Frequently Asked Questions
When is Orientation? Orientation activities officially begin on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. and student Orientation activities run through Monday, September 1.
Will there be time during Orientation to set up a bank account, purchase books, or shop for needed items? Limited time is available on Thursday, August 28, 2014 for shopping. It is recommended to take care of these items beforehand. Time is set aside on Saturday, August 30 for students to take a shopping trip. Transportation will be provided by the Dean of Students office. Students will purchase books after registration on Monday, September 1.
Do you recommend any banks? Many banks serve the Claremont area, and we do not endorse any particular one. Several banks have branches within walking distance, including Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, and US Bank. Here is a list of local banks and credit unions.
Am I expected to participate in all of the Orientation activities? What are the benefits of participating? Students are expected to participate in all Orientation activities. Orientation is a time to learn about the College and how it functions, student life, academics, and to begin making friends. Participation in a W.O.A.! trip (Welcome Orientation Adventure) is highly encouraged, and many students have found that they have made friends within the first two weeks of school that last them at least the next four years. Also, Orientation activities include mandatory academic advising and technology sessions that each student must complete.
Will I have an academic advisor? You will be assigned an academic advisor during new student orientation. All advisors are members of the CMC faculty. You may be assigned a professor according to your major, or in cases of undeclared majors, you will be assigned by similar interest. Once you declare a major, you may select a new advisor. Advisors help students pick a course of study, and can assist with most academic questions their advisees have. You must meet with your advisor at least once a semester to discuss which courses you should take the next semester, but many students meet with their advisors more frequently. You may change advisors as many times as you want.
What assistance is available if I am struggling academically? In every department, there are help sessions and tutors available. Also, each professor is generally available even beyond office hours, in person or by email, to assist with questions their students have. You should consult your professors directly about trouble you are having, and talk to your advisor or a counselor if there is a larger problem contributing to your academic difficulties.
Is attendance taken in classes? Some professors take attendance, or scan the classroom in order to see who is there and who is not, but it is for their own grading purposes, not to monitor your activities. You are held personally accountable for your class attendance, and each professor makes it very clear at the beginning of each semester what their expectations are about missed classes.
Will my parents get copies of my grades? No. Because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), all students enrolled at a school past the high school level, and over the age of 18, have sole access to their grades. Most CMC students share their progress with their parents on their own accord. To learn more about FERPA visit http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.
How do I find out information about CMC internships? The Career Services Center sends out email updates with opportunities for students to look into, but students are encouraged to visit the Center on their own and work with one of their staff to find internships that best suits them as individuals. For more information, visit http://csc.cmc.edu.
When is tuition due? How do I pay tuition? The Student Accounts Office sends information about paying tuition and fees. Please visit the Student Accounts Office website.
Is there a GPA requirement for renewal of financial aid? Yes, you must maintain at least a C or 6.0 GPA to renew your financial aid. You must also complete a minimum of 3 courses per semester and have academic standing consistent with CMC requirements.
When do I apply for renewal of aid? At the beginning of each calendar year, all students on financial aid must renew their FAFSA and CSS Profile reports, as well as submit copies of their families' tax records to the IDOC service. This must be done within the first few months of the calendar year.
If I want to live off campus, how does this affect my financial aid? Financial aid awards always include living expenses. However, these expenses depend on where a student lives. If you move off campus, live in a student apartment, or at home, your financial aid award may change. Students who live off campus or in the student apartments generally incur similar room and board expenses as students living on campus. Therefore, a financial aid award most likely will not change. However, if a student moves home, living expenses are still considered when determining a student's financial aid award, but the living cost is less. Therefore, the financial aid award will be adjusted and reduced accordingly.
How do I find a work-study job? Are there enough jobs for everyone? On campus jobs (work study and non-work study) are available in most academic departments, administrative offices, and research institutes, as well as the Emett Student Center, the Athenaeum, the bookstore, and the library. During Orientation, you may apply to various jobs on campus at the job fair. Also, you will receive email bulletins regularly about job opportunities. There are more than enough on-campus work-study jobs for all who want one, but you may also use the resources at the Career Services Center to find off-campus jobs.
