Warren Wilson College
Swannanoa, NC, USA

Reviews

Warren Wilson College
3.97 Average Rating

Tyler from Takoma Park, MD

a current student here
10 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The academics here are definitely good (especially in environmental studies) but not top of the line. However, I have already learned a ton in my classes and expect that to continue throughout my time here. Aside from what I've learned in my classes, Warren Wilson teaches more than just academics. I have learned a lot about bicycle mechanics, being a janitor, how to live positively in a close community, what kinds of work go into making every aspect of college life possible, and even a little bit of blacksmithing, just to name a few things from outside the classroom. So I would say that even if the academics alone are not on par with the Ivy League, the overall learning experience can not be beat.
Am enjoying being here
I LOVE it here. When I applied to school, I wanted a school with a close community, where people knew each other and were friendly and happy to be together, and I found that here. What I didn't expect was that my favorite aspects turned out to be the work program and the geographic location (and the people, of course). With the work program, you know the people serving your meals and cleaning your dorms because they are students like yourself; every student works, which I think makes everyone appreciate each other a bit more and feel more ownership for the place where they all live and learn. (Not everyone cleans, there are also crews like gardening and bike shop and outdoor programs, to name a few.) And the mountains are beautiful. There are pastures and hiking/biking trails through the woods, a farm, a river, and it is all gorgeous in a different way with each season. I love it.
Bang for the buck
Warren Wilson is priced in the same range as most private liberal arts colleges. It is at the lower end of the range, but private colleges tend to be really expensive no matter what. Tuition with a room and 3 meals a day comes out to around 34,000 per year if you get no financial aid. BUT, you will almost definitely have financial aid, at least to some degree. The school offers some aid, but not as much as more well-endowed (richer) liberal arts schools. I personally end up paying around 19,000 per year (including the cost of loans; it would be like 13,000 not counting loans), which is definitely a struggle, but I think it's worth it because of the overall experience that I couldn't get anywhere else.
Tips for prospective students
I don't want to say admissions is super lax, but admissions is pretty lax. You will probably get in if you fill out an application. The people in admissions are really helpful, so if you're worried then give them a call; set up an interview or just tell them what you're worried about. If you don't look good on paper (grades, tests) but are still a swell kid, talk to admissions and they'll be great.
Great for these types of students
If you are not the picture-perfect kid, you will fit right in. People who flourish here differ a lot, but in general I think students here go a bit against the grain of popular culture. Students like to think for themselves and have their own ideas. There used to be a slogan that the school got rid of because everyone in the world made fun of it so much: We're not for everyone, but then again, maybe you're not everyone. You can see why they got rid of it. But it's definitely based on a true story
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Quantisha from Swannanoa, NC

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Warren Wilson has saved my life. It is at once the worse and best thing that could have ever happened to me in my life. This school has opened so many doors for me and I still have a year to go.
Tips for prospective students
Don't do anything you would not do in your normal life while visiting. There is a line between being a nice and helpful host and jack-ass.
Academic Rigor
You have to fight to get what you want out of some classes while others classes make you want to take it over and over because it was so good.
Dorm Life
Upper class men dorms are so much better then freshmen hosing.
Food and Dining
Getting our dining hall fully redone this summer
What to do for fun
Circus, fire spinning, silks, dance, acrobatics.
Bang for the buck
You get what you look for
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The tree house and the dam are by far my favorite places to go but there is no limit to the amount of wonderful people that are here.
Great for these types of students
Anyone that is not everyone and has a hard work ethic
Clubs and Activities
if you think it up Warren Wilson will try and fund it for you
Greek Life
NONE!
Campus Safety
People do come from off campus just to mess with students but then they are handled quickly.
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Eramo from Swannanoa, NC

