Hey, I'm a high school senior who is deciding where to apply Early Decision this coming Fall.
I have legacy at UPenn and my stats are definitely in the running so some might say just go with UPenn because of the status/rank. My college counselor at school tells me he thinks I'd actually have a better chance of getting accepted to UPenn than CMC ED because of my legacy, but says I'm still definitely very competitive at both.
I visited UPenn twice and Claremont McKenna once. As a Northeasterner, I fell in love with Southern California and was amazed by the different opportunities CMC would offer me. My passion is for political science and economics and I hope to pursue a career in government. Claremont McKenna has a strong focus on these areas and with the Washington Program, along with their top-notch internship opportunities, I feel it might be perfect.
UPenn has the national status though that a small liberal arts school doesn't. While the Forbes 2017 ranking places Claremont McKenna just under Penn and above other schools like Columbia, I am still hesitant at choosing a lesser known school.
Obviously Penn offers terrific opportunities that come with an Ivy degree, but could CMC actually offer better/more opportunities for political internships and matriculation into grad school? My main gripe with UPenn aside from this is the environment. UPenn is known in many circles to be a very stressful environment (I know there have been a number of suicides.) This, compared to Claremont McKenna which maintains a career focus while being ranked the #1 "These Students Love Their College" in Princeton Review makes me think CMC is the way to go.
Could anyone dispel with the notion that UPenn is a stressful, somewhat depressing place to be? And are CMC and Penn's political opportunities roughly equal or does Claremont McKenna's focus on government lead to more internships?