Where can I find more information about the residence halls and living on campus? General information is available on the Residential Life page of the DOS website. Information on specific residence halls can be found on this Orientation web site under Residence Hall Information.
What size bed linens do I need? CMC beds are twin extra long. If you are particularly tall you may contact Facilities at Story House to request an extra-extra-long bed and linens, at no extra charge. Most students buy twin extra long sheets at any place linens are available (e.g., Target or Bed, Bath & Beyond).
How does the College determine room assignments? Each new student is asked to fill out a housing form as candidly and honestly as possible. The form provides insight about your preferences regarding study times, level of messiness, music tastes, etc. The Dean of Students office staff uses these forms to match roommates. For the most part, freshman roommates are very successful pairings. Check out the DOS Residential Life webpage for additional information on campus life and housing. Go to the New Student Portal to complete the housing questionnaire.
Can I change roommates in the middle of the semester? It is very uncommon for students to change roommates. If you have a problem concerning your assigned roommate, you should go to your Resident Assistant for advice. Communication and flexibility are important when living with a fellow student in the residence halls. If you are unable to resolve the issues on your own or through mediated discussion, you may request a room reassignment. Reassignments are made based on the situation and housing availability.
Are bathrooms co-ed? No. Though residence halls and some floors in mid and south quads are co-ed, there are separate, gender-specific bathrooms.
Are portable air conditioning units allowed in the residence halls? No. Small oscillating fans and/or box fans help keep rooms cool in those buildings without central air conditioning.
Does CMC offer storage during the semester or over the summer? Closet space is sufficient for most students' needs; however there is limited storage in the residence halls while classes are in session and during winter break. During the summer, you must move all of your possessions out. Public storage units are available for rental from nearby establishments and information regarding summer storage is sent to students via email during the spring semester.
What should I do if something needs to be fixed in my room? You can either call Facilities at Story House at (909) 621-8112 or access the online "Work Order" form which will alert the maintenance staff, and the problem will be taken care of promptly. To access the work request form go to the Student Gateway and click on the "Work Order" button.
Do all residence hall rooms have high speed Internet access? Yes. Each room is equipped with an Ethernet port for each resident. Be sure to bring an Ethernet cable; they are not provided. Ethernet cables are available at Huntley Bookstore.
Does the campus have Wi-fi? Yes. Resident Technology Assistants are available in each residence hall to help you set up wireless access, and it is available almost everywhere on campus. Should you desire wireless access at consortium locations such as the library, you can request help setting that up directly from the Technology Assistants in the computer lab. The College thanks Ryal Poppa '57 GP'08 for funding the wireless network. For additional information about computing, click here.
Am I able to ship belongings to campus before I leave for CMC? You may ship packages to campus one week before you arrive on campus. Anything sent before one week will be returned to sender. Packages may be mailed to: Story House, 742 N. Amherst Ave., Claremont, CA 91711. Your name and box number should be included in the shipping address; you will receive your box number with your housing assignment in early August.
What should I ship to school vs. what should I bring with me? It may be beneficial to ship clothing and pack heavier items, because it could be more cost-effective, depending on how much you are bringing. Make sure to pack less than you think you need, and pick up anything you've forgotten on your next visit home! We do not recommend shipping appliances or furniture. Due to the large volume of mail received in the first few weeks of school, there is limited space to store these items. You may find our checklist useful to pull together what you need.
What should I buy when I arrive as opposed to purchasing at home? Certain bulky items may not be worth bringing, and you can easily purchase them during your first days at school. Clothing hangers, drying rack, iron, laundry hamper and detergent, small shelving units for snacks and toiletries, shower supplies, fan, microwave, mini-fridge -- these are just some of the things that should be purchased in California, if you intend to use them at all. You may also order items through Bed, Bath & Beyond and have it shipped to the local store for pick-up. Click here for more information on local shopping options.
