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Current freshman--any questions?

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Replies to: Current freshman--any questions?

  • ardenatwhitmanardenatwhitman 43 replies2 threads Junior Member
    To me, it seems excellent--I can't say how it is relative to other schools or people. I was awarded quite a few merit scholarships and a generous workstudy grant.
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  • ardenatwhitmanardenatwhitman 43 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Decision day is looming--any more questions?
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  • redpointredpoint 1190 replies46 threads Senior Member
    Can you tell me about merit aid. How much are people awarded?

    Also, in terms of admissions, I hear that Whitman is really looking for straight A students. My kid goes to an extremely challenging high school, all college courses for junior and senior year, and very few kids actually have straight As. My kid even got a C in math last semester, many other kids did that or worse, and 1/4 of the kids in the class were there because they had to retake the class. These are honors students, college level math. It's tough. I'm concerned that going to a great school will actually end up counting against her. . . What is your experience? Is Whitman guarding its gpa average?

    Thanks so much!
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  • ardenatwhitmanardenatwhitman 43 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I don't know the specific numbers on merit aid, but here's the Financial Aid Office's list of Whitman-based scholarships: Whitman Scholarships- Whitman College

    As for your second question, Whitman definitely wants high-achieving students, but straight As are not a necessity. Whitman takes into account how difficult a student's course load is, their weighted GPA, and their class rank, among other things. So if your daughter got a C, but is still ranked 7th in her class, it's going to make a much better statement than if she got a C and was ranked in the bottom half of the class. Short answer: one C will not disregard her from admission, but she shouldn't give up on continuing to work for good grades. Here are some stats on this year's admitted students that might give you a better idea of what Whitman is looking for: Fall 2013 Admitted Class Profile- Whitman College
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  • mattymcGmattymcG 1 replies0 threads New Member
    I'm currently trying to transfer to Whitman for my sophomore year after being accepted to Whitman and Santa Clara. Unfortunately, my parents are saying that for the money they're paying, Santa Clara's reputation will go a lot farther than Whitman's and really don't want me to go there. Is there any truth to that? I've heard opposing claims from both sides, so I'm not exactly sure.
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  • bopambobopambo 1256 replies57 threads Senior Member
    Well, in academic circles both are highly regarded, but among regular folks it is more of a regional thing. If you're a Californian, then your family and friends have all heard of Santa Clara, and therefore think it's better, and visa versa if you're from Washington state. A degree from Santa Clara might mean more if you're going to be immediately looking for a job after graduation in the Bay Area. If you end up living outside the west coast, it's likely that most people haven't heard of either of them. Graduate schools all over the country are fully aware of Whitman's excellent reputation.

    There are differences in the types of schools they are, which may also be concerning to your parents: Santa Clara offers many pre-professional majors; Whitman is a liberal arts school, so it's more concerned with a broad general education instead of a more specific one. Whitman will want to make sure that you graduate with good verbal, writing and critical thinking skills as well particular knowledge of your major.

    They are both very good schools. I happen to like the liberal arts model better, but it's not for everyone. Since your parents are concerned with reputation, you might want to point out the USNWR rankings: Whitman is listed as #43 in Nationally ranked Liberal Arts Colleges; Santa Clara is not nationally ranked, but ranked #2 in the Western Regional Universities. So, according to US News and World Reports Whitman has a better national reputation that Santa Clara does.
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  • ardenatwhitmanardenatwhitman 43 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I couldn't have said it better myself, bopambo. Also, if I were you mattymcG, I would think about what you really want out of your college experience, especially regarding major and environment. If you want a liberal arts education, then go to the liberal arts school. If you want a pre-professional education, then go to the pre-professional school. I know this seems like stupid/trivial advice, but it really is going to be a different experience.
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  • DadGummitDadGummit 5 replies0 threads New Member
    Ardenatwhitman, thank you for taking the time to shine some light on what sounds like a wonderful school. My son has also decided that Whitman is wonderful, and he'll begin in August. I'll ask you to recall your experience arriving at Whitman as a new student ...

    At this time we are planning for him to travel to Whitman on his own and do what needs to be done in the first several days without parents. I like this arrangement because it allows my child to immediately start making the Whitman experience his own. He visited Whitman twice (with a parent) and for friends has only the Whitman acquaintances that he made during his brief stays. My child is fairly competent and independent and I imagine that Whitman provides good support services for new students.
    Another (not Whitman) parent suggested that parent support can be helpful during the first days of settling in to a college. The other parent's child's roommate was one of the few who had no family support in the first days, and the parent felt it more helpful than meddlesome to invite the roommate on a trip to the store to get supplies for dorm room, and just be supportive at some of the welcoming activities. The parent's experience leads him to encourage me to accompany my child to Whitman.
    From your experience, what is your estimate of the percentage of new students that arrive at Whitman on first day with no parent?
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  • ardenatwhitmanardenatwhitman 43 replies2 threads Junior Member
    DadGummit, I'm so excited that your son will be joining us this fall! That's fantastic, and congratulations to him on his acceptance.

    As to numbers, I don't really have a good estimate for you. I honestly didn't notice whose parents were/were not there--I was just trying to figure out everyone's names! However, I can definitely share my own experience on move-in day. First of all, you should know that moving in is a process which the college takes very seriously, and tries to help out with as much as possible. For starters, the RAs and SAs will already be in the building on move-in day, and will be giving directions to students, helping them find their rooms, walking them through the check-in process, and just being friendly faces. One of the things that I thought was the most amazing about move-in day was the help we got. When my family and I pulled up to my residence hall, a team of fraternity members unloaded our (large) car and carried 90% of my things up to my room, which was on the fourth floor.

    Once the car was unloaded, I checked in with the RAs/SAs who were staffing the main lounge, who directed me on what to do. When I got to my room, my roommate was already moving in. I'd talked to her very little before meeting her, so we introduced ourselves and our parents, then started to unpack/move in. I had all my stuff unpacked, if not put away and organized, within the day. While I was unpacking, both my SA and my RA came and introduced themselves, offered to show me around, and asked if I had any questions. I didn't at the time, but it was nice to know that they were there if I needed them.

    I didn't need any dorm supplies (I'd already bought most of the things I needed) so after unpacking my parents and I didn't have much to do. All of orientation week is a bit of a blur to me, but I mainly remember that I didn't see my parents much except at the large, communal meals which replaced the typical dorm meals. I moved in on Thursday and my parents left on Saturday, and I didn't feel like I needed them too much.

    In short, I think you and your son should decide whether or not you should go. If you don't, then your son will still have a lot of help getting moved in and acclimated to Whitman. If you do, then he'll have somebody to hang out with during orientation. I found that it was nice to have my parents around, but I think I would have done okay if they hadn't been there.
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