School Counselors

Welcome Counselors!

Wilkes is a University on the move. New, exciting majors, internship and study-abroad opportunities, in-demand sports, plus millions of dollars invested into state-of-the-art facilities, technology, and campus improvements are transforming Wilkes into a first-class university for the 21st century.


Scholarship Opportunities

This year, we've taken the leap to offering our incoming students more than ever before. We've increased all of our scholarship levels and are now offering scholarships up to $25,000 in merit alone. We've made meeting students where they are a priority with our new Hometown Advantage Award.

Hometown Advantage Award Announced for Luzerne, Lackawanna Residents

Wilkes University’s new Hometown Advantage Award will reward undergraduate students from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties with a $2,000 annual scholarship.

“Wilkes University has a long history of opening the doors of opportunity to local students and helping them climb the economic ladder,” said President Greg Cant. “This new scholarship continues that tradition and reaffirms our commitment to the northeastern Pennsylvania community we call home. Especially in challenging times like these, we must do all we can to help our neighbors.”

The Hometown Advantage Award is available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who reside in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties and who enroll at Wilkes as first-time freshmen beginning in fall 2021.

Early Decision

We're now offering Early Decision to those students who apply before Nov. 15. Early decision advantages include: priority housing, based on preference and availability, advanced registration for courses within intended field of study, access to department faculty for an early advising session, and scholarship priority, where students can maximize their scholarship potential by applying early with a FAFSA.


Wilkes University is test-optional through fall 2022 for applicants of all majors. Students have the option to choose whether or not to submit test scores.

Please take a look at the resources below:

Wilkes University Virtual Meeting

Student Virtual Experience

Current students, expert faculty members and recent alumni have come together to create a virtual experience to introduce high school students to the Colonel community!

Experience Wilkes Virtually

View all majors and minors

New majors:

  • civil engineering
  • special education

New minors:

Students can also get a head start on a graduate degree while still an undergrad. Options include:


Wilkes University debuted its men’s and women’s ice hockey teams in fall 2018, bringing the total to 23 NCAA Division III athletic teams. An affiliation with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins organization will allow Wilkes to practice and compete at the Toyota SportsPlex near the Wilkes campus. Wilkes also has one of the few Division III marching bands in the state, and plenty of intramural sports to choose from, including rowing, fencing, ski and snowboarding, running, racquetball and ultimate frisbee.

View the full list of sports

Special programs:

  • HONORS PROGRAM: The flourishing Honors Program at Wilkes offers bright, ambitious students an enhanced educational experience and merit grants that help cover tuition, preferential housing and course selection, field trips, graduate school placement, career placement, and more.
  • E-MENTORING PROGRAM: E-mentors are current students who help first-years settle in to life at Wilkes. Assigned to students with common interests, e-mentors connect with new students the summer before freshman year and continue through the first semester.
  • STUDY ABROAD: Wilkes offers several study abroad options, whether you want to spend a week, a month, or a semester based on students’ budgets and comfort levels. Recent destinations include Costa Rica, London, Spain, Tanzania, Colombia, and Wales.
  • ADVENTURE EDUCATION: Our unique Adventure Education Program lets students learn leadership and teamwork, while having fun white-water rafting, skydiving, hiking, and mountain biking. Our full-time adventure coordinator encourages students to step out of their comfort zone, while promoting wellness and self-awareness.
  • BARRE SCHOLARS: Our prestigious Barre Scholars Program is for students who are looking for exceptional opportunities to set themselves apart from the crowd and challenge themselves academically. Admitted students with excellent academic credentials may be invited to become a Barre Scholar.
  • BONNER LEADERS: Students with a passion for public service and a desire to be a positive force in their community, may be a good fit for Wilkes University's Bonner Leaders .From its introduction by the Bonner Foundation in 1990, the Bonner Leaders Program has grown to a nationally acclaimed, multi-faceted civic engagement and leadership program hosted by a network of more than 70 colleges and universities.


Wilkes University recently completed a $10 million campus-wide improvement project:

Campus Improvements

  • MARK ENGINEERING CENTER: Wilkes University is on the frontline of STEM fields with the state-of-the-art Mark Engineering Center, an $8 million dollar investment to enhance laboratory spaces for cutting-edge technologies. It includes additive manufacturing, bioengineering, high-speed computing, 3-D imaging and nanotechnology, all housed in flexible labs spaces conducive to collaboration.
  • CAMPUS GATEWAY PROJECT: This new gateway connects Wilkes University to its historic hometown, Wilkes-Barre, in a beautiful, cohesive way. Iconic gateways welcome students and visitors to the heart of campus, and continue to the southern part of campus and the Henry Student Center. Wilkes has truly become a first-class residential campus community for its students. 
  • RALSTON ATHLETIC COMPLEX: A multimillion dollar renovation of the Ralston Athletic Complex includes a new multipurpose turf field, a first-class baseball stadium, a dedicated tennis center, new sidewalks, trees and spectator conveniences to elevate our facilities to match our already outstanding athletic teams. 
  • NESBITT SCHOOL OF PHARMACY: $2 million in upgrades to the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy will add new classrooms, conference rooms and collaboration spaces. 


Wilkes University is located on a beautiful 35-acre campus right in the midst of the historic city of Wilkes-Barre in northeastern Pennsylvania, within a few hours’ drive of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Over the years, Wilkes has acquired many of the beautiful mansions in the downtown area, and they serve as a charming addition to residence halls that include traditional dorms as well as high-rise apartments.