If I can't travel home during holidays and breaks, what options are available? During fall, Thanksgiving, and spring breaks, you are allowed to stay in your residence hall room. Dozens of students stay on or near campus during summer break, because they have jobs here or have chosen to take summer courses. During winter break all students except those living in the on-campus apartments must vacate the residence halls. In the past, students who have not been able to go home during that time have made accommodations to stay with friends or relatives nearby. International students can contact the International Place of the Claremont Colleges if they have any questions. Click this link to view CMC's academic calendar.
For additional information on campus safety, click here.
Where can I learn more about Student Health Insurance? All students are required to carry health insurance. If you are interested in the Student Health Insurance offered by the Claremont Colleges, information can be found on the New Student Portal under "Medical Insurance Information". You may also contact Lyn Hughes at (909) 607-7950 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What type of health care and counseling are available on campus? The Claremont Colleges share the Student Health Center, Health Education Outreach, and the Monsour Counseling & Psychological Services. Visits made by appointment are free of charge, and any additional costs (e.g., prescriptions, physical exams, X-rays) are a fraction of the average cost. If you require any ongoing medical treatment or counseling, the Consortium services are prepared to refer you to affiliated local doctors.
Who do I contact for a copy of the Student Health Center charge that appears on my statement? You may contact Student Health Services directly at (909) 621-8222 for billing questions as well as general questions about the services offered.
What are the nearby medical facilities? Most students use the Student Health Center for the majority of their medical care, but if a student requires emergency care past first aid (which RAs and Campus Safety can take care of), there are local hospitals and urgent care centers such as Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center in Pomona and Montclair Hospital Medical Center.
If I use on-campus counseling services, what will my parents be told? California law treats all medical and counseling services as confidential matters between the health care providers and their patients unless you submit your bill to your parents' insurance plan or you sign a release of information form. Also, if the counselor believes you are at risk in some way, the counselor may communicate with your listed emergency contacts.
What steps does the College take to ensure my safety on campus? CMC has developed and maintains a Comprehensive Safety and Emergency Management System that is designed to protect from, prepare for, and respond to a wide range of threats. As part of this system, regular training and exercises are conducted to ensure that everyone on campus knows what to do in the event of an emergency. In the event of a large-scale disaster the College is equipped to be self sustained for a number of days. Please see the CMC Emergency Preparedness web page.
Does CMC have a security department? To ensure the protection of students, officers from The Claremont Colleges Department of Campus Safety patrol the seven campuses at all times in order to make sure there are no crimes being committed or suspicious people wandering the campuses, and that students are not in distress. Campus Safety Officers are first responders to emergency calls and provide security at parties and special events. Every residence hall has at least one Resident Assistant, who is safety and emergency trained, and regularly briefed on any security issues that may arise.
What will the College do to communicate with me in the event of a disaster? The College has developed and maintains a robust Emergency Communication Program that enables emergency warnings and information to be distributed to students in the following ways:
You should make sure the Dean of Students office has your current cell phone number; your CMC email address will be used for email messages.
Does CMC have a Code of Conduct? Perhaps the most significant factor in the safety of students is the recognized expectation of respect for people and property as outlined in CMC's Basic Rule of Conduct. Students who violate the Basic Rule of Conduct or other College policies are subject to CMC's discipline procedures. The Guide to Student Life includes the Basic Rule of Conduct, nonacademic policies, and emergency procedures. The Guide and discipline procedures can be found at http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/dos/policies.php.
What about having a car on campus? Is a bike a good option? Freshmen are not permitted to bring cars to campus. We believe that new students should spend more time on-campus, developing friendships and settling in. Although about half of returning sophomores, juniors, and seniors bring cars to campus, it is not a necessary part of the CMC experience. Plenty of students ride bicycles or skateboards to get food or run small errands nearby, or even to get to class, but none of these things are necessary. All classes are within easy walking distance, except in rare instances when two classes on different campuses are scheduled too closely together.
Do I need to bring my own bike? CMC has a student-run bike shop located in the basement of Wohlford Hall. Loaner bikes are available to CMC students at no charge for 24 hours. Locks and helmets are also available. A $10 late fee is applied daily to bikes returned after one day. Lost, stolen, or badly damaged bikes will require a reimbursement of $300 plus tax. Students may also bring their own bikes in for repair and services, including inflating or replacing tires, adjusting seats and gears, and replacing brake pads and cables. The Bike Shop is open during the school year from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the week and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekends. Times may be subject to change.
