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Whitman or cheaper Flagship

raincatraincat 49 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
edited May 2013 in Whitman College
This question is for everyone, but particularly any WA state families out there.

Would you choose Whitman and have your parents struggle to pay for it, or a good flagship like UW. Major is undecided, also worried about making it into one of the
super-competitive STEM majors at UW. Also there are three siblings left, although the next in line for college won't be for another 4 years. Any thoughts appreciated!
edited May 2013
14 replies
Post edited by raincat on
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Replies to: Whitman or cheaper Flagship

  • ardenatwhitmanardenatwhitman 43 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    I'm not going to try to influence your decision (because I would obviously say COME TO WHITMAN!) but I would say that you should take into consideration how different UW and Whitman are in terms of environment (both physical and cultural), community, class sizes, academics, and so on. Price is definitely a big deal, but for me, I wouldn't have been able to stand being in a class with hundreds of other students, taught by a TA or a grad student. Here, even my biggest introductory classes only have 40 people, and every single class is taught by a professor. That's what I wanted, and I would suggest that you think about what you want as well. :)
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  • Guitar500Guitar500 288 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 300 Member
    If your parents are really going to struggle to pay for Whitman, go for the flagship. Whitman's a fantastic school, but if it involves too much sacrifice it's probably not worth it. You should talk about it with your parents, it'll be better for all of you to decide as a family than getting help from strangers on the internet who aren't fully aware of your situation. But anyway, both are great schools, so you'll like it wherever you go.
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  • SwintergreenSwintergreen 11 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 14 New Member
    I also struggled with this, but since I ED'ed Whitman, I really don't have a choice. In my case, I didn't really understand how burdensome Whitman's costs were going to be. How much FA did you receive? Whitman is going to give you more than UW, but I didn't receive ANY need-based aid, and that's really a killer...

    I've decided that because I like Whitman so much, I'm going to try and juggle costs for a year. I'll be working part-time (there are some good job opportunities there). If I decide that the cost overwhelms the advantages of this beautiful, small, friendly school, then I'll transfer to a flagship. I would rather attend Whitman for one year than to never attend and regret denying myself a private education experience for the rest of my life.

    UW is a great school, but it's SO BIG. In some of their general required classes, there are a THOUSAND people in there, and you have to buy clickers to ask questions now. But hey, if you go to UW, you get a lot of free stuff on the first day. :)

    Good luck with your decision!
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  • raincatraincat 49 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    Guitar 500, lol, CC is all about asking advice from strangers on the Internet!

    Also, I am the parent, not the student. I think I am sadder than my S at the thought of h going to a huge state school. Not that UW isn't a great school (especially for certain majors) but like everyone else who answered, I believe there is something special about Whitman, with the culture, the students and the academics. I think it is perfect fit for my S and worry about the large class size and TA's at UW. I guess I was just looking for some moral support, perhaps from those in the same boat. (And I got lots of that lurking on the Fin Aid forum, where there are many posts about not being able to afford one's dream school. Everyone going to Whitman this fall, I wish you all the best and I'm sure you will make the most of the wonderful opportunities you have.
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  • raincatraincat 49 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    And Swintergreen, I hope you can stay for all four years, but like you said, at least you will get to have the great small LAC experience for at least a year (though it may be more tortuous to leave after that!). Best of luck.
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  • bopambobopambo 1241 replies56 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,297 Senior Member
    raincat, we went through the same thing you are facing in 2010. My S's first choice school gave us less financial aid than any of the others, and it would have been a tremendous struggle for us. It was heartbreaking, for a while. However, kids are resilient and UW is a terrific school, I predict your son will have a wonderful time. Congratulations on the great acceptances and best wishes.
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  • riverrunnerriverrunner 2663 replies52 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,715 Senior Member
    I wish you could "like" posts on CC, because the responses on this thread all deserve it. You guys are so level-headed and kind it makes me want to cry.
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  • raincatraincat 49 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    Thanks everyone! And there's always grad school, right? S will just have to work harder in those large classes and figure out ways to connect with the profs/TA's.
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  • 1collegekid1collegekid 23 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 27 New Member
    How "rigorous" is Whitman?
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  • moonrisemoonrise 72 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    My daughter says there are three options: have a social life, get good grades, or sleep. Pick two. It's impossible to do all three. She has chosen grades and sleep. She studies constantly and attends all of her classes and has done well on her grades. I would say Whitman is extremely rigorous.
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  • kolijmakolijma 261 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 263 Junior Member
    That's funny Moonrise, my senior daughter used to say the exact same thing! Only she usually chose social life and grades :) Yes Whitman is extremely rigorous. Someone overheard her (during the 4 days of spring break she was able to give herself) discussing her senior research, thesis and preparing for orals, and asked her what graduate program she's in.
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  • mmaahmmaah 908 replies36 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 944 Member
    Among the things I love about Whitman is that it is rigorous AND fun. My daughter just submitted a 70 page senior thesis. I never did something on that scale until a doctorate program. But she has had a well-balanced life with plenty of activities, community involvement, internships, etc. and just plain good times. Kids do, truly, work hard and play hard at Whitman in a lot of healthy ways and the attention to getting them ready for the real world is there, even though the setting and town are somewhat idyllic.
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  • rixrix 141 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 145 Junior Member
    One big difference between small colleges like Whitman and big publics like UW, which often gets overlooked, is how long it might take to graduate. About 80 percent of Whitman students graduate in four years. At UW, the four-year graduation rate is closer to 55%. So there is the "hidden" cost of possibly needing to attend longer to graduate. There are a lot of reasons this can happen, but it happens more at schools like UW than schools like Whitman. Ask the dept. of the major(s) you are interested in how long it typically takes students to graduate.
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  • 1collegekid1collegekid 23 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 27 New Member
    Anyone get selected off the wait list?
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