Wheaton College-Wheaton Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Nicholas

My classmates are a diverse and curious bunch, always willing to ask questions and challenge a theory; they have a global outlook and are keen to help change the world in whatever ways possible.

Victoria

Strong Christians, strong academically, they truly want to get to know you and see you suceed in life

Jenny

Wheaties are subject to many stereotypes: good Christian kids, perfectionist, uptight. In general, the student body at Wheaton is a little bit special because students are aware that they are in a Christian institution and that there is a community covenant. However, as you get to know more students in depth, you will realize that everyone is more complicated than you think. Just like everyone else, students here are struggles with many things, whether it be academics, relationship issues, or faith. However, the vast majority of the students here do have a serious relationship with Jesus and desire to grow in their faith. That being said, some students are more liberal than others and some are more unafraid of expressing their idiosyncrasies. It really is impossible to categorize all Wheaties under one. The majority of the students here are North Americans, or at least holds an American passport. However, there is a good amount of third culture kids (TCKs) and missionary kids (MKs) who have experience growing up overseas.

Adam

Students who come to Wheaton college are highly academic and generally buy into the liberal arts ideal in their approach to their education. There is also a very strong Christian sentiment among the members of the student body, rooted in a widespread motivation to learn how to better love and serve God.

Grant

many homeschoolers, pastors kids, missionary kids, and students in the conservatory. Most students are very smart, from the top of their highschool classes. They have great social lives, and study very hard.

Stephanie

My classmates are hard-working but fun-loving. We study hard (with good reason!), but also enjoy participating in the countless social activities that are always going on.

Sophia

Extremely motivated and smart.

Brenna

My classmates are friendly, hard-working, motivated, and fun people.

Jason

Classmates are often eager to learn new material and are usually very high-achieving, type-A students. Many students are often willing to bury themselves in work and overlook their social lives, although there are other students who have very active lives as well. The student body is almost entirely Christian and most are eager to learn more about Christianity, theology, and the Bible. Students can be uptight or judgmental towards others, but there are also many who are vary loving and accepting of others who are very different from them, racially, politically, or in beliefs.

Jean

Super friendly, academically focused, and fun-loving

Gabriella

Sweet, sheltered, condescending, sincere

Gabriel

My classmates at Wheaton College can best be described as bright but with the sense not to be arrogant with the extent to which they have grasped or mastered the subject material.

Blake

Classmates at Wheaton are typically very driven, friendly, honest, and all around great.

Tom

Artsy, fun and pretty gutsy. They're all awesome

Kendall

Wheaton's students are passionate. Many causes are upheld, the banner for many organizations and goals flown for all to see. Be it missions, helping the poor, political support, or campus issues, Wheaton students passionately endorse their favorite causes. Most students are from outside Illinois, some coming from other nations to attend Wheaton College. Most students are white, even though Wheaton tries its best to diversify. Many attempts are made to discuss race, and although they are made with the best intentions, many times they are underwhelming.

Emily

There is not a lot of racial diversity at Wheaton. I think this is something the school is trying to work on, but for the most part you look around at a sea of white. I think Wheaton can be a good place for minorities if you are willing to be a teacher to your peers and tell them about your unique experience as a minority. The Wheaton community as most people are highly achieving and we sign a covenant that we won't drink is a fairly fit community. I think this is potentially dangerous as it can lead to an unhealthy view of yourself as you look at the many fit people around you. People's dress varies from jeans and a t-shirt to the rare few who dress more business casual and don't even do that every day. Wheaton has a grassroots group of students who are socially active and aware. The HNGR program especially points us to Human Need and Global Resources (get it HNGR...) I think Wheaton students care about what is going on in the world as we are essentially focused on what our role will be for Christ in His Kingdom which is the whole world. I think the more prevalent attitude among students is not what will I make when i have a job, but what impact will I have on the world and how can I be doing things now to be working towards a greater impact in the future. Because of the small class size it is fairly easy to interact with the different types of people at Wheaton. There are a lot of missionary kids who call many different countries in the world "home."

Paul

The student body is very superficial, and as evangelicals they feel like they must always wear a happy face when in public and pretend they have their life together. However, when you really get to know anybody deeply, you learn that they are broken and struggling with issues just like everyone else. There are homosexuals at Wheaton, but they are afraid to come out due to the fear of discrimination. There are many cliques at Wheaton, and those groups don't tend to interact often. Most students have had a suburban middle-to-upper class upbringing, and are overwhelmingly conservative. Liberals comprise probably 20% of the student body. The students who come from overseas tend to keep to themselves in their own groups.

