Wake Forest University Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Kristina

My classmate encouraged me to succeed and we would study together, share notes, and work together both in the classroom andoutside the classroom such as jobs and internships.

MacLean

The number one thing I hate about Wake is the lack of diversity. Sure, there are students from many different states and countries, but coming from a high school that was extremely diverse, I have trouble adjusting to the mostly Caucasian student body here. Many students are extremely wealthy and don't know any differently, but there are also many who hold jobs and understand the value of a dollar. These different types of students do interact, although I find that many naturally group off with who they are used to. There are many, many, many Northerners here. I initially was drawn to Wake due to the fact that it's a Southern school. It is a Southern school, but it is full of Northerners trying to live up to the Southern Belle stereotype of sororities and Lily Pullitzer. The majority of the student body dresses up for class- make up, heels, sundresses, etc.- but there are a small few of us who choose not to participate in this. I am hoping that with the new Wake Will campaign fundraising diversity will increase through the installation of financial aid into Wake's admissions process. I think that is the main issue with this school. Everything after that will take care of itself.

Kathryn

My classmates are exceedingly kind and generous. I am originally from Alabama, so I used to classic Southern hospitality, but most Northerners say that Wake Forest hospitality is what drew them to the school. I am pre-med and I have never felt that the school was overly competitive. The average Wake Forest student works extremely hard academically, volunteers in free time, has involvement in Greek life, involvement in a religious group, and has some leadership role. I like to think of the students as both kind and extremely driven. It is a beautiful school (guys and girls).

Bradley

They are friendly and warm heart

Eldridge

My classmates are very helpful, fun to be around, and caring.

Dan

Overall, a larger percentage of students on campus come from more traditional, conservative backgrounds. A lot of students also dress preppier--guys will wear polos/oxfords, girls will wear sundresses--but there are plenty of people who wear t-shirts and/or gym shorts because it's what they like and what feels comfortable. On campus, there isn't an overwhelming "southern" feel just because students are from all over the place. There are a lot of students from the Carolinas, but sometimes it feels as if there are as many people from New Jersey (including me) as there are from North Carolina.

Carlos

My experiences have met with little friction in terms of race, religious beliefs, socio-economic conditions, etc. Though this school isn't as racially diverse as its pamphlets may try to convey. The school is mostly white, middle to upper class kids from around the area. Though there are some fragmented groups of minorities that tend to obscure themselves from the population by choice. Though if you're a minority and looking to find more people with a similar culture then it may not be the place you're looking for. Many students here are fairly well off so there might be some separation in that respect, but that kind of discrimination is hardly present. There's no real expectation as to what you should wear. People dress as casually or professionally as they please. Some of this might also be dictated by the types of classes they take. There are politically active associations so politics is definitely students are cognizant of, most tending to be right-leaning. Money and future professional success are large motivating factors here. There's definitely a liberal arts community here that's interested in issues, arts, and society, but more so students are inclined to getting well-paid, professionally respectable jobs like a lawyer or doctor. By no means am i discouraging the artistic or liberal-minded individual. There is a place here for you as well. The different tables at dinner are largely determined by what organizations you belong to (mostly greek), but some other categories are groups of minorities, an intellectual/artistic crowd, and athletes.

Carlos

My experiences have met with little friction in terms of race, religious beliefs, socio-economic conditions, etc. Though this school isn't as racially diverse as its pamphlets may try to convey. The school is mostly white, middle to upper class kids from around the area. Though there are some fragmented groups of minorities that tend to obscure themselves from the population by choice. Though if you're a minority and looking to find more people with a similar culture then it may not be the place you're looking for. Many students here are fairly well off so there might be some separation in that respect, but that kind of discrimination is hardly present. There's no real expectation as to what you should wear. People dress as casually or professionally as they please. Some of this might also be dictated by the types of classes they take. There are politically active associations so politics is definitely students are cognizant of, most tending to be right-leaning. Money and future professional success are large motivating factors here. There's definitely a liberal arts community here that's interested in issues, arts, and society, but more so students are inclined to getting well-paid, professionally respectable jobs like a lawyer or doctor. By no means am i discouraging the artistic or liberal-minded individual. There is a place here for you as well. The different tables at dinner are largely determined by what organizations you belong to (mostly greek), but some other categories are groups of minorities, an intellectual/artistic crowd, and athletes.

