Frequently Asked Questions

As a prospective student or parent, you may have questions about life at Westminster, costs, academic or campus life, and more. Our FAQs section offers insight into common questions and concerns.

Questions about Cost and Financial Aid

What is an average financial aid package?

At Westminster, an average total financial assistance package is about $15,000.

What percentage of your students receives financial aid?

Approximately 98% of our students received some kind of financial assistance.

How much does Westminster typically increase its cost per year?

Though we strive to keep costs as low as possible for our students, there are years in which the costs moderately increase. In the 2012-2013 academic year, costs for a full-time, residential student increased by 4%.

What types of merit scholarships are available?

Westminster College offers a wide array of merit scholarships for both academic performance and leadership qualities. Students may receive awards valued from $1,000 per year to full-tuition. For complete details on our merit scholarship programs and how to qualify, please see the Financial Aid and Scholarships section of this web site.

Do I need a separate application for scholarships and financial aid?

To be considered for academic and other scholarships you need only to submit your completed Application for Admission. To be considered for federal, state, and institutional need-based funds, as well as institutional endowed scholarships, you must submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). It is recommended that you file your FAFSA prior to February 15 to be considered for all institutional, federal and state funds for which you may be eligible. For complete information on applying for financial aid, please see the Financial Aid and Scholarships section.

Questions about Registering for Classes and Academic Life

How do I register for classes?

Incoming freshmen are given several opportunities to register for classes. Typically, early registration days are held in late spring and early summer. All incoming students work with a dedicated faculty advisor to select courses, outline goals, and begin discussion of future plans.

How do you register and advise freshmen for their first semester of classes?

Your Westminster Seminar professor will be your faculty advisor until you decide upon and declare a major. You will also have an upper-class student mentor within your Westminster Seminar course who will be there to answer any questions you might have and help guide you through your first year.

What is a typical freshman schedule like?

All new students are required to take Westminster Seminar, an orientation program designed to assist in the transition to college, as well as Academic Writing, our first level English course. Students supplement these two courses with General Education classes. For more information on our course selections and degree requirements, please refer to the Academic Programs section of this web site.

What do you do for students who are undecided about a major?

Westminster’s liberal arts foundation allows students to explore a variety of areas before officially declaring a major. Students can typically take until the end of their sophomore year before having to make a decision. Westminster also has a strong advising program that focuses on helping students explore different options and learn about themselves prior to deciding upon and declaring a major. Additionally, our Center for Career Development is staffed by professional career counselors who will help you discover your unique strengths and goals, and help you investigate careers through job shadowing programs and internships.

How many students are typically in a freshman course and an upper class course?

Freshmen usually have courses ranging from 14 to 20 students. A large course at Westminster has 25 students in it. Upperclassmen usually have courses ranging from 10 to 15 students and often have courses with fewer than 10 students.

Do you have any off-campus study programs?

Westminster sends students to a variety of off-campus programs both here in the United States and overseas. Some are even on the seas! Westminster proudly participates in the Semester at Sea program. We strongly encourage students to broaden their horizons by taking advantage of one of the many opportunities available. We offer financial assistance to students participating in many of these programs. For complete details about our programs, please see the Academic Programs section of this web site. You may also want to visit our Off-Campus and International Studies section.

Questions about Campus Life

Are students required to live on campus?

Because living on campus is one of the best ways to truly experience all that Westminster has to offer, we do require that all Westminster students live in campus housing until they are 22 years old, married, or a senior, unless they are residing with a parent or legal guardian (view the full residential policy). Living on campus encourages our students to meet new people, become a part of the closely-knit Westminster community, and take advantage of all of our valuable campus resources.

Is your college a “suitcase college” on the weekends? What types of activities are available for students on the weekends?

Westminster is far from a “suitcase college.” In fact, at least 75% of our students remain on campus each and every weekend, many taking advantage of our engaging weekend activities. Our student government and other student groups often sponsor activities, our varsity and intramural athletic programs remain a large draw, and we are home to a very active Greek system. Additionally, our Missouri campus is less than 30 minutes from Columbia (a town of 85,000) and Jefferson City (the state capital), both prime locations for exciting day trips and nights out on the town. For more complete details of our campus activities and the surrounding area see the Student Life and Local Community sections of this web site.