Directions to campus

Tuition for 2020-21:

$36,888; room and board $15,400

What is Wilkes University?

Wilkes University is a private, non-denominational University located in Wilkes-Barre, PA that offers all of the educational opportunities of a large university in the mentoring culture of a small college, open to all who show potential. Wilkes currently offers a total of 46 majors to incoming students, and have a university-wide job placement rate of 98%.

What kind of students go to Wilkes?

Wilkes opens doors and provides opportunity to all! Currently, Wilkes has about 2,500 undergraduate students from 23 states and 15 countries. Of these students, 26% identify as non-white and the male/female ratio is 53:47.

When should students apply?

Wilkes University has a rolling admissions cycle, but we advise that students apply early in the fall as the space available in some programs may be limited.

Is Wilkes on the Common App?

Yes! You can find Wilkes University on the Common App. Or you can apply on our website at

Is there a fee to apply?

There is no application fee for undergraduates programs.

How much does Wilkes cost?

Tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year is $36,888. Total expenses (including fees, books, supplies, room and board, transportation and personal expenses) are estimated at $54,287. For a full breakdown, please visit our Tuition & Costs page at

Does Wilkes offer scholarships?

Yes! Wilkes offers merit based scholarships ranging from $17,000 to $25,000 per year (for four years) automatically to students who qualify.

What other kinds of financial aid are available?

Over 90% of our students receive some form of financial aid! Wilkes offers need-based grants to students who demonstrate financial need within university designated ranges. We strongly encourage students to begin scholarship searches early in their junior year of high school as many organizations have early deadlines.

What is the average class size?

The average class size at Wilkes is 18 and the ratio of students to faculty is approximately 12 to 1. More than 9 out of 10 Wilkes University faculty currently hold doctorates or terminal degrees, so you are being led by experts with long lists of real-world accomplishments.

Does Wilkes offer study abroad?

Yes! Wilkes offers several study abroad options, whether you want to spend a week, a month, or a semester based on your budget and comfort level. Recent destinations include Costa Rica, London, Spain, Tanzania, Columbia, Wales, and much more!

Where can a student check on the status of their application?

You can check on the status of your application by speaking directly with your admission counselor, or by logging in to the student account that you receive when you apply.

Does Wilkes have athletics?

Yes! Twenty percent of full-time students at Wilkes participate in at least one of our 23 NCAA Division III men’s and women’s sports. Wilkes is a member of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) and the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). We also sport one of the only Division III marching bands in the state of Pennsylvania. Visit our GoWilkesU athletics site for more info.

Does Wilkes have clubs and organizations?

Yes! Wilkes currently has over 80 clubs and organizations on campus. These clubs fall into categories that include academics, the arts, communications, club sports & fitness, the student community and student leadership. For a comprehensive list of clubs on campus, visit

Does Wilkes have an Honors Program?

Yes! Selected students take part in honors classes and extracurricular activities designed to increase intellectual, professional and personal achievement. These students benefit from merit grants that help cover tuition, preferential housing and course selection, field trips, and additional support for external scholarships, graduate school placement, and career placement.

Can freshmen have cars on campus?

Yes! Public Safety issues parking permits for a fee each semester.

What sets Wilkes apart?

RESEARCH: Wilkes generates useful, profound applied research to help our region and the world – hands-on research our students can be involved in from day one. Students join faculty in exploring topics like neonatal mortality, human rights, breast cancer detection, naloxone training, and revegetation of natural gas pipeline rights of way. Wilkes celebrates this work during the annual scholarship symposium.

MENTORSHIP: Our award-winning E-mentoring program makes sure that all new students have the support they need to navigate the transition to college life. E-mentors are current students who help first-years settle in to life at Wilkes. Assigned to students with common interests, e-mentors connect with new students the summer before freshman year and continue as their mentees’ orientation leader and peer advisor throughout the first semester

WilkesEDGE™: The Wilkes Educational Gateway to Excellence (WilkesEDGE™) is an optional program offered to select first-year students to help support their transition from high school to college. Fewer courses during the first semester and increased advising and support services create a pathway to a bachelor’s degree.

Nominate High-potential Juniors for a Pre-scholarship

Help us recognize talented high school juniors who will most benefit from the personal engagement and research opportunities that Wilkes University offers!

The Colonel Emerging Leader Award is a pre-scholarship granted to high school juniors who demonstrate academic potential. High school counselors may nominate up to four deserving students from their schools who meet minimum requirements. Selected students would be guaranteed a minimum of $10,000 per year should the student be admitted and enroll at Wilkes University in the fall semester immediately following high school graduation.

Colonel Emerging Leader Award Benefits

Awardees will receive
  • $10,000 Minimum Award Guarantee (pre-scholarship)
  • Preferred First-Year Housing (as available)

The pre-scholarship will be awarded in the amount of $5,000 per each fall and spring semester for up to four years. These funds are for undergraduate students only. The amount of the Colonel Emerging Leadership Award would be included in any merit award for which the student otherwise qualifies. Please note that Wilkes University scholarships and awards, when combined with other sources of grant assistance from Wilkes, will not exceed tuition costs.


Nominees must meet these requirements to qualify:

  • Current high school junior
  • Minimum 3.25 (4.0 scale) / 85% (100% scale) grade-point average
  • Minimum 1000 SAT, 21 ACT or 900 PSAT score
    • NOTE: If PSAT, SAT, or ACT exams have not yet been taken, nominee must demonstrate continual, active participation in two extracurricular programs, two community service projects, or a combination of both.


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