Allison

students at wheaton are typically white, upper middle class, and come from a christian home. however, many students come from all sorts of backgrounds and it is not uncommon to have multiple friends from overseas and all over the country. most students are pretty politically active, however, political views range from every end of the spectrum, which is contrary to typical wheaton stereotypes. in my experience, students very infrequently speak about how much they'll earn one day, rather the focus for employment seems to be on what people are called to do and what they will enjoy.

Phil

First, a criticism: Students at wheaton are so damn cynical about absolutely everything, and I mean everything-- from the college's constitution to the cafeteria food. And the reason is, we are all under so much pressure. To be smart, to be cool, to be right. The result is a body of students who defensively resort to being critical of anything that is remotely threatening to them, and that often seems to be everything when you're a stressed out 20-year-old 200 miles from home. And while I'm being cynical myself, I'll add another criticism. Another way Wheaton students react to the pressure is by overreacting to it. The pressure to be politically cutting-edge, for example. I have seen this lead young women into a world of purely defensive feminism, inspired by and recipricating shame in oneself; girls here are just tired of being girls, exhausted by the constant call to meet the standards of men and overthrow stereotypes and resist temptation to conform to anything that the world tells them they are. Good can come from this, but I have seen more bad-- females who can no longer wear makeup or refer to God as "he" or even allow their fathers to walk them down the isle on their wedding day. Years from now, after escaping these pressures and entering the real world where bigotry and sexism cannot be beaten by symbollic sacrifices such as these, I can only imagine the regret that some of these girls may find from their pressured Wheaton College idealogy. This pressure also strongly applies to race, sexuality, and even faith in God. And now for some good, for goodness sake: On the other hand, so many people here are forgiving and kind and real. You have to find them under the masks, but since we're all wearing them, it isn't as hard as it could be. You'll find guys and girls under the same exhausting pressures you are, and that alone, in my experience, has been enough to bond some seriously close friendships. Students here really are smart, and not just academically.

Amy

Wheaton is a Christian college, but it's not geared toward one specific denomination. There are many different "types" of Christianity on campus, but all with one goal - the glory of God. There are such a variety of people on campus...it's wonderful. The fashion is as varying as the personalities, but somehow, the mix of all those different kinds of people works well. It's a great opportunity to get to know so many different kinds of people from all over the world.

Alex

Most of the student body here is fairly rich, but they think that there are not, which makes them very annoying. I myself come from a simple background and have found it somewhat hard for people to realize that not everyone is like them. Most people here are conservative, but there is a good amount of people who are center and left of center.

Rebecca

I come from a family with a low socio-economic background, and I feel that it is hard to find a lot of students that come from the same kind of background. I feel that most students come from wealthy and white families. However, there are a lot of white missionary kids who have lived in countries outside of the US, so they do add a different outlook on life. I have not found it difficult to make friends with many different people, but I have noticed that most of my closer friends are caucasian. I think that there needs to be more diverse student-relationships on campus. Gospel Choir is an excellent way to meet people that are different than yourself. Usually, I think that people find others that they are comfortable with hanging out with. I can think of one person who did not closely meld with anyone. He was a minority student and he also had some internal struggles that he is now getting help for, but I think he did have a hard time this year finding people he could relate to. Even then, I know that some people have reached out to him to help him, and that he is getting help. I know that my time at Wheaton has made me less conservative. But I don't think that it's about belonging to the left or right, it's about learning to live as a Christian. As far as I'm concerned, neither political party espouses all of the qualities that Christian should vote for.

Sarae

The campus is not very racial or ethnical diverse but they do make an effort to address issues of race and ethnicity on campus. Being a Christian college most of the students are Christians by daily life, and all are Christians by requirement. Most of the students are white middle class american students although there is a large number of missionary kids who attend as well. The culture at Wheaton is not very judgemental about different groups or what people wear.

