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What Does A Student Need To Do To Be Eligible For Merit-Based Scholarships?”

At Wake Forest, we want to consider as many students as possible for our selective scholarships. This is why our admissions application doubles as a merit-based application for most of our academic awards (including our full-cost of attendance Carswell, Gordon, Reynolds, and Stamps Leadership scholarships).

Students wishing to be considered for most merit-based awards at Wake Forest need only submit a complete application for undergraduate admissions by December 1. Students that complete their applications by December 1 and interview after that date will still be considered for merit-based scholarships.  Turning in the application a month before our regular admissions deadline ensures that we have time to review your application for both admissions and scholarships.

Some of our scholarships are merit within need in nature and recipients will have to demonstrate that they are not only deserving of the award, but also that they need the financial help.   If you believe your family will qualify for need-based aid, it is important that you also meet the Financial Aid deadlines so that we may consider you for awards like the Heritage Scholarship.

Finalists for our full cost scholarships will receive an invitation to one of our scholarship weekends in February or March.  Our smaller merit-based scholarships do not require a winter interview – we mail notices for these awards to their recipients around the same time (approximately April 1st) as the Financial Aid office mails their award packages to need-based recipients.

A reminder that the application deadline for our talent-based scholarship program is also December 1st. I encourage you to review Dean Pilon’s description of the Presidential Scholarship program if you are interested. Good luck!

For more information on merit-based scholarships at Wake Forest, please visit our Merit-based scholarships website.

Paul Gauthier ’93
Associate Dean, Merit-based Scholarships

Presidential Scholarship For Distinguished Achievement Deadline Is 12/1

Deadline alert! The December 1 application deadline for the Presidential Scholarship for Distinguished Achievement in Art, Dance, Debate, Music or Theatre is fast-approaching. Remember that if you want your artistic talent to be considered as part of your application to Wake Forest you need to submit an application for the Presidential Scholarship. In addition, note that both your application for admission and the Presidential Scholarship application must be submitted by the December 1st deadline.

I’ve attached below a promotional video that was put together by the president of the Wake Forest University Dance Company. If you happen to be in our area this Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, we’d love to see you at the Fall Dance Concert!

Lori Pilon ’12
Assistant Dean, Merit- and Talent-Based Scholarships

Wake Forest Ranks 3rd For Undergraduate Study Abroad Participation

As reported in the 2014 Open Doors report published by the Institution of International Education (IIE), Wake Forest ranked 3rd in the country among doctoral colleges and universities in the United States in the percentage of undergraduate students who study abroad for academic credit.

2014 Open Doors Snippet

Lest you think we are satisfied, know that we are committed to increasing the percentage of students studying abroad to 75% by 2020. Our current capital campaign “Wake Will” has already raised more than $3 million for study abroad scholarships, many targeted specifically for underrepresented populations and first-generation college students. In other words, we’re not resting on our laurels. Our News Center published a terrific article today where you can learn more about recent initiatives and efforts to improve study abroad opportunities by our Center for Global Programs and Studies – give it a read.

Pre-Medical And Pre-Dental Students Give Back, Gain Experience

Over 100 Wake Forest University students, many members of our Pre-Dental Student Association and our pre-medical school honor society Alpha Epsilon Delta, volunteered at a free regional dental clinic this past weekend. Junior Pierre Duncan documented the experience of serving hundreds of patients in need of dental care – it’s worth a look:

Early Decision Deadline Is Tomorrow – November 15

Amazingly, it is but a day before November 15 and our Early Decision application deadline. As you approach the weekend and work to finalize your application, we ask but one small favor – take a deep breath, then exhale. There is a chance that something may go wrong when you hit submit tomorrow. Deep breath, exhale. If you wait until the last minute, the application may not push through until after midnight on the 15th. Deep breath. Exhale.

GremlinHere’s the reality, folks. We will not be back at work until Monday morning. You need to work to have your application in by the deadline but we are not watching the clock and judging submission times. We know that technology can go on the fritz and that Gremlins are real. We understand that sometimes things happen beyond your control and as such are on your side.

Once submitted, we ask that you not contact our office to see if your application has been received. It will take a handful of weeks for applications, regardless of how they were submitted, to be processed and entered into our system. The same holds true of supporting documents (school reports, ED agreements, teacher recommendations and the like). We encourage you to track your own application status on your Window to Wake Forest account page but know that items will not appear instantly on your checklist. Applicants who apply through tomorrow and who work diligently to submit all of their supporting documentation soon thereafter will be notified prior to the January 1 regular decision deadline of most colleges and universities.

Trust me – we’re taking deep breaths and exhaling too! Breath easy!

Important Update For All 2015 Spring Term Transfer Applicants

Because of the size of the first year class that enrolled in August and the large number of current Wake Forest sophomores, juniors and seniors who are returning to campus, the Admissions Committee will not be evaluating transfer applications this year. Simply stated, we have four full classes and are unable to accommodate any additional students this January.