Lindsey

Greeks tend to be anti-gay. Religious people sorta suck. They ostracize you as much as the Greeks do. An artsy student might feel out of place here, but the arts department is brilliant in its productions, especially in their comedy troupe, the Lilting Banshees. Most students aka sorority girls and frat boys wear Lilly Pulitzer dresses or polos, respectively, and in the winter, the girls wear spandex leggings, a sweatshirt, and Uggs, while guys wear...more POLO and Vineyard Vine apparel. Different types of students don't interact. It's like an unspoken rule or something. At any given time at 4 different tables of students, there will be a) a table of Asians...who speak Asian, b) sorority girls who have very high-pitched voices and continuously chatter about who they hooked up with 6 months ago, c) jocks. they don't talk- they watch ESPN, and finally d) the rest of us- non-Greeks who are generally genial people. Most students here come from money. They spend Daddy's money. They show off their money through their wardrobe choices. Financial backgrounds- 2 sides: either super well-off or people who need scholarships and will have loans coming out of their asses when they graduate. Surprisingly, the student body is split right down the middle, 50/50, when it comes to being liberal or conservative in regards to politics. You have two groups of students in regards to future income: A) those of us who major in what we LOVE so we'll be HAPPY later on. WE don't care too much about income. B) Those who major in Finance so they can be head-honchos on Wall Street by the time they're 25. They hate their lives, but they want moolah.

Courtney

I read a college review saying that Wake Forest students were a walking J Crew catalogue. Granted, there honest truth is that there are students who come from well to do families and drive nice cars. There is a very clear "type" of students that goes to Wake Forest, and it is whether a student fits or not that can affect how much they embrace their college experience. However, this does not represent the whole of Wake Forest students by any stretch of the imagination. Less students wear sweatpants to class than other schools, but Wake is filled with a lot of students that mind their appearance without being consumed with image. Some students come from family with money, but there are also a lot that are on financial scholarships. It would be unfair to say that Wake had only one type of student from a specific financial background, since many are represented. Greek like does have its prevalence in social life, but there is also the chance to create a thriving social life at Wake Forest without being in a sorority or fraternity. One of the best aspects of Wake Forest students is that each person can carve out their own social network and find friends that best suit them. Simply, there are so many different kinds of students at Wake Forest underneath the stereotype of students that have a lot of money.

Brittney

Being an African American female you would think it would be hard to be in the minority here at Wake Forest University. But there is really a group for everyone here at WFU regardless of your race, religion or believes. I've attended meetings of everything from the Black Student Alliance to the Young Democrats. I feel like every student could feel at place here in this school. The thing is to try new things and not be confined to one group because Wake offers many opportunities for interaction but it's up to the students to take them. We all come from different places but have the same goals to be successful after we leave the University.

Toni

Wake Forest students are some of the brightest people I have ever met. Everyone works hard in their classes and still finds time to participate in campus activities. Although Wake is majority Caucasian, there is a strong multicultural aspect to the school. Lots of activities are sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and we actually just welcomed a new LGBTQ center to campus. A lot of students here do come from wealthy backgrounds, but in general all financial backgrounds are represented. Unlike most colleges, students at Wake DO NOT wear pajamas to class. I was a little upset at this my first year due to my idea of college life that was grown from watching too many movies, but I came to accept it. Students here don't get extremely dressed up just to go to class, but I would say that students like to show their personalities through their clothes. I have to say that most of the students I see wear clothes on the preppier side, but I've seen other fashions and styles as well. Although a lot of students come from wealthy backgrounds, a lot of students find time to give back to the community. Everyone I have met has genuinely been very nice, and although there are the usual cliques like at every other school, a lot of people have friends with different interests and backgrounds.

Molly

It may seem apparent that any student paying over $50,000 a year for a Wake Forest education comes from a wealthy background, and it is definitely true. Students wear name-brand and designer clothing almost all the time and there are a large amount of nice cars in the student parking lot. I think someone from a disadvantaged family might feel out of place here, because students are constantly spending money on a sorority t-shirt each week or trips to the frozen yogurt shop down the street. However, I have met very few "snobs" who flaunt their money. Students are very friendly and will be genuinely kind to everyone, despite their economic background. One of the things that has impressed me is the incredibly geographical diversity of students. I have friends from California, Kansas, Texas, New Jersey, Florida, and every place in between. This is not a "suitcase college" where students are leaving every weekend, because students are simply too far away from home to swing by for the weekend. Being from Ohio, this has made my weekends so enjoyable to have so much time with my other friends from far away.

Rosalva

My classmates are highly intellectual in class (most of them being from more northern states such as New Jersey and New York). If someone is struggling with the material, then we form study groups. So, when they work, they work wisely because after work comes the fun time.

Lauren

My classmates are a mix of people, with most of them being the preppy, southern type--not too much of a variety, although some can be found if you look.

Tim

My classmates are all from different parts of the country and world,but for the most part feel very similar in many important aspects.

Elliot

Although predominantly wealthy, white, and Type A, Wake Forest students are a hardened group that can be a Weekend Warrior one day, and a Zen Master of Academic Focus the next. Achieving high standards of "play", my peers have achieved a higher sense of academic and career-driven accomplishment that accompanies a liberal arts education of such high caliber.