David

Wheaton boasts alot of people from around the USA and the world (I know that sounds nebulus and, well, I guess it is). In my own personal opinion, I would like more black people here. That should not be a deterent if you are black because there are still plenty here and they are very active in the community. I'd just rather have more. Financials.... Ok, so, alot of people who go to Wheaton have money in the family. Partly because of the lack of scholarships and finaid, some people chicken out of going here. #1) Wheaton is rated pretty highly in the "bang for your buck" category. It is worth the money to go here. #2) If God wants you at Wheaton, He WILL provide (Jehovah Jirah= sweet praise song). I know that when I decided to go to Wheaton, I was looking at one large debt to pay off when I got out. Over the course of maybe five months, God reworked my family's entire financial situation to allow me to go to Wheaton and I'll come out with alot less debt than I had originally thought. But, I was just thinking again, another financial grouping we have are MK's. Wheaton gives large amounts of financial support to missionary kids. I think this really helps put a different view of money out in the Wheaton Community. One last note, there is a free thrift store on campus. It rocks!

Rusty

The Wheaton student body is probably one of the most diverse student bodies you'll find for a college its size. Many missionary kids provide an overseas flavor to a student body that brings in students from all across the country and all walks of life. Wheaton has students from all 50 states and over 40 countries.

Amy

Well obviously if you are not a Christian Wheaton is not the place for you. If you want to come to the school and party expect to be disappointed and to be confronted about it by your peers. Again that's not to say that we're all prudes, at least not by my definition, we're just responsible with what we do.

Leslie

Students at Wheaton may be similar in that most of them are smart Christians, but there is really a surprising amount of diversity as well. There are students from nearly every state as well as from many different countries (lots of MKs, military, etc). It's so interesting to get the different perspectives from my friends who have the same Christian worldview but very different experiences.

Dave

Don't get thrown off immediately by the fact that Wheaton's a conservative school. It doesn't mean that its students are. Students generally liberalize significantly as they learn more of what it truly means to follow Jesus in a highly academic setting. Expect strong support for governmental programs for the poor, and strong support for social church action. Many students are involved in ministries which meet needs in homeless and gay communities in Chicago. That said, most Wheaton students come from a lot of money. Surprisingly, most students are also incredibly generous with their time, money, and expectations. Truly, I felt love from almost everyone I met. I was consistently surprised that the box I put so-and-so in way much to tight, and that he or she was, in addition to being a jock or prep or geek or whatever, was also an intelligent, loving and surprisingly complex person. You will not meet many other people with higher character than a Wheaton college student.

Jeff

Good people who mean well. Because everybody is a Christian that automatically creates a unique student atmosphere. Everybody knows each other because of the small size of the college, which is nice. The atmosphere is pretty laid back and casual, but the students are also fairly competitive. Students are from all over the country and world. My class of 590 had students from all 50 states and something like 25 countries. Students tend to be from wealthier backgrounds but it ranges all over. Students are very politically aware, most start conservative and end up centrist or moderate or libertarian.

Jake

As a white, middle-class suburbanite, I knew that I was fairly sheltered in terms of socio-economic or cultural diversity. For me, Wheaton represented a more diverse community for me. The students at Wheaton come from all around the country (lots of Midwestern, or East coast backgrounds) and from all kinds of churches. Each person may have a view that is different than your own, and forces you to reconsider where you came from. One of the most interesting experiences for me was joining the Wheaton College Gospel Choir, a ministry that sings in local churches. Not only was this a very racially diverse group (probably one of the most diverse on campus) it was a radically different worshipping experience for me, coming from a solemn, Christian Reformed/Baptist background. Here, I was challenged to see worship and religious expression in a different light.

Rachael

Wheaton is a diverse campus, though not as racially diverse as it could be. We have "Solidarity Week" each year to talk about race relations and reconciliation. In terms of locations students come from, Wheaton is very diverse. There are hundreds of students from overseas and each class has students from every state. I actually know hardly anyone from Illinois! We all share the common bond of being Christians, but views on politics, society, and church do differ in many ways.

