Whitman College Pros and Cons

Whitman College is a private liberal arts college located in Walla Walla, Washington. It was founded in 1882 and is one of the top liberal arts colleges in the Pacific Northwest. Whitman College has an enrollment of around 1,500 students and offers over 50 majors and minors. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of attending Whitman College.

Whitman College Pros:

  1. Strong Academics

Whitman College is known for its strong academic programs. The faculty at Whitman are highly qualified and passionate about teaching. The college offers over 50 majors and minors, and students have the flexibility to design their own majors. The college also offers a variety of research opportunities, including independent studies, research assistantships, and honors projects.

  1. Small Class Sizes

One of the benefits of attending Whitman College is the small class sizes. The student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1, which means that students have the opportunity to get to know their professors and receive personalized attention. Small class sizes also facilitate class discussion and interaction among students.

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  1. Beautiful Campus

Whitman College has a beautiful campus with well-maintained grounds and buildings. The campus is located in Walla Walla, a small town with a vibrant downtown area. The college also has several green spaces, including an arboretum and a wildlife refuge, which provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation.

  1. Active Student Life

Whitman College has an active student life with over 100 student-run clubs and organizations. The college also has several annual events, including a homecoming weekend, a music festival, and an arts festival. Students can also participate in intramural sports, including basketball, soccer, and volleyball.

  1. Financial Aid

Whitman College is committed to making education affordable for all students. The college offers need-based financial aid to eligible students, including grants, scholarships, and work-study programs. The college also offers merit-based scholarships for high-achieving students.

Whitman College Cons:

  1. Expensive

One of the main cons of attending Whitman College is the cost. The tuition, room, and board for the 2022-2023 academic year is over $75,000. While the college offers financial aid to eligible students, the cost can still be a barrier for many students.

  1. Limited Diversity

Whitman College has been criticized for its lack of diversity. The student body is predominantly white, and there is a lack of representation of students from low-income backgrounds. The college has made efforts to increase diversity in recent years, but there is still work to be done.

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  1. Small Town

While the small town of Walla Walla can be a pro for some students, it can also be a con for others. The town has limited entertainment options and can feel isolated. Students who are used to city life may find the town too small and lacking in cultural diversity.

  1. Limited Course Offerings

While Whitman College offers over 50 majors and minors, some students may find the course offerings limited. The college does not offer as many courses as larger universities, which may limit students’ ability to explore different academic interests.

  1. Intense Academic Environment

While the strong academics at Whitman College can be a pro, they can also be a con for some students. The workload can be intense, and students may feel pressure to perform at a high level. The small class sizes also mean that students cannot blend in and may feel pressure to participate in class discussions.


Overall, Whitman College is a great choice for students who are looking for a small liberal arts college with strong academics and an active student life. However, the cost and lack of diversity may be a barrier for some students. Additionally, the small town setting and limited course offerings may not be a good fit for all students. It’s important for prospective students to consider their priorities and preferences when deciding if Whitman College is the right choice for them.

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Despite the cons mentioned above, Whitman College has a lot to offer. The small class sizes and personalized attention from faculty allow for a high-quality education. The beautiful campus and active student life provide opportunities for students to make the most of their college experience. And, the commitment to financial aid ensures that students from diverse backgrounds have the opportunity to attend.

Ultimately, the decision to attend Whitman College depends on individual circumstances and preferences. Prospective students should carefully consider the pros and cons outlined in this article and weigh them against their own priorities and goals. By doing so, they can make an informed decision about whether Whitman College is the right choice for them.

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