The best thing about Pitzer is the students. Pitzer's student body has so much to offer in terms of experiences and stories and talents. If I could change anything, though, I would have Pitzer students get off campus a little more! Personally, I really appreciate the friendships that I maintain with students at all 5C's, and I think Pitzer (along with each of the other schools) can be a little insular at times. That being said, it's wonderful to have the supportive community at Pitzer in combination with the other schools' strengths.
One of the big draws for me to come to Pitzer was that it has a nice mix of a university and liberal arts college feel. When I was looking at colleges in high school, I was in a constant struggle of trying to decide between large universities, which had fantastic resources but were rather impersonal, and small colleges, which offer a great learning environment but can feel a bit isolating.
Pitzer gives you the best of both worlds. Although the campus only has 1000 students, The Claremont Colleges as a whole have over 5000, so there are tons of people to meet, parties to go to, and events to take part in. It's a pretty awesome environment.
Pitzer is just the right size, but I think in a couple of years it will be too big, because they are still building new dorms on campus. Claremont is a pretty crappy little town in my opinion, but if you want to venture further, there are fun things to do in Pomona or even downtown LA. Pitzer administration is awesome: everything is decided by the professors themselves, who have first-hand relationships with the students.
Pitzer is wonderful! It's a part of the 5-College consortium in Claremont so you can take classes at 4 other outstanding colleges. It is a small school amidst five other small schools but as a whole, the Claremont Colleges acts like a larger school and gives you the social and academic resources of a much larger institution. Pitzer has alot of outdoor programs for kids to go camping, climbing, hiking, kayaking, surfing, and just about anything outside. There is a big push for sustainable and eco-sensitive living at Pitzer which is really exciting. Kids like to hang out on the mounds which is a central strip of large grassy knolls that are in the middle of campus. There is also The Grove House which is an old house that was relocated to Pitzer from an Orange Grove nearby. Pitzer's classes are mainly centered on in-class work and discussion which means that you are always engaged during class time. The professors are really exciting! More comprehensive class time also means LESS work outside of class, so there isn't a whole lot of homework compared to the other 5 claremont colleges.
When I tell people I go to Pitzer College I get two responses: The people that have heard of pitzer KNOW that it is a really great and selective school and are usually impressed that I go there. The next question they ask is about the 5 college consortium experience. The other response is a blank stare, which is from people that haven't heard of the college and don't know where Claremont California is. I usually get more of the first response!
Pitzer's administration is VERY good and very helpful. I've never had a problem with anything. They were even willing to help me get something I left in my room while the dorms were closed during winter break. Pitzer kids have alot of pride for their school but they generally don't mix with students from the other 4 claremont colleges very much. Usually its with Pomona students becasue Pitzer and Pomona share a sports team. Pitzer doesn't have a huge endowment because its so new, so Pitzer is working on getting more money. Oh, the President, Laura Skandera Trombley is DOPE! She's a mark twain scholar, a woman, has red hair, loves Pitzer's spirit of political action and sustainability, and she's help Pitzer climb the ranks of liberal arts colleges nationally.
If Pitzer fits you, it fits perfectly. And for some people at Pitzer, it just does not fit them at all. It's very polarizing in a way. But, once again, if it fits, you love it. The community is unforgettable. When first arriving as a freshman, you are constantly meeting people who have the same interests. Pitzer students teach you to speak up with your own ideas and start discussing them with others. The people are friendly and curious.
I love Pitzer. It's small and home-y, artsy and everyone is really friendly. Sure, the school is competitive, but the school has a vibe where everyone helps each other out and such. A lot of the buildings are white and industrial, though, and though we can paint all over the school, giving it the artsy feel, the buildings can be drab. The school is really small, but since it's part of the Claremont Colleges consortium it doesn't feel too small. If it were by itself perhaps it would be. The administration is really helpful and one of the most concerned and accessible administrations I've ever found. Some people complain that the school is not liberal enough, but when compared to other colleges the school is incredibly student-participation-oriented and much more lenient about controversial issues. It's the first college to have gender-neutral housing, you can paint a mural on any wall with an easy approval process, we have a large music festival once a year in addition to several others throughout the year, we have town hall meetings and students are involved in the tenure approval for all teachers, and I feel that issues near and dear to students hearts' are heard and factored into the administration's decisions.
Claremont is not that large, and some complain that there isn't much of a off-campus life that is easily accessible. LA is an hour away, and there are also mountains and beaches nearby. Students need cars to get to these areas, though. Car passes are cheaper than at most colleges. Usually on weekends I stay at school, considering I work a lot, though my roommate liked to visit her home.
