Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Prospie season comes early

Photo Credit : Gold

Whitman College runs campus tours three times per day, and the 11 a.m. tour on Saturday, Feb. 27, was packed. Ten prospective students and family members followed junior tour guide Julie Irvine around campus as she introduced buildings and reviewed Whitman history and trivia, like the fact that Whitman heats the stream year-round to keep ducks on campus. Campus tours: and the campus in general: have been busier lately with an influx of prospective students.

“It’s because we’re getting closer to springtime,” said Irvine.

The spring rush has started earlier this year, however, as students take advantage of mid-winter breaks to visit colleges while they are in session.

“It appears to us that there are more schools doing a mid-winter break, including some in Western Washington,” said Kevin Dyerly, director of admission. “Normally, the peak is right around spring break.”

Despite the influx of students visiting during mid-winter break, the number of visits this year is roughly the same as last year.

Daniel Bentson, a prospective transfer student currently enrolled as a first-year at Seattle University, drove over to Walla Walla on Friday, Feb. 26, and returned to school on Saturday in order to visit Whitman. He originally planned to attend Grinnell College, but chose to attend Seattle University for financial reasons.

“Whitman is a small, intensely academic school in a rural setting,” said Bentson when asked on why he’s planning on transferring to Whitman.

Whitman College is the only school to which he’s applied for a transfer. While Whitman fits many of the characteristics of the colleges he applied to the first time around, Bentson, who hails from Bellevue, Wash., wanted to get out of the state when applying to colleges as a high school senior. Now, however, he’s changed his mind.

“I do love this state. It’s the right distance from home: short enough to drive home, but too far for my parents to pester me about coming home every weekend,” Bentson said.

Bentson was not able to visit any classes in his short time on campus, nor did he stay overnight in the dorms, though he did consider them an improvement over his current housing. He did, however, take a campus tour and sit for an interview with an admissions officer. The deadline for high school seniors to interview with admissions officers has already passed in January, but that is not the case for prospective students like Bentson. He and other transfer applicants must make any visits to the campus and complete the application process by March 1, 2010.

According to Dyerly, getting prospective students to visit the campus is the hardest part of attracting students, especially those who live outside driving distance. The admissions office even provides scholarships to prospective students who cannot afford to visit the campus otherwise.

“It’s a lot easier to convince people this is a wonderful place once they’re on campus,” Dyerly said.

The visiting program for prospective students is an important part of attracting and admitting future students, who may now be walking around campus with their map-backed folders and asking for directions.

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