Harvey Mudd College Visit Report by Rick Tyler
Admissions Interview: Yes - Spent 35 minutes with my son -- AO was great.
Campus Tour: Yes - Rulz!!3!
Classroom Visit: No - It was Saturday -- they said if we'd been there on a weekday we would have visited a class.
Campus Visit Notes for Harvey Mudd College
The most striking thing about our visit was our tour guide. Glinnis was smart (no surprise there), helpful and knowledgeable. We went into basements, we looked into labs, we visited her dorm room ("my roommate hates tour days because she thinks she has to clean up"), we talked to students. No one talks nonstop while walking backwards in flip-flops like Glinnis does.
The school is either patterned somewhat after Caltech, or both of them spring from the same aesthetic. HMC has a slightly more casual, liberal arts aspect, but I think that's a really thin layer -- these folks struck me as painfully smart achievers. It was good to get the sense that they were all in it together, though, and there was no feeling of "dog eat dog" or struggle to be the top student. Comparing HMC and Caltech -- we visited both in three days -- I think HMC would be better for a student less monomoniacal than the average Techer, but just as smart. Techers don't mean each other harm, either, as far as I could tell, they are just really focused.
For what it's worth, HMC wasn't really on my son's list before the visit (it was on his parents' list, though), and is now at the top. In his case, it came down to two things -- the admissions officer really connected with him, and he has a plan to climb the school buildings using the square protrusions on the side. Don't ask.
Dining/Restaurant Recommendations or Comments:
Didn't eat or stay in Claremont.
Other Comments (Transportation, local attractions, parking, etc.):
Fly in and out of Ontario Airport. Don't even think about LAX -- it's way far away and a much bigger hassle. You can visit Caltech or Occidental pretty easily from here, and of course UCLA, USC, UCI, UCR ... etc. are also nearby.