Parent Newsletter - December, 2023 

December 2023 

From the President

Philip G. Ryken President Wheaton College IL

Dear Parents,

Because Christmas break starts earlier than ever this year, today marks the end of classes for Fall Semester.

By now most of our students are well into the spirit of Christmas. In addition to our annual Christmas Festival and Christmas tree lighting, we have been singing Advent carols in Chapel, going to various Christmas parties, and enjoying Christmas decorations around campus.

Soon many of you will receive one of the best possible gifts for Christmas: family time with your Wheaton student. The rest of you can rest assured of God’s presence and care throughout the holidays—his Spirit will be with you, and also with your student.

All of us are under the mercy of the Son of God, whose birth, death, and resurrection bring us hope and cheer wherever we are, every day of the year.

For the Christ of Christmas,

Philip Ryken
Philip Ryken

Alumni Association Student Scholarships

Alumni association logoEvery year, the Alumni Association Board of Directors awards merit scholarships to a select number of juniors for their senior year. Awardees are chosen based on their campus/community involvement, academic interests and achievements, spiritual growth and insights, and life beyond Wheaton. Applications are available online and the submission deadline is 4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 30, 2024. Please encourage your junior student to consider applying.

CVC Hosts Upcoming Externship Day

The Center for Vocation and Career (CVC) welcomed more than 80 students and alumni to our space in November for our annual Networking Night. Students enjoyed connecting with alumni from all walks of life and were able to learn more about alumni experiences at companies like World Vision, Chick-fil-A, Netflix, Amazon, Chicago Public Schools, and more. Networking Night is a favorite event for both students and our alumni, and it was a fantastic way to close out our CVC event schedule this semester.

The CVC team is already looking ahead to next semester to plan even more opportunities for your student to discover, prepare for, and launch into their next steps! We are eager to bring back Externship Day, where we will send students out into the Chicagoland area to connect with alumni at their place of work for a one-day on-site job shadowing opportunity. Students can register now and rank their top five site choices in early January. Externships take place in the Chicagoland area during Faculty Development Day on January 30, 2024.

Inside Smith Dorm 825 x 400Campus Housing

We are excited to welcome our students back for the spring semester. Housing opens for returning students at 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 6, 2024. Classes begin on Monday, January 8. Meal plans begin with dinner on Saturday, January 6, 2024. Orientation for new and transfer students begins on Friday, January 5, 2024. Check out the details here.

New semesters provide opportunities for new beginnings. Encourage your student to take advantage of the new semester and make choices that allow them to create healthy patterns and routines as they begin their academics, continue their relationships, connect with their roommates about any fall semester glitches, and care for their physical and emotional wellbeing. Lamentations 3:23-33 says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Student Financial Services

2024 – 2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The Department of Education has been working on a FAFSA simplification project that will launch for 2024 - 2025. Email notices were sent to student filers regarding the delayed availability to file and we will be following up with our own communications soon. The most immediate impact is that the 2024 - 2025 FAFSA form will not be released until sometime in December 2023, and schools will not receive FAFSA results until the end of January 2024. The Federal Student Aid website offers a brief explanation and links to social media to stay informed.

Students needing to submit additional requirements will be notified by email after we receive and review the FAFSA results, and instructions and links to forms will be posted on their Financial Aid Dashboard in their student portal.

Spring 2024 Billing

Students and authorized users will receive an automated email in early December when Spring semester bills are available online. The Spring due date is January 8, 2024, which is the first day of classes. Paying online in the Billing & Payment Gateway by electronic check is the fastest way to submit payment. When using 529/College Savings plans for payment, make sure to contact the plan administrator early to allow for sufficient mail time during the busy holiday season. Checks must be received by our office by the due date to avoid late fees.

Payment plan enrollment will be available online in the Billing & Payment Gateway when Spring bills are published. Fall plan participants will not be automatically re-enrolled, so please remember to enroll in a Spring plan by the due date, as needed.

Not receiving monthly eBill notices? Students need to grant parent access and permissions to their student accounts in the Billing & Payment Gateway under their Authorized User profile. Students will enter a parent's email address and parents will receive two automated emails with login information which will allow access to account activity, online payments, payment plan enrollment, and year-end tax statements (if student permits). It is recommended that parents and students log in to the Billing & Payment Gateway at least once each month when the eBill notices are sent to review their student account. Authorized Users log in here.

Please direct questions to Student Financial Services at or 630-752-5700.

Wheaton in Northwoods 825 x 400Wheaton in the Northwoods

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

Available to all 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 only one course at a time but can enroll in both WIN 1 and WIN 2. Both WIN sessions include a variety of course offerings, each delivered through concentrated coursework and taught by Wheaton College professors at HoneyRock. Professors use the outdoors, community-based learning, 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!

Three wise men 825 x 300Advent Blessings from Chaplain Wilson

In the timeless narrative of the Wise Men's journey to worship the newborn King, found in Matthew 2:1-12, we find profound lessons that resonate with our own spiritual journeys. The backdrop is set in Bethlehem, where Jesus, the fulfillment of God's promise, has been born to Mary and Joseph.

The Wise Men, guided by a divine star, serve as a model for our approach to worship. Their purpose was clear—to adore the King of the Jews. Similarly, our worship should be marked by a readiness, willingness, and excitement for the privilege of drawing near to our Savior.

These Wise Men embody the deep understanding of why, whom, and the extraordinary opportunity they had in worship. They recognized Jesus as the greatest King, a truth that should echo in our hearts as we approach God in worship.

Yet, this passage also unveils a stark reality— not everyone desires to worship Christ, the King of Glory. Amid the fulfillment of scripture, there are those who seek to destroy Him and others who choose to ignore Him. The hidden opposition within the text reminds us of the spiritual battle surrounding the arrival of the true King.

As we reflect on this passage, let us learn from the Wise Men. Consider their observations on the journey, navigating obstacles, and discerning opposition. Just as they rejoiced with exceeding joy at the sight of the star leading to the young Child, let us find immeasurable joy in our encounters with Christ during this academic journey at Wheaton College.

May our worship mirror the dedication, discernment, and joy of the Wise Men. Let us seize every opportunity to draw near to the King, undeterred by obstacles or opposition, presenting our lives as treasures in genuine worship. In doing so, may our students, like the Wise Men, depart on their own paths divinely guided and transformed by the encounter with the King of Kings.

In Christ's love,

Chaplain Wilson

How to pray for Wheaton in December

With thanks for your involvement and prayers, 

The Wheaton College Parent Engagement Team

Wreath on Blanchard 825 x 300