Frequently Asked Questions

Cameron Peters '18 studying in the library

Check out some of our most frequently asked questions.

Why do you offer housing as part of an Oxy education?

Founded in 1887, Occidental College was one of the first liberal arts colleges in California and remains one of a small number of colleges nationwide focused strictly on undergraduate education. Although established by a group of Presbyterian ministers and laymen, the College has been nonsectarian since 1910. Its first Rhodes Scholar was named in 1907, and its Phi Beta Kappa chapter was established in 1926—one of the first at a western liberal arts college. Academic excellence continues to be rewarded at the College; since 1990, Occidental students have won more than 260 major scholarships, including Rhodes, Fulbright, Truman, CORO, among others.

Oxy has also maintained its historical commitment to diversity within its student body and faculty, evidenced by its current designation as one of the nation’s top 15 most diverse liberal arts colleges according to U.S. News & World Report. Almost 45% of the student body are people of color, and about 7% are international students. Since its inception, Oxy has made a residential educational experience and central part of its mission, and as such has consistently managed housing for our undergraduate student body. Focusing on building a veterans program meant that we were going to focus on housing, too. It’s just how we do things.

How much does it cost? I heard private schools are expensive. 

Occidental is committed to helping students make college affordable. We meet 100% of a student's demonstrated need. Additionally, Occidental participates in the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program to assist veterans with funding higher education. For qualifying veterans, Occidental's contribution will cover full tuition. For additional information on available financial aid, including our participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program, please contact our Office of Financial Aid. Applying to college can sometimes feel overwhelming. Should you have any questions or need help navigating the process, Admission and Financial Aid representatives are available to assist you.

What classes do I need to take to get in to Oxy?

We understand that military service can result in gaps in educational enrollment. If you have been out of school for more than one year, we recommend that you enroll full-time in challenging college-level courses prior to submitting an application. We have compiled a list of recommended class selections to consider taking before applying to Oxy.

I am currently at a community college. Does Oxy accept transfer students?

Occidental exclusively uses the Common Application for both first-year and transfer admission. Please refer to the Applying or Transfer Students sections for detailed information on what documents and exams are required for admission. We understand that the Common Application may not completely capture an individual's interests and experiences, so please be sure to detail any special circumstances in the additional section of the Common Application.

Is Oxy a Yellow Ribbon School?

Occidental is a 100% Yellow Ribbon school which means that Oxy will match every dollar over the GI Bill. In collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Occidental is able to assist veterans and their spouse/dependents through the Yellow Ribbon Program, which assists students with tuition and fees. Students must qualify under the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) in order to receive this benefit and have 100% eligibility for benefits.