Tag Archives: Claremont McKenna

Pomona: yes. just yes.

If you are going to build a campus in Southern California you should do it like Pomona.

statuevintagefilter

In 1887 a group of graduates from schools like Dartmouth, Yale, and Colby wanted to found a college in the New England style… but without the snow. They built Pomona.

alumnihouse

They must have done something right because in 2013 Forbes.com ranked Pomona the #2 college in the country. Stanford got #1.
Pause for a minute. #2 over all. This means it beat Harvard, Yale, Princeton, M.I.T., Duke, Cal, and pretty much everyone else.

archedhall

You may not have heard of Pomona before. Don’t feel bad. A lot of people are just like you and just like you, most people don’t really know what a liberal arts college is. Pomona is a liberal arts college. When I was 17 I thought a liberal arts college was a place for democrats. I was not too bright; one of the reasons I didn’t go to Pomona.

ivygate

A liberal arts college is normally small, which is why most of us haven’t heard of most of them. These schools focus a bit more on critical thinking ability than a specific marketable skill. If education was stretched out into a line, one end would be poetry and the other would be engineering; business perhaps. A large research University normally lets a student choose one point on this spectrum and focus on it. Upon graduation the student should be proficient, and employable, in whatever they studied ie chemistry, marketing, or even -gulp- English.

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A liberal arts education aims to give a student experience and knowledge on as many points on that spectrum as possible. Then, upon graduation, the student should have the ability to look at problems, tasks, or anything, and draw on a wealth of knowledge to generate answers, ideas, or whatever is needed at that moment.

What this does not always generate is a job; or so many think. Many people are wrong.

Pomona genesimural

Now lets not us get this wrong. A job on Wall St. is not and should not, be the sole purpose of college. That being said, about 20% of Pomona grads work in finance. But it is not a pipeline, that would be Wharton. Now if you want to go to grad school, or get a Fulbright (the class of 2007 alone won 24 Fulbright scholarships), or be a lawyer, or simply want to learn in a rigorous and supportive environment, consider the liberal arts route.

outdoortable

There are plenty of such schools around, but at places like Pomona it is kinda hard to get in. 23% of those admitted were their high school’s valedictorian. Most were in the nation’s top percentile on the SAT. They accept less than 1,000 students year to year. That is small.

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Don’t worry about the money. When it comes to the top American schools, never worry about the money, worry about getting in. Pomona promises that if you get in, they will make sure you find the money. They also promise that money won’t come from a loan.
But ya gotta get in first.

pomona gate

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Claremont McKenna College

If you are a college without a long storied history, if you don’t have churchlike stone buildings, this is what you build instead:

mckennamodernbuilding

Claremont McKenna was founded in 1946, about an hour East of Los Angeles, as a men’s college. Back then there were a lot of men coming back from a war with tuition dollars to spend. In 1976 they went coed.

It is a good school. US News &  World Report ranked it the #9 liberal arts college in all America.

But theres a little twist.

mckenna cube

In 2012 one of the deans admitted to lying to US News & World Report about applicant’s SAT scores. They lied to get a better ranking. It is a shame really. They acadmeics are still top notch.
They have a new president now.
Not only do they have a new president but they have what is called “need blind admissions.” That means they have no idea how much money an applicant’s family has. This becomes significant once you consider they also have no loans, needs met guarantee.
This means if you get in, which is still very hard to do, and you happen to be broke, they cover your tution bill.
No seriously they do.

But you have to get in first.

mckennaskater

 

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