Many of you prospective students out there are likely editing, re-reading and putting the finishing touches on your application to Whitman this week. Thursday, November 15 is our first admission deadline of the season, and it is one of two opportunities that students have to apply to Whitman prior to our Regular Decision deadline (Jan. 15). (Coincidentally, November 15 is also my birthday; I like to brag that I receive more “presents” on my birthday than anyone else I know!) Choosing one of these two Early Decision opportunities, the second of which is January 1, is a great option for the student that knows Whitman is their first choice; it’s important not to confuse these deadlines with Early Action (a non-binding decision).
Given that the Early Decision I deadline is a mere week away, I thought I would take a moment to discuss some important reminders.
1) Financial Aid: Remember that if you are applying to Whitman ED I and applying for need-based aid, you will also need to submit the CSS Profile by November 15. (The FAFSA, the second form that we require, will not be accessible until January 1.) All students who receive financial aid will be notified of their aid packages along with their acceptance letters in the mail, so students need not be concerned that applying early means that they won’t be able to receive merit or need-based aid from Whitman. In fact, the package that a student receives for an Early Decision deadline will be the same package that he or she would have received for Regular Decision. However, Regular Decision can often be the better fit for families that want to rely on the opportunity to compare financial aid packages from different schools.
2) You can expect to receive a response from us by December 21. Given that our Early Decision options are binding, one benefit to choosing this route is that you’ll know where you stand only about a month after submitting your application.
3) The application, of course! Make sure you proofread your application. Ask someone–a parent, a counselor, a teacher, or another individual you’re close to–to read over your essay and supplement; sometimes they may catch something you didn’t see yourself! If you have any questions about the Common App or Whitman Supplement, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Best of luck, students! We look forward to reading your applications (and thanks in advance for making my birthday a special one).
As high schools and colleges across the country release students for winter break, it truly becomes crunch time for finishing college applications (remember, the postmark deadline is January 1 for Early Decision II and January 15 for Regular). Next week, in an effort to help seniors complete the strongest application possible while minimizing stress, The Choice, the New York Times blog on admission and financial aid in higher education, is hosting a live Facebook chat with three expert college counselors from across the country. A different counselor will take questions and offer advice Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. Find out the details here.
Early Decision letters will be mailed next Monday morning, and students may view their status online at midnight Monday night. Thanks again for being such fantastic applicants! We are excited to welcome the first members of what promises to be another absolutely spectacular class of Whitties!
Isn’t the Common Application great? All those schools you can apply to in one shot, it makes the college application process so much less daunting. While this is true (to an extent) many of you are thinking, or maybe yelling out loud, “What about all those supplements?!?” Aghh, the bitter sweetness of only needing to type your counselor’s e-mail address, Freshman extracurricular activities and expected spring schedule once.
Supplements are personal, they ask probing questions and they require thought and time. Maybe right now in the middle of December you don’t feel like you have much of either to spare. I encourage you to dig deep. These questions are asked for a reason and they are important. Trust me, as much as you do not want to write a meaningless essay, my colleagues and I do not want to read them. Yet, year after year we keep asking the questions, because they are important. We want to know these things about you, in the case of Whitman: how you perceive diversity, why you are interested in our community of 1500 students in Walla Walla, and lastly how you think and express your thoughts.
For some clues on why these questions are important to us take a look at our website, Google these topics, page through that Whitman Admission handout one more time with “different eyes”, ask us some questions of your own. See what we have to say, maybe you will learn something, you may get intrigued and excited, you may be struck by inspiration for your supplemental essays. We want to see if and why these topics are important to you too. Be deliberate, be concise, and give us a view into you and your motivations. There is no “right” answer! So stop taking the safe route and writing on what you think it is.
The Common Application has 456 member institutions; at the heart of each is a unique school and community. This is what the supplements try to get at. This is why we ask these pesky questions. In your answers we hope to honestly find a little of Whitman and what we value. Good luck Class of 2016, we look forward to reading your applications!
Our third entry in the “Why Whitman?” series comes from Lauren McCullough, a Politics major from Wilsonville, Oregon. Happy writing to all you ED applicants working on your own Why Whitman essays!
When I applied to college, I knew there were a few qualities I had to have in my college experience. The first was a small school with a strong sense of community, so I exclusively considered tiny liberal arts colleges. I was interested in all things Humanities and Social Sciences, so it didn’t make sense for me to pick a school based on only one of those departments. Actually, I guess the requirement was a well-rounded college strong in all academic departments. Looking back, this was an excellent decision: I’ve changed my major four times before happily settling down in the Politics department!
After these basic size and academic considerations, the student body was the most important component to me. I wanted to be a part of an eclectic, intelligent student body where people were also quirky and friendly.
I already knew Whitman fit this profile well because both my brother and sister attended. However, not surprisingly, I thought I would never go to the same school as both my siblings. Yet, when I went and visited schools, Whitman stood out for me above the rest. Current students were all friendly and the professors were fascinating during Admitted Students Day and my time there really convinced me that Whitman was a school I would be happy and not at all seen as anyone’s little sister.
I was also comforted by the fact that my two siblings, who have very different personalities and interests both thrived at Whitman. My sister was involved with theater and art and majored in Psychology. My brother, on the other hand, majored in Philosophy, played varsity soccer, was active in Greek life, and tutored local elementary students.
Ultimately, I chose Whitman because it felt right, academically and socially, and because I was confident that I would be happy here. When I was forced to think about where I truly wanted to spend the next four years of my life, Whitman stood out as the right place; almost four years later I’m glad to say I was right!
One of the officer staffs’ favorite parts of the application to read is the “Why Whitman” piece of the Whitman supplement. To provide you with inspiration as you ponder your response, we’ve asked our senior interns to look back and rewrite their “Why Whitman” essays four years later. We’ll be posting them here throughout the fall.
First up is Ruby Glaser, a psychology major/education minor from Weston, CT:
Choosing a college was far from an easy decision for me. Restless nights, stressed days, and angst beyond the normal teenage level were the constants of my life the April of my senior year. I was excited and passionate about my college search, ready to leave my small East Coast hometown and start a new adventure. I knew I wanted a small, liberal arts college that mirrored the close-knit community of my high school. I visited nearly 25 schools, and while satisfied by my visits, I was never overly excited or enthused. The campuses were all beautiful and home to more activities and classes than I would ever be able to experience. The thing that kept me from falling in love was the classroom experience. I had sat in on classes at every school I visited, and I found the environment to be intense and competitive, which was frustratingly the exact thing I was trying to get away from.
Then I came and visited Whitman – it was a breath of fresh air. There was an aura of community and support; it was obvious the students were working together in a collaborative effort to learn together. It was about the knowledge being gained, not about besting each other. I felt like I could voice any idea that popped into my mind during discussion, approach the professor with the silliest questions, and brainstorm with my peers on any issue I was having. This was the nurturing classroom environment that I was craving. This was the element that put Whitman over the edge for me. I was already sold on the gorgeous campus, amazing facilities, endless clubs and activities, and Northwest location, so all I needed was that incredible classroom experience to help me make the decision. Whitman was the place for me, it just took a while to see it.
Ever wonder what college admissions officers really think about SAT scores, college essays and emails from students? Well you’re in luck! The writers from Woman’s Day Magazine talked to admission officers across the country and compiled a list of ten useful tips for the admission process.
We hope this will answer a few of your questions about the application process. Reading this article may also produce some questions and we’d be happy to answer them for you. Check out our list of admission staff and email the officer assigned to your hometown.