Category Archives: Admissions

2014: A Very Wesleying Year In Review

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Guys, here’s the deal. We’re all feeling really old again because 2014 is over now, and that’s what happens each time you celebrate another year having come and gone. But before we can settle into 2015, which a previous year tried to warn us about (????), it’s time for your annual Wesleying Year in Review. Frosh writers astag_rockyCaro, and Jackson put together the ten biggest moments on campus (#tbt style), links to relevant Wesleying posts that help you brush up on each of those topics, and lots of fun honorable mentions.

Some really weird, interesting, amazing, magical stuff happens at Wes, and this post serves to remind us to take those memories with us as we go forward. (Looking at you, “New Year, New Me” people.)

Now, a disclaimer: Not everything that happened this year is covered because even with help, frosh only get some of the things right some of the times. Feel free to leave your personal favorite/weirdest/coolest Wesleyan moments in the comment section. Also, note that the events that do get covered are not placed in any particular order of importance or severity.

Read after the jump to see who wore it best.

Early Decision Notifications Go Out to the Class of 2019 and We’re All Ancient

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It’s that time of year again when Wes students complain about how old they are: Early Decision notifications have been sent to the class of 2019, and around 300-350ish kiddos are now officially coming to Wesleyan this fall. Also, just to throw in some math: Most members of this class were born in 1997 (some in 1996 and even 1998).

The College Confidential thread is ridiculously boring this year (step up your game, prefrosh), so instead, here’s some chatter from the latest cardinals via Twitter:

Office of Admission Seeking Student Bloggers

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From the lovely Sydney Lewis ’14

Do you like to write? Do you aspire to be a blogger extraordinaire like the geniuses at Wesleying? Do you like talking to pre-frosh? If so, then we’ve got the job for you! This is a paid position (approx. 2 hours/week) and is open to work-study and non-work study students. All current Wesleyan students from all class years are welcome to apply. We are looking for bloggers who can represent different experiences at Wesleyan and will write about Wes in an engaging and sustained way.

Our Tumblr bloggers must:
• Update their blogs at least once a week and respond to questions/comments.
• Possess good judgment, writing skills, and the willingness to engage that is required to connect with prospective Wesleyan students and others.
• Be comfortable with (or willing to learn) Tumblr platform. Must also be comfortable including multimedia like videos and images into your posts to make them interesting. If you’re intersted, contact Sydney at salewis[at]wesleyan[dot]edu for application details.

So Apparently Wesleyan is “Economically Diverse”

Paying tuition never looked so bucolic

Paying tuition never looked so bucolic

Please put your iPhone back in your Patagonia sweatshirt pocket for a second. Apparently it’s time to rethink the idea that the Wesleyan student body is entirely made up of students from upper-class families, at least according to new data from the New York Times. In conjunction with an article on colleges recruiting from an increasingly diverse set of economic backgrounds, the Times has published a chart comparing the economic diversity of various schools. And Wesleyan has come out at number 13 on the list.

The chart ranks colleges according to a College Access Index, which is based on the percent of the past few freshman classes who came from low-income families (measured by the share receiving a Pell grant) and on the net price of attendance for low- and middle-income families. The data states that 18% of freshman classes arriving 2012-14 have received Pell grants, and that the average cost for low- and middle-income students is $8,700 a year. This gives Wesleyan a College Access Ranking of 1.5, putting us below Amherst and above Williams, for reference.

Forbes College Rankings Come Out, Suddenly We Care Because We’re No. 15

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For those of you who haven’t been following the buttload of obnoxious college rankings that come out every August/September, you’re in luck: Wesleyan is faring pretty damn well. A couple of the highlights and interesting tidbits:

1. Forbes ranked Wes number 15 on its 2014 list of best colleges in America. Impressive colleges we’re ranked higher than include Dartmouth, Northwestern, Columbia, Duke, and University of Chicago. Cue the awkward moment this summer when I used “So we beat you in the Forbes rankings” as a conversation starter with a current Dartmouth student. Whoops.