Stephanie

Wheaton as a whole is middle/upper middle class and white. I have several friends who are African-American and Asian who feel frustrated and misunderstood because of this. A club I was in called Solidarity (racial reconciliation) held a week-long event about systemic racism and white-privilege, which was quite controversial. Although all did not hold this position, many became defensive and aggressive, with statements like "You are just trying to make us feel guilty because we were born this way" or "racism died out in the 60s, you're just bringing up old dirt" (paraphrased). The club president even got a lot of hate e-mails and was pressured to cancel the event. This is something we as a school need to work on. However, a small percentage of the school are dedicated to social and ecological issues, and many people I know care deeply and live lifestyles actively pursuing peace and justice. Several of my classes, in fact, teach the Biblical mandate for social justice and the social gospel. I feel like the political, social, and theological views vary by major and department (in general). The sociology, anthropology, and art department students, for example, hold more liberal views than the Bible and Theology department students (this is a generalization). Although many students seem to be from the US, particularly the midwest area, several students are from all over the globe, either as Missionary Kids (we call them MKs) or study abroad students. The majority of students have at least traveled or studied abroad at some point in their life.

kate

Wheaton's student body is great because the students are from everywhere. Its not like going to a state school, or a normal private college where the students are from a concentrated area. All of my friends are from all over the country. My 6 closest friends are from North Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri, and California. I love having connections throughout the country. That's the great thing about the school. People are from everywhere, and every financial situation. Because of this, I don't really think that any person would feel out of place here. Most of the people at the school are really motivated to succeed, which is really good. You're constantly being held accountable and challenged to do better by your peers, as well as your profs. Although most of the students at Wheaton are fairly comfortable as far as their family's financial background, you would never be able to know. People here don't brag about what their family has, or try to one-up each other. This is really good for people like me, who receive a good amount of financial aid.

Elizabeth

Looking around the dining hall, i would see tables of... 1. Conservies: Students at the conseravtory of music. They are kind of quirky, really nice, sometimes nerdy, and often are mostly friends with each other. 2. Football players: Individually they are cool people. As a group they are either hilarious or obnoxious, depending on how easily you are annoyed. 3. Swimmers: Funny and crazy. They have a lot of self confidence and do ridiculous things like dress up is funny costumes and take over for the cheerleaders at football games. 4. Bro-Sis Groups: People who live of corresponding male-female floors and have organized meals together once a week. There are a lot of close friendships formed from living together, and these groups usually enjoy each other's company a lot. 5. Missionary kids: They have similar backgrounds and sometimes band together. They are usually pretty conservative and don't always like american culture. 5. Really random groupings: At a small-ish school, a lot of people are friends with each other who you wouldn't think to place together. It's fun to talk to people who are really different from you, adn there is a lot of opportunity to.

Rachel

Sometimes I worry about students that are questioning their sexuality, because it's kind of under the rug at Wheaton. Everyone, or almost everyone, at Wheaton is a Christian, and that comes with expectations.

Paige

If you're not Christian, Wheaton is not the place for you. Same goes if you're married to the idea of being a chain-smoker, frat-boy or sorority girl (no greek life, sorry), drinker or nymphomaniac--Wheaton's bacchanalians are only these things reluctantly or rebelliously. The LGBT scene is growing comfortably, but is still currently in its early stages; people are trying very hard to start talking about homosexuality, racism, etc. The students at Wheaton are very earnest, and most of them are intense, and very deep people who are all insecure because they were top of their class and now they aren't, because most of the students are pretty quality, pretty top-of-the-class. Wheaton students come in typically very conservative, praise & worship, "I'll pray for you" guitar-strumming evangelical types, and leave liberal, Anglican High Church, some very cynical, others still very optimistic. They're all fairly beautiful and athletic, though. My roommate's called Wheaton the *real* Virgin record store. They say that on a clear summer day you can see it shimmering high above campus: the cloudy frustration of hundreds of sexually-frustrated, uptight college students.

Justin

Wheaton is primarily conservative, but there are plenty of moderates, and even a small contingency of liberals.

Andrew

Wheaton is what you make it. You can find nearly everything at Wheaton. This includes the good along with the less than desirable. The vast majority of the student body follows the relaxed rules we have on campus. However, there are pockets of resistance, as there probably are in every school. In all, Wheaton is a very accepting place. Contrasted to high school, I feel no peer pressure to be someone I’m not or to fit into some sort of mold. When I look at my friends, it does not seem to me like there is any particular reason that we are friends. We don’t have much in common and in high school we probably hung out in very different crowds. We come from the South, the West Coast, the Midwest, the North (or as I call it, AoMY (Area of Mass Yankees)), Germany, and one of us even lives on an Indian Reservation. There’s no rhyme or reason that we are friends, except that we enjoy each others company. There’s no motivation to try to fit a mold because there is no mold. People accept you for who you are as long as you are real. A facade is easy to see at Wheaton.