William

An interesting and engaging group of individuals with whom I am able to connect and converse easily and enjoyably.

Terry

Christians and non-believers are what seem to stick out the most to me. Kids go to church, but they also come from upper-class backgrounds that might exhibit a correlation with church-going. Students in Greek organizations interact mostly within their own realm, though the parties are open to anyone and friends are always there to be made regardless of background. Race doesn't seem to be an issue - the past two (or three?) student body presidents have been African-American, and the current Pres is the absolute man who actually cares what students think. Conservatism is probably the most prominent political leaning, while there are plenty of folks with open minds and differing political ideologies. Half my professors hint at their liberal, even socialistic beliefs, while the other half stick to their conservative, free-market guns (can you tell I study economics?)

Ali

Friendly, helpful, acadmic minded

John

Competitve, but very willing to help each other out. Study groups are extremely common and study sessions are as well.

Dean

The majority of my classmates are upbeat and fun loving people from well off and sheltered backgrounds.

Brigham

My classmates are very intelligent and participate in class often. Their personalities are all unique, but they share many similarities. They all work very hard with school and many of the play hard on the weekends. They get their work done even if that means taking away a few hours of sleep. They are very organized and on top of their work and extracurriculars.

Jordan

A fairly homogenous group of people who balance work with a surprisingly strong social scene.

Perry

A student describes what a typical WakeForest student is like.

Perry

A student describes her view of what a typical WakeForest student is like.

Wade

Very homogeneous campus. White, upper middle class, preppy, smart.

Hanna

Upon appearance, the student body at Wake seems very homogeneous. The general stereotypes of wealthy, caucasian, and conservative apply to many students at Wake. While there is only some ethnic and cultural diversity, the students at Wake are involved in activities that range over all ends of the spectrum, from the arts to athletics.

Claire

Black students are overwhelmingly athletes, and other minorities are very underrepresented. My father is Cuban but I am white by appearance. I applied to Wake as a white student but was still automatically given a tutor my freshmen year until I explained that I had gotten in on my own and intended to succeed on my own. Students tend to wear nice clothing to class, and if students are in sweats it is usually because they just worked out or plan on working out after class. Wake students are predominantly from upper-class families.

Margo

Wake could be more diverse but is getting there. Though racially it may not be as diverse, politically and religiously it is making an effort.

Corinne

The student body is very homogeneous. People who are artsy or extremely counter-culture may have a hard time fitting in.

Claire

The student body is not the most diverse when being compared to some schools, but you can definitely find a club, sport, sorority/fraterinity, religious, among many other, group to identify with. People are predominately wealthy here, but there is a percentage of students on financial aid (and you CANNOT spot them in a crowd)! I think that generally most students could find somewhere they feel at home here!

Leslie

It may not be diverse ethically, but people are very different from one another concerning where they come from and what their beliefs are.

Becky

Most students are Wake are rich, white, southern and conservative. There is not much diversity on campus and those that are different are not necessarily accepted with open arms. Most students dress up for class. Many girls wear dresses and skirts to class and football games, while the boys wear button up shirts and ties. The student population is very preppy and very similar.

Allison

Wake is fairly homogeneous as far as the student body goes. Most of the minorities tend to stick together in their own teams, sororities, etc. There isn't any tension, the groups just tend not to associate with each other. Anyone overweight would probably feel out of place at Wake. Many students do dress well, but just as many wear hoodies and sweatpants regularly.

Rachel

Wake is a somewhat homogeneous university, there is no way to deny that. Students are generally white, preppy and in the Greek system. Alternative lifestyles do stick out like a sore thumb here. Girls generally dress up for class, and a scrubby day consists of jeans, a sorority T-shirt, and pearls. Guys wear a lot of polo shirts. The athletes are their own little group, separate from those is the Greek system. Students at Wake come to school to get a good education, in hopes of having a high earning potential. If you want to join the Peace Corps after graduation, you may want to re-evaluate attending Wake Forest.

Tara

The campus is really homogeneous. I wouldnt say people are unaccepting of different groups, but there is not a lot of intermingling, and I would think that anyone of a minority race, lower social class, uncommon religion, or LGBT sexuality would find it difficult to feel accepted. Students tend to dress well at all times (even to 8 am classes!) I do love that students at Wake are from all over the country. My best friends are from Florida, Maryland, Chicago, Vermont, Indiana, and Ohio--quite the mix. I think students at least try to be politically aware, but it's a little hard sometimes with insane amounts of homework to keep up with the news. I would guess that most students here are conservative/republican politically, but since I don't hang out with closed-minded people, most of my friends are democrats.