When I tell people I go to Pitzer most often they have never heard of it. If they have, they often cite it's growing popularity and improvement in ranking, or that they've heard of the Claremont Colleges and that the colleges are very good ones. It's the youngest of the 5 schools and is not known as well as the others, though it received much publicity this past year.
The people. The people are all interesting and sincere. It is not hard to find a fun group to hang out in and everyone is friendly. These are the types of people that you will be friends with for the rest of your life.
Pitzer is a great school but I wish they focused on improving academic standards more. There are tons of stupid hippie classes like Native American Folk Tales but in important subjects like math and economics there is a lot of room for improvement. Pitzer isn't all that well known and improving academic standards would go a long way toward improving the school's reputation.
Pitzer is like summer camp. (We even have a shirt that says "Camp Pitzer" on it.) It's a little under a thousand people, which in my opinion is a nearly perfect college student population. The best thing about Pitzer the flexibility and control it gives to its students in forming groups, governing itself, and creating one's course of study. Most people have never heard of Pitzer, but are familiar with the "Claremont Consortium." Most students can be spotted on the "Mounds," or in the Grove House, which are both historical landmarks of the college. There is a downtown area about a mile or so away that has boutiques, up-scale restaurants, and cafes; and there's a farmers' market every sunday. And three to five miles away is a more commercial kind of shopping area that offers brand name goods, chain/fast-food restaurants, and supermarkets. Pitzer's administration is friendly, accommodative, and very accessible to students. The most recent controversy on campus was approving the creation of a "Masculinist Coalition." It took several weeks and revisions of the proposed group's charter to be approved by Student Senate. Pitzer's school pride is not expressed in traditional channels (sports teams since Pitzer sports is paired with Pomona), but rather through the kind of student activism that characterizes an overwhelming majority of those who attend. Pitzer's campus provides students with outdoor art spaces, on which any student can create a pre-approved mural. I'll always remember the annual spring arts and music festival, Kohoutek. The most frequent complaints are concerning the inconsistent quality of the dining hall food. If I could change one thing about Pitzer, it would be the discrepancy between the old and new dorms.
pitzer has about 850 students in total, but because of the claremont colleges consortium, we have more like 5000, which is a really decent sized school. the 5Cs give students the feel of a big school without getting lost in the sea of strange faces. they have created a system where we maintain the sense of community you can only get with a small school, which is really unique to the claremont colleges.
school pride within the colleges is not really that big of a deal. there definitely are stereotypes within the 5Cs about what the student body of the other colleges is like, but ultimately we don't really care.
the town of claremont is really beautiful and cute. "the village" is just past pomona, a short walk away, where you can get delicious pastries and bagels, starbucks coffee, small-town diner food, fancy romantic restaurant atmosphere, cute boutiques stocked with trinkets and dresses, or used vinyls, CDs, and DVDs down at rhino records. but everything definitely shuts down around 9pm, when the college parties start. go off campus for fun during the day... but stay on campus for fun at night.
I love that Pitzer is a small school. It's easy to get to know your professors and the other students. Classes are fairly small, and most professors bend over backwards to make themselves available to give us any extra help we may need. There are very few course requirements, so it is very easy to start your freshman year taking a bunch of different classes to find your interest without worrying about required classes. Pitzer campus is beautiful, and there is a very open and friendly atmosphere that drew me in during my first visit. Everyone was so nice and welcoming.
Pitzer is part of a five-college consortium, so we have all the resources of a big university and the advantages of a small school. Each Claremont College has its own strengths, and I recommend trying to take at least one class at each one. Taking classes on other campuses is the same as taking them on your home campus, so cross-registration is very easy. It's nice to know that if a class you want isn't offered on your home campus, you can probably find it at one of the neighboring campuses. The different colleges all sponsor parties, concerts, games, and other events, so there is ALWAYS something to do. If you're bored at Pitzer, you're not looking hard enough.
One of the complaints I have heard frequently is that the tuition is too high. There is a lot of financial aid available, but not enough to keep everybody happy. However, if Pitzer is the right fit for you, I don't think you should let tuition stand in your way. Most people only get the college experience once, and you'll get further in life if you find a schoolthat you truly love.
I think the best thing about Pitzer is its faculty and the availability of resources. Although it's small, I think it fits me. Although sometimes the social scene may tend to resemble that of high school (it all depends on your circle of friends). When people tell them I go to Pitzer, they think that I am a hippie and am probably an idiot wearing rose-colored glasses, when in reality I'm the exact opposite. The most frequent student complaint is the food in the dining hall on the weekends - inedible!!
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