4.5 out of 5 Stars
The academics here are fantastic, especially in the sciences. I have been able to do research directly with multiple professors during the school year and summer. I feel that the major degree requirements are reasonable and have allowed me to take many classes outside of my discipline.Quality of Life
The last four years of my life have been the best years of my life. I have had an absolutely wonderful time at Pomona College. The dorms have begun to feel like home to me. The weather is nice for most of the year. I have a lot of interaction with people in the nearby "village", so I have become known as a regular at some restaurants and other venues. I am never worried about my safety. The academic buildings are top notch and comfortable.Admissions
I do not remember the admissions process as being anything unique. It was just like applying to any other school.Level
The academics are rigorous and varied, and the professors expect a lot from you. That being said, the classes are all 20 students or less, and that kind of personal attention is extremely helpful. Professors are always available, and they are some of the smartest people in their respective fields. It is easy to get to know professors, and Pomona encourages close relationships with the faculty. They even give you money to take your professors out to meals! Because the relationships are so close here, there are incredible opportunities to participate in research with professors, and Pomona also pays students to help professors out with current studies and research- an incredible opportunity that is hard to find anywhere else. In terms of the classes themselves, we are required to fulfill the "Breadth of Requirements" which is four classes, one in each area (Math & Science, Art&History etc.). After those four classes, you can take anything you like, and let me tell you- there is SO MUCH to choose from! We are a part of a consortium with four other colleges, and so we essentially have four times the classes as anywhere else. Every college has its specialty, and all of the colleges share the same credo about small classes and engaged professors.Quality of Life
Our school is like PARADISE: almost everything you want is taken care of. The food is incredible, and there are six different dining halls to choose from- each of which serve foods like sushi, filet mignon, and polenta. People live on campus all four years here because the housing options are phenomenal- huge rooms with private bathrooms and a maid that comes once a week- and the social life is centered all on campus. We often refer to a phenomenon called the "Claremont Bubble," which means that you never have to leave campus to be completely satisfied. There are always incredible events going on on campus, whether it is a Ludacris concert or a Bill Gates lecture or intramural soccer or the free movie they put on every week. Pomona College buys all of our alcohol at parties, and there is a party Tuesday through Saturday. That, combined with the incredible weather of Southern California, makes our campus one of the happiest in the country. We love to be here!Level
The workload is good. The atmosphere is competitive, but it is self-competing, the challenge to will oneself to exceed one's capacity for learning. We are encouraged to work together to achieve common goals, which is a skill that I'll take into my future.Level
common app and supplement, with additional optional essay and interview. No merit scholarships, but 100% financial need covered by scholarship.Level
The general requirements are very loose and easy to fulfill. The classes and professors are amazing here; they're dedicated and brilliant.Admissions
The application process is really geared towards getting to know the applicant. There are several unique essay prompts in addition to the Common Application.Level
There are five areas of GE: math, science, art/literature, history/social science, and politics/society. You also have to take the equivalent of three semesters of a foreign language and complete at least on PE class. Class sizes tend to be very small: my classes usually have about fifteen to twenty people in them. Professors are extremely accessible and helpful and love to work with you on just about anything. I personally haven't done any research here, but I have lots of friends who worked with professors over summers and got paid for it.Quality of Life
The only complaint I have about housing (although this is a big one, I think) is that there is no control over room temperature. A couple dorms allow student control of heat and a/c, but most dorms have no a/c to begin with, and the vast majority of heaters are controlled remotely. This REALLY SUCKS. Everybody has a different ideal temperature, but everybody's forced to live with the same one, which wastes energy at the same time it makes people grumpy.
