California Institute of Technology Top Questions

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A demanding workload at Wabash.


Fantastic place, simply the best faculty, best facilities and smartest students on his planet


Caltech is unique in that students are placed into different "houses" based on a rotation system. Under the rotation system new students are introduced to each house and to the people living in it. Each house at Caltech has its own personality, so the rotation system permits students to get better acquainted with each house. By the end of rotation students rate the houses, and soon after they find out on which house they will stay. Most students are satisfied with their house, but if they do not like it they can always change it.


People generally don't realize how much hard work Caltech is, but also how important the Honor Code is for us and how these two things alter life here, making it very different from other colleges. People are always working, but they work together. It's stressful, but with your friends there doing the same thing, it's even fun sometimes.


You have a great amount of leeway at Caltech to do whatever you want, whenever you want. At Caltech, you are treated by the administration as a child by his hippie parents, with lots of care, attention, and freedom to find your own path. There's plenty of opportunities to do research, to take interesting classes without worrying about grades, and to take tests at home when YOU have time to do them. All of which is awesome. Now if only there were more girls here :).


The financial aid at Caltech is amazing. I have friends at Stanford who have told me their scholarships and grants are becoming loans as they go from freshman to sophomores, and they tend to start off with more loans. I've also talked to friends at MIT, who say the program is okay, but that they are still going to leave with a significant amount of debt. I believe the average debt for a Caltech graduate is $5,000. In addition to federal grants, scholarships, and loans, my Caltech grant is almost $30,000, and I know I'm not alone. If you don't think you can afford Caltech, apply anyway, the financial aid offered will supprise you.


Until Rotation ends, you're a prefrosh. If you're a woman, come to Caltech. Shoes aren't as important as you think they are. Neither is personal hygiene. If you haven't learned by now that people are more important than science, you're not going to learn that here. Don't get bitter. Go to bed, frosh, Ditch Day is tomorrow.