Likely Letter

My son just received a likely letter that stated he will be admitted and will be awarded merit. The letter, of course, does not give the merit amount, just states that it is forthcoming. While he likes the school, and has spoken to an admissions officer at the CTCL fair, he has never visited. Money is tight, and so I am debating taking him over his spring break, but am concerned about the cost. He has other schools on his list that he is more excited about, but this is probably because he has been on campus and visited.

I am just wondering how common likely letters are. Has anyone else received one?

I’ve never heard of them being sent out by Whitman before, but I don’t know if it’s a new practice or something no one has talked about. I think Whitman is a great school and many students do fall in love while visiting, which is probably why they’re tipping their hand early. Since money is a deciding factor, you might want to wait until the official acceptance and merit award letters are sent, see if the offer is attractive, then visit during accepted students days. But, I would suggest that your son respond by thanking them for the letter and saying that he is very interested in Whitman but will not be able to visit until he knows if attending will be financially feasible. Who knows, they may offer to fly him to campus for a look! Good luck.

Whitman is a pretty easy school for a student to visit solo: the airport is small, and only 3 miles from campus. You might consider saving money and sending him alone. My kid flew out for a visit a year ago and had a great time, and is now enjoying life as a freshman.

Thanks for your comments. He may not be able to visit during admitted students day due to school requirements, which is why I want to buy a ticket now for spring break, if the offer is worth it. But my kid is the laid back, let’s just see what happens kind of person - also known as the person who will not be paying for the ticket. He prefers to wait and see rather than contact anyone now, sigh. I might just give them a call to see what I can do.

You can easily call and set up an overnight visit for your son, and I agree with KnearSeattle, it’s really easy to do a solo visit. In fact, my son also went for the final decision making visit on his own.

I remember clearly how much my high school senior son didn’t want to initiate conversations with strangers in college admissions offices! You can call, they’re completely open to parents’ questions and concerns. Just tell them what your situation is and what you hope to do. Whitman admissions staff are great!

I called! Admissions is awesome! They are looking to see if they have any travel aid but either way we will find a way to visit. I hope my son really likes it there.

Good for you! Best wishes for a great visit.

We have received a similar letter, but didn’t mention merit. Without merit it is hard to pay such a fee and we do not qualify for need base as well.

@umpatel I actually was able to talk to them about aid and they looked up my son’s info. I was shocked because it was very different than the NPC, for the better. You might be surprised.

@lknomad thanks for the response, Very excited now!

@umpatel and @LKnomad , do you mind sharing some basic stats of your kids? My D hasn’t recieved a likely letter, and just wondering if your kids ahve very high stats. Thanks!

sure 3.7/4.0/2000

I assume my son got his letter for his stats. We are also in need of high financial aid and they seemed generous. Good luck. We are visiting at the end of the month.

UW/W. 4.0/4.6
SAT CR/M/W. 720/800/800 (2320)
SAT 2 math/chem/US hist 800/800/740
Duel enrollment calc2 /stats

Thank you both!

Just got a notice that status in the portal had changed… got very excited and then saw it was just letting us know that an admission decision will be posted week of March 21st. More waiting…

I just got an email. Whitman will notify me on Thursday, March 24 at 3:00 p.m. PDT

I am waiting for the decision too. I’m international; my scores are Ok but I think my personal essay is the biggest weakness. It feels like sitting on the fire.

@NoBiu23thd I’ve been collecting rejections all week. Hope Whitman notice something on me that other universities didn’t. Don’t worry a lot about it, there are many factors that affect the final decision. Let’s hope for the best :slight_smile:

I think the confusion is the use of the term “likely letter”. That is the name for the letter that Ivy League schools issue to athletic recruits to give them an indication whether it’s likely or not that they’d be admitted should they apply with coaching support. It’s as close as you get to a formal offer in the classic DI sense. No other conference does that … it’s the process there, whereas in highly selective DIII recruiting (e.g. NESCAC), it’s a “pre-read”.

The point is that these processes are normally reserved for recruited athletes.