A Message From Dean Allman

Dear Wake Forest applicants,

On Tuesday, March 12, Wake Forest’s volleyball coach was indicted as part of a national investigation into an alleged bribery and cheating scheme. The Justice Department’s review has found that Wake Forest and the other schools involved were targeted by a con man and his clients in the largest admissions scandal they have ever prosecuted. In no way has it been suggested that Wake Forest or our admissions staff were involved in these deceitful practices.

Wake Forest has cooperated fully with the investigation and will continue to cooperate with the appropriate authorities.

If you wish to follow the most recent updates on the national admissions matter, please refer to Wake Forest’s online newsroom.

As we evaluate our applicants for the class entering in Fall 2019, a holistic and careful process allows us to consider each candidate individually. We seek students who have excelled academically, exhibited intellectual curiosity and creativity, and who have demonstrated character and concern for those around them. We thoughtfully review the skills, talents and experiences that each student would bring to the Wake Forest community.

Later this week, our admissions decision letters will be placed in the mail. We are grateful for your continued interest in Wake Forest University.


Martha Blevins Allman
Dean of Admissions
Wake Forest University

We Are Looking For You

The 2019 Wake Forest Admissions Application became available on-line June 1st. Prospective students began pondering our short answer questions and we as an admissions staff began anticipating their responses to the questions we had spent long hours crafting and discussing.

“Your questions made me think.” “I felt like you really wanted to understand me.” “Wake Forest must be an interesting place if you ask questions like these.” We welcome those reactions but also realize that some students are puzzled and respond to us with, “What is it you are looking for?”

So students, in a nutshell, we are looking for you. We want to know who you are, what you value, how you think. Not just how you perform on a test, how many sports you play, how many clubs you belong to, or how many AP classes you have taken. When Wake Forest became test-optional in 2008, we added a personal interview component to our admissions process and also expanded our written application in order to learn more about our applicants beyond grades and test scores. Wake Forest is a face-to-face residential community and so we select our students individually, carefully, thoughtfully considering what each one will bring to “The Forest.” We value intellectual prowess and academic achievement but also kindness and creativity. We seek students who are aware, concerned and active.

Our questions are broad, “Give us your top ten list” “What piques your curiosity?” allowing you space to reflect. Our questions are big. We ask you about character, cultural norms, political reality and what you read that is meaningful. We believe answering these questions should be a valuable and even fun exercise for you. It should be a self-examination, a time to ponder who you have become and how you want the world (and the Wake Forest Admissions Office!) to understand you. Perhaps the process will even spur you to think about the future you, the person you hope to be after your college education is complete. And so for those very reasons, your responses should be absolutely your own, not edited by a parent, a teacher, a counselor or a friend. Just you.

These admissions application questions are the opportunity for you to be you. Uniquely you. Your very best you. And we eagerly and genuinely look forward to finding you!

Martha Blevins Allman
Dean of Admissions

Wait List Update

As May 1 has now come and gone, we know that many students are anxious to learn whether we will be admitting additional students off of our active wait list. Our enrollment deposits have exceeded our projections. Unless summer cancellations exceed our expectations, we will not be utilizing our wait list.

Important Information on our Wait List Process

By now, many of you have received a decision letter from us stating that you have been offered a place on our wait list. We understand that being a member of the Wake Forest University Class of 2022 is a goal for so many of you. What follows is some helpful information for you to know going forward.

First, you need to add yourself to our active wait list. Your application will not be evaluated should we need to admit additional students if you do not take this step. You can do this via mail using the card included with your letter or online through the web form indicated in the included instructions. Active wait list applications are not ranked – all will be reviewed should we need to admit additional students.

Second, email your regional admissions dean. If you are not sure who this is, visit our Meet the Staff directory. Be sure to contact the dean who reviews applications from the state where your high school is located (this includes international applicants who attend schools in the United States – you want to reach out to your regional admissions dean). This is your chance to convey your interest in attending Wake Forest while also describing how the final months of your senior year are progressing. In particular, we are interested in hearing updates on recent academic success. Feel free to email your representative again as May 1 approaches noting your continued interest.

A sculpture by Wake Forest sophomore Will Coleburn ('18) as part of his public art class stands on Manchester Plaza on Thursday, March 10, 2016.

