Ellen Hu ’24
The next time a barista at The Motley asks you whether you’ll be using flex or Claremont Cash to pay for your drink, you won’t have to look at them with a blank stare. The Claremont Colleges have two forms of currency associated with a student’s individual student ID. While both can be used at the majority of locations on campus, there are several differences that are important to be aware of.
Flex, or flex dollars, can be used solely at restaurants, cafes, food shops, and coffee shops around the 5C campuses. Once you enter a 5C non-college-specific area, however, this can become confusing. The Claremont Colleges Library offers a cafe on the first floor where flex can be used; however, this form of currency is not accepted at The Huntley Bookstore which is located across the way.
Flex is usually used to purchase food in addition to your dining hall swipes, but you do have the option of using flex to pay for a dining hall meal if you run out of swipes. This option can be useful if you are bringing a guest into the dining hall.
The amount of flex dollars you are provided at the beginning of the semester is associated with the meal plan that you purchase. If you switch your meal plan during the semester, your flex balance will change accordingly.
While it may seem appealing to save up your flex, you should be sure to use it before you leave campus for winter break. Flex does not roll over into the next semester – if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it!
On the other hand, Claremont Cash is not specifically associated with food and can be used anywhere flex is used, including The Huntley Bookstore, Student Health Services, and The Claremont Colleges Library. Laundry machines in all Scripps dorms only take Claremont Cash, so you will have to add to your balance.
Funds can be loaded onto your card either through an online portal or through the Connections office located in The Claremont Colleges Library. It is important to note that a convenience fee is applied each time you reload your balance online, but not at the Connections office.
Claremont Cash is unique in that several off-campus vendors in The Claremont Village will accept it as payment. Hendrick’s Pharmacy, Bert & Rocky’s, Pizza n’ Such, 42nd Street Bagel, Some Crust Bakery, 21 Choices, and Dominoes are just a few locations where it can be used.
Flex and Claremont Cash balances are available to view on The Claremont Colleges Transact website. Issues and questions about either can be answered at the Connections office which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Image Source: The Claremont Colleges