Josh

the student body at wheaton is fairly diverse in my opinion though i'm sure many would disagree. i have nothing bad to say about wheaton students. they are intelligent, talented and make great friends.

Shane

Not that diverse. THe school has got to be about 90% white. WASP. The school is mostly filled with rich kids too, although i am definitely not one of those. I have a couple of millionaire friends, but then i have a few friends like myself who live off of the $28,000 i get in grants. All of the students are politically aware and discuss their views alot. Not too many people are swayed by said arguments, but that doesn't stop people from talking arguing...idiots.

Alex

Intimidating in their seeming perfection.

Will

I do have a few friends who have transfered, and one of the things that they say most often is that people on campus are too obsessed with grades. Most of the people on campus would agree, and I definitely know some people like that. Sometimes people get too obsessed with their GPA and their resume for internships and grad school and forget that there are other things in their lives that need to balance out all of the studying. I think some people need to keep in mind the quote from Mark Twain, "Never let your schooling interfere with your education."

Emily

Wheaton students are from all over the country and the world. Almost all of my friends have lived overseas at some point in their lives. Of my group of friends there are people from every region of America and people who have lived at some point in their lives in England, Scotland, Bolivia, Honduras, Africa, Italy, the Middle East, Australia, Asia, France, Norway, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and the list goes on. It's great, especially because I am extremely interested in culture and language and exploring the world, to be able to talk to people who have had so many multicultural experiences. True, the majority of Wheaton students are caucasian, but that doesn't seem to hold them back as far as cultural experience goes. I think for the most part Wheaton students are very globally minded. Most of us really want to get out in the world and understand other cultures and be a light to the world, helping as many people in our lives as we can. Most of my friends and I want to live in other countries for at least part of our lives and work to help people in some capacity. I think spending four years in an environment like Wheaton really helps make you culturally aware and aware of what is going on in the world and how you can help.

Alex

a not premed or bible major i feel would feel a little out of place. Students that want to be okay at many things and not spectacular or great would feel out of place. Those who dont car about religion or involving God in anything would feel weird going to wheaton. Most students are from rich homes. mostly politically aware yes

Marie

Financially, students at Wheaton vary greatly. There are many people there who rely purely on God's provision to pay for tuition, and there are others who have been able to afford Wheaton for years. Most students that go to Wheaton are not from Illinois, and most aren't even from the Midwest. In fact, I am always amazed when I meet someone else from Illinois, because most of the people I meet are either from another country (actually pretty common) or from the East or West coast. There are A LOT of things to be involved in at Wheaton, and it's easy to spread yourself thin. There are some really amazing organizations, though, and some clubs that do amazing things.

Becky

Most students wear the typical jeans and a nice shirt to class. A few students wear more dressy outfits to classes, but hardly anyone shows up to class in their P-J's. SAGA, te cafeteria, is awesome.... very yummy with lots of choices inclusing the salad bar, vegan bar, and sandwhich line if nothing on the hot meal lines interest you. The campus has a wide range in where students are from. They come from Illinois, all over the States, and many missionary kids as well. Most students are republican.

Chris

Not crazy enough. Not enough wild pranks. A lot of the kids are rich, but they're still nice.

Dave

Sadly, LGBT people would not feel very welcomed by most of the student body at Wheaton. The student body as a whole are mostly all middle to upper-middle class white Christians. They are friendly and outgoing.

Laura

What kind of student would feel out of place at Wheaton? It's a hard question to answer. Generally, if you're willing to take the risk and be vulnerable in this community, someone will accept you. This isn't always the case, and some students from every background feel out of place. However, people at Wheaton are generally willing to try. We currently have one deaf student on campus, and since his arrival a community of people who know sign language has sprung up. Generally, where there's a will, there's a way.

Erik

Wheaton students are very smart and sincere. Some of the most intelligent people, and the nicest people I have met in my life go to Wheaton college. It is a predominantly white school, but pulls students from areas all over the world. For example, one of my best friends on campus grew up in Turkey. Race relations is not really that big of a deal on campus, besides for those students who make it a big deal. In general, the Wheaton student body gets along well. Realize that Wheaton is a Christian campus, so much of our student relations revolves around the value we place in Christ.

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