That’s it! There is nothing more you need to do. Should you elect to visit campus to help determine whether you would say yes were you to be offered admission, by all means do so. However, visiting will not increase your chances of being admitted. Further, we do not offer interviews to students on our wait list. Express your interest via email to your regional admissions dean and continue to perform well in the classroom – then rest easy knowing you’ve done all that you can do.

On our end, we will monitor enrollment carefully. In early May, the Admissions Committee will gather to discuss how many (if any) additional students we will need to enroll. In both 2017 and 2016 we admitted around 50 students off of our wait list. In 2015, we admitted over 100. In 2014, we did not call a single student on our wait list. Again, we will not know until May what our enrollment needs might be. We understand that many of you are anxious and appreciate your patience with this process.

It is likely that you have been admitted to many wonderful colleges and universities. Please be sure to pay your tuition deposit to one of these schools prior to their deadline (traditionally May 1). It is important that you not risk losing your place there in hopes of receiving an offer from us.

Our active wait list will undoubtedly be comprised of students who would greatly enrich the Wake Forest community. We look forward to hearing from you.

Wake Forest University Supports Peaceful Protests

Wake Forest University joins dozens of colleges and universities in assuring all those applicants who choose to participate in peaceful protest in response to the tragic events that transpired in Parkland, Florida. Your actions will have no adverse effect on your application to our University. Further, we applaud your courage and dedication in trying to seek a civil dialogue aimed at bringing a reasonable solution to one of our nation’s most divisive issues.

We believe in your passion, your resolve, and your willingness to engage in thoughtful conversation. At the heart of a Wake Forest education is the ability to tackle our society’s most complex problems, together as one community committed to a common good. Your example is an inspiration to us all, and we support you fully. It is our great hope that we can restore the spirit of open dialogue and conversation about those issues that matter deeply to all our citizens.

It is time for courage and time for compromise. And it is time for real conversation in which every idea and every person is taken seriously. We stand with you as you seek the truth and endeavor to make this a more perfect union.

Nathan O. Hatch

Happy Holidays and Final Application Instructions

December 21 is the final day the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will be open in 2017. We will reopen on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Collectively, we are all looking forward to spending extended time with our families before the application review season begins. While applying to college is necessary and a touch stressful, we hope that you are able to find the time these final days of the year to clear your head and wander about for a bit. Spend time with family and friends. Go outside! Read a book or two. Get away from all monitors (from handheld to computer to television). We know that your application is important and we respect that this process means so much to you. That said, it is just one of many vital tasks you will complete over the course of your life. You are going to get into college and that school will undoubtedly be a terrific place to learn and grow. So take a deep breath and relax this holiday season. You’ve earned it.


What follows are some things to keep in mind relating to our process as you work to finalize your application:

  • If January 1 comes and goes and you find that your application was officially submitted after midnight, please do not panic. We fully expect that the Common Application, the Coalition application, and our own online application portal will be especially busy all day on Monday, January 1. Give yourself ample time but do not worry if technical difficulties hamper your ability to submit prior to midnight (remember – you do have all day on 1/1/18 to work on your application!).
  • You may apply to Wake Forest using our online application, the Common Application, or the Coalition Application.
    • Students who apply through our Wake Forest application will receive a link to their application status page upon submission.
    • Students who apply through the Common or Coalition applications will receive an email with instructions on how to access your application status page.
  • Please give us until February 1 before reaching out with questions about the status of your application. It can take a few weeks for applications and supporting materials, regardless of whether they were submitted online or via mail, to be fully processed and entered into our system.
    • We do not track the receipt of supplementary materials (documents or items that are not required as part of our process). Trust that if you or someone on your behalf submits to us additional information beyond that which is required, it will successfully be added to your application.
  • On interviews – interviewing has concluded for the year. There are no additional appointments available. We do not offer alumni interviews. Many students will be offered admission who did not interview with us. Take advantage of the short response prompts on our application and supplement to thoughtfully share your interests and ideas with us.
  • Because we begin reviewing applications in earnest when we return in January, we are unable to meet individually with applicants who visit campus in the winter months. We are grounded, locked in our offices reading your responses, evaluating your transcripts, reviewing your recommendations. Thank you for understanding.
  • It is not too late to apply for financial aid at Wake Forest under any admission option, though you should apply as soon as possible. For complete application instructions, visit financialaid.wfu.edu.
  • Early Decision II applicants – everything above applies to you as well! ED II decisions will be mailed no later than February 15 (unlike with our Early Decision plan, our ED II and Regular Decision admission plans are not rolling).

