non-degree
Non-Degree Students

Residential Scholar Profiles


Louisa Ballhaus

Wesleyan Residential Scholar Louisa Balhaus 


Having unhappily begun her undergrad degree elsewhere, Louisa Ballhaus thought she was in a real pickle. "Basically, I just had to confront the fact that the only way not to finish the year out there was to do the second semester somewhere else. I wanted to stay on track to finish in four years – just not there."

Louisa discovered that Wesleyan makes open spaces in courses available to qualified students for non-degree study. With more than 900 courses offered in 40 departments, there is often a space or two in many classes. This meant that Louisa could take a full-course load at Wesleyan. "I thought I was at a disadvantage because I couldn't pre-register, but I am happy with the classes I got into. My academic expectations were all met - everyone here really cares about the classes they are in. Everything I am taking is a small seminar, so that's important. I was in an identical class at the other school, but Wesleyan is far more challenging."

Initially, Louisa thought it might be difficult coming in mid-year, but "… . I never felt anonymous – everyone was really friendly." She auditioned for and was cast in a play, participated in equestrian activities, and fell in love with the film series. In the end, Wesleyan just felt like home to Louisa, and she decided to apply to Wesleyan as a transfer student.

Knowing the slim possibility of being accepted, we asked her if she would still be enthusiastic about her experience if she weren't accepted. She smiled broadly, and said: "This let me change my course for the better. I'll be glad I did it, no matter what."