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Trisha - Westmont College - Class of 2011

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Westmont was not my first choice, but it offered me a generous financial aid package. And after a few visits to the campus I completely fell in love with it.

I set a goal of scoring over 2000 on my SAT. Once I achieved that score, I decided to move on to more important aspects of my high school career, such as volunteering at an elementary school. It was a great opportunity to test out teaching as a career. (Unfortunately—or fortunately!—I won't be becoming a teacher anytime soon.) I felt my grades, scores, and extracurriculars made me well qualified to get into a college. The problem was—where should I apply?

Hometown: Lake Forest CA

High School: Private

GPA: 3.46 / 4.0 (weighted)

SAT: 2050

ACT: 30

Major: English and/or Business

Goal: Explore my interests

College

Status

Westmont College Attending
Pepperdine UniversityAccepted
Rice UniversityDenied
University of California, DavisAccepted
University of California, San DiegoDenied
University of California, Santa BarbaraAccepted
University of Notre DameDenied
Sophomore Year Update

College was much harder than I expected. Although my freshman grades were not what I hoped, I bounced back during my sophomore year. My advice to new freshmen is to keep up with your studies. It is so easy to get distracted by all the socializing and freedom. Now I plan to graduate in three years and then take another year to get my teaching credential. I got an internship at a local school and discovered I was really excited about teaching after all. As for Westmont, I love the campus. It is beautiful and very friendly. I came here with my best friend from high school but she transferred out last year. But I made many new friends who are closer to me now than any I had in high school. Westmont is a great fit for me and I am very happy here.

Junior Year Update

College flew by fast! It seems like only yesterday I was an incoming freshman!! I still love Westmont so much, but it is just too expensive to stay another full year. I am graduating a year early and will take the rest of the year off. Then I will get my teaching credential. I was never able to study abroad, which is kind of a bummer, but I would have not been able to graduate early if I did that. I'm in my last semester and working 20 hours a week running my own tutoring program. And I am trying to enjoy my last days in college!

From no clue down to two

I still had no idea where I wanted to go by the summer before my senior year. I only knew I wanted to stay in California. I searched through a book describing colleges and flagged about thirty potential candidates. As I continued my search, I quickly realized that extremely large campuses were probably not the best choice for me. The smaller, private Christian schools began to appeal to me since I like small classes. I narrowed it down to Pepperdine or Westmont by April of my senior year.

My second choice college finishes first

In the end, I chose Westmont. It was not my first choice, but it offered me a generous financial aid package. And after a few visits to the campus I completely fell in love with it. Every last detail from the cozy forest environment to the dorm spirit intrigued me.

I liked the friendly counselors and teachers. The small classroom environment would allow me to express my opinions and not become lost in a bunch of large lecture halls.

My ups and downs

I had problems with procrastination. My best advice is to submit applications way ahead of deadlines so you have no problems at the last minute. I submitted several applications on the day of their deadline. I do not recommend doing that!

Talking with friends really did help me to find out about college. In fact my best friend is going to Westmont. She was the one to show me the campus.

What I learned

My head was easily turned by each potential college. Every time I visited a college I fell in love with it. As soon as I stepped on campus, I could picture myself fitting into that world. Every time I submitted an application it was exciting to think about the possibility of going to that school.

The money factor

Money played a big factor in my college decision. I had narrowed my decision to Pepperdine, but the $11,000 annual academic scholarship I received from Westmont relieved a huge burden on my family. The financial aid saves almost one year of tuition over the four years! Although Pepperdine was my dream school, the tuition was just too much for my family to handle. Although I was sad at first, I know that Westmont is going to be the best choice for me regardless of money.

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