4.5 out of 5 Stars
GE's are strict. The school does not accept much AP credit and some of the rules for GE's make the classes seem redundant. Major degree requirements are fairly flexible and academic advising is very easy. You can change your advisor to anyone you would like to so you can make sure you have a good advisor. Class sizes are small and most teachers are very available to students. A general rule for grading at CMC is that it is pretty easy to get a B but really hard to get an A. Study abroad is good and a high percentage of students do go abroad. There are a lot of options for study abroad and if a program does not exist you can find one and petition. The workload can be insane. Choose classes wisely.Quality of Life
Housing is hit or miss depending on room draw. Some dorms are much nicer than others. There needs to be better places to study as the library is too small and should be open 24 hours all year long. Overall happiness is high! Most students at CMC, despite the workload, love the school and enjoy being there.Admissions
Students use the Common Application to be admitted to CMC. The additional essay question asked to dicuss a leader who has shaped our time in some way. The infamous leader question widely spoken of, oftentimes people talk about how they tried to think of someone unique. Interviews are optional and sometimes can be very helpful. They are supposed to be informative, but they can be a tipping point for someone very on the fence. There are quite a few scholarship opportunities if you consider how young the school is.Level
Common App with supplement, interview optional but recommended, two ED periods, generous financial aid and merit scholarshipsLevel
The vast majority of advisers here are very helpful. They give students access to the tools they need to succeed. Class sizes are also very small. My average class size has been 15 students, making it very easy to contact professors. Professors and employers also refer students to various research and study opportunities. Our study abroad program is very good. I intend to study in Argentina during my Junior Fall which will be made possible by the head of the registrar who is pretty brilliant at organizing student schedules. Classes are not easy however, and grading can be very tough but this encourages students to work hard to earn a good grade.Quality of Life
Coming into Claremont for my first year, I knew that CMC had been ranked the happiest college in America. I have found this to be true, and for good reason. For one, as a result of the financial aid/scholarship that I've been offered, my education has been very affordable. The dining halls offer great food on most nights. The town of Claremont is very safe and the people tend to be friendly. I have a couple of jobs on campus that pay for my tuition and personal expenses. The library is enormous and offers plenty of study space although I don't like that it isn't open 24/7. Overall, it's a great experience.Admissions
The application essay for CMC was very unique in terms of the issue it was addressing. I was asked to pick a figure, fictional or non-fictional, who has played a substantial role as a leader. The figure could range in stature from the head of the World Bank to a local karate instructor. It was a great way of screening students to see if they had a good idea of what it takes to be a great leader. I wrote my essay about J.K. Rowling. I wrote about how she contributed to the field of literature as well as how she provided a creative inspiration for young kids around the world.
The common application was much more dry in terms of essay topics, but this was to be expected since it is used to generally gauge a student's abilty to write.
Overall, I recieved a great financial aid package, and the application process itself, while tedious, was not overly difficult because I had a good idea of what kind of essays to write.Level
CMC's general education requirements are one of the few things I've ever heard our students complain about. Our GE requirements consist of some required classes (2 sciences, 3 semesters of a language, a Freshman Humanities Seminar, an intro Lit course and Math 30, Calculus 1), 2 humanities courses (we may pick any two out of four, outside our major), 3 social sciences courses (again, out of a group of 4 and outside our major), 3 semesters of p.e. and a senior thesis. Some AP and SAT II scores (as well as placement exams) can help to alleviate these requirements, but even without this, there's plenty of time to complete all of these. Most majors have around 10 course requirements.
CMC offers several options for majors. We can have a single major, a double major (complete coursework for 2 majors), or a dual major (fewer required courses for each of two majors). In addition, there are a number of sequences which are really easy to complete and consist of around five courses (these don't have to be unique; for example, an East Asian history course could count for both a humanities GE and an Asian-American studies sequence requirement).
I don't know much about other people's advisors, but I love mine. He's really friendly, and listens to my concerns about my classes and professors. He's willing to take as much time as is needed to figure out issues I'm having with my course load or solve schedule conflicts when I'm choosing classes. He, as well as all of my other professors, are also really easy to get in touch with and are really open to making appointments to meet if office hours are inconvenient.
I have a sister who went to a UC, and she told me that her O-Chem class had several hundred students in it. I responded that my largest class so far has had 32 students, and it was a Joint Science course (meaning that students from not only CMC but also neighboring institutions Pitzer and Scripps Colleges are enrolled). Few of my CMC classes have exceeded 20 students, which is really good for both discussion classes, as it gives everyone a chance to be heard, and lecture classes, because it's easy for students to stop the professor and ask questions. This is really good because it really helps when I need recommendations for scholarships or internships. Classes are small, so I'm dealing directly with a professor as opposed to a TA, and can really get to know some of my professors because of this. When I ask for recommendations, I know that my professors know enough about me to write more than a generic "good student, hard worker, etc." One thing I've noticed about CMC in relation to my friends at other schools is that I seem to spend less time in the classroom (most of my classes are 50-75 minutes, compared to friends I have at UCs and CSUs who don't have any classes shorter than 70 minutes, and in addition to lecture have a discussion section), although I feel as if the work I do outside of class is greater (or more challenging) than that of my friends.