Where should I register a vehicle? Freshmen are not permitted to have a vehicle on campus. It is a violation of college policy to attempt to register a car under someone else's name or to register a car for someone else. Transfer students may register their vehicles with Campus Safety.
Do you make sure that students are back in their residence halls every day? There is no such monitoring of students at most college campuses, and certainly not at CMC. One of the most important aspects of college life is gaining independence, and it is your responsibility to manage class attendance, academic progress, proper health and nutrition, sleep habits, etc. If you are absent from a number of classes, your faculty member may contact one of the staff in the Dean of Students Office and request that we follow-up with you.
I am worried about substance use on campus. Student safety and well-being are extremely important to us; therefore, CMC employs several measures to discourage the use of controlled substances and to encourage responsible behavior when students of legal drinking age choose to drink. The College works with Student Government and groups of students who wish to register campus events where alcohol will be present to make sure that ID cards are checked and safety measures are in place. We think it is incredibly helpful when parents and students talk openly about substance use, and we hope you will do this before you set off to CMC. To view the alcohol and drug policy, see the Guide to Student Life at http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/dos/policies.php.
Because CMC students do not tend to go off-campus to drink, we have almost no problems with drunk-driving, and the College has a very low rate of alcohol or substance related emergencies compared to other schools. Freshman Orientation includes informational and discussion sessions concerning such behavior so that you know from the beginning that the College views substance abuse as unacceptable. Should an emergency arise, Resident Assistants are trained to recognize and respond when students are in danger, both in first aid and in contacting medical personnel if necessary. We also have a substance-free residence hall in which many students choose to live for their entire time at CMC.
For more information about dining at CMC, visit http://www.cmc.edu/studentaffairs/foodservices/. We offer regular meals per week in Collins Hall, which is managed by the Bon Appétit Company. The Bon Appétit Company uses the freshest ingredients and makes as many products as possible from scratch. Bon Appétit also has a program called "Farm-to-Fork", which includes foods that are entirely organic, vegan, and locally grown. Finally, through a cooperative agreement in Claremont, students may eat at any of the dining halls at the other Colleges. For these reasons, we think our program offers incredible variety, flexibility, and quality.
Do I have to have a meal plan? All students living in the residence halls are required to select one of the CMC meal plans. Students living off-campus or in the student apartment complex have the option of selecting a meal plan. The residence halls are not set-up for cooking meals.
Which meal plans are the most popular? Students living on campus must be on the 8, 12, 14, or 16 meal plan, which allow for that many meals per week and include $80, $120, $140, or $160 of "Board Plus Dollars" per semester, respectively. The most popular tends to be the 12-meal plan. Click here to view more information about the meal plans available.
Can I eat at the other colleges? CMC recognizes that our students take classes at all of the other undergraduate colleges in our consortium, are involved in activities across campus lines, and sometimes just want a change of environment. For these reasons, the College participates in a cross-dining relationship, whereby students may enjoy meals at any of the college dining halls.
What are "Board Plus" dollars? Included in each meal plan is an allotment of Board Plus dollars per semester. Each Board Plus dollar is equivalent to one dollar in cash and is tracked electronically on the student's ID card. Board Plus dollars may be used at any of the "cash operations" at the undergraduate Colleges in lieu of cash for food and beverages. Students may also use Board Plus dollars to bring a guest into the dining halls. Unused Board Plus dollars do not roll over to the next semester.
What is Claremont Cash? Claremont Cash can be used to purchase food and non-food items throughout The Claremont Colleges and selected merchants in Claremont. All students have a Claremont Cash account established when they receive their ID cards. Funds may be deposited into this account. Unused funds will roll over from one year to the next. A full refund of unspent funds can be requested when you graduate or withdraw from the College. For more information, click here.
Are there vegetarian/kosher options available? There are vegetarian and vegan options at all of the dining halls, but because the dining hall kitchens are not kosher certified, strictly kosher meals are not available.
