Claremont McKenna College is among the most selective liberal arts colleges in the country. With less than 20% of the applicants accepted each year, this prestigious college, located just 35 miles east of Los Angeles, California consistently attracts the cream of the crop of the senior graduating classes from the best high schools in the country. Students can choose from 33 majors; the top ten of which are economics, psychology, international relations, government, accounting, history, biology, literature, EEP (economics, environment and politics) and mathematics. A student may also pursue a Master of Arts in Finance at this college.
Students of Claremont McKenna can also choose to go for double, individualized, dual and off-campus majors. Claremont McKenna is a member of The Claremont Colleges consortium along with Pomona, Scripps, Harvey Mudd and Pitzer; students of CMC can cross-register in any of the schools in the consortium.
Many high school students aim for Claremont McKenna College because of the opportunity to use graduate-level research equipment and mentoring in one of the research institutes and centers at the campus. For many would-be industry leaders, this opportunity is too good to miss.
Claremont McKenna College was established after the Second World War in 1946. It was originally founded as Claremont Men’s College. and many of the first students were soldiers from the war who attended college through the G.I. Bill. A co-educational system was adopted from 1976 onward. In 1981, the college was renamed Claremont McKenna College after Donald McKenna, the school’s founding trustee, allowing the school to keep the acronym CMC even after the name change.
Many graduates of Claremont McKenna describe their college life as “phenomenal”. The college aims to foster a sense of community as early as possible for the incoming freshman batch. Campus visits by high school seniors include a pre-orientation program that doubles as a school outing for the current students, some faculty members and some alumni. Incoming students feel at home right away, and develop close friendships with the upperclassmen. This ensures that an incoming freshman will know at least one person on his first week at school.
As a residential college, Claremont McKenna offers dormitories for freshmen, juniors and seniors. The residence halls resemble condominiums rather than ordinary dormitories, which is telling of the comfortable living conditions that await each new freshman. All the residence halls are maintained by a weekly housekeeping staff. Apartments are reserved for the seniors, who need peace and quiet more often as they complete their thesis. Seniors with the highest credits get to live in these apartments.
Socializing at Claremont McKenna is easy and fun. Students organize parties during the weekends, and the venues are frequently near the residence halls. From Thursday onward, the place is abuzz with party fever and non-stop socializing. Some of the more formal parties are sponsored by the school, in the form of dinner-and-lecture events in the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum. The prevailing principle at this college is to work hard and play hard. Claremont McKenna College has a tradition of giving senior students bottles of champagne when they turn in their thesis.
Admission is need-blind, and the financial aid is need-based. Students are accepted based on their academic potential and not their capability to pay for the education in Claremont McKenna. Tuition fees plus room and board can reach up to $60,000, but a sizable amount is shouldered by the college. Scholarships and grants have replaced loans as the main form of financial aid for deserving students.