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 SAT/ACT scores are not required. 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. Standardized Test scores (Optional) 
  6. You may submit any additional information you believe will help support your application for admission.

Application Deadlines

Early Action

  • Application deadline: November 15
  • FAFSA deadline: November 15
  • Decisions sent: January 15
  • Enrollment deadline: May 1

Regular Decision/Instant Decision

  • Application Deadline: April 1
  • FAFSA and Cal Grant (CA applicants) deadline: March 2
  • Decisions sent: Rolling
  • Enrollment deadline: May 1

Whittier's Test Optional Policy

Whittier College is a test-optional school and does not require SAT or ACT scores for admission. Choosing to withhold SAT/ACT scores will not negatively impact an application. If you feel your standardized test scores are not an accurate reflection of your academic potential, we highly recommend you apply as a Test-Optional applicant.

Applicants who submit standardized test scores will have only their highest section scores, across all test dates, considered. This is also known as "super scoring." Whittier College's SAT I Code is 4952. Whittier College's ACT Code is 0480. Test scores self-reported in the Common Application will not be used for the admission review process.

Students who enroll at Whittier using self-reported test scores must verify their scores by submitting an official score report from the testing agency before starting classes.

Students who apply as Test-Optional and who have a Whittier Admission GPA under 3.0 could be required to provide standardized test scores in order to be considered for admission. The Whittier Admission GPA is a 9-11 grade, weighted GPA that includes all academic classes.


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