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47 Things Every Parent Should Know - Part 4

Campus Tips

35. The Mysteries of Claremont Cash and Flex Dollars

You may be surprised to learn that Pomona and the other Claremont colleges actually have their own currencies. (You knew this was a special place, didn’t you?)

  • Students—or, more likely, their parents—can deposit funds into a Claremont Cash account, which is basically a debit card. Claremont Cash can be used to purchase books, pay for a visit to Student Health Services, run the washing machines or grab an impulsive snack from a vending machine.  Visit the website at
  • Many Village merchants also accept Claremont Cash so students can even go into town to get something to eat or pay for a prescription at a local pharmacy.
  • Although you can make a deposit to Claremont Cash on Move-In Day, it’ll be one less thing to do if you take care of it before you arrive on campus. (You’ll need your child’s ID number to complete the transaction.)
  • The balances in a Claremont Cash account carry over from semester to semester and year to year. If your child still has a balance when he or she graduates, the Claremont Cash office will send a refund check.

"Board Plus" or "Flex" dollars are issued in conjunction with the Colleges’ board program.These can be used to pay for a meal or a snack at one of the eateries not affiliated with the dining halls. (E.g. the Coop Fountain or Sagehen Café, The Grove House at Pitzer or The Motley at Scripps—don’t worry if that sounds confusing, your son or daughter will get it straight in no time.) Your child can even “flex” you into a dining hall when you come to visit.

36. Finding Sustenance

Pomona students report that dining hall food is good! Students may eat at all of The Claremont Colleges’ dining halls, so there is plenty of variety in the menu choices. Each college has a culinary specialty…even the finickiest eater will find his or her favorite spot.

37. The Munchies

Each residence hall has a lounge with a working kitchen (full-size refrigerator, microwave, stove, and pots and pans). Teach your child to cook and hope that his or her version of your favorite recipe will win the hearts of residence hall mates!

  • Each first-year residence hall has vending machines. Your child may have to explore all of them to find his or her favorites, but there are soda, snacks and juice machines…and they all accept Claremont Cash.
  • "Snack," a Pomona tradition, is also offered at one of the dining halls four nights a week at 10:30 p.m.…and who said college life was going to be tough?

38. Doing Laundry

Laundry facilities are available in each residence hall. Pomona encourages, but can’t guarantee, that students will actually do their own laundry and not bring it home during vacations. Machines take only Claremont Cash so forget about that hunt for quarters.

39. Staying Healthy

Student Health Services is free with an appointment; there is a small charge if students just drop in. Appointments are easy to make and physicians are on staff to help a student who is ill or injured, or who might want to talk with one of the mental health professionals.

40. Green Living

We've touched on Pomona’s commitment to the environment, but know that it is much more than living is an important College priority. CFL bulbs, laundry drying racks and compost buckets (really!!!) are available from the Sustainability Integration Office. Drying racks and compost buckets must be returned at the end of the year.

41. Getting Around

There are several ways of getting around the Pomona/Claremont area:

  • Pomona freshmen are not allowed to bring a car to campus. But, if your child needs to get off campus, Pomona has a Zipcar program that provides short-term, inexpensive, eco-friendly rentals to students. Go to to get your child registered.
  • An inexpensive bike with a large basket is a good way to get around the colleges and into town. Pomona has a Green Bikes program – free bike rental by the semester and free labor on repair in the on-campus, student-run bike program. The program also offers daily free rental of six folding bikes, which can be easily transported on the bus or train.
  • The most popular mode of transportation is a skateboard. Watch out for students zipping along the streets and walkways.

42. Locking Up

Pomona is such a safe place that some students become too trusting. Encourage your child to close and lock his or her door. Locks are there to protect both students and their property. Check with your homeowner’s policy to make sure that student belongings are covered in case of a loss.