Wheaton College (IL)

I am from CT and have been contacted by a coach from Wheaton in Illinois as I am looking to play a sport in college. I don’t know much about the school’s academic reputation. I feel like it is a good school that just doesn’t get the recognition that some of the NESCACs do here in the Northeast.

Any insights would be appreciated. :slight_smile:

It’s pretty Christian.

Is any scholarship money involved? Wheaton is a very nice, suburban Chicago town.


No scholarship money, its a D3 school. I’m more curious about its academic rigor compared to some more well known LAC’s like Bates for example.

Wheaton College (IL) provides a quality liberal arts education… but make sure you are aware of its religious affiliation (evangelical Protestantism), which the school takes very seriously and may affect campus life.

Wheaton is not like some of the Jesuit schools or places like Duke or Emory (Methodist), which have secular feels and religious affiliation tends to be more symbolic.

Wheaton has long been the intellectual flagship LAC for evangelicalism in America. Lest you scoff at the very notion of “intellectual flagship” and evangelicalism appearing in the same sentence, you should know that Wheaton’s SAT scores have of late been very competitive with upper-echelon LACs like Bates and Scripps (check the schools’ Common Data Sets for the most current info), that Wheaton has long a solid ranking in the US News “National Liberal Arts College” category (typically in the 50s or 60s, though this might reflect low-balling based on a subtle prejudice against a forthrightly evangelical institution), and that Wheaton has historically done very well on the Princeton Review ratings in areas like “Quality of Life,” “Best-Run Schools,” etc.

My daughter, who was accepted at schools like Cornell, WashU, UCLA, and Rice, was also accepted to Wheaton, and she gave serious consideration to its offer of admission.

If you are moderately conservative in your cultural affinities, fairly serious about matters of faith, and have a passion for inquiry in disciplines like philosophy and theology, Wheaton might well prove the best school in the nation at scratching your intellectual itch. (The students are also reputed to be very friendly and generally quite good looking.) On the other hand, the school’s financial aid is lacking (it ain’t rich) compared to the NESCACs and other elites, and–while the degree certainly won’t preclude success in graduate education or professional life (Wheaton sends plenty of alums to Ivy law and graduate programs)–the name “Wheaton” lacks popular buzz . . . and might conceivably work against you if you are interviewing with a grad school or potential employer that is stridently secular or progressive.

My daughter eventually decided against Wheaton, but not for any perceived academic shortcomings vis-a-vis the other schools that she was accepted to.

Anyone else have thoughts?

Super confused–are you asking about Wheaton in Illinois or in Massachusetts? Wheaton-Illinois is conservative evangelical Christian college. Wheaton MA is liberal and secular. Wheaton MA is a NEWMAC school, not in NESCAC.
The schools aren’t even affiliated, they just have the same names. Figure out which school you want–they’re both great, just very different.
(And to tell you the truth, if that coach wasn’t super clear about the specific Wheaton where he coaches, I’d look for playing opportunities somewhere else.)


I am speaking about Wheaton in Illinois and I am aware that it is not a NESCAC. I brought up the NESCAC’s because I was saying that I feel like a school like Wheaton is really good, but doesn’t get the credit it deserves because it doesn’t have that same prestige as the schools in the northeast like Bates for example. I was wondering how it compares to Bates because I have also been in contact with them. The coach of Wheaton made it clear that he was from IL.

A bit late, but I thought I’d share my insights on Wheaton College as well.

First off, Wheaton is fairly rigorous in terms of their academics and I might say they are on par with Bats College in terms of rigor. I can’t say for certain since I haven’t attended either college, but looking at the Wheaton faculty, they are highly qualified and come from many top and distinguished grad schools throughout the country (ie. Northwestern, UChicago, Vanderbilt, Princeton). Compared to somewhere like Pepperdine University, a christian university in California currently ranked ~50th on US News National Universities Ranking, Wheaton will offer significantly more rigorous academics. That aside, I think you should know a bit about the college life at Wheaton.

Wheaton College has what is called “Christ at the Core.” This is a common core structured around scripture, christian thought, and faith. Every student is required to attend chapel I think three times a week not including regular Sunday services. Staying true to their motto, “For Christ and His Kingdom,” Wheaton tries to mend college life and christian life into one wholesome experience. At Wheaton, you will be reminded everyday that you are attending a college dedicated to teaching a quality liberal arts education and strengthening your bond with Christ. All the professors teach their classes through both a christian lens and conventional/“secular” lens. You will be taught, for example, the fundamentals of biology and psychology as what they are in a scientific setting as well as how they apply to christian life and God’s plan. A bit watered down, and I’m not the best at wording things, but that’s what you should be expecting from Wheaton. No college is perfect, and at Wheaton they will openly admit they have many faults, claiming there is no college in the world who needs God more than Wheaton College. So with that said, you can expect many cheerful, friendly, humble, strong, driven, stubborn, angry, tired, weak, and imperfect people there, but they all are working towards becoming better individuals and better followers of Christ. From all that it’s pretty obvious Wheaton College isn’t for everyone, and that’s probably what’s keeping it from getting the credit and merit it deserves, but this kind of teaching is also what draws many students from around the world to Wheaton College (they have students coming from over 130 countries). If you go to Wheaton, you’ll be happy there, that’s pretty guaranteed; it’s highly unlikely you can be unhappy there. but remember that unlike just about any other top liberal arts college or university, Christian values are at the core of what they teach.

I’m not very familiar with their athletics, and I can’t say much other than they are D3 and apparently pretty good within the CCIW. I don’t know if this means anything to you, but a few of their sports teams–don’t know which ones–went to play Emory University (another D3 school but not in the CCIW) last year and they apparently had pretty easy wins. Anyways, that’s all I can think of right now, and perhaps it was all for nothing and you already made up your mind.