Road Trip: "Aha Moments" at Wake Forest University

Every college visit has its “aha moments”.  My August 2014 trip to visit five North Carolina schools included many.  Here are a few to share…Wake Forest University – Aha!

Wake struck me as a warm, friendly community that values honor and character – a little Southern conservative feel to it.  

To quote our tour guide, a senior from New Jersey: “As a northerner, the southern feel is not ‘in your face’.” But, the friendliness was.  The campus felt relaxed, clearly preppy, and Greek life is prevalent (roughly 50% of women and 35% of men are sorority or fraternity members). “Friendly”, however, doesn’t sufficiently capture the atmosphere of “honor” touted by Wake Forest -- principle, character, caring, and trust. They say that the honor code is taken seriously; the freshman year academic experience is described as “high touch”; and there is a focus on undergrads. You will find a “parents page” here - the antithesis of dropping your student off and never hearing from the school. But what drove it home to me was an experience our student guide shared, which he felt was representative to student faculty relations.  He recently moved into an off campus apartment and his landlord tried to charge him an extra month’s rent.  So, he contacted his sophomore year Business Law professor, explained the situation, and the professor walked him through the process of how to handle it. Wake creates a bubble of sorts around its campus community. 

Other points of interest at Wake Forest: Applying to Wake Forest is somewhat writing intensive – six short answer questions such as “What outrages you?” and a “Top Ten” list.  The interview is very important and recommendations matter.  Wake specifically stated that they look for students with “informed opinions”.  Their undergraduate business school is new and employment at graduation is one of the highest among the top 50 national schools.

Consider Wake Forest: if you are looking for an academically well-regarded school, with a strong Greek life, and don’t mind being a bit coddled your first year.