Cost of living is pretty high, because everything at this school is expensive; but again, financial aid is good for need, and very few people live off campus (even though it's perfectly allowed). The dining halls are ok, but since you're so close to the other colleges you can easily change up the cuisine when you want. The library is great as a resource, but severely lacking on study space. Around finals, there are literally no spots to go study, because they're all taken. Apparently we have problems with theft on campus, especially of bikes, although I've never had anything stolen. The village (the main part of Claremont) is really cute and fun to explore, and there's some good shops and restaurants and nice movie theatre. A lot of the time because of the nice weather students will be out sunning and studying on one of the two large grassy areas; it makes for some happy people.Admissions
Wow, this was a long time ago. It was a unique application (i.e. not the Common App) that included a personal essay. I also interviewed with an alumnus and stayed a night on campus as a prospective student. Financial aid is all need-based, no merit-based, but they commit to fulfilling all need. I did regular decision, but they also have early decision.Level
goodQuality of Life
The breadth requirements are comprehensive of the various areas of study without being too demanding, just 5 classes. There is only one "core class," the freshman writing seminar called ID1, which still comes with a variety of different focuses. The majors require a few more classes than at some other schools, but that's in part because it's so easy to get the classes you need that you don't need to worry about graduating late because you couldn't get a class. Pomona faculty have plenty of office hours, randomly have their doors open at other times, and are always willing to set up appointments. In fact, they are so accessible a few of my friends and I just had dinner at my Chemistry professor's house last week. The workload is pretty heavy from lab reports in the sciences and from reading in non-science courses. Research is more available here than in any other school I've seen. I was able to start training in a lab the summer after my freshman year and am now doing independent research for course credit as a sophomore. I am not studying abroad, but Pomona has great study abroad programs which are only slightly limited by their associations with certain majors.Quality of Life
My freshman room was a single as big as my friend's triple at a public school. My room this year is still a single, and it's over 200 square feet. I'll end up having a single bigger than 160 square feet all 4 years of college. The sponsor program is a great way to get close to the people who live around you and to know that you have people there for you both as confidential resources and as friends. The food last year was above average for college food, but this year it has become absolutely phenomenal, just below restaurant quality and always varied to avoid having repetitive meals. I don't use the library much, but a lot of people find it a great place to study, and it has an excellent cafe, so you don't need to take a huge break to eat if you're really focused. The city of Claremont doesn't really have much to do, but Pomona constantly subsidizes awesome trips, so you can always find interesting things to do if you have the time. The biggest crime issue that we have here is bike theft, but if you get a good lock, it shouldn't be an issue. Pomona students are usually working very hard and so can get pretty stressed out, but even with the stress, the environment isn't cutthroat. Mutual cooperation between students makes getting through work a lot more fun.Admissions
Pomona's essay about a fun time I've had outside school was the most enjoyable essay for me to write. I just sat down and talked about how much fun I had cliff diving, and what came out ended up replacing my common application essay for all my other schools. I applied regular decision so that I could keep my options open based on financial aid, but Pomona's aid was excellent in that it's all scholarships, not just loans. All interviews are with seniors. I was very able to relate to my interviewer and she got me very excited about the school.Level
Every person has an academic advisor, whom they can switch if they want.
Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) awards up to $4,000 stipend for the summer doing research with a professor or to come up with an independent research project.
Study abroad is encouraged and very possible, no matter what the major. Different programs abroad for science students (chemistry research, ecology etc.) as well as more typical programs.
Professors always have office hours, will even invite you to their homes for dinners, or you can invite them to lunch. Deans and the President of the college are also accessible and have office hours, will respond to emails.
General requirements broad, you will fulfill them without even realizing.Quality of Life
Very residential college, housing guaranteed for all 4 years, with 97% of students living on campus.
60% single dorm rooms.
Dining is amazing, access to dining halls of all colleges in the consortium (7 dining halls) that serve different food everyday. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free options.
Neighborhood is cute, quaint, a lot of boutique stores but quite pricey.
Very safe, even when walking alone at night. Option of having campus security escort you if necessary.Admissions
We have Early Action 1 and 2. We accept Common Application and an optional essay on top of that. Interviews are recommended. No scholarships awarded but financial aid is need blind and over half of the students receive aid.Level