Parent Newsletter

April 2024 

From the President

Philip G. Ryken President Wheaton College IL

Dear Parents,

Wheaton College has welcomed some very important visitors to campus over the past several weeks.

Perhaps the most important visit came from the Higher Learning Commission, which sent a team of five leaders from other colleges and universities to review every aspect of our academics, advancement, enrollment, finances, and co-curricular programs. We also hosted visits from teams we asked to review our Chaplain’s Office and Counseling Center—reviews we schedule every ten years or so.

These accreditation and review visits are an important opportunity for us to become more effective at educating our students. They also serve as an important form of accountability, ensuring that everything we say to the public about our mission and effectiveness is verifiably true.

Our most crucial accountability is to Jesus Christ, for the kingdom mission he gave to Wheaton College more than 160 years ago. But we are also accountable to the higher education community, and to you—the parents who entrust your students to us for their growth in faith and knowledge.

By the grace of God—and by the work of his Spirit—your sacred trust is not misplaced, but safely in the hands of caring educators who do their very best for your student every day.

In Christ’s service,

Philip Ryken
Philip Ryken

Commencement 2023 (2) 825 x 300 Commencement 2024

Congratulations and virtual high-fives to the parents of graduating seniors! Commencement weekend is just around the corner, May 3-5. As you make plans to attend, be sure to consult the Commencement Week Event Schedule and review the Undergraduate Commencement FAQs. This year’s Commencement speaker will be Newberry Award-winning author Daniel Nayeri, the author of Wheaton’s 2023-24 Core Book, Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story).

If you have friends and family who would like to watch Commencement virtually, they are invited to tune in via livestream on Sunday, May 5 at 3 p.m. CDT.

Please direct Commencement-related questions to the Registrar’s Office at 630.752.5045 or

Celebrate Your Graduate with a Custom Yard Sign 

Graduation signs 2024 130 x 128Let your neighbors know you are proud of your Wheaton graduate by staking a generic or customizable yard sign in your yard! Signs can be downloaded and sent to your local print shop to be printed.


Commencement Brunch Registration Deadline

Families are invited to register for the on-campus Commencement Brunch hosted by Bon Appetit in Anderson Commons. The brunch will be held between Baccalaureate and Commencement ($24.21 for adults; $12.21 for kids ages 3-7; graduating seniors are free.) Please see the reservation instructions and RSVP for the Commencement Brunch by Wednesday, May 1 if you plan to attend.

Center for Vocation and Career Sign 825 x 300

Center for Vocation and Career

It's spring in the Center for Vocation and Career, which means our Senior Series is in full swing! This month we are hosting a panel of young alumni to share advice for adjusting to Life After Wheaton. And we close out this series with our Senior Celebration – an open-house with boba tea, snacks, and music to celebrate our seniors! Whether your graduating student has a solid plan, or hasn’t yet started to look, we are here with resources, insight, and practical next steps to help them on their journey. In addition to summer workshops for new graduates, alumni have full access to the CVC for two years after they graduate.

Every year, the CVC awards funds to students participating in unpaid or underpaid summer internships. We are grateful for the generosity of donors who make these critical opportunities financially possible. The CVC’s Internship Scholarships are a giving option for Wheaton Gives this year, and we continue to be encouraged by the outpouring of support toward this initiative. Thank you!

Finals Care Packages

Send your student a Finals Care Package to encourage them during finals week! The Care Packages will include small gifts, snacks, fruit, and a personal note from you. This fundraising initiative supports Ministry & Evangelism programs on campus, locally, in the US, and around the world. While we do not require a specific amount for the Finals Care Packages, we ask that you prayerfully consider a donation. Place your order here by Sunday, April 21.

Student Financial Services

2024-25 FAFSA Filing

Continuing students should file their 2024-25 FAFSA if they have not already done so. The filing process has changed significantly from prior years due to the US Department of Education’s FAFSA simplification project. We recommend that students and parents carefully review the instructions on the Federal Student Aid website to avoid filing errors that may delay processing.

Families that have not been able to successfully submit their student’s FAFSA due to filing errors should have their student log in at to confirm their FAFSA filing status and review messages that indicate what they need to correct. FAFSA corrections are not currently available but the Federal Student Aid website states that they should be in the coming weeks.

Wheaton began receiving FAFSA results during the last week of March in batches based on the student filing date and we have started sending emails to students that have additional financial aid requirements that need to be submitted. Requirements will be listed on their student portal Financial Aid Dashboard, so please encourage them to watch for email updates from our office. News updates from the Department of Education continue to reveal additional FAFSA processing errors, so current requirements may change and new requirements may be added as we work through our awarding processes.

We plan to begin reviewing FAFSAs for continuing students who have completed all requirements in early summer and will email them when their award is ready to view and accept.

Not receiving monthly billing email notices? Students need to grant parent access to the Billing & Payment Gateway under their profile for Authorized Users. Students log in through their student portal and, once authorized, parents will receive two automated emails with login credentials which will allow access to account activity, online payments, and payment plans. This also gives our office permission to speak with parents about a student’s account. We recommend that parents and students log in to the Billing & Payment Gateway after receiving a billing email notice to review your accounts for new charges and credits. Authorized Users log in here. 

