I have just been admitted by these 4 schools : Colgate,Claremont McKenna,NYU LSP(liberal core) and Trinity College. I have also been waitlisted at UChicago,which was my first choice, Wesleyan,Vandy and Northwestern.I haven't heard from Swat yet, which seems great! I am an international student and money is not an issue for me. Unfortunately, I cannot visit as I live literally on the other side of the world and I really need your opinions. I want to major in economics and possibly minor in English or/and politics, but I like to explore a lot of areas before finally deciding. Good foreign languages department is also important.
I have been living in huge cities, so I guess it will be soooo hard for me to move somewhere rural. On the other hand,I do want typical college campus experience. Also, I am not completely against partying and drinking, but I don't want it to be too dominant. I want people who are more artsy, but athletic as well.
I like seasons, so I am not completely sure that I like Cali weather.
Oh, another important thing.I decided to apply to the US this december, so it was impossible for me to take both SAT and SAT subjects; therefore, I was not able to apply to the school that I feel is right for me, which is Brown. Well, I obviously cannot say that I will necessarily try to transfer there, but there is a possibility. Do you think it would be harder to transfer let's say from NYU that from CMC or Colgate?
So, basically what would you recommend in terms of academics(esp. economics department)?social life?
How are people there? I have a major problem at my pre-university school right now as the majority of people are not motivated at all. They do not study at all and spend all their time drinking and partying. Like not once/twice a week,but every single day!
So, guys, I'd really appreciate all of your comments!
CMC is an awesome school, but the fact that a) U Chicago was your first choice (they're VERY different colleges), b) you want artsy people, c) you want seasons, and d) you don't want a dominant campus culture of drinking and partying...all suggest that CMC may not be the right choice for you. On the other hand, the Econ program is great, and there are some very quiet studious people in the South Quad dorms.
CMC parent here. Congratulations on your great choices!
My daughter's friend is at Chicago. Anonymityyy is right, they are very different. Our D would not apply to Chicago because of its location and vibe but her friend loves it there.
What they do have in common is top notch academics (the students at CMC study and are very motivated) and excellent econ programs. CMC places its econ grads very well. It is also known for the strength of its gov(poly sci) and D has taken many wonderful literature courses at CMC-they are also offered at the other consortium schools which means a walk across the street. Check out the atheneum on the website. It is a big plus for CMC, especially in those areas of interest. The languages are good and many-there are language tables at Pomona. D studied French at Harvey Mudd and Russian at Pomona.
There is plenty of drinking and partying at CMC (as at most colleges), but they also have the same budget for non-alcoholic events and some nights are party nights and some are not (but you can always go to another campus to find other options and you can eat at any of the dining halls as well). My D is not a drinker and she does fine. You can stay in quieter areas and still be as social as you want, when you want, but you don't have to come home to a party.
LA is nearby but you will not be in the city. The college does offer trips to Disney, ball games, Knotts, etc and D has gone to Disney, the beach, Hollywood, the mountains with the college, with friends, by renting a zip car and using the train. She also likes the short walk into Claremont (the village) for movies, frozen yogurt or food. If you want big city clubbing- this is probably not your place.
If you were my kid I would advise you to choose between NYU and CMC based on location and strength of academics/majors. (I believe NYU is also good for econ but the other two, while fine schools are not known for your areas of interest.) Trinity is not in a nice area. NYU has the city going for it but no campus. The buildings are mixed in with the city, so no traditional college campus feel. D also has a friend there- a music major and she couldn't imagine being anywhere else. Colgate is supposed to be beautiful, in a rural little college town. I have not been there, but it could be nice if you could handle being more out of the way.
What about the travel? NYU would be easiest. You should be able to get a direct flight to LA, but Colgate would probably have a connecting flight or shuttle/ bus.
Oh, and CMC is known for athletics, but not art. Fortunately, the consortium has 5-6,000 students and those activities are available next door at Pomona and Scripps.
