Willamette vs Denison vs USD vs Whitman

<p>My child is choosing between these 4 with the first two giving the best scholarships. Any thoughts? </p>

<p>What does your kid want to study, what is the appeal of each of these schools as far as your child is concerned, can you afford all of them or only the first two, how do travel costs factor in, do you have other children still to pay for college, etc.</p>

<p>I have many thoughts. None of them will be helpful to you if you don’t provide any context.</p>

<p>I’m curious about your thoughts. Is money an issue. how big? What does your daughter think of these schools? What do you want her to do? They are all going to give her a good education, but other things usually come into play.</p>

<p>She is planning on Math/Econ right now and then business or law school later. She had a good visit at Willamette and not so great at Denison, yet Denison is rated higher and has a great alumni network. We are in the desert of Oregon, not the rain. Denison is far away from home, while Willamette is 3 hours driving. Her first choice is Whitman but the scholarship was much less. Willamette and Denison both gave good scholarships at 50% of tuition, and Denison is slightly more money. Thanks for your comments.</p>

<p>I wouldn’t put too much stock in the rankings, a few places on the USNWR ladder won’t make any difference. Willamette is a rising star and I’ve known several kids who really loved their time there and gone on to great careers. When talking about such small schools, as long as the majors you want are present, fit trumps all. Both schools will give her a good education and credentials for grad schools. As my son was dithering 24 hours before the drop dead deadline for choosing his college, in desperation I told him to stop trying to make a rational decision and to just try to remember how he felt on both campuses and that would guide him. 20 minutes later he had his decision, and it wasn’t the one I would have guessed. Good luck!</p>

This is my first post, so please bare with me. My son is also pre-law and is considering Willamette, Denison and Whitman. He is a rising Senior with a 3.725 unweighted/ 4.03 weighted gpa and a 2050 SAT(retaking in the Fall). He is a very well-rounded kid (two varsity sports, great law-related and sports-related extracurriculars and 300+ hours of volunteering). He is middle of the road politically and LOVES to debate. My concern, after reading posts, is that Whitman may be too liberal and too academically challenging for him to maintain the balance he has acheived in high school. Would he be in over his head? Thanks for any insight!

Hi eternal, I know nothing about Denison, a little about Willamette, but more about Whitman. Whitman is a true liberal arts college, meaning that every freshman takes a year long core program that studies the world’s great literature, religions and philosophies. There are no pre-professional majors, so aspiring lawyers major in anything that interests them, commonly things like history and philosophy. The academics are rigorous, but manageable for anyone who has successfully juggled multiple commitments in high school: the academics are demanding but not cutthroat; professors set high expectations but are accessible and helpful; students are collaborative, study groups pop up spontaneously, and there is free academic tutoring for anyone who needs help.

Whitman is liberal socially, but not ultra political or hipsterish, a true social and political conservative might find it too far left, but middle of the road would fit in nicely as long as they aren’t too judgmental. Whitman is very accepting of LGBT rights, and many feel strongly about protecting the environment. I think you’ll find the same to be true of Willamette.

If you can squeeze in visits, I highly recommend them. Actually seeing and experiencing the environment is worth 100 times more than best intentioned advice

Thank you for the thoughtful response bopambo. My son has visited Willamette twice and was taken with the easy access to the Capitol as well as the friendliness and unpretentiousness of students and faculty. My husband and I have visited Whitman. Unfortunately it was the day after graduation, so not ideal for seeing the school in action. We were incrediblely impressed, however, with the many seniors who were still on campus. They were bright, articulate, approachable and quite mature. They were also very open with us about their time at Whitman (pros and cons) and endearingly proud of their school. I left with that warm, fuzzy “these are the kids I want my son spending four years with” feeling. We have not been able to carve a time out of my son’s schedule to have him visit. Hopefully, this Fall when the kids are back. I will be visiting Denison early September. My older son is heading back to the East Coast for his Sophomore year at Williams and has agreed to accompany me. I wholeheartedly agree that visits are critical if you can make them.

Just wanted to add a question. My son wants to do overnights when he visits. He is ambivalent about the Greek life at all three schools. Is it possible to do overnights with fraternity brothers?

I’m so glad you met some Whitties, I agree they are special bunch. My son graduated from Whitman in 2014. He’s in close contact with many of his former classmates, and they appear to share a unique bond. It’s so much fun to hear what they’re up to, many are doing very interesting things all over the country and the planet!

I called up my son to get the answer to your last question. He joined a fraternity freshman year, lived in the house for two years and served in several leadership roles. I think he gained a great deal of managerial experience by going that route. He says that prospective students are randomly paired with volunteer freshman hosts in the dorms, all freshmen live in dorms. Fraternities seek freshman pledges the first semester, but they aren’t inducted until second semester, so your son most likely won’t be staying overnight with anyone belonging to a fraternity. However, if he asks around the dorm where he’s staying about who to talk to, he’ll quickly be steered to brothers from various houses who will be happy to give him house tours and answer questions. The frats have whole committees whose sole aim is to introduce prospective pledges to their particular houses, and they are a really nice bunch of guys.

I should also add that half my son’s close friends never joined Greek organizations. You can be perfectly happy and completely involved at Whitman and not join a fraternity.

Thanks for yet another thoughtful response and Congratulations to your son. I love hearing that the students really do form a special bond. That is part of the LAC experience we are hoping for with both of our sons.