4.5 out of 5 Stars
Common Application with supplement essays. Additional financial aid application. Optional interview, which I did not do. I applied regular decision; early decision is an option.Level
Pomona has one required class, Critical Inquiry. It is a seminar-style class all first semester freshmen take. The class is capped at 15 students so students work one on one with the professor. Each year, 30 or so Critical Inquiry courses in all disciplines are offered to freshmen and freshmen get to select their top 7 choices. The course is writing intensive and engaging.
Pomona has relatively few general course requirements. All in all, students must take at least one course in each of the 5 disciplines, plus one semester of PE. While all students have a foreign language requirement, it is possible to test out of that.
Pomona has a strict policy on accepting AP/IB credit and many students retake classes freshmen year that they took as AP or IB courses in high school.Quality of Life
Students overwhelmingly live on campus. Nearly 70% of rooms are singles and freshmen who ask for singles on their housing form usually get them. Upperclassmen have even nicer living arrangements. Each dorm gets renovated once every 10 years so the facilities are up-to-date. There is wi-fi access in all dorms.
The campus is gorgeous and there are always reasons to get outside in Southern California! The buildings are well put together and the trees and mountains add to the scenery.
The library is shared by all 5 undergraduate Claremont Colleges and consequently has over 2.7 million volumes. It is also connected to the LINK Plus system, which means that a student can order books through the UC library system, among others, and get it within 3 days or so.
Crime and safety is not a big issue in Claremont. Just be sure to lock your bike with a U-Lock and close your windows if your room is on the first floor of a dorm and you're not in the room. Camus Security is helpful and friendly.
Students at all 5-C's are friendly and nice. Pomona students tend to have quirks here and there in their personalities, making them all the more interesting. There are comparatively few stressed out or antisocial kids compared to what I saw in the other colleges I visited. The weather, location, and other students keep most people quite happy.Admissions
Pomona's admission rate of 12% accurately reflects the expectations placed on students who attend the college. Interviews are very important, as are thoughtful essays that show something special about the applicant. Pomona has Need-Blind Admissions as a result of its 1.5 billion dollar endowment.Level
I applied during regular decision. I used the Pomona College application and not the Common App. I also went in for an interview. The application was not too lengthy and the interview was low-key.Level
Dorms and food are great. Almost no one lives of campus.Admissions
Common Application and supplement with interview. Regular decision. Choice between Pomona and schools of similar size and academic caliber.Level
Pomona has a breadth requirement that entails taking at least one course in the five major areas of study. Freshmen take a writing seminar course but can choose the topic from an extensive list. The major requirements vary by department. Advising is very helpful. Professors are generally very available outside of class and are quite friendly. I have a professor who offers weekly review sessions and has frequent office hours. Most professors will also take the time to help you if you stop by. The courses are difficult, especially in the science departments. Research opportunities abound, especially during the summer when SURPS (summer undergraduate research program) occur. More than half of the students study abroad in hundreds of locations.Quality of Life
Pomona has great housing and just opened a LED gold dorm. I also think that the food is very good. Because Pomona is part of the Claremont consortium of colleges, students here can take classes at and eat their meals any of the other colleges (Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, Scripps, and Harvey Mudd). Pomona is right next to the "Village" of Claremont that has many tiny shops and restaurants and is a nice, quite place to walk around. The area is fairly safe, and their are escorts at night for those who request them. An hour metro ride gets you to LA. My impression is that the the students here are happy and hardworking.Admissions
Pomona uses the Common Application in addition to a supplemental application. The supplement involves an extra essay and some other information. Interviews with alumni are strongly recommended for non-California residents, and on-campus interviews are required for California residents. Pomona meets all of demonstrated financial need, but there are no merit-based scholarships.Level
Core classes in five areas as well as freshman seminar. Senior seminar and thesis for major. Other courses.Admissions
Unique Application questions, common app, optional interview, both ed and rd but I did regular decisionLevel
A full class worth one credit, and we need 32 credits in order to graduate. We are required to take one class for each of the five areas and a critical thinking class our freshman year. We also need to take 2 years of foreign language. Major requirements vary. Based on our academic interests, we are assigned an academic advisor our freshman year, and we consult with him/her about classes and other academic pursuits. Class size is usually small, and humanity classes are typically smaller than science classes [~8 vs.15]. Professors hold office hours and are often available to talk outside of those hours, and they are all eager to help students learn. It is easy to walk into a Professor's office and talk about anything from coursework to pop culture to their field of expertise. There are lot of research opportunities both during the school year and during the summer. Professors are very good at getting students involved in different projects and providing guidance along the way.