CMC does have seasons, (and actual trees with leaves) just not extremes. You will need a coat, but not a parka, boots, gloves, hat to leave the buildings. You can see the snow on the mountains from campus and get to skiing quickly, but you should not get snow on campus. (There are a couple of nice outdoor pools to compensate!) The West coast tends to be moderate in temperature, which is great during the academic year.
If money is an issue, CMC tends to be generous. NYU...not so much
Thank you so much for your opinions.
I am actually choosing between CMC and NYU. In terms of academics, CMC seems absolutely perfect. It's the social part that I question. I am not a geek by any mean and do a lot of sports, but I can describe myself as being creative and probably even a bit hipsterish. I have heard that CMC is a 'jock school',is it true?
Money is not an issue at all, I didn't apply for financial aid.
I've heard CMC be described as a giant fraternity. I don't have much experience with that description, so I wouldn't be able to speak for its veracity. However, as with all generalizations, there are many exceptions. I have a friend who is not a "stereotypical" CMC student (he's very nerdy, and a science major), but is extremely happy there.
You should also know that admissions committees certainly do not accept people based purely on academic accomplishments. A small, very selective college like CMC is able to handpick the people that will fit into their distinctive community academically as well as socially.
abnk599- I live in Stark, the substance- free dorm, and I simply cannot imagine going to any other college! I love the quiet atmosphere around my quad.
If CMC seems perfect for you in terms of academics, the social aspects really shouldn't be an issue. Because we have the option of living on another campus, you can easily do so. I, for example, plan on living in Scripps the year after, because I'm not much of a partier and prefer living in an all- girls dorm. If you want to live in an area more hipster, you could consider living in Pitzer. It's pretty easy to live in another school's campus if you want. If you are a girl, you could also live in Scripps; they're much more creative than CMC (most CMCers go there for music/ art lessons) and because it's all female, there are more diverse personalities and therefore more "hipsters" than CMC
Yes, some people have referred to CMC as a giant fraternity, especially those from Pomona, right zrathustra? All of the Claremont schools have a stereotype, often compared to Scooby Doo characters, but they are stereotypes!
Like I said before, my D is not a partier/drinker and loves it at CMC. She did not avoid applying to colleges that had fraternities or parties but made sure that there were other options as well. CMC37918 made excellent points and actually is a current CMC student.
There are plenty of 'jocks' at CMC, but it is fine not to be one. Or you can compete at several different levels. Also, there are plenty of creative outlets at the 5Cs-don't worry! Many of the extracurriculars are common to all of the schools, so you will find your people.
The one thing only you can answer is would you prefer the creative energy of being in NYC? Are you that kind of 'hipsterish' or would you be happier in a more traditional college environment? Two good choices! Which one appeals more?
I've heard CMC students themselves say that certain stereotypes do exist on campus. I believe I was perfectly fair in stating that I've heard various descriptions of CMC, but in the same breath saying that I don't know how true it is (and that my friend is happy, even though he doesn't match the description of the stereotype).
So, yes. I was addressing the particular stereotype that CMC carries with it, but then go on to say that even if it were true, there are plenty of people at CMC who aren't "stereotypical" CMC students and have a fantastic experience.
Also, to address all of the 5C stereotypes: HMC students are nerds/geeks and are socially awkward, Pomona students are pretentious, Scripps students are overly-feministic or "dumb-blonde"-ish, and Pitzer students are hippies.
As a current CMC student with MANY friends in Greek systems across the country, I can assure you that the only similarity between CMC and a fraternity is the prevalence of bro tanks on campus. By definition a fraternity is exclusive - if you aren't a member of the house or at least of the Greek system, you are basically out of luck. One of the many reasons I love CMC is that our campus is incredibly inclusive, both socially and academically. Everyone is welcome to try anything or participate in anything, a phenomenon that is not so present on many other campuses.
To what the OP asked, it sounds like you would be a better fit at one of the other schools you have the opportunity to attend. Colgate is in the middle of nowhere. If you don't enjoy the current party atmosphere you described, Trinity would be a terrible choice. That school is famous as a party school, and even a party destination for students at other schools. NYU sounds like the best fit for you, and is in a location that's hard to beat.