Tag Archives: Decisions

May 1

In a few hours, our Admission staff will pack up our work for the day and congregate to celebrate today’s date. As is the case with the vast majority of colleges and universities around the country, today is Whitman’s deposit deadline. This is old news, relatively speaking, to the many students who have contacted us already to let us know of their decision to attend Whitman. 

I love the image of multiple different reply cards of a variety of colors making their way to different institutions around the country. (For many of these institutions, deposits must simply be postmarked by May 1, which means that there are many replies still out there as I type!) Though perhaps somewhat romantic (in the image in my head, these reply cards are magically flying around Harry Potter-style), this day symbolizes a meaningful end to what has been, for both admission officers and for the Whitman Class of 2017, a fairly emotional and lengthy journey.

To our new Whitties who will be joining us next year: what we’ll be celebrating later today, in effect, is not the end of our correspondences with you (those will continue for your next four years here–that’s the beauty of a small school!) but more that today concludes your college search. We are honored that you have found, after much thought and many college visits, that Whitman is where you feel most comfortable. We’re happy that you want to do free laundry here and sit in the quiet room in the library until ungodly hours of the morning. We’re excited that you want to develop our teams, musical groups, outdoor endeavors, and even start some organizations of your own. We are thrilled that you will complete research and make intellectual advancements that this college has yet to see. Finally, we look forward to watching you cultivate life-long friendships with other students whom you have yet to meet.

A final congratulations is most certainly due on this momentous occasion: to the Whitman Class of 2017, welcome!


The day that everyone has been waiting for has finally come (and gone): yesterday, we mailed out our admission decisions to our 2,700 applicants. First things first: congratulations to the Class of 2017! What a phenomenal group of individuals you are–we so enjoyed reading your essays and learning more about your accomplishments.

What does mailing day look like, you ask? It begins with a lot of packet stuffing up on the third floor of our beautiful Penrose House. Assembly lines using all available hands are put into place; it’s kind of fun to have our hands on the actual letter headed to a student whose application we read or who we met with in person!


Finally, it’s time to bring these letters to the post office on campus. This year, the beautiful silver Corolla helped get the job done.


We couldn’t do any of this without the help of the wonderful mailing team over at Boyer House. They stamp and send out what often adds up to more than eight months of hard work (both on the prospective student as well as the admission office side)–and soon enough, these letters will be in your hands!


Now it’s your turn for the action. For some advice on receiving college decisions, take a look at this article from the New York Times: http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/college-decision-checklist-however-it-arrives-check-your-envelope-at-home/. We read many outstanding applications this year, and unfortunately, due to our competitive pool, we were unable to offer spots to all of those individuals whom these applications represent. You can expect this hard copy of our decision to arrive later this week.

Before signing off, I want to thank each of our applicants on behalf of our entire office for the hard work that was put into these applications. It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly April and time for you all to start making decisions–if you have any questions for us, do not hesitate to give us a call at (509) 527-5176 or email at admission@whitman.edu. We hope that those of you who haven’t had a chance to visit us will come check us out, and we welcome back those who are more familiar with our school and campus!

Congratulations, again, to our newest Whitties!


Reading and Waiting

I’m looking out my window at what feels, looks, and smells like a beautiful spring day. Warmer weather is already on its way to Walla Walla, despite the fact that February has just ended. (Hopefully I’m not jinxing anything.) The flowers that are starting to bloom outside of our office are a reminder of something else as well–the fact that it’s been quite a while since we’ve relayed the inner workings of this office to our readers! What have we been doing? Well, we’ve been reading 2,700-odd applications coming from all corners of the country and all across the globe. I’ll admit (and I’m sure that my colleagues would agree) that I’m pretty much ready for the next part of our cycle–the decision making, both on our end and yours–but it’s worth noting that there hasn’t been a single day that I’ve sat down in front of my computer, either in the office, on my couch, or at Patisserie (one of our local coffee shops) that I haven’t enjoyed this part of the process. So far this reading season, applications have brought tears to my eyes (both from joy and sadness), they’ve inspired me, and more importantly, they are the first concrete glimpse of how wonderful our group of applicants is, and in turn, how fantastic the class of 2017 will be.