Katie

Wake definitely has a majority of white, upper-middle class students. However, that by no means that the school lacks diversity. I think I may have written an admissions essay on this, but diversity in my opinion is diversity of points of view. Personally, I have had the opportunity to travel extensively in Europe and have been to a few countries in Central and South America. Because of this, I have a different world view than other people who may not have traveled out of their home town.

Megan

The student body is pretty homogeneous-- conservative, white kids from privileged backgrounds. Some kids are used to the instant gratification of a credit card, paid for by mom and dad. Most of us expect to enter back into the same social strata we came from after graduation. Students wear a wide variety of outfits to class-- sweats, leggings, oxfords, dresses, heels, flip flops-- it mostly depends on the weather and how much time they have when they wake up before class.

Anna

A lot of ppl here are white. People are also relatively conservative and more religious than in the north. I love it. PPL are reall friendly and cool.

Nicole

There's so many different groups on campus, but overall, it is a less diverse school than say, a large state school. I think it is safe to say that most student and families are conservative, yet there is a large liberal population as well. Groups overlap all the time, so you don't see too many stereotypes of groups around campus...they all intermingle rather than form cliques.

Meghan

There is not an overwhelming feeling of diversity on campus but there is different people with different beliefs here. Those that would feel most comfortable would be preppy, smart, and outgoing people.

Elizabeth

Is very white, upper middle class, and from either New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida, or Texas. (you get the point.) Probably the two biggest surprises that I had when coming to wake were how much of a New England presence there is on campus, and then having to buy like 5 more sundresses. The school may be in the south, but beware: sometimes it seems like everyone is from Jersey (where they say "water" funny and don't pump their own gas.... as they will all tell you). Also, New Jersey is basically all white, so Wake is actually diverse for them, which is weird. Students are generally very politically apathetic, and come from conservative backgrounds.

Anna

Definitely racially segregated, anyone who says otherwise is delusional

Katie

There's a lot of separation between student groups -athletes, greeks, independents etc. There's always been a certain northern vs. southern students mentality, and Wake even likes to pair freshman roommates north/south, but it's mostly all in good fun. Wake is conservative, but since there's plenty of young people you have a fair amount of liberals as well.

Ashley

Wake is a racially divided school, which is unfortunate. There are a lot of close-minded students, especially politically. The school is a very conservative one. Different types of students interact, but only if they put in the effort to do so. Athletes don't usually party with Greeks, etc.

Royce

As I said before, Wake is not very diverse but the administration has been working hard to change that. As a white person, I have a ton of black friends but a lot of students here keep themselves racially segregated. The average student at Wake Forest is probably in the high middle class. It shows. People drive BMW's and don't think twice about it. Wake Forest is probably more conservative than most college campuses. However, the College Democrats are pretty vocal too.

Devin

its a pretty conservative school but i think thats starting to change on campus. i cant really imagine that anyone could really feel out of place here, thers a niche for everyone. most people tend to be from the upper middle class here, i mean who else could afford the 40,000+ a year it takes to go here. but there are also a lot of scholarships to help kids that cant.

Steffie

Let's be honest, Wake looks pretty homogeneous on first glance. Most of the diversity comes from the athletes. There is not much of a gay or lesbian community around little Winston-Salem or in our bubble on campus. Most people are probably in the upper middle class or higher, and I am not even sure about religious backgrounds. This is all, sadly, pretty true. But Wake is making a conscious effort to increase diversity, and the little diversity we do already have is extremely accepted by the student body as a whole. As I mentioned briefly before, Greek life is huge at Wake. There are 7 sororities (and a new one coming next year thanks to popular demand), 12 fraternities, and a number of historically black fraternities and sororities on campus, as well. In general there is a good relationship between all the different organizations. There are definitely the stereotypes for each one, but people have no problem getting to know people from other organizations and seeing who they are outside of this label. They basically are around to connect you with a group you may not have otherwise gotten to know, and to give you some pre-arranged parties to attend. The majority of Wake's social life is run around fraternity parties and sorority events, especially if you are too young to go to bars. That is not to say independents have nothing to do. Apartment parties (in the great apartment complexes near campus) are common, and independent girls are always welcome at fraternities, as well ;-). Even though we are not a campus full of Southerners, the southern hospitality does still exist on campus. Guys holding doors for girls, people saying hi to everyone they even kind of know as they pass them on campus, etc. There are also a lot of good looking people here, and with the gym being redone, they will probably only be in better and better shape in the years to come.

Megs

I'm disappointed with a large number of wake kids. So many people are highly ambitious and incredibly hard-working but they also have a tendency to be a follower. Too many people here are apathetic, especially to issues concerning wake itself. There aren't very many free-thinkers, which is very frustrating. Get ready for a lot of wealthy white kids! I predict that a large percentage of students in my class will enter the corporate workforce, although a large percentage of each graduating class goes on to serve in the peace corps or teach for america.

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