Type: Private, 4-year, Liberal Arts College
Located: Wooster, OH
Size: just a bit under 2000 undergraduates
Cost: $44,280 (including tuition, room/board)
Degree Offerings: Bachelor’s
Hello! It is with great pleasure that I invite you along with me to visit The College of Wooster, a 4-year Liberal Arts College located in Wooster, OH. The College of Wooster enrolls just under 2,000 undergraduates annually, with about 40% of its students coming from Ohio, and the remaining 60% from across the country and around the world. According to the Princeton Review, the student body is made up of the following statistics:
Total Enrollment: 1,884
Out of State: 60%
Native American: 0.32%
I have to admit that I am quite smitten by The College of Wooster. The College of Wooster’s tag line of “Each and every student…” showcases the commitment of the college to the full development of the 1,800 or so undergraduates on its campus. In its brochure, Wooster (pronounced “whuss-turr”) stresses the point that “Each and every student at Wooster constructs a personal honors program. By combining intellectual curiosity, creativity, and hard work, each achieves something extraordinary.” The “extraordinary” work that is being referenced is Wooster’s Independent Study requirement; each and every student engages in a major piece of scholarly work (basically an undergraduate thesis) to be completed before their graduation from the College. Wooster’s Independent Study is widely acknowledged as being one of the best senior capstone projects, ranking only second to Princeton University within this category.
The moment that I stepped foot onto Wooster and looked upon Kauke Hall, I knew it was a special place. Yes, Wooster is located in a part of Ohio that is not very well-known, but I can assure you that the College itself is a true treasure. Wooster’s campus is incredibly picturesque and looks like it came straight from a fairy tale (Kauke Hall looks like a castle!). Its College Mall is a stretch of land lined with beautiful trees and medieval looking buildings (well, at least the doors anyway!), culminating at the end with Kauke Hall, the home of all Humanities majors. Most of its buildings are either white or cream-colored (except the residence halls), making the campus look very clean and pristine. I can’t say enough about Wooster’s campus – it’s not “old and haunted” like that of an Ivy League, but it has a lot of character, charm, and beauty. I’ve been on a lot of college tours, and I can say with all sincerity that Wooster is one of the few that still sticks out in my mind.
As far as campus living goes, Wooster prides itself on having approximately 99% of its students living in on-campus housing. For first year students, the following living options are available: general residence halls, first year centers, first year living and learning experience, science and humanities, women of images, and the international program house.
Depending on which house you apply for, you will be with a community of people who share your interests; for an example, if you were to live in the Science and Humanities house, you would be living with “students of all years interested in studying either the humanities or the sciences.” According to the housing brochure, you would be engaging in “community activities including fireside chats with visiting scholars, panel discussions, musical and dramatic performances by residents, and dinners with faculty members.”
Of course, I imagine you are much more interested in the International Program House, wherein you would be living with “students of all years who are interested in expanding their cross cultural experiences (about 40% of the residents are international students and the remaining 60% are from the US).” The residents within this community plan cultural events, discuss international issues, and are also involved with various cross cultural programs on and off campus. Lastly, it is also worthwhile to note that housing is available for students who cannot travel home over break for a small fee. Wooster leaves a couple of its dorms open during winter break which students can request to stay in.
Student Activities and Greek Life
The typical student at Wooster is one who is very laid back and friendly – both don’t let their easy-going personality fool you, Wooster students are actually very involved with the 120 groups on campus. Aside from the usual organizations (ie: student government, service groups, recreation and sports, etc), Wooster also has a lot of environmental groups such as Greenpeace, Greenhouse, Vegan Co-op, and much more. Aside from the environmental groups, Wooster students can also participate in Greek life should they desire to do so, but should be forewarned that Greek life isn’t particularly popular at Wooster. Only about 10% of the student population goes Greek, and the Greek organizations are locally based instead of nationally affiliated.
Another facet of the Wooster experience is the fact that Wooster is not generally known to be a “party school,” but rather, a “hang out” school. Although you can definitely find big frat parties at Wooster, the more common thing to do is to have a drink with a few friends or go to Mom’s (late night eatery). There is also an on-campus “club” where students can go dancing on the weekends.
The International Student Experience @ Wooster
According to one of my friends who currently attend the College, “Wooster is pretty diverse for being in rural Ohio;” one of her few complaints about the student body is that she wished that there were more people from the intercity areas. A possible reason why there aren’t as many intercity kids is because Wooster is an expensive school to go to; however, their financial aid office is very generous is helping its admitted students afford Wooster.
In terms of international students, they currently make up about 5% of the entire student body. The College of Wooster has many services to help its international students adjust to life at Wooster and the US. A few of the services that Wooster’s office of international student affairs provides are as follows: immigration advising, employment advice, host families, and tax help sessions. In order to help international students celebrate their culture on campus, Wooster also has an International Education Week, wherein the cultural clubs around campus will gather to host festivities that serve to educate the Wooster campus. For more information about the Office of International Student Affairs @ Wooster, please follow this link to their website!
In conclusion …
As you can probably tell, I really loved my visit to Wooster. Everyone was so friendly, unpretentious, and incredibly helpful. The campus itself is not what I would call stunning, but still incredibly beautiful and vibrant. I think a good word to use to describe Wooster is the word genuine. I get the impression that people don’t come to Wooster in order to have something to brag about when asked about their education; rather, I think people come (as they should) to this small college in rural Ohio in order to engage in life long learning. What a wonderful combination it must be to have a college devoted to helping “each and every student” follow their own personal honors program, and a student population interested in cultivating their intellectual abilities. I can’t say enough about Wooster, and highly recommend this College to someone who’s looking for a truly unique experience.
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