CMC students pay tuition and the student activity fee. Students use the room and board money not paid to CMC (approximately $8,650.00*) to cover living expenses while in the program. Students from other Claremont Colleges should check with their home institution for financial policies.
Financial aid awards, grants, scholarships, and loans “travel” with CMC students on the Washington Program. Due to the increased cost of living in DC, CMC students receiving need-based aid are awarded an additional $2,000.00 for a DC cost of living adjustment. Students from other Claremont Colleges should check with their home institution for Financial Aid policies.
Washington DC Semester Estimated Budget for Financial Aid purposes:
Student Activity Fee
DC Cost of Living Adjustment**
**This adjustment is intended to account for a higher cost of living and additional associated expenses of living, interning, and studying in Washington, D.C. These expenses may include: monthly transportation costs, home furnishings and supplies, utilities, and a professional wardrobe.
For additional information regarding specific loans and aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.
Housing is the biggest expense for students enrolled in the CMC Washington Program with the critical variables being the number of other students in the apartment, the location and condition of the housing, whether utilities are included, and whether the apartment is furnished. During the winter (December through February), monthly electric and gas bills can be expensive if not included in the rent. Other costs include monthly telephone and internet service bills.
Household bills vary according to taste and inclination. Packing lunches and bulk shopping will help lower the overall expenses, as will regular preparation of meals in the apartment. Transportation options in Washington, D.C. include buses, Metro, taxis, Uber, Lyft, biking, and walking. Expenses will vary depending on the mode of transportation and location of the student’s apartment and internship.
Entertainment is another important budget item. Most museums and monuments are free, and the Kennedy Center has free live entertainment every night, but there are many other options at various costs available throughout the DC area. Part of the Washington, D.C. experience is sampling the wide variety of restaurants, not all of which are overly expensive. For those over the age of 21, bars and clubs are a big part of the Washington, D.C. scene; some places offer specials or have no cover charges. Be sure to bring your student I.D. in order to take advantage of discounts at movies, shows, and certain exhibits.
Other expenses to plan for include furnishings (if necessary), apartment supplies, dry cleaning, activities, travel, a winter coat, a professional wardrobe, and shipping accumulated items home at the end of the semester.
There are no Claremont College housing facilities available for the CMC Washington Program. Students are responsible for arranging their own independent housing in DC. During the orientations in Claremont, students are given the necessary tools and guidance for finding housing and selecting roommates. This information includes descriptions of different neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding suburbs, a housing resource guide, and specific websites where students can research available housing.
CMC Washington Program students often live together in group housing, which reduces costs and eases the challenge of living off-campus in a new city. Once accepted, interns are encouraged to discuss Washington, D.C. housing with alumni of the program, current interns, or any other contacts they may have in the DC metropolitan area.
CMC will either provide a round-trip, economy airline ticket to the program and return for the program dates through our travel agent or reimburse students in the Washington Program for up to a specified amount towards the cost of a student purchased ticket. The provided ticket or reimbursement may include the cost of luggage up to the maximum reimbursement amount determined each semester. Because of federal tax regulations, CMC can only reimburse students for actual expenses, so students must provide receipts in order to be reimbursed. Travel costs accumulated on school breaks are not eligible for reimbursement. Students traveling by car, train, or bus may also receive reimbursement up to the maximum travel allowance. More information on how to claim reimbursement and recommendations for Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. travel logistics will be provided during the orientation meetings.
Four special awards are available each semester to CMC participants in the Washington Program. The Margaret Martin Brock Internship Award and the Claremont McKenna Internship Award each provide two students with a stipend. The selection process occurs during interviews. Award recipients receive the stipend through direct deposit after arrival in Washington, D.C.