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Whittier College

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About Whittier College

Whittier College is a small, liberal arts institution located about 15 miles east of Los Angeles, CA. The school was founded in 1887 and rests on 74 acres of land. Both the college and its mascot, the Poets, are named after Quaker abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier.


Whittier College offers 30 majors and minors through three undergraduate divisions in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. At the graduate level, students may pursue master's degree programs in education or study law at Whittier Law School, which is located in Costa Mesa. The Whittier Scholars Program provides a self-directed liberal arts experience for participants based on discussion, reading, and writing, while multiple learning laboratories offer opportunities for targeted study in fields including music, language, mathematics and digital arts. Whittier College maintains three faculty-in-residence houses and provides professional internship and study abroad opportunities.


In 2011, Whittier College admitted 71% of all prospective undergraduates, and 20% of these students enrolled at the school. The institution uses the Common Application, and applicants must submit the application form, an essay, a teacher recommendation, a counselor evaluation, transcripts and standardized test scores as part of a complete application package. Whittier College may accept qualifying scores on some Advanced Placement (AP) tests for school credit. Graduate applicants must apply to their specific program of interest.

Almost three quarters (71%) of undergraduates are from California. The undergraduate student body is 37% white, 34% Hispanic/Latino, 10% Asian and 5% black or African American.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition at Whittier College in 2012-2013 was $38,280, not including fees. The cost for room and board in a double at the residence halls was roughly $6,100 and $5,300, respectively. Undergraduate scholarships and a payment plan are available. Graduate tuition differs by program, and some scholarship opportunities are available for these students.

School Type 4-year, private, not-for-profit*
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, doctorates*
Religious Affiliation None*
Academic Calendar Semesters**
School Setting Large suburb*
Student Body 1,573 undergraduates; 844 graduates in 2011*
Student Housing Students required to live on campus unless they meet specific criteria**
Schools and Programs Three undergraduate divisions offering 30 majors, a graduate education program and a law school**
Student-Faculty Ratio 13 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Bachelor's: General Business Administration and Management (52)
Master's: General Education (63)
Doctorate: Law (125)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates For students who started in 2005:
50% in 4 years
55% in 6 years*
Admission Rate 71% in 2011*
Entering Class Size 426 in 2011*
First-Year Retention Rates 83% for full-time students*
Application Due Date February 1 for regular decision**
Decision Notification Date Admissions decisions made on a rolling basis for regular decision**
Tuition $38,280 in 2012-2013 (does not include fees)**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Undergraduate Students Receiving It) In 2010-2011: Grant or scholarship aid (91%), Pell grants (34%), federal student loans (64%)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 95% of full-time beginning undergraduates in 2010-2011*

Sources: *IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics; **Whittier College

School Contact Information

  • Address: 13406 E. Philadelphia St., Whittier, CA 90608
  • Phone: (562) 907-4200
  • Website: www.whittier.edu

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