Warren Wilson named among ‘Best Colleges’

Newly minted alumni at the 2016 Warren Wilson College commencement ceremonies. Photo: Reggie Tidwell/Warren Wilson College

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.

About Dan Hesse
I grew up outside of Atlanta and moved to WNC in 2001 to attend Montreat College. After college, I worked at NewsRadio 570 WWNC as an anchor/reporter and covered Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners starting in 2004. During that time I also completed WCU's Master of Public Administration program. You can reach me at dhesse@mountainx.com.

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2 thoughts on “Warren Wilson named among ‘Best Colleges’

  1. Your Bestie

    Rankings won’t save the college. The college needs customers and cash. Both of which are dwindling. Solnick and his little sidekick have cut everywhere they can but it won’t stop either USDA or other creditors from coming down on them. Good luck once this all goes down, Steve – you didn’t have higher ed experience before WWC and no one will hire you once WWC craters. Hope the board gives you a little severance so you can clean yourself up a bit.

    • Funtogun

      Whatever, genius. No one is going to fight Solnick and his little 4’9 assistant/CFO. He will cut employee and faculty pay, then sock them with more insurance costs, then cut pay again, take away the WWC bus, sell land, eliminate programs and everyone’s dignity and purpose BUT (and it’s a huge one), NO ONE HAS THE NERVE TO DO ANYTHING. WWC employees sit there and take it. This guy blows through the college cash and then FAILS AS A PRESIDENT.. and then to make up for his OWN failures, CUTS EMPLOYEE BENEFITS AND WAGES. And every little crazy dirty hippie at the place gets a little sad and goes back to their sad little socialist academic position and wishes that Steve wasn’t so mean, while drinking their hemp patchouli tea and wishing for the days where WWC actually meant something. But let me tell you again, they will all take it because they’re spineless.

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