Life changing-decision: Why five in the Class of ’21 picked CMC

A group of CMC students walk from the Kravis Center.

Another type of March Madness is underway for soon-to-be college students across the country…college acceptance and decision season. Choosing a college is a life-changing, exciting moment in the lives of many high school students.

At Claremont McKenna College, our students are dreamers and doers — high achievers who understand that learning informs impact and that impact in turn inspires learning. We give students the tools they need for critical decision-making; the experiences they crave for intellectual and interpersonal development; and the community they seek for motivation, inspiration, and lifelong fulfillment.

Regular decision applicants for the Class of 2012 are notified on their acceptance on March 24 by the Office of Admission. First-year applicants have until May 1 to make their decision and reply.

Recently, five students who applied early decision and have committed to attend CMC as part of the Class of ’21 talked about what set CMC apart during the admission process and what they are most looking forward to when they arrive on campus in the fall.

What set CMC apart?

Emily Howard (Portola Valley, CA) – I loved the environment at CMC. My sister went to CMC and graduated a couple of years ago, and she absolutely loved it. When I visited, everyone was super friendly, and went out of their way to make me feel welcome. I just felt this amazing vibe from CMC and I knew I would be happy there.

Brandon Piel (El Paso, TX) – Well, I have always known I wanted to go to one of The Claremont Colleges, since both my parents went to Pomona, and I took my first college visit when I was a 1-year old. As for what set CMC apart from the other Claremont Colleges, it came down to the two things most important to me: student happiness and career services. CMC is constantly ranked in the top of these categories, so it made the decision easy.

Ruyan Chu (Utah) – Stunned by a presentation about CMC at a college fair last summer, I started to look at this unique establishment. I was attracted to its reputable social science programs, like PPE (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics). The countless undergraduate research and leadership opportunities resonated well with my career plans as a social entrepreneur. The Athenaeum, a place where intellectual minds from either renowned scholars or accomplished professionals flow without restraint, impressed me deeply. During my tour, I found out that everyone was so nice, and it was such a friendly community. All of these things made me realize that CMC is my first choice.

Chukwueloka “Elo” Oti (Los Angeles) – Claremont McKenna College has always been on my radar in terms of attending a top-tier institution in California. When I began my recruiting process with CMS [and CMC], I knew it was the place for me. The coaches, the team, and the school community all made me feel welcome and part of the family. Looking for a good balance between academics and athletics can be tough, but at a school like Claremont McKenna, you can't go wrong. Knowing that Claremont McKenna would better prepare me for life after college as well as allow me to do what I love in college made my decision easy.

Anna Green (Fairfield, CT) – CMC set itself apart from the moment I stepped onto the campus. On my tour, I immediately noticed the emphasis placed on leadership and fostering a sense of community. Resources such as the Athenaeum, the 5C social events, Ath Tea, and the general accessibility of opportunities throughout the consortium proved that this focus was more than just a selling point in a pamphlet. Specifically, I was really impressed by the unique academic programs, such as the PPE major and the Leadership Studies Sequence. I am also from the Northeast, so finding a liberal arts school in sunny Southern California wasn’t too bad either.

What aspects of your CMC education and experience are you most looking forward to?

Emily – I am looking forward to the small class sizes at CMC. I really enjoy getting to know my teachers and being in a classroom where I am encouraged to discuss and contribute. I tend to be very involved and active in the classroom and CMC has very engaging professors whom I look forward to learning from. In addition, I am excited about living in the dorms and the inclusive environment at CMC. I love how open and welcoming the campus is and I can't wait to make it my home next year!

Brandon – I am looking forward to learning new things, meeting new friends, and having a good time for the next four years.

Ruyan  – I expect to be in a small environment where I have more chances to talk to professors and get more of a one-on-one learning experience. I expect to graduate as a careful, critical reader; be a clear, concise writer and speaker, and express myself with eloquence and effectiveness. It will be great to study and live in an environment that encourages the development of my friendships and the pursuit of learning in every aspect of campus life.    

Elo – When I arrive at CMC, I want to really dive into the realm of intramural activities and work-study opportunities. Overall, CMC is the land of opportunity and I'm excited to seize all that CMC has to offer. I'm ready to establish strong relationships with my professors and Claremont students alike.

Anna – I am most looking forward to immersing myself in the Claremont community. CMC offers so many unique academic programs and extracurricular opportunities that I am mainly looking forward to joining the community and taking advantage of all that it has to offer. We have a Class of 2021 Facebook group in which we are all getting to know each other and getting ready for August, but I am also excited to get on campus and meet everyone in person!

For more information on CMC and the admission process, please visit the Office of Admission webpage.


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