Just over 50% of CMC students study abroad each year, which is a pretty impressive number, considering that CMC does not administer its own study abroad programs. I think that figure is really a testament to our Office of Off-Campus Studies, who facilitates student travel through a number of study abroad program providers worldwide.Quality of Life
Whenever my roommate and I house prospective students for the night, the first thing they comment on is the size of our dorm rooms, which are bigger than a lot of others. A double room at CMC costs under $7000, and a single is under $8000. Another on-campus housing option is the student apartments, which cost about the same as a single room and are a little more removed from the main campus, so they give the feel of being on your own a bit more. Meal plans range from $5300 to $6200.
The library is a 5C resource (shared by all of the Claremont Colleges) and is a great place to study, research, or meet with groups for projects. CMC's dining hall uses Bon Appetit catering, so the food is pretty good. Although CMC has only one dining hall on its campus, CMC students can use their meal plan at the 7 dining halls on other Claremont Colleges' campuses, which provides plenty of variety and keeps you from getting bored. Claremont, the town, is pretty low-key and very safe. In Southern California (at least in my hometown) the name "Claremont" conjures up images of tree-lined streets, historic buildings, and the colleges. The community is pretty peaceful. I'd say people are pretty happy; the Princeton Review has ranked us #2 for happiest students and #4 for overall best quality of life (we're also pretty high on lists for our study abroad program, career services, and our dorm rooms!)Admissions
CMC offers both early action and regular decision for applicants, and for regular desicion applicants, there is a priority deadline for consideration for certain scholarships (a few weeks before the regular decision deadline). The school uses the Common Application with an added supplement. For my year, the supplement consisted of an essay question (ours was about leadership, which makes sense as CMC is all about leadership and teaching our generation's future leaders), some short answer questions and a few fill in the blank questions (example: "If I wanted the Admission Committee to really get to know me, I'd send them my _____ (but I won't!)"). CMC is very generous with scholarships. The majority of students here are on some sort of financial aid, and the school gives excellent financial aid packages consisting of sizable school grants that come from the school's endowment as well as scholarships from various alumni (of which there are many). The school makes information about student and parent loans available (not only government ones, but also loans from the school), although I do not believe I've ever had loans included in a financial aid package here.Level
well rounded requirements
professors are renown and very accessible, small class sizes are conducive to thisQuality of Life
campus life is a well balanced atmosphere of academics and social eventsAdmissions
Regular application, as far as essays and such. There were some unique short answer questions as well which were interesting to answer.Level
Too many general education requirements! In some cases the general education requirements take longer to complete than a major! But outside of that, the courses are good. They aren't as participatory as I would like and some aren't as engaging, but the quality is pretty good. The economics courses and government courses are top notch.Quality of Life
People are happy at CMC. The weather certainly contributes to it. The overall vibe from the school is very positive.Admissions
I would say the application is unique. It doesnt take very long to complete but I think it certainly is effective. A very pragmatic application for a very pragmatic school.Level
Very accessible faculty. There are alot of core, required classes (around 13 I believe). There are not that many notable faculty (as in, we have no nobel laureates), but there are many professors who seem quite brilliant and who are great at teaching their subject, which is just as, if not more, important than being notable. Classes are small, usually always under 25. Research opportunities are the key to this campus, as there are at least 9 (maybe 13) research institutes that are open to taking on kids starting their freshmen year, and even extending employment until after you graduate.Quality of Life
Rooms in the newer dorms are quite nice and spacious. Campus life overall runs very smoothly. No major complaints.Admissions
Application started with the CommonApp and then had unique essays that could not simply be copy and pasted from another college's application. There were optional interviews as well.
There were three main deadlines: early decision, scholarship deadline, and regular decision.Level
Common Application, a few academic scholarships (ISS, McKenna, Seaver), essay questions about leadershipGraduation Year
hard, average grade of a B. 16 general education requirements. lot of research opportunities with professors and institutes.Quality of Life
high cost of living, amazing housing, very comfortable, housekeeping keeps it clean. great campus facilities and very accessible ones. Huge library with unlimited resources in all forms. Pretty and lively neighborhood but at the same time very safe. Very very happy.Admissions
It is hard to get into my college. The admission officers look more at leadership qualities and outside school activities. My college is need-blind and supportive.Level
Since we are a liberal arts skills, we have a lot of general education requirements. But our class sizes are small, our professors are excellent and love to get to know the students. Almost every student graduates in four years, because the school makes sure you can finish all of your major degree requirements. Study abroad is almost a requirement here, and there is usually half of the junior class gone during one semester of every year.Admissions
We are on the Common Application, and have early decision I, early decision II, and regular decision.Level