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Warren Wilson College is built on the triad system which consists of work, community service, and academics. Every student is required to complete one hundred hours of community service before graduation. Every student is also required to work at least fifteen hours a week.
Tips for prospective students
Go to the school with an open mind about everything. Do not go through with the intentions of seeing a specific or certain thing.
Academic Rigor
The school is known for its Environmental Studies field, but also has a great creative writing field. I am currently in the chemistry field and highly approve of its staff and administrators.
Dorm Life
I love the dorm life. Incoming freshman are placed in the Sunderland, Vining A, and Vining B dorm. Transfers are placed in a dorm named Dorland. Dorland is a suite where four people (two in a room) share one bathroom. Every student is placed with another student. Each student receives an armoire, desk and an extra-long twin six bed. A student can life alone for an extra $750 a semester. In my own opinion dorm life all matters about whom you are living with.
Food and Dining
The food and dining services offered on the campus are great. Warren Wilson College dining appeals to all types of eaters. Warren Wilson College has two cafeterias, Cow Pie Cafe and Gladfelter. Cow Pie is a vegan and vegetarian cafeteria. Gladfelter has all types of foods based around a buffet style cafeteria. The school also offers cafes that offer coffee, pizza, etc. till 12am. Warren Wilson College is also not too far from Asheville City. Asheville City is filled with many different types of cuisine.
What to do for fun
Well, there are many trails to explore on the campus. The school consists of 600 acre of forest, trails, farm land, and infrastructure. The school's gym consists of a pool, basketball court (inside and outside), tennis court (outside), and a soccer field (outside).
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
An unusual location campus is dogwood which is an open pasture where students can clear their minds or even do yoga. Another unusual location is the bamboo forest located on the river trail.
Great for these types of students
This school is great for students who are into Mother Nature and the environment. This school is also great for students who want to learn in a small classroom of 10 to 20 students and know their teacher on a first name basis. This school is also for a student that needs academic resources to help he or she succeed and want to get involved with the community.
Clubs and Activities
There are many activities and clubs that students can get involved in. There are various athletic teams that students can get involved in such as the swimming team, rowing team, basketball team, soccer team, cross-country team, and mountain bike team. There are many clubs that are available such as the peel (a periodical article distributed each week), the echo (the school newspaper), the chess club, etc.
Campus Safety
Campus safety is at the highest regard. One of the work crews called police safety makes sure reckless behavior is not tolerated. In fact public safety enforces all rules. For example, public safety enforces smokers to smoke in designated smoke areas.
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Asher from Knoxville, TN

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
One very significant draw of the school for me was its small size (the student body rarely exceeds 900), which creates a sense of community for me; I almost always see friends when I walk between classes, and most of the freshman are housed in one building. Any student who lives on the campus has a job within the school, which helps students pay for the room and board costs, but also creates a more complicated balancing act between classwork, the work program, and daily life. The school, while verbally committed to social justice, has some ineffective practices in that regard (for example, a protest march that didn't leave campus), and I have heard from the students of color I have talked to that there are a lot of implicitly racist attitudes present among the (majority white) students and faculty (I am white too, and by no means above this).
Tips for prospective students
As a freshman student, I have a lot of friends who were assigned to work such tough jobs as cafeteria staff (long shifts, and a difficult boss) and landscaping (early morning hours). Everybody has a job on campus working fifteen hours a week, so be prepared for that.
Academic Rigor
The teachers I've had are usually well versed in their subjects, and many long term projects are assigned. It's difficult to stay on top of everything.
Dorm Life
The dorms have non-gendered bathrooms, and are overall quite transgender-friendly, which is exciting for me. Usually, my dorm mates have not been too loud or disturbed my sleep. Also, I have a medical single, as do some of my friends.
Food and Dining
The food is above average, and some of it is produced on the campus's farm. While vegan options are usually available, the more vegan-friendly dining area is closed on weekends.
Great for these types of students
Outdoorsy types, artists, vegetarian/vegans, lgbt
Greek Life
None.
Campus Safety
The school is somewhat remote from the city of Asheville, but there are regularly-scheduled buses between campus and town. You don't much need to worry about intruders, anyhow.
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Ciaran from Eugene, OR

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
This college has offered my so many opportunities in education that I wouldn't find in many other places. The people here will give me connections to communities that will help me get a job out of college. The Triad program gives me plenty of work experience and volunteer experience.
Tips for prospective students
Apply for as many scholarships as possible and get into as much service as possible. Also get into extracurricular activities and stay on top of your classes. I would also suggest taking classes you are good at already to start out.
Academic Rigor
The focus on academics here is very intense but is very much up to the student to make it what they want. The teachers are very willing to help and friendly when approached.
Dorm Life
The students here are all very friendly and living with them is very enjoyable. The bathrooms and halls are pretty dirty but not unbearable. They could incorporate more social activities into the lving situation but other than that all is good.
Food and Dining
The food here is not bad. There is a very large variety and the cafeteria offers vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and other options.The kitchens and dining areas are very clean and the staff are always working.
What to do for fun
The outdoors around Warren Wilson are beautiful. Usually I spend my free time outdoors camping hiking, biking or just hanging out around a fire. There are plenty of performances put on by the school so music and theater are always an option as well.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Dogwood has got to be the most traditional place on campus. It is a beautiful, open field that they use to pasture cows, it overlooks all of Swannanoa and you can see the sunset perfectly most nights. There are plenty of places to cam and a collection of fire pits.
Great for these types of students
Outdoor fanatics would be at home here; greenthumbs would have a place to garden; manual laborers would have plenty of work to preoccupy themselves with; there is an incredible arts program; the science department is extensive and full of knowledgeable teachers.
Clubs and Activities
There are lots of clubs to partake in. From outdoor recreation based clubs, to self defense, to yoga, to acrobatics, to music groups, to sports and study abroad trips.
Greek Life
None
Campus Safety
Campus here is very safe. We are removed from most suburban areas so we don't have to worry about anyone that isn't part of our campus. Our officers are very friendly and only intervene when they need to. I feel safe here and am treated well.
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Madeleine from Mountain Rest, SC

