Wheaton College rocks

For those of you considering Wheaton College in Massachusetts, I just wanted to share from a parents perspective how wonderful the school is. I had seen a post (prior to the collegeconfidential update) asking about the vibe there, and another about the surrounding area and access to Boston. Our son attends Wheaton and he is super happy there, and we as parents absolutely love his choice. Cannot say enough great things about the school, the administration, his professors, the communal atmosphere of the students, and the Wheaton president, Dennis Hanno. Our son was just saying yesterday that he feels like he definitely made the right choice and that Wheaton truly does feel like a special place. Specifically he was talking about how friendly and non-judgemental the president is, and how he interacts casually but confidently with the students around the campus – a couple of times he has been seen out on the campus grounds grilling burgers and dogs for students passing by; he is also an active professor still and my son hopes to take one of his classes (of which he hears great things).

  • More about the school specifically: It is a gorgeous, quintessential New England liberal arts campus. Great architecture, history, and layout. It’s in a small, quiet town (Norton), which just has a couple of streets with businesses and amenities, but it’s cute. It is close to Foxborough and Mansfield, and some good shopping, etc within range. It’s not super close to Boston, but it’s totally accessible (without a car). There is a free shuttle from the campus to the Mansfield train station, and then one can take the train up to the city ($11?) [and the airport, by the way]. He has gone up a few times and really loves having access to that. Providence RI, which is a really cool city, is even closer. The atmosphere of the campus is friendly, accepting, and fairly liberal. There are no frats/sororities, and thee is no football team: some people might consider this lacking, but he loves it, as it creates fewer cliques and less social (drinking) pressure than schools his friends are attending… and it’s not all about the football team/sports. There are actually lots of strong sports teams at the school and clubs as well, so that is there for athletic types. It’s just not the central focus of the vibe. It’s definitely a quieter, smaller school. It’s got strong arts programs and also strong economics and science offerings. It’s also a tight-knit community across students and admin, and they’re pretty serious about social justice, women’s respect and issues, racial equality, and more. We were having a conversation about sexual harassment and such (because of an incident he had heard about at a different school), and my son was saying how the students at Wheaton really look out for each other and it would be awfully hard for kids to get away with at his school. I know this type or junk happens everywhere: but we just feel like WC has created a safe, positive, and respectful environment there. They also have a strong honor code, so people are allowed to take their exams unmonitored etc; again, just an approach of responsibility and trust. And finally, they handled the COVID nightmare as well as any school we know (testing every student 2 times per week for the entire semester, hybrid classes approach, strict mask policy, etc, etc).
  • For those looking for a small liberal arts school with great academics, a laid back atmosphere, and a beautiful campus, Wheaton is totally worth it! If anyone has any specific questions or wants more information from a parent’s perspective, just let me know. :slight_smile:
20 Likes

Thanks for the detailed post! It is one of the schools on our daughter’s list.

1 Like

Thanks for much for the great info! This is on D21s list and the info you provided is really helpful. :relaxed:

1 Like

Thanks for the info. S21 applied EA, and I think he, my husband, and I all agree that it’s one of our top 2 favorites for him (the other being Wooster).

2 Likes

Thanks, @BGTENN! This is so helpful and so glad to hear Wheaton has been such a good experience for your son. My daughter applied EA. So, your son finds there is enough to do despite the area being so quiet? My daughter does not want urban but was hoping for a quaint downtown feel near the school she attends. My other question, is with the new dorm they built do freshmen get in or is it hard to get into that new dorm? Thanks!

1 Like

@Peachpie9: He finds there’s enough to do. As for the new dorm, freshman definitely did get to live in it. From what I understand it is a wellness dorm; so kids are supposed to be substance free, etc if they live in that dorm. Reach out with questions anytime, or PM me.

1 Like

@BGTENN Thanks for the thread. Fiske writes that the student body is mainly affluent and white. I know the percentages, but can you address that? Also, my D is looking for a school that is liberal, hipster, intellectual (my words, not hers; her dream school would be Oberlin). How would Wheaton’s student body compare?

Thanks so much!!

@BGTENN Great info, thanks!! :grinning:

1 Like

@lisabees: Honestly, after researching two go-arounds of liberal arts colleges for our son and now daughter, it seems that “_____ college is upper class and white without enough diversity” is a common criticism. I’ve read that about practically every LAC I’ve come across. I don’t think Wheaton is as much so as many others, but small private schools are likely going to be more that way than larger and public universities. He doesn’t feel it’s overly so. I do know that when he tried to do a spring break trip with his friends freshman year, most of the kids had affordability as their biggest restriction. It is definitely not a rich, socialite type of campus. Wheaton is liberal on the scale of colleges… but it is not as liberal as an Oberlin, Vassar, or Wesleyan (few colleges are). I’d say the liberal, intellectual, artsy, social-justice kids are well represented. Wheaton also has a very big international population, which brings a really diverse flavor.

5 Likes

@BGTENN Thanks! Yes, these small LACs do have a difficult time with diversity, don’t they? Even an Oberlin. Thanks for the details. I keep hearing great things about the school. :slight_smile:

So good to hear. Our son applied EA looking forward finding out soon I hope!!! Also looking forward to visiting next year, sounds like a great school!

1 Like

Anyone know when Wheaton releases decisions on Early Action applications?

1 Like

Based on previous years, I’m expecting probably Jan 14-15?

Thanks, @nichols51.

My daughter applied and was accepted ED at Wheaton. It was her top choice and she will be playing basketball there. Fit all her needs and close enough to home but not too close. She’s so excited to start next year!

5 Likes

Congratulations!!!
We can’t wait to visit in the spring
Our son applied EA
Patiently waiting …

1 Like

Congrats to you and your D, @mamamulla !

1 Like

I’m told EA decisions are expected in the next 2-3 weeks.

2 Likes

Oooo…sounds like it could be earlier than usual! I hope so!

We were so excited to hear (unexpectedly early) today. S21 was admitted to Wheaton which is one of his absolute favorites. Hope others got great news, too.

2 Likes