Last year, Westmont received 47 applications from prospective students living outside the United States in countries such as Korea, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Japan, China, Great Britain, Canada, Turkey, Germany, Kenya, Thailand, Nigeria and Singapore. Many of these young men and women come from missionary families. At the same time, Westmont is gaining a greater reputation throughout the world, and more inter-national students are interested in enrolling.
The admissions office accepted 25 of these applicants, but only 13 enrolled. Financial constraints kept many qualified students away from Westmont who wished to attend. To assist the children of missionaries and international students with financial need, Westmont is creating a new endowed scholarship. Enabling more of these applicants to enroll will advance the college’s commitment to diversity and a fuller representation of God’s Kingdom. In the past decade, Westmont has increased the diversity of its student body from 15.5 to 26.1 percent, and the scholarship will build on this momentum.
Westmont is committed to giving students a global perspective, and the presence of more young men and women who grew up overseas will support this effort. President Gayle D. Beebe avidly supports the global emphasis embedded in the curriculum. “International students and those from missionary families offer an incredible richness of culture to Westmont,” he says. “The more diverse our community is, the better equipped all our students will be to appreciate and address increasingly complex global issues.”
Missionary families make many sacrifices to share the gospel throughout the world. They face significant challenges when it comes time to send their children to college. So do inter-national families, particularly those who live in less affluent areas of the world. The college has set a goal of raising $50,000 by December 2010 to make a scholarship of $2,500 available annually to a qualified admitted student with financial need beginning in the fall of 2011.