In general, people at Pomona are more competitive with themselves than with each other. People have standards that they want to meet for themselves, but they don't have the mentality that they have to be better than everyone else here. It helps that we don't usually grade on a curve.Quality of Life
Housing is amazing. Most people live on campus, and over half the students have singles. If people live off campus, it is because they choose to rather than required to. Dorms are well-maintained, and bathrooms are cleaned every week. We have two dinning halls, and food is amazing. What is remarkable is that we can submit comments about our likes and dislikes, and the dinning staff directly response and even post our comments on a wall! There are enough options for vegans and vegetarians. Claremont is a quiet, well-off neighborhood, so crime is negligible. Overall, students don't have to worry about little details in their daily life, so we can really focus on our work.Admissions
We used the Common Application to apply to Pomona. In addition to the regular essays, we were asked to submit a supplementary essay. For the topic, we had two choices: how we can to change our high school or an experience that is just plain fun. Interview was encouraged but not required.
Pomona has two early decision deadlines, one in mid-november and another in late-december, which is a few days before the regular decision deadline. People who applied to early decision I heard back mid-december, and those who applied to early decision II heard back mid-february. We apply for financial aid through CSS and FAFSA, but there are no other scholarship applications. The reason is that financial aid at Pomona is need-based. For people who are on financial aid, they were given either an institution grant or some named scholarship. These scholarships can be from private donors or from foundations.Level
There is a breadth requirement- students take classes in math, science, the arts, etc. Most classes are under 20 students, with the exception of some introductory lecture classes. Professors make themselves fairly accessible if you take time to seek them out. I'm not sure how easily available research opportunities are. Students work hard but are not typically competitive with each other. Grading varies between professors, but overall there is some grade inflation, and professors virtually never curve down, only up. The workload varies depending on which classes one chooses, though I don't know of any students that find it completely overwhelming.Quality of Life
Housing, dining, and facilities are excellent. The library is sufficient for any research assignment, especially because we use interlibrary loan. The surrounding area is very safe, though the town is somewhat boring- stores/attractions don't really target college students. Bikes get stolen if they are not locked properly, but overall campus is very safe.Admissions
The admissions process involved the common application, an essay supplement, an interview (in my case, with an alum), and submission of SAT scores and teacher/counselor recommendations. I applied early decision to another institution and was denied, and subsequently applied to my current college Regular Decision. I applied for financial aid.Level
Pomona's general requirements are wonderful. I'm simplifying them a bit, but there are five areas (not including one PE course and 2 semesters, or the equivalent, of a foreign language) that have to be fulfilled: arts/creative expression, social science, cultural studies, physical science, and math/comp sci. Outside of those requirements, the only other classes that are mandatory (besides critical inquiry which is a freshman writing course) are for your major. Class sizes are small, especially depending on the department. An average might be 15 students to a class, but I've had much smaller classes as well. Professors are very accessible; Pomona professors want to interact with students. Research opportunities are certainly available in the sciences, other fields have opportunities as well though, but science research seems to get the most funding. Students are competitive with themselves, but no one shares grades or asks what you scored on a test. The workload is generally four classes a semester and probably pretty manageable, but Pomona students take on so many extracurriculars that we are always busy doing something.Quality of Life
Housing is great at Pomona. 78% of rooms are singles and most singles are larger than doubles at other colleges. With your meal plan Pomona gives you money for food at the campus stores and grills, so it's a pretty cashless campus. You only need money if you're ordering food or paying for a school sponsored trip into LA (all of which are very inexpensive). The campus is small, but lovely and really reminds one of the East Coast (but with better weather). The library is fantastic and is part of a much larger consortium ( about 40 schools) that gives you access to pretty much any resource you need. Dining is very good compared to other schools, a little repetitive, but good. Pomona really pampers and spoils its students. This is a very safe campus compared to other schools; I walked from the library on the far end of campus to my dorm on the other side of campus at 1 at night with no problems. I think bike theft is an issue though. Overall, people are very happy with Pomona and problems they have are a lot of times problems anyone can have, like homesickness, that are not neccessarily specific to Pomona.Admissions
I used the common app for Pomona College, so it was a pretty standard application process. I applied regular decision and I did not have an interview. Financial aid at Pomona is amazing, but the application process (with FAFSA, CSS Profile, and IDOC/Verification) is tedious.Level
Workload is heavy and classes are difficult, but people are not cut-throat(very collaborative environment). Class size is small, so professors know students by name and they are also very accessible. Research opportunities during the year and over the summer are common. Majore requirements are very different depending on major(not many for some, very time consuming for others).Quality of Life
Housing is goog and most people live on campus. THe dining halls are very good for college, and you can eat at any of 6 dining halls(on the 5 claremont colleges). The campus is beautiful and the pretty safe. The surrounding area of Claremont is safe, but as you get further out into Pomona it is less safe. THe weather is almost always nice and there are a lot of things to do on campus or in LA(about 40 min away).Admissions
Common app with supplement, interview here or with alumns in your area, early decision/regular decision, financial aid good, no merit scholarships availableLevel