always been good schools, but are now considered very prestigious. Elon appears to have an upward trajectory. This, combined with an affordable ($50k/year is much less than most other $75k private school options), gives Elon great momentum going forward.
Elon is significantly larger than Wofford (6,300 vs. 1,667) so for some, that may be a factor. Living in the south (NC), I hear Elon’s name much more than Wofford (I also hear more about Furman, than Wofford). Elon has a great reputation in the communications industry majors (journalism, broadcasting, theatre, sports management, etc.) If my kid were interested in those majors, Elon would be on the radar over Wofford. They also have a popular law school & PA school. Wofford may be stronger in business, finance and accounting, but Elon is making strides in those areas too. If you look at the admission stats for Elon (at least those listed on CC), the test scores & GPA’s are on the rise as well - although I think that’s true almost across the board for the 2021 admission cycle, as so many applicants went on a merit hunt.
Interestingly, living in Charlotte, you hear much more about Wofford than Elon. Definitely has more of a Southern feel (not as popular with the kids from the Northeast).
I’m in Charlotte too and rarely hear anything about Wofford (other than the Panthers use it for training camp). Nonetheless, I don’t doubt that it’s a great school.
I think Elon must do some heavy marketing up in NY, NJ, etc. They’re smart, knowing the competition in their geographic area is tight with UNC-CH, Duke & NC State - they concentrate on out of state students, who may be tired of the winter weather - and it’s hard to beat the beauty of their campus!
It seems like New Jersey students are very aware of Elon. It’s a great option especially if you want milder winters. But the scholarship money is so much less (her presidential award was $6000) which makes it less likely my D will choose to attend.
Agreed. My daughter (in NJ) applied because her guidance counselor mentioned it as a school she would like get merit money from. She didn’t. She did get money from schools ranked higher then Elon. If she had gotten into fellows I think she would have picked Elon, but she didn’t, and I think she feels like other schools actually want and appreciate her, so she will probably choose one of them instead.
My daughter applied to Elon for the same reason (fellows, alternate, so plan b). She actually visited the campus with a family member and lived it.
Thank you onemoremom,
Now that I am getting towards the end of the process, I wanted to share a little data on the two from the financial perspective, as this may help future candidates.
Elon provided some merit aid - around 6K, but zero financial aid, putting it in the 50K ballpark.
Wofford provided a lot of merit aid- around 24K and some financial aid putting it closer to 33K. Now there will be price increases on the order of 1-2% per year, but it is still dramatically less than Elon and about 10K more expensive than in state schools.
I agree with the comments below regarding a more regional college for Wofford and a little more national with Elon. Certainly, Elon feels it can compete at least as the price is significantly higher and it appears Wofford has to compete on price against rival private colleges in SC plus the state schools in SC.
Going through the process actually found that the net price is substantially different from the advertised price so one should not get hung up on that number. Find a school that is generous in merit for your particular stats and one that is generous for financial aid and you may be surprised at the final price.
Is anyone still waiting for their financial aid award (not merit aid) from Elon in its OnTrack? Ours still says “In-Progress Your application is being reviewed by the Financial Aid Office”
Yes. So frustrating. I asked and they said it could be mid April before it’s updated.
It’s a bit odd. We got our acceptance nearly four months ago.
We are still waiting for the financial aid decision too. DD was admitted and we toured the campus this week. I was really impressed with the school, and though she also liked it, the very small surrounding town may be too small for her liking. We will see if the financial aid award (when we get it ) makes a difference. We are waiting for another school’s FA decision too - I wish they would be released so she can make her choice!