But while I’ve been reading, you guys have been waiting. I hesitate to mention this benchmark, but we’re just a month away from releasing our decisions (“just a month” may not be a fair categorization–I’m sure for many of you that feels like a long time!). So, how does one wait efficiently? I’m not sure I have the answer. Maybe you’ve started knitting, or cooking, or volunteering; perhaps school work is still occupying much of your time (second semester senior year isn’t always as easy as it sounds!); possibly, even, you’ve found a new passion. Regardless of how you’ve been spending the last few months or so, it’s fair to assume that your accomplishments have also continued. You’re still working on that awesome research project you mentioned in your essay; you’re leading an athletic team to victory; you’ve remained committed as ever to your family responsibilities. This leads me to my next point, and it has to do with the light that’s at the end of what probably feels like a very long tunnel. The unfortunate part of the college process is that it can involve bad news. What I ask all of you to consider closely as the days in March dwindle is that no bad news, coming from any institution, is a statement on your ability to be successful in the next four years. Remember this, and be confident in the abilities that you all have demonstrated to our office and other offices around the country. It will, as they say, all work out in the end!

And until then, enjoy this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd_rDkVQuKM

How to Choose a College

There is barely a week to go until the May 1 deposit deadline and the office staff has really enjoyed working with the hundreds of you who have visited campus or met us at receptions across the country this month. We know many of you are still undecided, so I’ve compiled some words of advice from our staff:

Katie: “Ask yourself these questions.  At which school was I the most at ease?  At which school did I find conversations with students the easiest?  And lastly, if one college were to call you today and offer to fly you to campus for free next week, which would you be the most excited to return to?  You’ve done a very thorough job in this college search process.  Trust your gut.”

Robert: “Trust your heart! Reflect back on your campus visits and chose the place where you connected with the student body, faculty, and staff and where you felt most ‘at home’. Chose a place that is going to push you inside and outside the classroom and will provide you the opportunity to grow into the person you aspire to be. ”

Esther: “Look at the course catalog of the institutions you are considering. Which ones make you the most excited?”

Bruce: “Ask yourself these questions: Where could I see spending the next four years? What was it about college x that makes me feel it’s the best fit?
What do I want from my college experience/education? Does x college provide that? Can I/my family handle the financial obligations? Was the student atmosphere engaging?”

Josh: “If a place fit and you loved the classes, people or vibe, let that weigh strongly. Don’t pander to media antics. And no school is worth $30,000+ in student loans for undergrad.”

John: “Enjoy the view from my office:”

Songs to Celebrate By

Congratulations Class of 2016!

The entire Whitman community is looking forward to welcoming you to campus next fall! They’ll be plenty of time to work out the details. Now it’s time to get up, jump around, and celebrate all your hard work and success!

Tighten Up – The Black Keys
Signed, Sealed Delivered – Stevie Wonder
Good Feeling – Flo Rida
Home – Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zeros
I Wanna Dance with Somebody – Whitney Houston
Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader
All My Friends – LCD Soundsystem
Sweet & Dandy – Toots & The Maytals
Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
Rock with You – Michael Jackson
Dancing in the Street – The Mamas & The Papas
All Right Now – Free
Summertime Clothes – Animal Collective

Don’t forget to join the Class of 2016 Facebook Page and like Whitman Admission! Again, congratulations; we here at the Office of Admission are thrilled to be the first to welcome you to the Whitman family.

Letters are Out!

Letters are out!  As many of your know by now, we mailed letters on Friday, March 26, and Monday, March 29.  After months of intense reading by admission officers and weeks of review and discussion, we are all glad to be done with the selection process.  As many of my colleagues have shared, it’s always a privilege to be given a snapshot into the lives and minds of so many bright, interesting people.

The admission and financial aid spent a week getting ready for the mail to get out.  It was a week of printing letters, signing (all hand signed by Kevin Dyerly and me), then stuffing.  On Friday afternoon, a few of us helped deliver the boxes of mail to our on-campus mail center to be stamped and sealed.  A few folks then helped take them to the Walla Walla post office.  We know that so many students were anxiously waiting, so we wanted to get those letters out.
Regardless of the outcome of decisions, our staff appreciates the effort that students took to complete their application and to share with us their stories.  It truly was an honor to get to know so many interesting students.  Best wishes to all.

Decisions are in the Mail!

OK, folks – We have delivered the last of the admission decisions to the post office, so watch your mailbox this week!

Kevin and Anne moving admit packets.

Tony and Anne unloading admit packets.

Crunch Time!

Kevin Dyerly, Director of Admission, signing letters. Yes. He signs each letter by hand.

After traveling around the country getting to know you, walking you through the application process, reading your files, and discussing them, it is decision time.  It has been an incredible process this year, and we cannot wait for the next step.  Decision time is crunch time here in the Whitman Office of Admission – lots to do in a tight window.  We are signing letters, stuffing envelopes, and getting ready to mail decisions.  Rest assured, we’re working as hard as we can.  Early next week, the decision letters should arrive on your doorstep or in your mailbox.  As for now, we will keep plugging away.