What food options are available if I have special dietary needs? In case of a food allergy or other dietary need, you are encouraged to discuss the dining hall menu with the chef or dining hall manager.
Is there a way to find out what other students are from my hometown? During the summer, the CMC Alumni Association sponsors new student parties in various locations around the world where you and your parents will have the opportunity to meet classmates, current upperclassmen, alumni, and parents. These events are a great opportunity to meet new people, exchange contact information, and ask questions. For more information, contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at (909) 621-8097.
Do you recommend any cellular phone providers? Most cell phone service providers offer coverage in the Claremont area, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and Nextel. Be sure to confirm the coverage area and quality of service of any cell phone provider that you may contract with.
When should I begin my career exploration and using Career Services? We'd like you to get started as soon as you are ready. Our Career Services Center offers skills assessment, counseling, workshops, employer and industry discussions, on-campus interviews, and many other services.
I still have questions. Who should I contact? For additional questions, please feel free to call or email the following individuals:
- Student Orientation: Kristin Weyman, Associate Dean of Students/Dean of First and Second Year Students, at (909) 621-8114 email@example.com.
- Housing: If you have questions regarding housing assignments, changes to room or board plan and billing, or furnishings, contact Lyn Hughes at (909) 607-7950 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Residential Life: If you have questions regarding Resident Assistants, or residence hall programs, contact Eric Vos, Assistant Dean/Director of Residential Life at (909) 621-8114 email@example.com.
- Parents Orientation: Parent Relations Office, at (909) 621-8098.
- Any additional questions can be directed to the Dean of Students Office at (909) 621-8114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Parents Orientation? Parents Orientation is a welcome program designed specifically for parents and guardians of new students. This two-day program consists of special presentations designed to help family members assist with their student's transition to college by becoming familiar with the College and its many resources. During Parents Orientation, parents will be acquainted with various aspects of the College's academic, residential, and student life. Emphasis will be on the transitions and adjustments new college students and their parents typically experience. You will have an opportunity to visit with and ask questions of members of our faculty, administrative staff, students, and other parents.
Are parents required to attend Orientation? Parents are not required to attend, however their attendance at Parents Orientation can help them learn more about CMC and gain a greater understanding of what their student will be experiencing in their first year and beyond. The program for parents is separate from the student program.
Can I bring my other children to Parents Orientation? Yes, however, all of the sessions for parents are geared toward parents, and children may be uninterested.
Is it necessary to register for Parents Orientation? Yes. We encourage parents to register in advance so that we can ensure that each guest has a packet and nametag. It also helps us to know how many people plan to attend so we can provide for catering needs.
How do I register for Parents Orientation? There are three ways to register for Parents Orientation. Please note that you should use only ONE of these methods for registration.
- To register online, click here. Online registration will open in early July.
- Mail in the registration form included with your Orientation packet. Packets will be mailed to new parents in early July.
- Print the online registration form and mail it or fax it to the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations. The fax number is (909) 607-7494 and mailing address is Office of Alumni & Parent Relations, 400 N. Claremont Blvd., Claremont, CA, 91711.
Can we register for Parents Orientation when we arrive on campus? Yes, you may register when you arrive on campus; however it will help us welcome you if you register in advance.
How will I know if my registration is confirmed? You will receive a confirmation, either via email or mail, once your registration has been processed. Please allow one week for your registration to be processed and confirmation sent. If you do not receive a confirmation, please contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at (909) 621-8097.
I already registered but I need to make some changes. What should I do? If you wish to make changes to your reservations, please call the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at (909) 621-8097.
Where can we stay during Parents Orientation? The Office of Alumni and Parent Relations has rooms blocked at several hotels; click here to see a list of those hotels. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee rooms will be available, so please book early.
What do I need to do if I need special accommodations due to a disability? If you need special accommodations because of a disability, please call us prior to Parents Orientation at (909) 621-8097 during business hours of 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST, Monday through Friday. During Parents Orientation, visit the check-in/hospitality room (Wednesday 1:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. or Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) located in The Hub at the Emett Student Center for assistance.