The Myth of the Little Three: Are College Rankings Killing Wesleyan’s Culture?

BADGE!

Do you ever get the feeling Wesleyan is having a little bit of an identity crisis?

There’s a good chance that my ‘ideal’ Wesleyan doesn’t look exactly the same as yours; our concerns and tastes are different, as are our experiences here. But it is likely that the things you love most about Wesleyan are unique to it, are not quantifiable, and are not things that are in step with success as defined by any rankings algorithm. I’m serious about Wesleyan dropping out of college rankings like US News. Reed College president Colin Diver explains in a 2005 Atlantic article that “one-size-fits-all ranking schemes undermine the institutional diversity that characterizes American higher education…(as) The urge to improve one’s ranking creates an irresistible pressure toward homogeneity, and schools that… strive to be different are almost inevitably penalized.” In my opinion, Wesleyan students have been struggling against that subtle pressure in different ways for years now. 

#ThisisObama’sNow

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Prez Obama is running away with our #ThisIsWhy campaign.

What do you do when the leader of the free world hijacks your hashtag campaign? Barack Obama recently launched a new site featuring stories on why health care (reform) matters. The tagline’s Twitter-translation? #ThisisWhy.

It all began on January 1st, with Virginia.

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Virginia may be able to go to the doctor again but does she have anything on James W. Thomasson ’63, an alum who gives us this story as part of Wesleyan’s #ThisIsWhy campaign?

At the age of eight, in socially divided Middleburg, Virginia, I was “reported” to my mother by a neighborhood “wag” for playing in the street with “John Henry”—yes, a ten-year-old black boy. As big a disgrace as that must have been for the neighbor, it paled in comparison to the embarrassment of my mother and the rage of my father.

Students Petition President Roth to Change Financial Aid Donation Policy

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A little under a week ago, I posted a video in which Josh Krugman ’14 took the microphone at a senior class reception and, immediately following speeches by University administrators exhorting members of the senior class to donate to Wesleyan, asked his fellow seniors to not donate in protest of the University’s abandoning of need-blind admissions and alleged fiscal irresponsibility. The post generated a debate over whether alumni should give to the University – informed in part by a recent letter from alumni who withheld donations on “Giving Tuesday” due to the University’s financial aid policies.

This post was followed immediately by a post by pyrotechnics about the 68% figure referenced in Josh’s speech. This post shed light on a serious problem with the way the University deals with financial aid donations:

There is currently no way for donors to increase the amount of money the University plans to spend on financial aid. Given the budget cap, there is no such mechanism for that right now, confirmed to me by President Michael Roth himself. (Again, note that there is a way to decrease the amount of money spent: not donating.) This is something I (wearing a different hat) am currently working on fixing with University Relations, with tentative support from both President Roth and Barbara-Jan Wilson.

In response to this and the fact that the number of students on grant-based matriculation aid fell this past year, Benny Docter ‘14, Danny Blinderman ’14, and Josh Krugman ’14 presented a letter to the administration calling for a revision to the financial aid donation policy. This letter, cosigned by WSA leadership, campus group leaders, student fundraisers, Greek-life presidents, and others, makes two simple demands on the administration:

1) Donors should be able to specify that 100% of their gift goes to increase financial aid for the following school year; 2) Donors should be able to specify that 100% of their gift goes into the endowment for financial aid, to be drawn at a rate equal to the annual draw rate of the endowment as a whole, and could be spent only on permanently increasing the number and quality of financial aid packages that the University offers.

The idea is that any donation made in this new manner would result in an increase in financial aid spending proportional to the size of the gift – as opposed to the current system, where all donations received are already planned for in the financial aid budget. The letter does not call for a boycott on donations to financial aid, nor does it ask for a return to need-blind admissions. Rather, it demands that the University allow those who donate to financial aid to increase financial aid spending as a total portion of the University budget in the same way that alumni donations to athletic programs or academic departments do not result in a corresponding decrease in the funding those programs receive from the University.