2018 Top Private Universities in AmericaAbout this List

The Top Private Universities ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic, admissions, financial, and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along for millions of reviews from students and alumni. The ranking compares top private colleges and universities in each state. Read more on how this ranking was calculated.

  1. Claremont McKenna College

    • 4 Year
    • Claremont, CA
    • 406
    32 Top Private Universities in America

    College Senior: I've had some great classes and experiences at CMC, and a few that weren't so great. Anyone coming to CMC should be aware that the social scene is pretty centered on alcohol and partying (though there is a substance free dorm with a strong culture, and a surprisingly high number of people who don't drink/go out). Thankfully, the parties are on campus, hosted by the student government, and open to everyone. There isn't a whole lot of the sketchiness or exclusivity that usually comes with frat parties at larger schools, since parties are open to everyone. I see this as a huge benefit of the school, though I no longer regularly attend parties.

    It's really easy to get involved in things you're interested in, whether that's student government, a club, or research. Research opportunities are probably more available for Econ majors than others, and in the sciences/engineering you won't have the same kind of research experiences you would at a school that has real researchers.

    We have some great professors here. Philosophy is by far the best, and there are some excellent professors in probably all of our other departments as well. In my opinion as someone majoring in both, our government and economics departments aren't deserving of the reputations they have. I wouldn't come here looking to study science, engineering, or pre-med, unless I'm also really interested in studying the humanities/social sciences. Classwork is generally reasonable, though challenging. People are motivated, but not super competitive with each other or stressed out, which is great.

    Many CMC students are smart, motivated, and interested in their academic subjects. Others are more interested in partying. Many are a mix of both. People are not particularly artsy or creative; if you are, you might feel that side of yourself slipping away over your four years here (though we're getting better and now have a dedicated music space on campus). It can feel small after 4 years, but overall great!
    Read 406 Reviews

    • A+
      Overall Niche Grade
    • 9% Acceptance Rate
    • $30,527 Net Price
    • 1320-1490 SAT Range
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2018 Top Private Universities in America
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