Westmont College Visit Report by shoot4moon
Admissions Interview: No - DD met informally with an admissions counselor, who was extremely positive and encouraging. Genuinely excited about his school, and very supportive. Also met briefly with financial aid.
Information Session: Yes - Attended a prospective student day including a faculty panel, student panel, financial aid session, etc.
Campus Tour: Yes - DD went on traditional tour, while parent too golf cart tour with admissions volunteer. Both very positive and impressive!
Overnight Visit: Yes - School was a little overwhelmed by the number of interested students who attended, but it all worked out and DD had an excellent experience!
Classroom Visit: Yes - Class was taught by a professor who was by DD's report, both fascinating and hilarious. Same professor ran the astronomy open house and was equally personable.
Campus Visit Notes for Westmont College
DD and parent took train up for prospective student day. We attend a church about 3 hours away where two of the youth ministers went to Westwood, so many students investigate it because they are outstanding in both their knowledge and their sense of outrageous fun. DD wasn't sure the small size was right for her, but is still at the exploration phase so tried a prospective student day. Wow...rocket to the top. From the moment we drove in the gates, the Westmont attitude of kindness and passion for learning was evident. LIttle things (like giving t shirts to the siblings, handing out fans when the room got hot) and big things (like having the President give the introduction, and a five person faculty panel answering parent questions). DD was impressed by the funded research opportunities across disciplines, the sense of joy and enthusiasm at the chapel service, and the energy and excitement of all the students she met during the overnight visit. I was impressed by the transparency of the financial aid talk, the knowledge and perspective of the professors, and the clear focus on students by all. The new president is an amazingly motivating speaker who by all accounts has taken an already excellent school up several more notches scholastically. The 3 times weekly chapel (you can miss 12 a semester, but every student we spoke with said they rarely miss) will be a barrier to some, but honestly the chapel service is more similar to a connection of energy than a somber chapel service. Many churches in Southern California take advantage of Forest Falls for their youth and adult retreats. WEstmont doesn't have "The Blob" but it captures that same energy of Christ as an agent of change and joy. I would estimate that 90 percent of the students we know who attended Westmont were extremely happy, although there were a few that transferred out because of size or lack of a major they wanted. Highly recommend if this is the type of environment you are seeking.
Hotel/Lodging Recommendations or Comments:
WE stayed in downtown Santa Barbara near the train station at the Beach House Inn. Full kitchen, 2blocks from beach and restaurants, and a fun retro atmosphere. THey take dogs! Our friend stayed a
Dining/Restaurant Recommendations or Comments:
MIllions of places along State Street, and a smaller good quality eating area in Montecito.
Other Comments (Transportation, local attractions, parking, etc.):
UBer and trains were terrific...we even took an Uber to UCSB and he drove us around before returning us to the train station.