Claremont Colleges: Pitzer, Scripps (Claremont, CA)

Outside the Bay Area

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  • Your Pitzer experience

    (3 replies)

    If you are a Pitzer grad or Pitzer parent can you fill us in on your Pitzer experience? We visited Scripps and Pitzer recently and my daughter like Pitzer a lot but Scripps not so much. Can you address the academics at Pitzer? My daughter is into creative writing/arts/politics. But my husband felt the Pitzer scene felt too loose to pay such high price.  Also any comments on how tough it is to get in?  Thanks!

    My daughter is at Pitzer and really likes it. She is engaged in her coursework and really loves her profs. Although there is a laid back atmosphere on campus, coursework is rigorous and students are serious about their studies. Having the course offerings of 5 schools is a real plus and creates diversity of interests on the extended campus. Admissions at Pitzer are very competitive and odds of getting in are better for early decision and I know of at least one student who was admitted from the wait list. Hope that helps!

    LOL.  I'm a Scripps grad who went to a bunch of Pitzer classes.  I agree it feels more loose at Pitzer but the classes are rather dynamic.  That's the great thing about the 5 colleges is that you really can take classes at any one so focusing on where you want your degree from would be more of a consideration if I was in your position.  I am curious why she didn't like Scripps.  There are a lot of different groups within Scripps and I feel you can always find your way to the people you resonate with.  Political activism, culture studies and environmental studies are all great at Pitzer but creative writing and humanities are really rocking at Scripps and having an all women's experience for some of those classes (especially the first year) really can help bring our her voice.  I'd suggest she does an overnight at both to really soak in the experience and get a better feel for the 5 college system.  Good luck!

    I went to Pitzer '03 and had a really positive experience. I agree that the classes are dynamic, often small, professors are  passionate, experienced and knowledgable. I would send my own children there. I went on to do a masters degree at the London School of economics. Happy to chat more if you have further questions. I really loved my Pitzer experience! Best wishes on deciding! 

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Hi origami - Pitzer is one of the Claremont Colleges. I went to Scripps (decades ago) It's pretty nice socially though like most private colleges, not as diverse as you'd hope. Pitzer is the most socially progressive of all the schools. It is perforce a student body with a lot of rich kids, mostly white. I worked as a waitress in the dorms at Scripps and the kids on scholarship were a pretty great group. There were not and may not now be many black and Hispanic students though as a group the Claremont colleges had a strong program of admissions officers going to high schools in the LA area and finding students of color. They could have given them more emotional/academic support - they may have improved that. Don't know about Pitzer financial aid office. The diversity for me (lol) was learning to get along with rich kids from the east coast.Not sure how good I was at it. good luck.

Macalester is a sweet little school. My daughter turned down a big scholarship there but has good friend who went there from Berkeley and loved it. Her friend is soccer player. It is cold....really, really cold. good luck. Mills is diverse, has strong LBGQT community. Mills may be academically less rigorous than other two. good luck. 

Hi I'm a graduate of Pitzer College in Claremont. They have a great media studies program and it's a social justice amosphere. It was a bit of a culture shock for me as i was from SF (when it was more diverse) and had intersecting identities but there were so many great opportunities for self expression at Pitzer. LA was a short drive away from Claremont. Its a small school with opportunities at a large school bc it's part of Claremont Colleges. Last thing is the fee...deffinitely has expansive private school price tag but my mom was single mother/teacher and my cost was much less than if I had went to UC or state school.

Look into Bard College.  My cousin's children went there and they are creative.  They are only one and two years out of college.  One works as a graphic designer and the other, who majored in documentary film making, works at a film museum and teaches disadvantaged youth in film making projects.

Our son, who is a writer, loved Pitzer College and works in the video game industry and has had a number of great jobs including being the editor in chief of the magazine for video game developers, Game Developers Magazine.  (The print magazine was closed.). He is now on a team that is developing new video games.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Air Quality at the Claremont Colleges

August 2011

My daughter, a high school senior, is very interested in applying to one of the Claremont Colleges. However, I am concerned because she has Asthma (mild) and I believe that area of Southern Cal. has had air pollution issues in the past. If anyone has experience with this, we would greatly appreciate hearing about it. Also, I heard that air quality has been improving in the L.A. area. Does anyone know for a fact if this is true? Any input would be a great help to us, as we evaluate whether attending school in Claremont would be putting my daughter's health at risk. Many thanks! nl

Air quality at the Claremont Colleges is poor during the late spring, summer, and early fall months. It is fine the rest of the year. If her asthma is really really bad, then maybe Claremont is not for her. One of the reasons I didn't go to UC Riverside for graduate school (not the Claremont Colleges but in the same geographic area) was because the smog was so bad that I could barely see the sky. However, my decision was made partly by the fact that my fellowship would have required me to work year round and I would not have been able to leave for five years. Since your daughter will be an undergraduate, she will not be at the college during the summer months when the smog is at its worst. So it may not be that much of a problem. Anon

My son has been at Pomona for the past 2 years. He has no allergies or asthma. However, he has said that the air in LA is definitely worse than in Claremont and Claremont is OK. I checked with 2 other parents of students there (neither of whom have asthma but one has other airborne allergies) and their students both said, ''No problem''. Also they all agreed that they did not know anyone there who was having a problem with it. Personally, I have made trips there for 2 years in Aug., Dec., late Jan., mid-Feb., early May and I have been pleasantly surprised to find it quite good. I am a pretty sensitive person and am OK with it. Hope this is helpful. Mom of Pomona Junior

I can't speak to the air quality, but if your daughter only has mild asthma and she has an asthma plan, this isn't something I would worry a lot about. Talk to your doctor. Is she on daily inhaled steroids? My non-doctor guess is that this will be sufficient. I have moderate asthma and would not worry about this, even though I've moved to an area with more air pollution. breathing fine

Outdoor air pollution like smog is bad for your health, but indoor air pollution can be far worse. New carpet in the dorm room or a roommate who wears perfume is going to be a bigger deal than smog. I would suggest that you reduce the use of all fragranced products and air fresheners and not worry about what goes on outside. Maybe get a houseplant to clean the air. anon

I think you may just have to have your child visit before deciding and see how they deal with the air. My daughter went to visits at many California schools. She couldn't stop sneezing the whole time she was on tour at UC Davis and at UC Santa Barbara so obviously something was triggering her generally seasonal only allergies and she chose not to consider those schools for that reason alone. My brother in law never had allergies or asthma and after moving to LA, developed medication dependent asthma. She may have no issues, she may react to something else there so likely best for her to visit before deciding. xx