Dear Student,

You’ve been on my mind a lot lately. These are uncertain times for all of us, and I can’t imagine what it’s like for you to have so much disruption as you wrap up high school and choose a college. Here at Whitman we’ve been thinking about how we can help with the challenges you and your future classmates are facing as you look ahead to the fall.

In the midst of all this uncertainty, I feel so grateful that Whitman is a place that puts students first. Even as we’ve implemented campuswide social distancing measures, we’ve committed to allowing students for whom remaining on campus at Whitman is the safest option to stay in their residence halls. And even as a community built around in-person interaction, our faculty have undertaken a massive effort to adapt their courses so that all students, regardless of location or access to technology, can complete the current semester and stay on track to graduate.

We are fortunate that our size, resources and leadership allow us to adapt nimbly to dynamic and challenging circumstances. So, while none of us know what the next few months will bring, I want you to know that we will be flexible in working with you as an individual to address your unique circumstances and ensure that as you continue your Whitman journey you are equipped to have the transformative experience Whitman is known for.

Here’s what that means specifically in terms of your timeline for enrolling at Whitman.

Enrollment Deadline Flexibility

Whitman’s enrollment deadline is May 1, and we know many of you are excited to wrap up your college search by then so you can start thinking ahead to housing, roommates, orientation and more. However, we also know that some of you will need more time and that there is no one date that will work for everyone. I want you to know that I’m committed to working with you individually to extend your enrollment deadline. If you feel like you are unable to make your decision by May 1 and would like more time, email me at millera@whitman.edu.

Fall 2020 Semester

We are moving ahead in planning for the fall semester with the assumption that classes will be held in person, with move-in and orientation in late August. We’re grateful that Washington state has been proactive in implementing policies to “flatten the curve” and that Walla Walla continues to see low levels of community transmission (including no confirmed coronavirus cases at Whitman). That gives us hope that we’ll be able to re-open campus this summer and prepare for your arrival this fall. That said, we’re also planning for the possibility that we won’t physically be able to return to campus, but will provide a high-quality, personal educational experience remotely. If Whitman’s campus remains closed this fall, your cost of attendance would be adjusted to remove room and board charges and to reflect a lower tuition amount.

Enrollment Deferral Flexibility (Gap Years/Gap Semesters)

We know that if we aren’t able to be physically on campus this fall, some of you may wish to delay your enrollment. With that in mind, we are prepared to offer even more flexibility than usual regarding gap year requests, including offering gap semesters with the option to later extend to a full year. We don’t want you to feel rushed to make this decision so we will continue welcoming these requests until fall classes start.

Financial Aid

We’re hearing from so many families right now who have experienced recent changes in their income and assets. Whitman College is committed to adjusting financial aid packages for families as their circumstances change. In fact, we’ve already worked with more than 100 families this year to adjust financial aid packages based on new information. Access to a Whitman education for all students is a priority for us and our financial aid team is ready to work with you to understand your situation and reconsider your financial aid package, so please do not hesitate to reach out to them at finaid@whitman.edu or 509-527-5178.

Next Steps

You’ll be hearing from us soon regarding more ways to learn about Whitman and engage with our amazing faculty and students. Once you’ve chosen Whitman, you’ll be able to take a deep breath, celebrate a bit, and then start thinking about things like housing, setting up your Whitman email address, registering for pre-orientation programs and much more. So let us know how we can support you as you enter the final stages of your college search, and we’ll hope to see you here in Walla Walla this fall!

Best,

Adam Miller
Director of Admission