April 17 – Show Your Love for Wheaton Students

On April 17, 2024, Wheaties worldwide will unite again for our sixth annual WheatonGives. We are delighted to continue providing opportunities to contribute to the Wheaton Fund, Scholarships, Internships, or Athletics. This year, there’s an exciting new incentive: every donation made during WheatonGives will be matched, doubling the impact of your generosity.

Parents, by making an early contribution at, you can vote for your child’s club or sports team to receive additional prizes. Additionally, you can nominate one of their friends for a $5,000 scholarship. For parents of seniors, your gift automatically enters you for a chance to win one of four extra graduation tickets.

If you have any questions or want to make a leadership gift, please contact

Moving out

Campus Housing Spring Closing

Housing closes on Friday, May 3 at 5:00 p.m. unless your student receives approval from the Residence Life office to remain on campus. Siblings of May graduating students may remain in housing until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 5,  but they must submit a request. Students are required to complete the checkout list provided by their residence life staff member and incomplete or improper checkout could result in a fine. Students must check out of their living space with their residence life staff member before leaving for the summer. Meal plans end with dinner on Thursday, May 2.

Summer Housing:

Summer housing dates are Monday, May 6 through Saturday, July 27. Students participating in a college-sponsored trip, those from an international country, summer researchers, students working on campus, and summer school students may apply for summer housing. We are not able to provide housing for students working off campus, or those whose off-campus lease dates differ from our housing calendar. For housing questions, contact

Summer Storage:

Wheaton offers limited summer space for students to store their belongings in the storage area where they currently live. Generally, students may store several boxes, a small fridge (which counts as one box), and a bicycle. Each building has slightly different space limitations.

Students can store their room couches or larger furniture on campus for a fee and will receive a campus email about how to do that. Please note, larger items must be moved into the fee-based storage on Saturday, April 27.

Find general information on storage opportunities in our student handbook. Students are encouraged to store belongings in plastic tubs to protect their items from a possible summer rainstorm. The College is not responsible, and will not be liable for loss, theft, or damage to students' personal belongings, whether by act of God, accident, negligence, or intentional act. For these reasons, students are strongly encouraged to carry personal property insurance.

Fall Housing:

Housing reopens to returning students on Sunday, August 25 at 2:00 p.m. Our Housing Calendar will keep you informed of opening and closing dates throughout the year.

Dean’s List

Parents can now easily view the Dean’s List on a newly created webpage. Congratulations to all the students who made the Fall 2023 Dean’s List!

Wheaton in Northwoods 825 x 400

Wheaton in the Northwoods [WIN]

Complete Wheaton’s Christ at the Core Requirements at HoneyRock!

Available to Wheaton College undergraduate students every spring, Wheaton in the Northwoods (WIN) gives students a unique, immersive, and effective means to accomplish their Christ at the Core education requirements at the HoneyRock Center for Leadership Development of Wheaton College.

WIN courses are taught in a modular and intensive format. Students take one course at a time, paying 30% less than the general tuition rate, and by enrolling in both WIN 1 and WIN 2 can complete up to 8 credit hours in 4 weeks. Both WIN sessions include a variety of course offerings, each delivered through concentrated coursework and taught by Wheaton College professors at HoneyRock. Faculty members use the outdoor setting, a community-centric learning environment, and other unique-to-HoneyRock experiences to enhance students’ learning and class time!

WIN Session 1: May 11 – 24, 2024

WIN Session 2: May 25 – June 7, 2024

Explore WIN or encourage your student to sign up!

Messiah 2024 825 x 300 Conservatory of Music Spring Updates

 The Conservatory of Music has been richly blessed in past weeks with the tours of the Men’s Glee Club and Women’s Chorale in Minnesota and Iowa (led by Dr. Jerry Blackstone) with multiple performances and services, ranging from St. Mary’s Basilica in Minnesota to Lutheran and Presbyterian churches, the state capitol in Des Moines, and more. The Concert Choir, led by Dr. John Trotter, took a dynamic interpretation of the complete Messiah of Handel to Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, where President Ryken preached. The Choir also performed in schools and other churches in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, also ministering in a prison. 

Concluding 41 years of directing the Artist Series, Tony Payne produced a home concert of the Messiah and an evening of music by Dr. Shawn Okpebholo. During the same month, the National Association of Schools of Music held its 10-year on-campus review of the music program – with Wheaton holding music accreditation for 85 years. It is a season of saying thank you as six music faculty/staff members depart from their present positions at the college, including Dr. Kathleen Kastner, Dr. Lee Joiner, Dr. Tony Payne, Mrs. Paula Cisar, Dr. Tom Hueber, and Dr. Jerry Blackstone. They represent decades of dedicated service and countless blessings for all they have led, loved, and served.

How to Pray for Wheaton this Month

  • As students finish the academic year, pray they will commit everything they do to the Lord and trust that he will help them accomplish all that is required of them. Psalm 37:5
  • Pray that graduating seniors hold tightly to the promise that God’s plans for them are for good and not for disaster, to give them a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
  • Pray that faculty and staff experience the strength of Christ within them as they push toward end-of-the-year deadlines. Philippians 4:13

With thanks for your involvement and prayers, 

The Wheaton College Parent Engagement Team

Blanchard Hall 800 x 250