We wish you great luck throughout this process and a Happy New Year.

“Submitting Standardized Test Scores” – What It Means On Our Application

TestAn important question on our application asks whether or not you wish for your test scores to be considered during application review. This question pertains to SAT and ACT results only. If you wish for us to consider these scores, you must request that they be sent to us directly from the College Board or ACT. We do not accept self-reported SAT or ACT results. If you checked “consider” and have yet to request that your scores be sent to us, your application will sit at incomplete until they have been received and processed.

You should not check “consider scores” if you want us to evaluate your SAT Subject Test or AP test results. Fear not – we will still review the SAT Subject Test or AP scores that you may have disclosed to us on your application as these may be self-reported.

Application Status Updates For Fall 2017 Applicants

With December here now is the time when many of you are finalizing and submitting your applications for admission. In an age where we receive a notification from online stores seconds after clicking “purchase,” it is understandable that you quickly want to know whether your application was received. We get it and wish we could provide this for you … but we can’t.

We are currently in the process of implementing new admissions software. While we will not burden anyone with the details of this change, know that it involves shutting down one system and turning on another. As luck would have it, this “on/off” maneuver is taking place right now. Many of you have utilized our “Window To Wake Forest” online portal to both track your application status and learn more about Wake Forest. This portal will soon disappear.

In its place, Fall 2017 applicants will receive periodic emails from our office with an update on their application status. We will send emails reminding students of what is still required in order to complete the application and ready it for review. We will also send an email to applicants once the application is complete. Because we still process all applications by hand, printing and reviewing everything on paper, we do not send an initial notification indicating that the application has been received.

Some 2500 applications have arrived the last two days and it will take some time to get them all printed and processed. Initial email updates will go out prior to our closing for the holidays on December 22. We will send additional updates in January and February and will continue our practice of only mailing final decisions. Our emailed updates will be sent to the address you provided on your application. Be sure to check your spam and social/promotions folders as our messages may end up there rather than your inbox.

Fall 2017 students will enjoy a lot of new opportunities at Wake Forest – programs at our new Wake Downtown campus, the opportunity to spend the first year in Copenhagen as part of our Global AWAKEnings program, even a new dorm and new recreation facilities. We appreciate you bearing with us as we work through this change which will benefit applicants for years to come.

The Presidential Scholarship: Putting the “Arts” in Liberal Arts

We get a lot of questions here in the Admissions Office. Questions on a whole wide range of topics. Academics. Sports. Professional development opportunities. Campus life. Toilet paper in the trees (so many about the toilet paper in the trees). One such area is the arts and opportunities relating to the arts here at Wake Forest. While it would take far too much time to tell you everything artistic happening on our campus, we do want to highlight one particular opportunity for incoming students.

The Presidential Scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate both excellent academics as well as a continued talent and dedication to an artistic medium: dance, debate, music, theatre, or visual art. The scholarship is valued at $8,000 per semester, renewable over eight semesters (four full years of college) pending the meeting of certain requirements.  Before we get to a few frequently asked questions, here is a link to the application website (including the application itself):


Applications generally require submission of a portfolio detailing your involvement in a particular area. We encourage all students to have both their Presidential Application and their College Application (they are distinct – you need to fill out both) submitted by November 15.

Now on to your questions…

Philip Kayser and the Wake Forest Theatre performs the final dress rehearsal of Our Town, by Thornton Wilder, on the Main Stage Theatre on Thursday, September 17, 2015.

Philip Kayser and the Wake Forest Theatre performs the final dress rehearsal of Our Town, by Thornton Wilder, on the Main Stage Theatre on Thursday, September 17, 2015.

Q: Wait, hold on. What do you mean by “certain requirements?” Am I signing over my right to do pre-med or be a business major?

