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Please help me understand the workload and atmosphere of Harvey Mudd

mountaincachersmountaincachers Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
I am the mother of a current high school junior who is very interested in pursuing an education in STEM (exact field undecided). We recently took a trip to tour college campuses, and he loved his visit to Harvey Mudd. He liked the idea of the core curriculum and getting exposed to all of the different STEM fields before narrowing down to a potential major. He also really liked the size, lack of Greek life, and honor code. After the visit, it was likely his first choice, and he was considering applying early decision. The Fiske Guide talks over and over about how hard the HM students work, though it was hard to judge exactly what that means and didn't get a great answer when we were there. Now I'm reading about the turmoil (student protest and school shut down) there and read over the Wabash report myself. While my son expects to work hard in college and is passionate about science and math, the report makes it sound like the students have no time to eat, sleep, or shower. The students sound, on the whole, to be very unhappy/stressed and not likely to have made the same college choice if they had it to do again. It sounds like there are going to have to be some changes there, BUT obviously that takes some time. Anyone with current/recent experience able to shed some light on this?

Replies to: Please help me understand the workload and atmosphere of Harvey Mudd

  • mountaincachersmountaincachers Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
    Thanks. That's very helpful. It was hard to tell if the report was indicative of all students vs. just some. My son is (I think) well prepared academically and has a good work ethic. He has struggled some in hs not finding his tribe, so I think that's part of what resonated with him there. We are on the East Coast, so were lucky enough to visit campus once, but hard for us to spend more time out there to get a better feel for the school.
  • ClaremontMomClaremontMom Registered User Posts: 2,405 Senior Member
    Keep in mind that report had a very small sample size.

    As you can imagine, this has been a topic of discussion among the parents (we are connected via a Facebook group). Yes, some say their kid is pretty stressed, but there are many that say their kid is extremely happy. I've heard many such as intparent go on about how their kids love Mudd. Many kids have time for lots of activities...they play sports, go to parties, join various clubs and hang out with friends. They also work in a very collaborative environment and there are many ways to get help (both academic or mental) if needed. And they are working to make it even better.

    As for my son he never complains about the work, but when I ask he will admit he has never worked so hard in his life, but he is fine with the work load and happy where he is with lots of friends and time to enjoy them.

  • mountaincachersmountaincachers Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
    Thanks to both of you for your responses. My son decided to trust his gut and is applying ED! Fingers crossed!
  • ClaremontMomClaremontMom Registered User Posts: 2,405 Senior Member
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,885 Senior Member
  • CCThunderfinCCThunderfin Registered User Posts: 203 Junior Member
    Congrats to your son @mountaincachers ! I got admitted ED1 too, so I'll see your son on campus next fall. Stoked!
  • mountaincachersmountaincachers Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
    Congrats to you CCThunderfin!
  • BertieMomBertieMom Registered User Posts: 109 Junior Member
    edited June 2018
    This issue is one I’m currently considering. My daughter got her first B ever in second semester of Calc BC and it has shook her confidence that she can survive a program like HMC or MIT. She is talking to the swim coaches at both and the CMS coach is asking to submit her academic profile for a preread.

    Her ACT superscore is 35 but her English is the high mark there with Math at 33. Her SAT is 1500 after 1 attempt with math at 760. She just took the subject tests. She is top 5 in her class of 512 and in the Engineering program for her school district.

    I don’t want her to be too stressed and I want her to continue swimming and to have a few good times and laughs and fun memories. Stresses me out a bit to hear how intense it is. We haven’t visited but I’m guessing she will get a swim recruit visit in the fall. She grew up SoCal and loves the idea of being back in an outdoor training pool. We have been in the Midwest for 3 years.

    She has heard Multi/Linear Alg are not as tough as BC so hopefully can maintain/improve her GPA and rank senior year but I wonder how she will fair at these schools? Her work ethic is good but spread over many commitments including her swim team and church youth group and other ECs, so she sometimes “just does what is needed” to keep all the balls in the air and us satusfied with an A- because it maintains her GPA on our scale. So I guess I’m saying she sometimes “gets by”.

    Any thoughts or advice for this worried mom?

  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,885 Senior Member
    I think she should visit (Mudd specifically, even though the team part may be more with CMC). Kids know if it is their tribe. They are the ones who have to make the commitment. I think her background sounds sufficient. Everyone works hard at Mudd, and she is the one who would need to decide if it is for her.
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 39,276 Super Moderator
    Thanks for the update - that's great to hear! :)
  • damon30damon30 Registered User Posts: 1,152 Senior Member
    @mountaincachers This is great news and really nice to read. Thank you for following up!
  • Miles PerraraMiles Perrara Registered User Posts: 173 Junior Member
    Thanks for the followup and feedback!
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