Occidental College

Occidental College


Founded in 1887, Occidental College is one of the oldest liberal arts colleges in the West and one of few liberal arts colleges located in an urban area. Its beautiful green campus, designed by celebrated architect Myron Hunt, is nestled ten minutes north of downtown in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles. Within this scenic setting thrives a long tradition of academic rigor and community action. Over 16 percent of students are first-generation, and many choose Occidental because of its rich history, dedication to diversity and culture of collaborative, hands-on learning.

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Open House, Fly-in, Visit Multicultural Visit Program

The Multicultural Visit Program (MVP) is a two-day visit to campus for high school seniors from underrepresented backgrounds. MVP is designed for underrepresented students to meet other prospective applicants and current Oxy students and professors while gaining an understanding of Oxy’s campus and its relationship to Los Angeles. Students stay overnight in a residence hall, participate in classes, interact with current students and professors, attend information sessions on admission and financial aid and go on an excursion to Downtown L.A.

Scholarship & Financial Aid Need-Based Scholarships

While there are no scholarships specifically geared toward minority populations and firstgeneration students, Occidental College is committed to meeting the full demonstrated need of all enrolled students. While a portion of need is met with loans and work programs, need-based scholarships meet the majority of need for most students. These scholarships differ from merit awards, as they are not linked to academic promise, but rather to an individual family’s financial situation. Learn more about Need-Based Scholarships

Summer Bridge & Orientation Multicultural Summer Institute (MSI)

Occidental College chooses 50 admitted students each year to participate in a co-curricular program called the Multicultural Summer Institute. A four-week summer program taking place before students begin their first year at Occidental, the Institute prepares students for their academic career by acquainting them with the campus experience and taking classes related to social justice. Students are awarded four course credits upon successful completion of the program. Learn more about Multicultural Summer Institute (MSI)

Student Life & Support Intercultural Community Center (ICC)

The Intercultural Community Center is the co-curricular resource for diversity education and social justice programming. The center fosters an inclusive, democratic community, so that socially responsible and diverse leaders can improve both leadership and communication skills. The center collaborates with student organizations, academic departments, residence halls and members of the surrounding community to sponsor programs that examine, celebrate and appreciate identity, pluralism and democracy. Learn more about Intercultural Community Center (ICC)

Student Diversity

  • 2,062
  • 43/57
  • 16%
    First-generation college students
  • 1%
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 19%
  • 9%
    Black or African American
  • 13%
  • 1%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 49%
  • 25%
    Two or more races
  • 2%
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 7%

Student Success

  • 93%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 80%
    Six-year graduation
  • 85%
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • 100%
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • 82%
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 173
    Full-time faculty
  • 47
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 10:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    Economics, Diplomacy & World Affairs, Media, Arts & Culture, Biology and Sociology, Urban & Environmental Policy

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    Asian Pacific Americans for Liberation, Black Student Association (BSA), Caribbean Student Organization (CSO), Chinese Culture Club (CCC), I Ka Poli O Hawaii, Korean-American Student Association, Muslim Students Association, Persian Students Association, Philippine United Students Organization (PUSO), and La Raza Coalition.


Cost of Attendance

  • $50,492
  • n/a
    In-state Tuition
  • $578
    Required Fees
  • $14,460
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • n/a
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • $44,918
    Average aid package
  • $29,947
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • 20%
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • 75%
    Students with financial need
  • 100%
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 50%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 100%
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 6,049
    # of applicants
  • 46%
  • 3.71
    Average HS GPA
  • 30
    ACT Composite
  • n/a—n/a
    SAT Critical Reading
  • n/a—n/a
    SAT Math
  • n/a—n/a
    SAT Writing
  • n/a
    SAT/ACT optional


  • 1/15
    Regular application closing date
  • $65
    Application Fee
  • $65
    Application Fee (online)
  • yes
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • yes
    Early decision plan
  • 11/15 and 1/1
    Early decision application closing date
  • n/a
    Early action plan
  • n/a
    Early action application closing date