After an extensive college search, that began his junior year, my son selected Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) from among the seven offers he received.
He benefited greatly from the insights and advice from those on College Confidential and wanted to return the favor by highlighting why he has decided to attend OWU for the next wave of students looking for each of their own best fit.
- Caring faculty. He feels confident that he will develop both professional skills and his individual character at OWU. He connected with each of the faculty in his areas of interests. It is very apparent that they will work one-on-one with him in his field. In his fields of interest, every single professor has a PhD and impressed in their ability to teach as well as leading research.
- Breadth of majors. For a school of its size, there are wide ranging academic interests that are supported including all the traditional academic subjects as well as business, music, pre-law, pre-med and engineering. If you are interested in any of these fields, I would consider OWU. I studied liberal arts in college and it was very helpful for my masters in economics, international studies, and business administration. Many of my classmates went on to receive Phds and JDs after their liberal arts degree.
- Entrepreneurial spirit. Students are encouraged to pursue research independently in their fields of interest and in collaboration with faculty. They also have a theory to practice grant program (TIPIT) along these lines.
- Excellence in extra-curriculars. Again, the specialists supporting each area were very impressive and will work with him to improve his abilities. Also, the range of facilities supporting each field is truly impressive. In music and theatre, they have impressive buildings and studios dedicated to each activity. At a division three school, their stadiums, new fitness center, gym and pool are quite impressive.
- The students he met. My son visited three times and had two campus sleepovers at OWU before making a decision. Each experience was very memorable and confirmed the way he felt from the website and promotional literature. I cautioned him from putting too much emphasis on the overnight visits when comparing his options -- because you never know when a bad apple appears and it would be a shame to turn away a great fit for that reason -- but in the end, that never ended up being the case at any of the seven schools.
At first, Ohio Wesleyan was an “under the radar” school for my son. He only decided to include OWU after reading Colleges That Change Lives and determining that the liberal arts approach and major offerings was a good fit and he’s so glad he made that decision. Over time, OWU would not go away and continued to impress more and more. In the end, my son had seven great offers to choose from but OWU stood out.
I’ll ask him to write four years from now to reflect on his experience and hopefully it will be as positive as he feels now about his decision. Best of luck to everyone out there in finding your fit.