Category Archives: Visiting

5 Things to Look Forward to in the Coming Months (From the Whitman College Office of Admission)

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Hello all, and welcome once again to the Whitman Admission Blog! It’s been a crazy hectic couple of weeks here in the office, and not just because of the gradual increase in students visiting campus. Fall, as I’ve talked about before, is in full swing at this point, and that means some exciting things happening (apart from just the crazy weather we’ve been having). With that in mind, I wanted to take some time share some of the things I’m most excited about, and that you might find fun and interesting as well. Below is a list of 5 things you can look forward to coming from the Whitman College Office of Admission, and Whitman College in general, in the coming days, weeks, and months!

5) Overnight Visits!

If you’re a prospective college student, chances are you’ve already been exposed to the idea of overnight visits, and might already know what they entail. For those of you who don’t, however, an overnight visit is something we offer to seniors who want to get a bit more of a taste of campus life, and really dig into the culture of the college by staying with a student host for night. It’s an incredibly cool process, is often the deciding factor for students making their college decisions, and, now that the school year is in full swing, we are able to offer them after the long summer break! Want to sign up for an overnight? Simply go to the Schedule a Visit section of our website and follow the steps outlined there!

4) Lunch Hosting!

Much like with Overnight Visits, which are put on hold over the summer while our students are away, Lunch With Current Students gives you the opportunity to meet and talk with current Whitman students in order to get a feel for Whitman’s campus community. Going to be on campus for a tour or an interview? Sign up to talk with current Whitties (and get a taste of our excellent dining hall food) while you’re at it!

3) Fall Visitors’ Day!

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Okay, so this one is still a ways off (November 12th to be precise), but it’s still really exciting to think about. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to visit campus yet, or if you’ve already been but want to come join in on the festivities, Fall Visitor’s Day is an excellent opportunity to tour the campus, meet with staff and faculty, and even sit in on panels about academics, sports, and other programs Whitman has to offer. Want to know more? Come check out our Fall Visitor’s Day webpage, and check out the full list of activities!

2) Intern Blogs!

If you actively follow this blog, or if you just happen to pop in and check for updates from time to time, you may have noticed something: updates often come sporadically (although I have been trying to create a more regular schedule), what with how busy we Admission Officers often are throughout the year. In order to help alleviate the problem of sometimes sparse content, we have enlisted the help of our Senior Admission Interns, who will be posting on a weekly basis from here on out. This week marks the first week our new interns will be posting, and I myself am super excited to announce that their blogs will soon be up and running! Image

(Above is a photo I snagged of two of our interns hard at work on their first posts). Be on the lookout for those blogs as they come out! They’ll be posting a lot of good content, which is nice, since Whitman’s Admission Officers (myself included) will soon be…1) On the Road!

This is in many ways the biggest part of the Fall for us as Admission Officers. I talked a bit about this a while back, but at that point in time it was largely conceptual – we were still in the planning phases, the early steps, the thought of travel only just beginning to surface from the long summer months of sleep. Now, however, travel season is upon us. If they haven’t hit your town, high school, or area already, Whitman College Admission Officers will soon be making visits, holding interviews, and attending college fairs, all right in your back yard! To find out who will be in your area, and where we will be visiting, check out our Whitman on the Road page for more information!

That’s all for today. Look out for both our Senior Admission Intern blogs, as well as another post later this week as a followup to a personal favorite series of posts from last year! Until then, may Fall be ever in your favor.

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Travel Season Meets Fall in Walla Walla

I wrote a few weeks ago that travel season had begun, and now it is surely upon us! We at the Office of Admission have now reached a time of year where we’re lucky if half of the officers are in the office. Though it’s a time of much transition for us, it’s also extremely exciting. Katherine Buckley, Tony Cabasco and I recently returned from an exhilarating week in Seattle where we visited 18 high schools and met hundreds of students. I felt like I was on a roll; we moved from parking lot to college office, speaking about Whitman to both individual students but also to groups as large as sixty. The excitement coming from the prospective students we speak with is the contagious part–after all, we love travel season because it means we get to meet many of you!

So, what to do with these interspersed weeks (or in many cases, days) at home? They become much more than time to catch up on emails and phone calls in the office; the purpose they serve goes further than to simply “reboot.” Fall at Whitman is full of campus vigor, both a confirmation of all that we have shared on the road as well as the source of a whole new group of activities and stories that we will put in our pockets for when we head out on the road again. Though I missed the Instant Play Festival, I can’t wait to attend a talk by Isabel Wilkerson, the author of this year’s summer read The Warmth of Other Suns. I smile when I read about President George Bridges’ birthday wishes to first-year Maya Volk (check out the full story by clicking on this link: http://www.whitman.edu/content/news/mayavolk ). While I’ve been gone, flag football games have started in full force and provide some excellent entertainment. These are just a few of the stories that will find their way into the next high schools I visit.

Imagery From Our Travels, Part I

As we approach a time of year when many of us are out of the office, traveling from college fair to high school visit, we often have the opportunity to share stories from our adventures only after we return home to Walla Walla. But this travel season, through this blog, we’re able to share images and tales from our travels not only with each other but with all of you!

For this first installment of visuals from of our time on the road, Joshua Ian Smith, Associate Director of Admission, has sent us a few pictures from his time in Asia. Take a look at the wildly beautiful passion flower, a produce stall in Bangaluru, and the skyscrapers in Hong Kong.

