First-Year Students


At Whittier College, a First-Year Student is someone who is a high school senior or who has graduated from high school but has not enrolled in a 2-year or 4-year institution of higher education.

High schools students who took dual enrollment courses at their local community college are considered first-year students.

Students who meet the above criteria but hold a foreign passport or are currently studying out of the country should apply as International Students.

If the above information doesn't describe you, please consider applying as a Transfer Student.

Applying via Instant Decision

Instant Decision allows students to apply quickly and easily during a face-to-face interview with a Whittier Admission Counselor—no Common App is required.

Applicants will receive an admission decision and, if applicable, a preliminary scholarship award at the conclusion of their interview.

To apply via Instant Decision, students must:

  • Book an appointment using the link below
  • Upload a copy their high school transcript
  • Upload a copy of their personal statement or graded writing assignment

Applying via the Common Application

Whittier College participates in the Common Application. There is no application fee and we are test-blind. To complete a Common Application, you'll need the following items:

  1. A completed Common Application
  2. Secondary School Report from your college/guidance counselor
  3. Two Letters of Recommendation: The first letter must come from a teacher who taught you in a STEM, Language Arts, or Social Sciences class. The second letter of recommendation may come from a teacher in any area of study or a counselor, coach, clergy, or employer/supervisor.
  4. Official high school transcripts reflecting coursework through the junior year for Early Action applications, and through the fall semester of senior year for the Regular Decision applications.
  5. You may submit any additional information you believe will help support your application for admission.

Application Deadlines

Spring Regular Decision

  • Application deadline: October 15
  • FAFSA deadline: November 15
  • Decisions sent: Rolling
  • Enrollment deadline: November 15

Fall Early Action

  • Application deadline: November 15
  • FAFSA and Cal Grant (CA applicants) deadline: April 1
  • Decisions sent: Rolling
  • Enrollment deadline: June 1

Fall Regular Decision/Instant Decision

  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • FAFSA and Cal Grant (CA applicants) deadline: April 1
  • Decisions sent: Rolling
  • Enrollment deadline: June 1

Students are encouraged to apply early to ensure consideration for the fullest range of scholarship opportunities. Whittier College will continue to accept first-year applications beyond the stated deadlines.

Whittier's Test-Blind Policy

As of the 2023-2024 admission cycle, Whittier College is a test-blind school with a holistic admission process that considers all aspects of an applicant’s life and experiences. The college does not consider SAT or ACT test scores in admissions decisions. This change aligns with policies at many schools nationwide and underscores Whittier’s commitment to inclusive excellence.


Clery Act

We value the safety of all members of the Whittier community. The Whittier College Annual Security and Fire Safety Report can be viewed online. This report provides crime statistics for the prior three years, policy statements regarding various safety and security measures, campus crime prevention program descriptions, and procedures to be followed in the investigation and adjudication of reportable crimes. A paper copy of the document is available at the Department of Campus Safety or by calling 562.907.4211