Westmont Magazine Students, National Rankings Remain Strong
For the third straight year, Westmont ranks in the top tier of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges in the 2008 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.” The college tied with 10 other institutions at 106.
Only seven other liberal arts colleges in California appear in this category: Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Scripps, Occidental, Pitzer and Thomas Aquinas Colleges. Three members of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) made the top tier; Westmont is the only one in California.
Joyce Luy, dean of admission, notes gains in the college’s selectivity and alumni giving rate. Westmont’s acceptance rate for 2006 rose to 65 percent while the average alumni giving rate held steady at 36 percent.
“We’re certainly pleased to be recognized by U.S. News as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation,” Luy says. “It’s not a perfect ranking system, and I hope college-bound students don’t select a college solely by this list.” Luy says the U.S. News rankings overlook factors such as community, spiritual life and relationships with faculty, all reasons why students decide to attend Westmont.
The 388 members of the class of 2011 help explain Westmont’s high ranking. One of the strongest academic classes in college history, they arrived with an overall academic GPA of 3.8 and an average SAT score of 1200. Nearly two-thirds (250 students) earned academic merit scholarships ranging from $7,000 to full tuition. Westmont was the first choice of 91 percent.
The 56 transfer students come from 23 California community colleges and such four-year colleges and universities as Vanderbilt, U.S. Military Academy, Vassar and Bucknell.
Westmont continues to make gains in diversity. The class of 2011 includes 97 students of color, or 25 percent of the students. They come from 21 states and three foreign countries, Korea, Venezuela and Kenya.
Three students received the prestigious full-tuition Monroe Scholarship: Hannah Cochran of West Linn, Ore., Bradley Pearson of Temecula, Calif., and Felix Huang of Arcadia, Calif. Their average academic profile is a 4.52 GPA and a 1500 SAT score.