Westward Bound!! Do you remember how eager American settlers were to explore the west and pursue possibilities for a new life? In modern communication, you might say they wanted to "expand their horizon" and search for something new. Well, the same can be said about searching for colleges.
It appears that west coast students are willing to consider east coast colleges, but many east coast students prefer east coast colleges. I find it a challenge sometimes to convince an east coast student to change time zones and explore California life; unless, a relative lives nearby. I respect the "comfort issue," as well as a family's concern about costs. However, what you may not know is that if a college is trying to diversify their geographic population, the fact that you are from another area could help reduce fees and offer other perks.
If you haven't explored other regions, how do you know you won't like it? I know students who were willing to attend college in the west and not only were they impressed with their education, but a job offer made it their home.
I remember speaking to a group of students at my school about liberal arts colleges, and when I mentioned the Claremont Consortium schools, I got that "deer in the headlights" look. Actually, when I inquired, several of the seniors were planning to attend liberal arts colleges (even though they didn't know they were), but they were all on the east coast. All is not lost, though, because I met a student from Maryland at the Ontario, CA airport, recently, who informed me that there are many collegians from my area at the Consortium.
I participated in the undergraduate Claremont Consortium Tour for counselors, January 23-24, 2013. The consortium represents the following liberal arts colleges: Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, Pomona and Scripps. Claremont, California has a population of 37,780 and is located 35 miles east of Los Angeles. The most convenient airport is located ten miles away in Ontario.
Each college has its own distinct campus, personality, students and faculty, educational community, curb appeal and goals. However, unlike many consortiums, each campus is very easily accessible, just by walking. This planned convenience is ideal for cross-campus studies, social events, athletics, meal cards, and other college experiences. Undergraduate students may choose from approximately 2,000 courses offered each year across the colleges.
An quick overview of highlights include:
•Scripps offers a curriculum foundation that focuses on Core Curriculum in Interdisciplinary Humanities; a women's college but men can take classes at Scripps, just cannot enroll.
•Claremont McKenna is a great place for "political junkies" and those interested in public leadership; special emphasis on the preparation of leaders for business and government.
•Pomona has the most comprehensive liberal arts program; good male/female balance; no single major dominates; prepares students to pursue creative leadership and perform exemplary service.
•Harvey Mudd is a response to the Sputnik Age; the smallest Claremont school and the most focused curriculum; goal is to produce highly competent engineers, scientists and mathematicians.
•Pitzer offers more curriculum freedom; stresses interdisciplinary learning and social responsibility.
The consortium is a good place for math majors with a combined number of 45+ professors. Majors are selected by end of second year. All colleges accept the Common Application and require a supplement, use the FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE, and most will meet 100% of demonstrated financial need. Even though the colleges work together, they have independent qualities.
Expand your college search and explore the undergraduate colleges of the Claremont Consortium.