Whittier College Visit Report by alohalivin
Information Session: No - We missed the initial info session but did attend the after session which covered more about the college, admissions and merit/financial aid.
Campus Tour: Yes - School was not in session but we were able to enter most of the buildings.
Campus Visit Notes for Whittier College
D wants small classes and to be close to LA, Disneyland, etc. I honestly thought that after seeing it, she would cross it off her list for being too small, but the merit award offered was extremely generous, so it was important to tour. The campus was much larger than we expected although D thought it felt a bit like a high school as opposed to a college (but her high school is slightly larger, student-wise). D was excited about the flexibility in crafting a major, the small class sizes, and that they are encouraged to study abroad (all students get a $2K scholarship toward study abroad). Students can study abroad for a semester or for the month long session in January. We were both more interested in Whittier after the tour, than we had been prior. The only negative is that the Admissions Officer was comparing UCLA (research facility) to Whittier (small liberal arts college) and while he made good points about how classes may be taught differently, he also made some negative remarks about UC's. I knew my D would be annoyed by that. We were not able to tour the dorms, although we were able to go into one of the common areas, which looked about like one would expect. One of our guides was living in an on campus apartment (with his dog!) and the other commuted from her home. Food options are somewhat limited as one would expect for a small population - not like larger campuses that have Starbucks, and other chains/options besides the main dining hall. Overall, while I don't think Whittier is D's top choice, we agreed that she could probably be very happy there, with the personalized feel. She does not want a party school and will not want to join a sorority so she is not looking for those things. If you are looking for a smaller, quieter liberal arts college, and think that private might be too expensive, you should consider Whittier. My D's GPA is only in the B+ range (special circumstances), no APs, SAT scores are in the A- range, and yet huge merit aid makes the all-in cost for Whittier the same as our UC's and CSU's.
Other Comments (Transportation, local attractions, parking, etc.):
Parking was easy for us since school was not in session. Tour guide said that if she arrives early 8-9am, parking is not a problem. But around 11am is can be hard.