Prev RANK: 24, Best Selective Colleges Next
Overall Score: 79.64

Claremont McKenna College

Claremont, CA
The academic emphasis at Claremont McKenna is on political science and economics, but students can take classes offered by other members of the Claremont Colleges, a consortium that includes Pomona College, Scripps College, Harvey Mudd College and Pitzer College. CMC itself is small, with around 1,300 undergraduate students. The college's core curriculum includes some first-year seminars and a senior thesis, but it also requires students to complete three semesters of physical education within their first two years, though there are a variety of course options to help fulfill the requirement, like breakdancing, horseback riding and surfing. Graduates of Claremont McKenna often go on to have lucrative careers, with median earnings around $86,600. Well-known alums include Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Michael Jeffries, the former CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch. In their downtime, CMC students can relax at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, a college club where students and faculty gather to dine and listen to guest speakers ranging from Condoleezza Rice and Karl Rove to Jonathan Franzen and Ta-Nehisi Coates.


Est. full price 2022-2023
% of students who get any grants
Est. price for students who receive aid
Average price for low-income students


Acceptance rate
Median SAT/ACT score
SAT/ACT required?
Undergraduate enrollment

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
% of need met
% of students who get merit grants
Average merit grant

Student Success

Graduation rate
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Median student debt
Early career earnings
% earning more than a high school grad

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

More From Money’s College Team

  • Recent College News

    Recent College News

    Read the latest Money coverage on paying for college, succeeding on campus and transitioning to the working world.
  • How to Apply for the FAFSA

    How to Apply for the FAFSA

    The application is the gateway to billions of dollars in financial aid for college.
  • Best Student Loans

    Best Student Loans

    Learn all about private student loans with Money's expert guide.