Wheaton (Mass)

Wheaton College is located in Norton, Mass, southeast of Boston near Foxboro Stadium and Great Woods (Comcast Center). Wheaton is a 3-hour drive from Portland, ME, via 495 or straight through Boston on 95. I visited for three days in February 2010. I returned in July 2010 for a student-led tour and info session with my niece who was considering Wheaton.

There are 2 Wheaton Colleges: a Christian one in Illinois and the Wheaton in Mass. Very different colleges!

What a gorgeous campus with a huge pond, an academic quad, specialty housing, all in a small & quaint New England town. A new science center opens in the Fall of 2011, and the existing science center will be renovated and reopens Fall of 2012.

Pick up the college newspaper and you'll learn about any campus. On the front page: alcohol policy revisions, a talent show, increasing recycling, a nearby nursery school where students work and research, gluten-free food on campus, & sports news of diving, bball, track.

Here are the classes that were in session during our tour: Beethoven, Macroeconomics, Detective Fiction, Intro Stats, How Judges Reason, Parasitology, African Lit, Climate Change, Non Western Theatre, Adolescent Development.

History of Wheaton
went co-ed (from all female) in 1987, and test optional in 1993. They found little correlation between SATs and college GPA. Surprisingly, their gender split is 60/40, the national average. Other colleges that were formerly women's colleges have a tougher time overcoming a 70/30 gender split. Wheaton is well known for synchronized swimming (nationally ranked). Wheaton is proud of its Fulbright and Rhodes scholars. "Go Further Faster" is their motto.

Cheverus connections: Margaret O, class of 2009, will attend Wheaton after her gap year in Guatemala.  Scott M, class of 2010 will attend and play soccer. Ryan W '11 attends.

A true liberal arts college, their strength is in all of the classic liberal arts majors: political science, studio art, biology, literature, and excellent placement into grad school, med school, law school. When we toured the science building, we saw the walls covered with student's research projects, with topics ranging from sea urchins to dance injuries.  All the classrooms we passed were 25 students or less. There are lecture halls but class size is not too huge. Our tour guide was from Maine (Wayneflete) and also applied to Colby, Bates, Skidmore, Wesleyan, Hobart & William Smith.

A bit of trivia: there is a Tolkien scholar on campus! More trivia: only 5 colleges have African American presidents, and Wheaton is one of them. Our other tour guide was from Lexington Mass and will study abroad in Bhutan his junior year.

20% of students are psychology majors. The next most popular major is English, then biology, economics, art history, studio art. More students graduate from Wheaton and go to law school than med school.

Mostly A- students with more than a handful of Honors & AP courses. SAT optional, but they do require a graded paper. They love Eagle Scouts and Girl Scouts because students have stuck with something for a long time and often have earned leadership posts.

Admissions for International Students
You'll need a 93+ on the TOEFL. There are no ESL courses so students need to be proficient in English.

Financial Aid
one merit scholarship is a $3,000 stipend for research or interning. Our tour guide worked on a Maine governor's campaign last summer and used the money for living expenses.  Wheaton has 2 major merit scholarships: Balfour and Trustee, for top students,  awarding $10,000-17,000.

Student Body

Definitely an eclectic group of cool, funky students. An unusually high percentage of non-White students (for a small private liberal arts college) at 17%. Walking around campus for 3 days in the rain, students looked happy and were friendly.

Links updated 4/2013