Claremont, CA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 695 total reviews with an average rating of 3.9

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3 College Junior

Scholarships: I received a decent amount of financial aid but I believe my family could benefit from more. It is sometimes diffcult to work with my school to negotiate amounts

5 College Junior

Nightlife: It is a wet campus. I feel very safe and still have fun. Everyone is usually outside in north quad or green beach which is where the best parties take place

3 College Junior

Diversity: There tends to be a lot of kids that come from a wealthy background. A large portion of the student body is from northern california. I would be interested in better Christian groups

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: I love going to eat in the village. I go to dinner with my parents in the village after every home softball game. Great atmospher and small town feel

College Junior

Scholarships: I am not on financial aid. They tend to be pretty generous, however, they are becoming more strict and are talking about giving student loans instead.

5 College Junior

Greek Life: No greek life but CMC is like one big frat. We are a big family.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Campus Dining: We are really spoiled at the 5Cs, the food is generally very good. There are 7 dining halls to chose from. Watch out for the freshman 15!

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: LA is only 30 miles away, Pasadena is only a 30 mins drive, the beach is only 40 mins away, the mountains and skiing resorts are only 2 hours away. What else could you ask for?

5 College Junior

Majors: They are very helpful with switching majors. Many students will remain undecided until the end of their Sophomore year. I thought I was certainly going to major in International Relations but found my passion in Psychology my Sophomore year.

5 College Junior

Majors: This is a top Liberal Arts college, so naturally the classes are going to be very rigorous and demanding yet extremely rewarding. Small classes with attentive professors that really care about helping their students. Don't skip class, your professor is most likely going to notice and its going to hurt your grade.

5 College Junior

Campus Strictness: It is a very laid-back campus. Alcohol policies are very lenient, just be safe, don't be stupid and CALL AN RA IF YOU OR A FRIEND NEEDS HELP. The RAs are there to help, not to get you in trouble.

4 College Junior

Diversity: You learn that diversity is more than just where you are from or where your parents are from. People here have diverse ideas and mentalities, I have met some of the most interesting people at CMC. People come from many different backgrounds and walks of life.

4 College Junior

Athletics: CMS is pretty cool. School spirit is great and the basketball matches are fun to attend.

College Sophomore

Nightlife: CMC'ers can rage up to 4 nights a week, if you're into that, Otherwise it just gets annoying and the parties around you may distract you from your studies and can make it difficult to sleep at night.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Diversity: CMC is very homogenous in terms of economic background. Most students are from affluent backgrounds, and many have parents who could afford to shell out 30,000+ dollars a year to send them to prep school before CMC. In terms of racial diversity, CMC is predominately white, followed by a considerably large Asian population, and a small Latino community. The student body is overall pretty secular. Though many of the students come from religious backgrounds, most are not practicing and partake in the same party scene. Most students are politically conservative while socially liberal.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: CMC has an endowment of more than 600,000,000 dollars for 1200 students. If you need financial aid, you are gonna get it unless you are an international student, in which case only a few will get merit scholarships so you have to be ready to shell out 60,000 dollars a year out of pocket.

3 College Sophomore

Academics: Science is not terrible but is definitely not one of the strong points of CMC, as unlike Pomona, they have a shared science department with Scrips and Pitzer. This makes it so you have to compete with students from other schools for spots in classes. The Keck Science building looks super nice in the pictures online, but in reality it feels outdated in it's layout and construction. It is a fairly drab cement building. They needed more lab space so lots of the labs are held in portable buildings across the road from Keck. Keck has a unique science program called AISS that only has a comparable program at Princeton. It is accelerated and integrates 2 semesters of both physics, chemistry, and biology. It is only for freshman and it is brutal in terms of courseload, disorganization, and two hours of class every single day and 5 hours on Friday. AISS is for students who are crazy passionate about science, aren't easily stressed by chaos and late nights, and want to spend hours upon hours everyday slaving through difficult homework and taking exams every Friday, while other students are sleeping in. It will definitely put you ahead of your peers, but in my opinion, its not worth sacrificing many of the fun aspects of adjusting to CMC freshman year. Students generally get into good Med-Schools, which isn't surprising considering the caliber of students that CMC attracts.

3 College Sophomore

Academics: Professors are brilliant at CMC, although fairly homogeneous in terms of being socially liberal and politically conservative. This is no surprise as it is predominately an economics school.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: The college has a no BS policy in terms of academic integrity, but outside of coursework plenty of shenanigans go on. I would say a high percentage of the freshman class drinks underage, even during dry week. Loads of people smoke weed regularly in their dorms and I know a few who even mess around with acid and cocaine. Campus security doesn't do much about this unless they are very stupid and try lighting up at a fenced party or outside, or seriously overdose. The majority of drug use occurs in the dorms, and R.A.'s don't even really seem to care just as long as no one o.d.'s. If you don't drink, you will be in the minority. The majority of these people live in the little enclave of Stark. Most students act like it's the end of the world whenever there is any initiative to tighten up on alcohol consumption rules, as they feel like this would absolutely destroy the culture of the school.

2 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Unfortunately, with loads of alcohol consumption, the line between consent and rape is often blurred significantly and sexual assault happens.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: The food at CMC is great. Lobster and steak for Christmas and custom Asian wok a few nights per week.

2 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: The guys at CMC are typical frat bros and the girls are often typical sorority girls. They are smart and generally very into their appearance. The dating scene at CMC is nonexistent in comparison to the hookup culture. Lots of students are the type that want to get rich quick and will probably either start companies or get jobs on Wall-Street.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Overall, CMC has nice facilities, as would be expected from a school that costs 60k a year to attend.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: CMC is located in Claremont, California, a.k.a. "The City of Trees and PHD's", a.k.a. "The sleepy town of wealthy retired people and the Claremont colleges". The mountains behind Claremont are pretty, but often brown and dry. Claremont doesn't have too much to do, but fun things in L.A, Anaheim, Hollywood and Pasadena are all within a 45 minute drive (assuming good traffic). A car is ideal for getting around the area.


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Bauer Center and the San Gabriel Mountains
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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Elizabeth Friede
International Relations
View all previous student authors

The overall experience for most people at CMC is positive—provided they know what they are getting into. CMC is truly a unique school: this quality makes it heaven for some and extremely limiting and frustrating for others. CMC is not a liberal arts school; it’s a preprofessional school with a lot of general education requirements.

While technically you can major in something “liberal artsy” such as literature or history, CMC students are constantly thinking about jobs and their future and mostly stick to government and economics. Haters and lovers alike are happy with their professors and classes at CMC; professors are dedicated to teaching and truly want their students to work hard and challenge themselves. For the most part, if you can’t find a class or an activity at CMC, you can head over to one of the other 5Cs. That said, anyone interested in the arts or music should be aware that CMC has no art/music program of any sort, and it can be difficult to get into these classes on others campuses.

CMC students like to have fun. But, for them, having fun involves talking about the economy and a keg. Most social activities involve alcohol and copious amounts of it. While the other 5Cs help spice up the social scene, if you don’t like to drink, CMC will be a difficult adjustment for you. CMC has decent diversity on paper, but when it comes to life goals, CMCers are relatively homogenous. Everyone at CMC is intelligent, driven, and focused on becoming rich and successful. The vast majority of students know what's expected from CMC before they get into it and love it; the few that don’t usually didn’t understand what they were getting into. CMC is a blend of academia and the professional world, of serious and fun. CMCers love their school for a reason; there truly is nothing comparable.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At Claremont McKenna College

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