Written by Traecy Hobson. Last month I toured the College of Wooster‘s campus with 20 other independent college counselors. There’s lots of school spirit at this small liberal arts school in Wooster, Ohio. But, Wooster students are not single-minded. After speaking to many students and faculty on campus, it is clear that Wooster is a place where “independent minds are working together.”
Wooster prepares its 2,000 students to become analytical researchers beginning freshman year. Regardless of major, all students complete a two-semester research project during their senior year. Each senior research student is assigned a library corral and as a rite of passage decorates it.
Students here are expected to put classroom theory into practice, and the college is committed to assisting students in facilitating this. The APEX (academic planning and experiential learning) Center assists students finding study abroad opportunities, internships, summer research positions, and career positions.
Our tour guide was a gregarious senior from Atlanta, and he told us that campus traditions are an important part of student life at Wooster. The college is proud of its Scottish heritage. Bagpipes and kilts can be heard and seen during most significant events on campus. Yes, that includes the Fighting Scots football games. Even members of the marching band wear kilts. Filling the Kauke Arch is a popular tradition. Students attempt to fill the iconic, large archway with snow. If the students succeed, classes are cancelled for that day.
Wooster students are active in the many clubs and sports on campus. One-third of students perform in musical ensembles. Marching band and a cappella groups are popular. More than one-third of all students play on a varsity team. And one-quarter of students participate in theater and dance. Greek life has a small presence on campus, with only 18-percent of students involved in local Greek organizations. There are no Greek houses or national Greek organizations.
Students I saw on campus were down to earth and clean cut. Many wore jeans, t-shirts, sweaters and Wooster-wear. One-third of students call Ohio home. Twenty-percent are students of color and 15-percent are international students. Politically, most students identify as leaning moderate to liberal.
The city of Wooster is an idyllic midwestern town, just one hour from Cleveland. Wooster Transit takes students to Uptown Wooster (chain pharmacies, grocery stores and eateries) and Downtown Wooster (independent shops, restaurants and inns).
Admissions and Financial Aid
Students are required to submit the SAT/ACT. Admissions values leadership and engagement. The Summer ARCH Program introduces freshmen and their families to campus and the resources available to them. All students are reviewed for merit aid.
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