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Warren Wilson is a tight-knit community of thoughtful and dedicated students, staff, and faculty who possess a thorough work ethic, a deep love of service, and a broad range of academic interests. Though a chunk of the week is taken up by work on a specific crew, Wilson students still manage to spend time working in the local gardens, children's programs, and a plethora of other meaningful service projects. Because of the smaller size of the school, there is more time dedicated to each student (whether by fellow students, teachers, or staff) and so students feel a sense of significance and are encouraged to grow in knowledge, experience, and heart.
Tips for prospective students
Try as many different things as you can. There are over a hundred crews to try, hundreds of different service projects, and classes you never believed could count towards a major.
Explore. There are 1,100 acres on campus. Each one holds something different, something valuable, something you will need.
Make friends with your professors and your work crew bosses. Not only is it really easy, it's also a good connection to have (names on your resume or even just someone to go to for advice).
Academic Rigor
Like any other, Warren Wilson College accepts people based on their experiences, their accomplishments, and their ambitions. Unlike many others though, WWC is dedicated to personal growth, which they consider to be a balance of work, service, and academics. In this sense, academic rigor is not at its most strict, but is more focused on learning and connection.
Dorm Life
The only dorms that are less than satisfactory are, ironically, two of the freshman dorms, but even those are fun in their own weird way. The rest are great. There are lots of options for housing: co-ed or single-gender, singles or doubles or suites, and two houses on campus that offer alternative living through skill shares and food co-ops. All of them are set off in the middle of the woods, close to main campus and 90% of students choose to live on campus.
Food and Dining
Two dining options: the main cafeteria, called Gladfelter, offers lots of variety, including a main bar, salad bar, a hot bar, and an action station. The second option is the student initiated vegan and vegetarian dining area, called Cowpie Cafe, where you're served healthy and delicious by the student crew. Both options serve fresh veggies, fruits, and meat from the WWC garden and farm.
What to do for fun
Where to begin? Swimming in the Swanannoa, romping about in the fields or on the river trail, playing with the shoats and chicks, hiking, biking...Every Thursday night features a contra dance held in Bryson gym and Sage Cafe offers not only student-made goodies for late nights, but also puts on countless concerts, open mics, poetry readings, the famed Awkward Town, and chorale concerts. In addition, the city of Asheville is a 20 minute free bus ride from campus, where the oddities and revelries abound.
Bang for the buck
Expensive, but will do their best to give out scholarships.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Homecoming is celebrated with a soccer game. Students are invited to special events like the Garden Party and the Forester's Ball. Walking around campus, you'll notice the toy animals glued onto random walls and light posts, left there by the Toy King years ago. Visit Dam Pasture, Dogwood Meadow, Night Pasture, River Bend, Narnia, the Stoop...
Great for these types of students
Students who aren't looking for a regimented life-style. People who want more experience in the real world before being out there totally on their own. Activists and pro-environment kids who want to make change. Creative writers. Creative Agroforestry majors. Creative, spanish-speaking, kind-hearted teachers.
Clubs and Activities
The usual: Spanish, French, soccer, newspaper, chorale, caucus, etc. And the unusual: obviously there are lots of activities as far as service goes, but there is also stuff like the RISE crew (there to talk to about sexual consent, safety, abuse), fire legion, Everyone Cooks! (free food that you learn to cook yourself), step team, banjo classes...
Greek Life
NADA!
Campus Safety
Very safe. The only thing we really worry about here are bears on campus.
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Erin from Mauldin, SC

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Warren Wilson is Awesome. It has great opportunities in career experience, academic study abroad, and life experience. It is very diverse culturally, academically and religiously.
Tips for prospective students
My tips would be to be open to new experiences, cultures, and people.
Academic Rigor
There is a lot of good programs if you are wanting to study abroad or major in a Social Science degree.
Dorm Life
everyone is a family in the dorms.
Food and Dining
Sudexo food is OK; they are going through renovations so there is going to be more diversity in the type of food served but is a great place for vegans and vegetarians as well as omnivores.
What to do for fun
there are 2 gyms and many biking/hiking/walking trails to explore. there are hula-hoopers, our yearly circus, many sports, dance, and extra curricular clubs to join.
Bang for the buck
the opportunities and community here is definitely worth the money it costs to go here.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Not really; our freshman live directly on main campus, and then after they go into their second year they are able to live across the bridge into the upperclassman dorms.
Great for these types of students
vegan, vegetarian, hard workers, and passionate volunteers
Clubs and Activities
there are many varieties from hula-hooping to soccer and basketball to aerial gymnastics.
Greek Life
There is no Greek life, but our upperclassman dorms act as sort of fraternity houses
Campus Safety
we have a 24-7 public safety department that is made up of ex-police officers.
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