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Outcomes of a Waldorf Education


“Receive children in reverence, educate them in love, and let them go forth in freedom.” -- Rudolf Steiner
“Receive children in reverence, educate them in love, and let them go forth in freedom.” Rudolf Steiner

Our graduates are the best measure of the success of the Waldorf mission, which is to educate and inspire children to think, feel, and act with depth, imagination, and purpose. But what does such a life look like, exactly? How does Waldorf prepare children to move on to academic success in high school and beyond? Will they be prepared for the challenges they will face in school, career, and life?

Our graduates are the best answer to these questions. Yes, they are well-prepared for high school and college. They move on to other educational environments with ease and draw upon what they have learned at Waldorf to fuel all of their future endeavors. They are interesting, engaged people. They know themselves as individuals and make valuable contributions to groups. They are flexible and imaginative enough to withstand a changing world. They tap the deep ethical principals they forged at Waldorf as a touchstone that serves them well throughout their lives.

The articles and studies linked to this page offer an opportunity to explore a range of objective and empirical measures of the outcomes of a Waldorf education. Here’s a snapshot:

In short: our mission works for the benefit of children. The carefully cultivated skills they acquire here serve them well as they choose their own distinctive paths to successful, satisfying, meaningful lives.

  • Nearly 100% of Waldorf graduates attend college or university
  • 47% choose to major in humanities or arts
  • 42% choose to major in sciences or math
  • 89% of Waldorf graduates are highly satisfied in their choice of occupation
  • 91% are active in lifelong education
  • 92% place a high value on critical thinking
  • 90% highly value tolerance of other viewpoints

Source: Why Waldorf Works

“Preparation for life includes the development of the well-rounded person. Waldorf Education has as its ideal a person who is knowledgeable about the world and human history and culture, who has many varied practical and artistic abilities, who feels a deep reverence for and communion with the natural world, and who can act with initiative and in freedom in the face of economic and political pressures. There are many Waldorf graduates of all ages who embody this ideal and who are perhaps the best proof of the efficacy of the education.”

— From "Five Frequently Asked Questions" by Colin Price; originally printed in Renewal Magazine, Spring/Summer 2003

Accepted at Top Colleges

Waldorf graduates are accepted at top universities throughout the U.S. and around the world. Here’s a listing of the schools most frequently attended by Waldorf graduates in the United States.

  1. Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music
  2. Hampshire College
  3. University of California, Santa Cruz
  4. Prescott College
  5. Bennington College
  6. University of California, Berkeley
  7. Earlham College
  8. Emerson College, Boston
  9. Harvard University/Radcliffe College
  10. Smith College

Source: ECSWE

Prepared for Success

University of Chicago economist Judy Lubin researched the characteristics essential for success in the 21st century. Her findings were published by the Waldorf Research Institute. What sets Waldorf graduates apart?

  • Waldorf School graduates are able to think for themselves and translate their new ideas into practice. They both appreciate and practice life-long learning and have a highly developed sense for aesthetics.
  • Waldorf School graduates value lasting human relationships—and they seek out opportunities to help others.
  • Waldorf School graduates are guided by an inner moral compass that helps them navigate the trials and challenges of their professional and private lives. They carry high ethical principles into their chosen professions.

Source: ECSWE