Instructions will be mailed to students who have already applied on how to change your application term for Fall 2015 consideration or to request a refund of your application fee. If you have any questions please contact our office (336.758.5201). We sincerely appreciate the effort you put into your application and wish you well going forward.

CBS Evening News On Test-Optional Admissions At Wake Forest

“I feel valued … not by a number, but for my character.” Thoughts from freshman Natalie Casimir on how she feels as a student at Wake Forest after applying without submitting standardized test scores. Hear her words and those of Dean Martha Allman on why our test-optional admission policy is right for so many of our students and for all of Wake Forest.

A Note For Early Decision Applicants From China and South Korea

We are aware that the delivery of scores will be delayed for students who sat for the October 11 SAT in China and South Korea. To be considered under our Early Decision application plan, you must submit your application on or before November 15. Applications will be held for review until your scores arrive unless previous scores have already been submitted for evaluation. This delay will have no bearing on applicants applying “test optional.”

Early Decision Applicants – Check Your Window to Wake Forest Page for Application Status Information

From a practical standpoint, the most useful piece of information for current early decision applicants to Wake Forest on your Window to Wake Forest page is the “My Wake Forest University Application” checklist located in the upper left hand corner. Here’s a screenshot of my own page – note that I haven’t applied (I graduated already!) thus mine merely asks to “Apply to Wake Forest” again!

Window to Wake Forest

If you are an early decision applicant, you should be looking up your checklist periodically. After a week or so of having submitted your application, your checklist should start to populate. If, after a couple of weeks of thinking that everything has been submitted (application, supplement (if using the Common App), application fee, school report, transcript, teacher recommendation and early decision agreement) you think that something may be awry, reach out (336-758-5201 or admissions@wfu.edu). We’ll figure out where things stand and together move things forward with your application.

The confirmation letter that we send out states that we have received your application and describes our binding early decision requirements in full. It does not state that your application is complete and ready for review. Once it is complete, we seek to have a decision to you inside of six weeks. We know that you have all worked hard on your application. I assure you we are processing and reviewing your applications thoughtfully as well.

You’ve Submitted Your Early Decision Application – Now What?

Early decision application deadlines around the land are fast approaching. November 1, November 15 (our deadline), whatever the deadline of the school you are applying early to is, you know well that the clock is ticking! We make our admissions decisions on a rolling basis and have been reviewing applications for months now. Practically speaking, what that means is we already have over 100 students admitted for the class of 2019! It also means that the 30+ applications stacked to the left of me are not going to review themselves. I’ve got a lot of work to do!

Whether schools are making rolling decisions or not, most seek to have all letters out to applicants before the winter holiday. The bulk of our review here at Wake Forest will indeed take place in November and the first few weeks of December. Once you submit your application, we encourage you to track your application status on your Window to Wake Forest page. Give us a week or so after submitting before checking, however – we do a handful of manual processes here which require some extra steps (as I’ve noted before, we still read paper applications!). In terms of your chances of being admitted, it does not matter when your application becomes complete. There is no advantage at all to being read early or late in our process.

We all know that Tom Petty was correct when he sang “The Waiting is the Hardest Part.” Anxiety is naturally high this time of year. You may still have regular decision or scholarship applications to work on. For many, the first semester of the senior year will come to a close in December (meaning final exams). Looking forward, I am sure it is easy to dream of your final months of high school with less work to do than is the case now. Senioritis, senior slack, whatever you call it, it’s natural to want to catch some and enjoy the symptoms that come with it. Thus, you may find yourself thinking, “Calc is just so hard. I was admitted ED to Totally Awesome University. I’m going to drop it and add a free period.” Or, “There is no way I am taking the AP English Lit exam. I know I’ll bomb it. I’m just going to drop down into regular English. Favorite State College won’t care.”

Take my advice. Don’t do it. Don’t call the school that admitted you and ask if you can drop AP Physics or H European History or any class at all. If you call or email us and ask if you can alter your schedule, we are going  to say “No.” Our policy at Wake Forest is simple – changes to your curriculum constitute a material change to your application and will result in a re-evaluation of the admission decision. In other words, you will put into jeopardy your admission if you change your schedule. If you change your schedule anyway and we find out later in the year when reviewing final transcripts, well, suffice to say that would not be a good thing.

I had a terrific conversation with the counselor of an admitted applicant earlier this week on this issue. The student, a fine one whom I cannot wait to welcome next August, wanted to drop AP Spanish Language. The counselor told me that the student enjoys the class but that the challenge of the material is significant. That said, she was apparently on track to likely earn a B, perhaps even (gasp!) a B-. Now, don’t take this as license to do poor work, but I assure you we are much more interested in knowing you are still invested in learning difficult material than whether or not you earn your first B-!

My guess is that other colleges and universities have similar policies in place. Being admitted early decision is not license to lighten your academic load nor does our call for rigor and challenge in your curriculum soften. When you get the good news, rejoice! After the celebrating is done, look forward to what remains of your senior year as an opportunity to read, write, discuss, learn, and grow, for your own good now and for the good of your life going forward.