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Encouragement from the Director of Admission

At the Pepperdine Office of Admission, we are with you in spirit and are here for you as the college application process unfolds this fall. 

To prospective students:

As a prospective student, you likely have a picture of the college application process. You probably envisioned traveling to beautiful sunny Malibu, California, stepping foot on our gorgeous campus and soaking in the experience. Maybe you imagined picking up the brochures, having lunch in our Waves Cafe, and taking time to chat with current students. 

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has stripped away some of the excitement that comes with this season. We mourn your loss with you and we hope that you have found some beauty in this process. We hope that you have engaged with us virtually and perhaps you have virtually traveled to more campuses than you had originally planned.  

To families, friends, advocates, mentors, and those providing support to our prospective students:

Our team knows that as someone working with a prospective student, you too are mourning your student’s senior year and the college search process that was to-be. Many of you had envisioned what this season of life would bring, traveling to different campuses and spending time with your student exploring and connecting. 

We urge you to do the same but in a virtual sense. Encourage your student to reach out to their admission counselor or sign up for the virtual tour. Explore campus websites and help them find the resources they need. 

We truly appreciate your continued encouragement and support as they navigate this unprecedented season. 

Our team’s experience:

I think many prospective students have a picture of what admission committee meetings might look like—seasoned folks in stuffy board rooms pitting applicants against one another. Maybe they picture what they see in a movie like Admission with Tina Fey, and while comical, this film is a very inaccurate portrayal of what the Admission Committee at Pepperdine truly looks like. In fact, if you would like a more realistic picture, check out our meet your admission counselor webpage to see who composes our Committee. I hope seeing our faces elicits some comfort. 

At this time of year, the counseling team and I typically find ourselves in our Bettingen Conference Room, which we affectionately call the Betty, reviewing hundreds of applications and sitting together having discussions and eating semi-healthy snacks. We open our meeting in prayer and uphold a commitment from each committee member to honor each and every student.

As in years past, we are enjoying the thoughtful essays in which students have written about their interests, talents, stories of failure, and stories of adventure. We are sharing the stories among the team, and they are reenergizing us and helping us stay motivated. 

However, much like your loss felt in the wake of COVID-19, we too feel loss in our season. The Betty remains empty and is replaced by Zoom calls that the members of the committee attend from their own homes. While the discussion and the process is the same, it all feels different. Our team yearns to be together eating our delicious and semi-nutritious snacks. We yearn to have prospective student meetings in our offices and host our tours. We yearn to have the opportunity to introduce them to our fantastic students and faculty face-to-face. But we all know, it’s different this year. 

Our encouragement and gratitude:

As you navigate the application process, please know that there is still a commitment from each committee member to honor each and every student, to pray for each committee meeting, and to continue to be advocates for students and to uphold our holistic review. We are further committed this year to extend grace in light of the challenges many have faced due to COVID-19.

In a spirit of gratitude, thank you for rising above the current challenges, believing in the power of higher education, and clicking submit on your application.

Above all, we encourage you to take care of yourself this season. Find the moments of peace and excitement and relish them. While it is a college application season like none before, it is your season, and we hope that you will take time to find the beauty in all of it.