Admitted Students’ Day

Welcome class of 2015! Congratulations on your admission to Whitman College! We are incredibly excited to invite all admitted students (and their families of course!) to Admitted Student’s Day on Saturday, April 16th.  Registration will begin at 7:45 with a wonderful continental breakfast and music performed by Jonas Meyers ’13. Admitted Students will be able to sample classes, tour the campus, meet with Admission and Financial Aid staff, as well as learn more about student life and co-curricular program offerings at Whitman. And, you can tour the resident halls to determine just where you might be living next year.

I cannot wait to welcome you all to campus; the weather is looking good, the food will be delicious, and the professors giving sample classes will be on fire. The Tour of Walla Walla, a large cycling event, will be taking place right in downtown Walla Walla, so do not be afraid to step off campus and gander around downtown. Make sure you bring a change of clothes if you’d like to play some Ultimate, or dig around in the Organic Garden. Be ready to attend a Japanese Tea Ceremony or warm up your vocal cords with our a cappella groups! Write a story with the Whitman Pioneer or get on the air with KWCW, our student-run radio station. And, lunch is on us!

Final festivities should conclude by 5:00, however, there will be evening programs on campus that you are more than welcome to attend! Remember to RSVP!

Can I still visit campus during December and January?

Of course you can! December and January are great times to visit Whitman College. The campus is often blanketed in beautiful white snow and our grounds crew does a fantastic job of keeping the walk ways cleared for our tours.

From December 6 – December 22 and January 3 – January 21 prospective students are welcome to visit campus and attend a campus tour and information session. If you’re a senior or transfer student we encourage you to sign up for an interview with an admission officer while you’re on campus.

The Office of Admission will be closed from December 23 – January 2 so we can rest up to read all of your applications in January and February. Speaking of applications don’t forget Whitman’s Early Decision 2 application deadline is January 1 and the Regular Decision deadline is January 15!

Submit your application online today at www.commonapp.org!

Visit! But Why? When?

As you and your family try and determine when and if to visit your favorite colleges, of which Whitman is obviously one (for here you are), I’ve compiled a few thoughts to assist you in the process. Know that I am unabashedly of the opinion that you ought to visit the colleges and universities you are most strongly considering, because I’m a firm believer that “fit,” often defined by intangible and difficult-to-articulate qualities in prospective students’ own perceptions of a campus, is one of the singular most important facets to your college search. Feel and fit are best gleaned from experiencing a place and a people for yourself.

The first major determination to be made is to decide if you and your family will make visits before application deadlines (sometime prior to the November, December, or January cut offs for receiving applications at respective institutions), or after you receive your admission decisions (April). Some colleges may fall into the former camp, others into the latter. Consider that for certain of your reach-schools, it might carry financial incentive to wait until you hear back from the college before spending the money traveling thereto. On the other hand, you might not want to cram all your college visits into the few weeks or weekends open to you in April. Visiting in the late Spring also carries with it the intangible disadvantage of postponing the decision – some students (and some parents) may want to have a good sense for their short list of favorites much earlier than two weeks before deposits are due. On the whole, these are decisions for you to make as a family.

Another major question is what type of visit experience you want. You can schedule an individualized visit almost any time during the academic calendar, you may opt for a scheduled campus program such as one of our Fall Visitors Days, or you can visit when the College may not be in session. The logical drawback to visiting during a College break (which deters many families) is that you might miss the opportunity to visit classes, see the students “in their natural habitat,” interact with professors, etc. The major divide more often lies between visiting on a Visit Day or some other time. In fact, it’s such a substantial question, I’m devoting an entire post just to this quandary.

Visitors’ Days versus Regular Visits

Should you visit on your own terms or on planned Visit Days / “open houses” at your favorite colleges?

An individualized tour provides a number of visit options. You are much more likely to see the natural state of the campus and student body. You will have better chances of small information sessions or even interviews / meetings with your Admission Officer. You are similarly going to be more likely to see actual classes on campus. You might be able to stay overnight and are more likely to be able to eat with current students in the residence halls. And the list goes on – thus is the “individual” nature of this kind of visit.

On the other hand, visiting on a Visitors’ Day (like the one coming up next Friday, November 12) also affords you some special opportunities. We are more able to pull together key leaders across campus, be they staff from the Intercultural Center to Athletics, or faculty from Biology to Asian Studies, and provide you with access to an array of common interests explored and questions answered. In a room full of prospective students and families, that question about Financial Aid you forgot might very well be asked by someone beside you. Finally, and perhaps most exciting, is the prospect of meeting not just current Whitman staff, faculty, and students, but a great many potential future classmates!

Whitman offers several of these types of visitor events. We offer two Fall Visitors’ Day, often most attended by current high school seniors finishing up their reconnaissance of prospective colleges before they complete the last of their applications. Younger students often attend these as well, to get ahead of the game. We also offer a very similar Spring Visitors’ Day in early April, in this case more commonly attended by current high school juniors getting an early jump on their college search. Finally, Admitted Students’ Day in mid-April affords applicants who are at the end of their college search and have been offered admission to Whitman the opportunity to see campus one more time. This is often a particularly exciting Saturday because it has so much less to do with stats and figures, staff and faculty, even the Admission Office itself – it’s all about the students! These talented young women and men know they are admitted, they know the choice is theirs now, and they come to see what their future class at Whitman could be like. It’s a wonderfully vital and invigorating weekend!

What is best for you or your family is really a question only you can answer. Many of the benefits of the individual visit – such as class visits, overnight stays, and interviews with Admission Officers – are impossible to offer on a Visitors’ Day due to simple numbers and capacity limits. And the verve and momentum of a hundred prospective students generated naturally on a big Visitors’ Day is equally impossible to manufacture if you visit on a solitary afternoon in early December. It’s all about fit and feel, even at this stage of the process. What is right for you?