Site Content

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 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.

Your Window To Wake Forest

As we close in on our first application deadline of the year (November 15 – Early Decision) and with more and more regular decision applications arriving daily, I figure it is a good time to remind prospective applicants about our Window to Wake Forest.

Window To Wake ForestThe Window to Wake Forest is an online portal which allows you to learn more about areas of specific interest. The Window includes a checklist of application materials, allowing you to track the status of your application. You can register for campus admissions events on your Window as well. Finally, the Window is our primary means of informing prospective students of any and everything application related. It’s basically a geyser of knowledge at your disposal (hyperbole intended!).

So if you have a Window to Wake Forest account, log in here and check it out – we’ve recently added some content and made some changes. If you don’t have an account, create one here – it takes but a few minutes and we think you will find the tools useful. We look forward to seeing you online soon!

The Presidential Scholarship for Distinguished Achievement

Are you talented in art, dance, debate, music or theatre? Are you interested in continuing to paint, prance, argue, sing or act in college? If you answered “yes,” you may be a good fit for our talent-based scholarship at Wake Forest – The Presidential Scholarship.

WFU OrchestraWhat is it? The Presidential Scholarship is a $16,000 per year award and is designated for students with significant talent in dance, music, theatre, art and debate. This talent-based scholarship is one for which you must complete an additional application. It consists of a sample of your work, whether that be a video of you performing on stage or a portfolio of your studio artwork. Why the additional application? The Admissions Committee wants to be sure that our faculty members get to see your work. When you submit a Presidential Scholarship application, that sample of your work goes to that specific arts department to be evaluated. So what does this mean? This means that if you want your talent in the arts to be considered as part of your application, we ask that you submit an application for the Presidential Scholarship in lieu of an arts supplement to the regular application. “May I apply for more than one,” you ask? Certainly! Just know that you can be awarded a Presidential Scholarship in only one area.

Where is this application? It has been newly updated for electronic submission and is located on our Presidential Scholarship for Distinguished Achievement webpage.

In short, if you are looking to contribute your artistic talent to the Wake Forest community, start working on your portfolio now and submit that Presidential Scholarship application by December 1st!

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

Special Fall Admissions Programming

On Friday, we mailed out invitations to our fall Discovery Day, Visions and Near and Far events – they should hit your mailboxes any day now. We hope you will be able to join us on either one of these days or for a traditional information session and tour sometime this fall. For details and registration information (required for all sessions and events), surf over to our Undergraduate Admissions Visit webpage.

Invite Snippet 1

Invite Snippet 2














Global Wake Forest

We love sharing with you the terrific things happening in our Center for Global Programs and Studies. I strongly encourage all prospective students and families to spend time on their website where you will find a great deal of information on our study abroad opportunities, international minors, Worldwide Wake and more. They recently produced a short one minute video which captures the excitement generated by some of their programming. Check it out!


Thrive: Comprehensive Wellbeing At Wake Forest

Wake Forest University - Thrive

The campus-wide kick-off of “Thrive: A Comprehensive Approach to Wellbeing” will take place here on Friday, September 5. An event for all Wake Forest University faculty, staff, and students, it will feature a festival designed to inform and inspire the campus community to think differently about their personal approach to wellbeing.

Light-hearted activities involving puppies, a labyrinth, and hundreds of three-foot tall leaves will help the campus community consider serious topics such as financial planning, work satisfaction, intellectual engagement and spirituality. At the center of the event, a 90-foot long, three-dimensional, leaf-shaped installation will represent Wake Forest’s holistic approach to wellbeing.

Committed to the tradition of educating the whole person, Wake Forest has always promoted a culture of health and wellbeing. I confess to playing my share of table tennis matches against colleagues on Hearn Plaza and to listening to friends play on our outdoor piano steps from the arch but a few feet away. It’s not all “Work Forest” around here … not at all.

To learn more about wellbeing initiatives at Wake Forest, visit our Thrive website.

New Admissions Website

While our students only just arrived back to campus and began classes some ten days ago, others here at Wake Forest have been busy all summer long working on enhancements to our website. Thanks to the efforts of a remarkable group of creative minds, we launched our new Wake Forest University Undergraduate Admissions website last week. From the basics on how to apply for admission to in depth profiles of Wake Forest students to wonderful videos highlighting our commitment to undergraduate teaching and scholarship, the website offers a comprehensive look at all that Wake Forest and our community have to offer. I encourage you to pay the site a visit and also welcome feedback via comment.

Final WFU Admissions Screenshot 2


Applying To Wake Forest

As most of you are aware, the 2014-2015 Common Application (CA) launched last Friday, August 1. Our own application, both online and paper, launched earlier in July and questions are already rolling in regarding the differences in the questions asked on each of the applications.

Regardless of which application you submit, you will complete a single extended essay. The CA did not change the prompts they developed for last year’s application. They read as follows (you would write an essay addressing one of these prompts):

  • Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure.  How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea.  What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  • Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content.  What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Students completing the Wake Forest University application are to respond to our one essay prompt which reads:

  • Use the following essay to give the Admissions Committee insight into your character and intellect. Watch this: Talk to us.

Regardless of the application you choose to complete, you will also be prompted to answer our six “In Brief” short response questions. They read:

  • List five books you have read (with authors) that piqued your curiosity. Discuss an idea from one of these works that influenced you.
  • What outrages you? Why?
  • Give us your top ten list.
  • Our incoming freshman class is reading the book Choosing Civility by P.M. Forni. What do you see as the biggest threat to civility?
  • Some say that social media is superficial, with no room for expressing deep or complex ideas. We challenge you to defy these skeptics by describing yourself as fully and accurately as possible in the 140-character limit of a tweet.
  • Describe an academic or intellectual project, experience or pursuit of which you are particularly proud.

A link to the Wake Forest University online application and to a PDF of our paper application can be found on our Apply to Wake Forest webpage. If you want to learn more about the CA, visit the Common Application homepage for instructions on creating an account. Regardless of the application you use, know that one is not preferred by us over the other – use whichever format you like!

We Have Released Our Active Wait List

Letters were mailed yesterday to all students on our active wait list who indicated that they were interested in receiving an offer of admission as late as August 1. Our class remains over-enrolled to the extent that we can now say with certainty that we will not be admitting any students off of the wait list this year.

As I noted earlier in March, the vast majority of our pool was comprised of applicants who will be fantastic college students and who would do wonderful work here at Wake Forest if given the opportunity. We were fortunate to receive applications from so many accomplished students yet were charged with the task of enrolling 1250 of you. In years past, we have needed to admit students from our wait list to reach that goal. This year has just been a “different year” for us and as such a different year for our wait list. Thank you for your patience with us and best of luck as you prepare for your first days of college, but a few weeks away.