A: Not at all! Requirements vary by program. Generally speaking, the various departments want you to remain involved both academically (i.e., taking classes) and extracurricular-ly (being involved in department events). However, you are free to major in whatever you want. Other requirements include maintaining a 2.0 cumulative GPA while making progress towards your degree, submitting an apologia detailing your involvement in the program at the end of every spring term, living in on-campus housing, and hosting prospective students from time to time. Again, the details vary for each discipline, so feel free to reach out to us if you have questions.

Q: Okay, good. What if I am talented in multiple disciplines? Can I apply for a Presidential in more than one area?

A: Yes you can! Although we do recommend students focus on their strongest area, as the involvement required can be quite high at times, you are free to apply in as many areas as you wish.

Q: So what’s the deal with the separate application? I thought Wake Forest was going to consider me for merit scholarships because I interviewed and submitted my application for admission before the December 1 deadline.

A: We do require a separate application for the Presidential Scholarship, and frankly, this is in your best interest. We have some talented people in the Admissions Office, but none of us have a doctoral degree in art or dance or theatre. We may know the difference between Bach and Brahms, but when it comes to the finer details of evaluation in these areas, we choose to let the experts handle it! Thus, we share your application with members of our faculty who in turn provide to us their professional evaluation of your abilities.

You will also be eligible for consideration for our other merit-based scholarships because you are submitting your application before the December 1 deadline.

Q: What if I have specific questions about my application? Who should I reach out to?

A: You should always feel free to reach out to us with questions. Please contact Lowell Tillett at tilletlt@nullwfu.edu or 336-758-7438 – I will happily answer any questions you may have.

Q: Okay, one more. What IS the deal with the toilet paper in the trees, anyway?

A: You’ll just have to come visit and take a tour to find out!

Thank you and good luck!

Lowell Tillett
Assistant Dean of Admissions and Merit-Based Scholarships

Interview Availability – Fall Update (Updated November 4 – All Interviews Scheduled)

November 4 Update: All interviews (on campus or via webcam) have been booked for the Fall 2017 term. We are leaving this October 27 post up as it contains good information for students who were unable to schedule an appointment with us.

As many of you have discovered, we recently announced on our Personal Interviews webpage that all webcam appointments are booked through the remainder of our interview season and that requests for interviews via Skype will no longer be scheduled. Although Tuesday, November 15 is the last day to request an on-campus interview appointment with us, there are but a few openings remaining and those too are going fast. On-campus interview requests are scheduled in the order they are received and dozens are submitted daily – it is likely we will run out of availability very soon.

Going forward, requests for interviews on campus for a date listed as available will receive a response (either positive or negative depending on availability) through November 15 or until we announce that there are no remaining openings. We frequently receive requests for interviews by email and telephone – such requests cannot be accommodated. There is not a “waiting list” for interview appointments. Finally, we do not offer regional alumni interviews.

All of this is, to many of you, not news you wanted to hear. Allow us to try and help you feel better about our process going forward!

Repeat after me: “Even though I was unable to schedule an interview, I can still be admitted.” We know that we will not meet with every applicant and will necessarily be offering admission to a great number of students who have not interviewed. We were able to schedule almost every single interview request that we received from June 1 through early October, yet continuing to do so proved difficult as demand increased earlier in the fall than ever before. I assure you that we do not judge you on your failure to schedule an interview – we respect that your interest in Wake Forest may be a recent development. Unfortunately, with the early decision review season here and reading season dawning we necessarily must stop interviewing soon.

“So what can I do now?” This is a question we hear often. Of course, there is your essay, the one you will likely prepare for every school that you apply to. We like your essays and look forward to reading them. However, we also offer other opportunities – eight, in fact! – for you to show us a different side of yourself. Our eight short response prompts represent questions that our Wake Forest community wants us to ask you so that we can better understand what you might bring to our campus. They are uniquely Wake Forest and thus afford you the opportunity to show us what is “uniquely you.” So, when preparing your essay and your answers to these prompts take advantage of the opportunity to give us a glimpse into what drives you intellectually. Tell us what you’ve read, what you’ve done, what you think. About what? About any and everything that is important to you. Collectively, the Wake Forest Admissions Committee has over 100 years of experience reviewing applications – we are good at evaluating your stories and seeing all you have to offer. Seek to be as thoughtful with your responses as you believe you would be to questions in an interview. We look forward to learning more about you during application review. Good luck!