I visited Wake Forest on Friday, attending an information session and doing a tour. In many respects Wake, is a liberal arts college with strong undergraduate focus. But it also has elements of a research university. That’s a very attractive combination. Adding to the appeal, Wake participates in Division I athletics. Despite its small size, Wake competes in a top conference—the ACC.
Here are some takeaways from the info session:
- First-year students live together in dedicated residence halls.
- About 20% of Wake students come from North Carolina.
- Wake provides shuttle service to shopping/entertainment areas and downtown Winston-Salem. The city has taken steps to become an arts destination with special events on the first Friday of every month.
- In the admission process, interviews are important. Interviews are offered on campus or via Skype.
- The Wake application is essay-intensive and standardized tests are optional.
- Early Decision applications are reviewed and decisions issued on a rolling basis. An applicant willing to make a binding commitment could apply in September and be accepted before November 1.
The tour confirmed what I perhaps already knew. The campus is very attractive, the facilities are top-notch and everyone I met (or just walked past) was friendly.
Of course, every college has a question mark or two. The neighborhood surrounding the main entrance to campus is very nice, including a small, charming arrangement of shops and restaurants. But it is designed to be more of a magnet for parents than students. Wake Forest recognizes this, hence the availability of the shuttle service.
It should also be noted that Wake has an established reputation for being very demanding academically, sometimes referred to as “Work” Forest. Some students may prefer a more laid-back environment.
Here you can find much more data about Wake Forest courtesy of the College Board.