From Warren Wilson College:
US News and World Report latest to name Warren Wilson among the “Best Colleges”
Students graduate with lower debt than most liberal arts colleges
Asheville, N.C. – Sept. 13, 2016 – A recent discovery in the Warren Wilson College Archives unveiled a decades-old wish recorded on a cassette tape. The deep, Bostonian-accented voice of former dean Henry Jensen said, “[I] just hope that the future holds the opportunity for Warren Wilson to continue to be an innovative and inspiring community of scholars.”
If the last three months of national recognition are any indication, the College is living up to this 1971 prophetic expectation. Now, for the seventh year, Warren Wilson is among U.S. News and World Report’s top-tier schools deemed the “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges.”
Warren Wilson College also gets the nod as one of the top 25 national liberal arts colleges that sends graduates into the world with the least amount of student loan debt. “The data include loans taken out by students from their colleges, from private financial institutions, and from federal, state and local governments. Loans directly to parents are not included,” according to U.S. News and World Report.
“While tuition is a necessary reality for our students, it’s important for the College to keep it manageable. To that end, we are fortunate to have friends who endow scholarships to keep our students’ debt level in check,” said Warren Wilson College President Steve Solnick. “In addition to lower debt than their peers, graduates are equipped with transferrable skills – leadership, teamwork, communication, etc. – that our work and community engagement programs teach to help our graduates find and keep jobs after employment.”
The College’s 2015-16 annual fund campaign saw more money raised than any other time in the school’s history. The funds go toward general College budgetary items, including scholarships.
For the second consecutive year, the College’s service learning efforts through the Center for Community Engagement are recognized. “This is the 14th consecutive year that U.S. News is publishing a list of schools with outstanding examples of academic programs that are believed to lead to student success,” writes the editors of U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Programs to Look For” list.
Like Warren Wilson, colleges and universities identified as having the “Best Service Learning Program to Look For” must use volunteer work as “an instructional strategy.” In line with the College’s applied learning model, the editors further explain, “What’s learned in the field bolsters what happens in class, and vice versa.”
In addition to U.S. News and World Report, Warren Wilson College is one of the Princeton Review’s “Best 381 Colleges,” a Fiske Guide “Best Buy” and among Sierra magazine’s “Cool Schools” for 2016-17.
All of these accolades are evidence confirming the expectations Jensen espoused in his recently uncovered comments. “It is my hope that the leadership of the College in the years to come will not be satisfied with conventional answers,” Jensen said 45 years ago. “The time will come when someone must be ready to seize on new opportunities and develop them.” For Warren Wilson, the time has always been now.