What is the dress code for Parents Orientation? Dress casually and comfortably. The weather is typically sunny and warm. Please don't forget your sunglasses and sun screen. Click here to view the current weather in Claremont.
I'm flying in, which airport is closest to Claremont McKenna College? The closest airport to Claremont McKenna College is Ontario International Airport, located about 10 miles from campus. International students can contact International Place at The Claremont Colleges for additional information and arrival assistance.
Where do I park during Parents Orientation and will parking tickets be issued? During Parents Orientation, you are welcome to park in any available legal parking space on the CMC campus. Parking permits are not needed during Orientation. Vehicles that are parked in a manner that may impede the flow of traffic or response by emergency vehicles will be towed at the owner's expense without prior notification. Campus Safety will not ticket non-registered cars on move-in day. There are some cases where they may ticket, such as a car parked in a handicap space with no placard. If someone is actively unloading a car in a red zone, they will not ticket, but if a car is left unattended in a red zone or parked there, they may ticket it. The City of Claremont can issue tickets for illegal parking on city streets or in fire lanes. To read CMC's parking policy click here. To view CMC's parking lot map, click here.
We'll be arriving in Claremont before Orientation. Can my student move into his/her room early or at least store stuff there? Will I have access to my student's room before Wednesday? Students and parents may check-in on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. Keys will only be issued to students. If your student is participating in the Welcome Orientation Adventure (W.O.A.!) trip, he/she may leave their belongings in their room prior to departure; however parents will not be able to have access to their rooms until they return on Wednesday, August 27. W.O.A.! return times will be posted and updated throughout the day, but trips typically return between 2:00pm and 5:00 p.m. Students participating in W.O.A.! will be able to stay in their rooms on Wednesday evening.
How do I access my son or daughter's account? If you student has set you up as an authorized user to their student account on CASHNet, you can view your current statement, check your account balance, make a payment, or view your account transaction history.
Go to the parent link on CASHNet
Will I get copies of my students’ grades? No. Because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), all students enrolled at a school past the high school level, and over the age of 18, have sole access to their grades. Most CMC students share their progress with their parents on their own accord. To learn more about FERPA visit http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.
How can parents find out if their student is having problems with classes before it's too late? The best way to keep informed of your student's progress (academic, social, etc.) is to maintain contact with them. You will not be contacted about your student's academic progress by the school unless the situation gets to the point where disciplinary action will have to be taken.
How do I know how much of a "presence" to be in my student's life? I want to build independence, but I still want to know what is going on. How do I balance those two competing ideas? It is important to stay involved in your student's life without hindering their college experience. Encourage your student to keep in touch with you, but be mindful that especially the first few weeks of freshman year are incredibly busy with schoolwork, bonding activities, and meeting new people. Students always appreciate a care package or encouraging note in the mail, and hopefully your student will be comfortable sharing news about classes and their well-being.
How can I feel part of the campus and my student's college experience when I don't live close enough to visit often? The CMC Parent Network is your link to remaining involved in your student's educational community. It is our mission to provide resources, information, and opportunities for parents to become partners with CMC in the educational experiences of their students. You can stay up to date by visiting the Parents Gateway. There are also regional activities in which all parents and alumni can participate. Parents of all current students and alumni are automatic members of the Parent Network, and other family members are welcome to join. There are many volunteer opportunities in which parents can participate regardless of where they live. Parents are encouraged to participate in activities organized by the CMC Alumni Association.
When will we receive information about Parents Weekend? Join the hundreds of parents who travel to CMC and take advantage of this annual three-day event, scheduled for Saturday, February 15 through Monday, February 17, 2014, to get a taste of campus life. Parents Weekend is filled with panel discussions, athletic events, lectures, informal get-togethers, classroom visits, and entertainment. Plan to attend classes on Monday, February 17, which is a holiday for most parents, but is a regular class day in Claremont. Parents Weekend registration packets will be mailed in January and event information will be available on-line. Continue to visit the parent gateway for updated information as well as hotel accommodations.