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  • Allison Grandits

GRAND Report: Wake Forest Univ.

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

In January 2020, I spent a brisk morning at Wake Forest University. I was with a group of counselors, and we were able to meet with admissions and tour the beautiful campus. We were unable to see the new addition of Wake Downtown, but the virtual tour showcases the STEM center in Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter. I hope to go back and see it for myself. Keep reading the GRAND report to see if Wake could be your GRAND fit school.


Wake is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, about 30 minutes from Greensboro if students need to fly into campus. 8,400 total students (5,200 undergrads) call Wake home, but their focus is on the undergraduate experience. 78% of students come from outside North Carolina (every state but North Dakota), and almost 10% of the population is international, representing 53 countries. Wake strives to surround students with people who are different from themselves and are working to increase diversity each year.


Wake has an in-depth application that opens on June 1, and students can apply via 4 portals. Admissions reviews applications holistically.  Academic rigor is considerably important to Wake, so students should take 4 years of each of the 5 core subjects to be competitive. Wake is test-optional, so students do not have to submit SAT/ACT scores to be considered for admissions. Academic GPA, class rank (if applicable), application essay, and character/personal qualities are also considered important, according to the Common Data Set. Admissions also encourages interviews, either on-campus or via Skype, as early as June. Wake admitted 41% of ED applicants for the Class of 2022 (compared to an overall admitted rate of 27%) and filled 56% of the class with ED applicants. Regardless of the application plan, students must submit their application by December 1 to be considered for merit scholarships.

With a student to faculty ratio of 10:1 and no class over 60 students, individual attention is easily attainable. Additionally, all courses are taught by professors, and each professor is required to teach lower and upper-division courses. Wake’s Liberal Arts Divisional Requirements allows for students to have freedom and flexibility to explore content areas, pursue new ideas and approaches, and to ask why. Freshmen also engage in First-Year Seminars, which consist of intellectual interchanges on various topics like “The Politics of James Bond” or “The History of Sports.”

Another pillar of the Wake Forest education is service-learning. The Wake motto, Pro Humanitate (For Humanity), encourages students to use their skills and knowledge to improve the world. Through ACE (Academic and Community Engaged) courses, over half of the students incorporate some sort of community service into their curriculum.  Students can get involved with one of the many university partners in social justice, health & nutrition, economic empowerment, or educational equity.


Wake is the smallest school to play in a Power 5 Conference (the ACC). The Demon Deacons have an active fan base for their 14 athletic teams, Men’s Basketball and Football being the most popular. For those who aren’t D-1 level, but still want to play, intramurals are extremely popular, with about 85% of students participating. Greek Life is also a significant player on campus; 59% of women and 33% of men join. With over 240 active organizations on campus, you are bound to find something of interest.

Wake is also a big proponent of study abroad, and 75% of students take advantage at least once. They have 3 houses abroad- London, Vienna, and Venice- as well as opportunities on every continent except Antarctica. First-year students can also start their time at Wake in Copenhagen, Denmark, through the Global AWAKEnings program. Not all programs require a passport, though. Students who do Wake Washington have an internship it the city during the day and take classes at night. Finally, students can take a Career Trek, where they travel to DC, San Francisco, or New York City. While here, students meet with industry professionals and Wake alumni to learn what the companies look for in entry-level candidates.


Affectionally known as Work Forest, students here are serious about their studies. Students are smart, curious, and have high expectations for themselves. But, they are collaborative and are self-described as a “school of Hufflepuffs.”. They also are fun, having found the balance between the academic and social opportunities available to them on campus. Wake is mostly a residential campus, and students must live on campus for their first three years.  Schedule a visit or take a virtual tour.


With an estimated cost of attendance of $77,342, Wake is one of the most expensive colleges in the country. 67% of students receive need-based financial aid, with an average award of $50,862. Merit aid packages are available, but only 12% qualify, with an average award of $13,252. Wake has a strong track record, though, with 98% of graduates employed in their field or in graduate school within 6 months of graduation, and they graduate 84% of students within 4 years (national average for private colleges is 52.8% and 33.3% for public colleges). To make sure students are set up for success, the Center of Personal & Career Development works with students as early as their freshmen year to help accomplish their goals in all avenues of life.  Career coaches, the Mentoring Resource Center, STEM SLAM, and the Center for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship are great resources to help students succeed.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this GRAND Report. Need help finding your GRAND Fit school? Contact Allison or visit Grand Fit Educational Consulting.

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