In the mid-1980s, Westmont reached the maximum enrollment permitted by Santa Barbara County: 1,200 students studying on campus. Since that time, the number of applications from prospective students has risen steadily, from 1,109 in 1985 to 1,747 in 2000, a jump of nearly 60 percent.
As Westmont can’t increase the number of students coming to campus, the college has become more selective in the applicants it admits. The average grade-point averages (GPAs) and SAT scores of the college’s first-year students reflect this trend. SAT scores of incoming students have risen 178 points, from 1012 to 1190 between 1985 and 2000, and average GPAs have improved from 3.33 in 1985 to 3.61 in 2000.
While the quality of the student body has increased, so has its diversity. In 1990, only 9.9 percent of Westmont students came from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. By 2000, this figure had risen to 14 percent, and the college is committed to making further progress in this important area.