How are roommates assigned if no preference is given?

Westminster College has a very personal approach to assigning roommates. All students who commit to attending the College submit a detailed Housing Application, which includes information about your personal habits and preferences. Your admission representative will also spend a significant amount of time getting to know you throughout the admission process. Students are then matched based on the information they provide.

Questions about Careers and Student Success

Do you have an internship program?

Westminster has a competitive internship program that is coordinated through our Center for Career Development. Students may participate in internships either during the school year or over the summer break. Westminster is so committed to assisting all students in securing internships that we even hired a full-time internship coordinator.

What kinds of career planning and placement services do you provide?

Our Center for Career Development is staffed by professional career counselors who will help you discover your unique strengths and which professional opportunities might suit you best. They will also help you investigate careers through shadowing programs and rewarding internships. You’ll also receive assistance conducting your job search each and every step of the way through workshops, resume preparation, one-on-one counseling, job fairs, networking programs and scheduling of actual interviews. Our Center for Career Development is available to our students and alumni throughout their professional lives.

How many students returned for their sophomore year that entered their freshmen year?

For 2010-2011, our freshman to sophomore retention rate was over 85%.

How many of your students go on to graduate school?

Approximately 27% of our students go directly to graduate and professional schools upon graduation from the College. For a listing of recent graduate and professional school placements, see the Career Development section.

What is your placement rate for graduates?

For students graduating this past May, 96% had full-time jobs within six months or went on to attend graduate and professional schools in August. For a complete listing of placements from our recent graduates, see the Career Development section.

What kinds of jobs are your students getting when they graduate?

Westminster students receive a variety of job offers upon graduation. Students pursue careers in fields across the spectrum from corporate America, to the non-profit sector, to government agencies, to fields in education. After receiving a top tier education at Westminster, our students have proven to be very successful in securing employment upon graduation whether the economy has been booming or slowing down. For a complete listing of placements from our recent graduates, see the Recent Graduates section.

Questions about Admissions and How to Apply

How are admission decisions made?

Westminster College considers a student’s total admission packet when making an admission decision. Student’s application information, high school and/or previous college course selection and performance, recommendations and standardized test scores are all reviewed and considered.

What is your application deadline?

Westminster admits students on a rolling basis, but we encourage students to apply in the fall of their senior year in high school. Priority for registration of classes and housing is given to students who make a commitment early. Space is limited in the Learning Disabilities Program, so we recommend applying prior to Dec. 31.

What tests do I have to take for admission?

Westminster College requires that all applicants submit either an official ACT or SAT score. International students from countries where English is not spoken should submit a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score along with an ACT or SAT. Students applying to the Learning Disabilities Program must submit an untimed ACT or SAT score as well as diagnostic testing results that include the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) test.

What is the average grade point average (GPA) for freshmen? For seniors?

Incoming freshmen have an average GPA of 3.46 on a 4.0 scale. After completing their freshmen year, the average GPA is between a 2.8 and a 3.0. Our average senior GPA is between a 3.1 and a 3.4. Westminster will teach you to think, to analyze, to critique and to communicate. We don’t inflate grades and we challenge you to constantly improve.

Do you award credit for AP courses or dual enrollment courses?

Westminster College will consider AP courses and/or dual enrollment courses for the awarding of academic credit. Whether these courses will transfer to the College and which degree requirements they will fulfill is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Generally speaking, AP courses will be considered for transfer if a student scores a 4 or 5 on the AP exam. Dual enrollment courses will be considered for transfer as long as the student has received a grade of “C” or better in the course. All students are encouraged to take our Academic Writing course, as it will better prepare them for the type of written requirements in all departments.

How do I get an application for admission?

For a paper application: download it now, call toll-free 1.800.475.3361 or email admissions@westminster-mo.edu. You can also apply online!


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