It was two days ago that I noticed on Twitter a tweet by @ImFirstGen (I’m First! “We celebrate and support those who are among the #firstgen in their family to attend and graduate from college”) that read, “Went to a great session with @BaldwinWallace discussing amazing programs to support their students.” I admittedly knew very little about Baldwin Wallace University so decided, of course, to investigate. Readers, welcome to the next installment of Admitster’s 3026 Series!
I decided to begin my research with the College Scorecard that we’ve all been hearing and reading so much about lately. The average annual net price for federal financial aid recipients is, at $19,046, deemed to be about the same as the national average; the median earnings of former students (who had received federal financial aid) ten years after starting their BW studies, at $44,000, is decidedly above average; and the graduation rate after six years is, wow! Hold on a second! Baldwin Wallace’s six year graduation rate is 70%, where the national average is a grim 44%. BW scores well above average on this important measure, and this is at a school where 1/3rd of students come from a household with an income of less than $40,000 and receive a federal Pell Grant to help pay for college. @ImFirstGen was right! Something very good is going on at BW in terms of student support, and I was determined to learn more about it.
My next stop was the school’s own website and, clicking on “About”, I was informed that, “Baldwin Wallace University is a private, liberal arts-based, Methodist-affiliated college located in Berea, Ohio, offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees, certificates and professional education programs… and so much more.” It was the “and so much more” that I was looking for! The search continued – and became interesting as I click, click, clicked my way through their site. For instance…
- Founded before the Civil War, in 1845, the school was “one of the first colleges in the nation to admit students without regard to race or gender.” That is a great feather in the college’s historic hat!
- The Fall 2015 freshmen class has within its ranks 161 first generation students (out of a class of 768 freshmen), and 98% of those 768 received some financial assistance.
- Baldwin Wallace offers a personalized approach to education, writing on their site, “We’re on a mission to support you, challenge you, and empower you…from the first day you join our community, until you reach the finish line(s) you set for yourself.”
- Incoming freshmen can apply to participate in the school’s Jacket Link/Summer Bridge Program, which helps new students to manage the transition from high school to college, and provides them with “activities and resources with an emphasis on academic readiness, campus support, and social/cultural enrichment.” Click here to read more about it!
- Some of the other “amazing programs to support their students” that @ImFirstGen was likely referencing in their tweet? The college preparatory Upward Bound program, the pre-college access program called BW Scholars, the availability of merit scholarships, Multicultural Student Services, the Single Parents Reaching Out for Unlimited Tomorrows (SPROUT) program, an academic advising program, AND a plethora of resources available at BW’s Learning Center, are but a few examples.
If you’re thinking about applying, know that though you can do so using the Common Application, BW also has its own, free online application. Furthermore, for students who have a GPA of 3.0 or above, BW is test optional – as is written on their admissions page, “Grades, strength of curriculum, and rank in class have always been the most important elements of our admission criteria.” Teacher recommendation letters are also optional. Clearly, we’ve only touched the tip of the BW iceberg, but to learn more about this supportive and inclusive school, click here!