Pomona College Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?


There are few people who maybe fit one of those labels, but there are many different kinds of people so I would not say that the stereotype describes most people.


This happens mostly because we have a general disdain for Claremont McKenna. They try so hard to be the more conservative, "leadership"-oriented Pomona. You'll find D-bags there like you'll never find at Pomona (but not all...). Everyone respects Harvey Mudd in the lovable-geek sort of way. Pitzer is generally well-liked in the lovable-hippie sort of way. No comment on Scripps.


Some of them, of course, are. Unlike some ivy league schools, getting into Pomona is not the only challenge--our courses are actually difficult (as they should be)! Our courses are certainly more rigorous than the classes at the other schools (and I've taken classes everywhere but Harvey Mudd so I know from experience). We are more diverse than most schools of our caliber and size. We're definitely more happy and laid back than students at other schools. The school does give a lot of support to students wanting to do their own research and gives out a lot of grants, etc, every year. Some of us are socially awkward, but what private college student isn't?!


In general, I do not think that stereotype is accurate. Some Pomona students have less interactions with the other 4 colleges in the area (probably due to the fact that we are the school with the largest student body and the most class offerings, so Pomona students do not need to get off campus like some of the other schools with smaller student bodies), which some people interpret as Pomona students thinking they are better than other people. I do not think that is the case though. In general, Pomona students are smart, but they don't take themselves too seriously and most do not think they are any better than others.


Pretty much so.


Almost everyone is a closet nerd about something. Ask a jock about his major, and you may learn more about protein chains than you ever wanted to know. But everyone is genuinely passionate about what they do, and the majority of the school is happy.


Not necessarily. The people that I have met over the year are generally nice and welcoming. But sometimes people get carried away about ranking classes, saying Pomona's are harder. I think that may depend more on what departments you are talking about. Pomona has stronger departments than others, just like other colleges' departments have their strengths.


There really is no typical Pomona student. In my experience I would consider the level of arrogance to be lower than that of an elite institution such as Pomona. So, no, it is not wholly accurate.


We aren't stuck up, but some could argue that we study too much.


although student take their work seriously, mostly everyone does things besides school whether it is a sport or going out on the weekends the workload is not intimidating as it seems and procrastination is a word familiar to all


yes pretty much, though there are a lot of people who break away from the Pomona campus and venture up north to the some of the other campuses


To some extent it's true... but mostly because there is nothing to unite the student body except academic performance. There are tons of stereotypes within the school (jocks, hippies, theater people), but the only thing Pomona students seem to have in common is work ethic and intelligence.




Pomona students are smart and their attitudes can sometimes come off as elitist. Also Pomona is the biggest school in the consortium, which means that many Pomona students only hang out with people at Pomona. However, most Pomona students are pretty laid back and get along with people from all the five colleges.


In terms of pomona as an institution, it does like to think that it's the best- and puts a lot of effort and money into selling itself (as most liberal arts schools of this type). As a stereotype though, it's not undeserved, since pomona is a very high ranking school (whatever that means). As far as students go though- while there are people of all types, generally I don't get a pretentious vibe from them- especially compared to other top-tier schools I visited on the east coast.


Only about 1/3 of the students, possibly less, are from California, and we party all. the. time. Any night you want to go out, there's something. The beauty of the Claremont Colleges is that you get the academic benefits of a smaller school but a social scene of 5,000 undergrads. Pomona is somewhat PC, but not in an obnoxious way, and generally students aren't just politically correct for correctness's sake. It's a way of caring about each other and showing that we care about the world. The PC aspect of the school tends to lead to marches, fundraisers, and grassroots campaigns.


A while back, a group made shirts for Pomona students that said, "We're not elitist, we're just better than you." That pretty much sums up the general sentiment.


About the School: Everything is true. The teachers are phenomenal 90% of the time. People on the tour sometimes say that you will go out to lunch with the profs because you get so close to them, but I find that to be largely inaccurate. Maybe by senior year you are comfortable enough with one professor to grab a bite, but it isn't a common. The faculty definitely has a liberal bias (which I notice as one of the only conservatives on campus), but it doesn't detract from the lessons they give. Pomona Students: Most of the stereotypes are true. Everybody here is smart as hell. You need a 3.75 just to get in the top 25% of the grade for any given semester. However, there isn't much competition for grades, everyone just works hard and doesn't brag about. I don't really like that kind of atmosphere being an east coast kid, but it is not that hard to adjust to. I have found the women to be more than acceptable. Just looking at it from a probability standpoint, the average Pomona students is in the top 95% of the country in terms of intlegence and lets say 90% of people are really attractive. The odds of being both attractive are therefore minimal at best and it shows in the student body, I'd say that for the 250 women in my class about 5 would be deemed super attractive. I can't say what it is for guys, but considering how beautiful I am, it is probably higher. ;)


They are actually pretty accurate, though the competitive aspect is still here, and obviously each individual is different.


Generally yes...


For the most part yes. Maybe it's a little exaggerated, but there are definitely people who have a little too much pride.


It's not entirely false, but it's also not entirely true. A common chant at our sports game is "break their noses smash their knees, we have higher SATs." Going to school at Pomona, I know there are kids who look down on pitzer, scripps, and CMC. But I think most of the snootyness stops at ten pm on friday night, because when you're at a party, no one cares what school you go to.


they're negatively exaggerated for sure


Most students feel as if they have to overcompensate to prove their intellect because they are not at a big name school, which is why I feel the "academically snobby" stereotype (which is slightly deserved) surfaced. Pomona IS over the top in its adherence to PC, and it fosters resentment from the vast majority of students. The vocal (and habitually complaining) minority at Pomona is overrepresented. The critical thinking preference is true, but sometimes this is counterproductive because arguments do not focus enough on the facts. People are pretty good about working together, as long as you're not a conservative working on a politics project.


for the most part


Pomona does have higher academic stats standards, but between any two people, Pomona students to others, or Pomona students to Pomona students, it's a crapshoot who'll be "smarter", and a matter of opinion.


Of course to some extent, but in my experience most people are fairly laid back and wish they had more contact with the other schools.


I don't know this is accurate at all. Pomona students are surprisingly down-to-earth and self-deprecating -- much more so than at a lot equivalent institutions. We make jokes about this stereotype all the time.


to some degree, although the elitism claim, which is probably the predominate stereotype about Pomona students, is not true of many students.




This stereotype is untrue for the most part.


I don't know!


In some ways these sterotypes are true, but only insomuch as they are true at any competitive liberal arts college. In terms of being laidback, Pomona students definitly are less intense and competitive than students in comparable schools.


These stereotypes are accurate. At Pomona, you are surrounded by incredibly intelligent individuals, but everyone works together because the school atmosphere isn't too competitive. Also, students at Pomona know how to have a good time.


There are few students who accurately portray that stereotype in total. Are there some arrogant people at Pomona? Sure. Pretentious and elitist? A small handful. Pomona students are remarkably diverse in their personalities, interests, and talents, making them a very interesting bunch of people. The only stereotype you'll find pretty consistently is brilliant--there are some amazingly smart people here.


Some are more accurate than others. The vast majority of students are extremely liberal and have some (though often not obvious) nerdy tendencies. However, most students are not arrogant and pretentious. Sure, we worked hard to get into Pomona, but most of us are more interested in having an impact on society and the world just for the sake of doing something meaningful, not in order to boast.


Nope. Pomona students, while very academically driven, are also extremely down-to-earth and friendly.


Though the kids that do end up getting into the college are very well off, I've found that a majority of the people that i know are at best upper middle class and many of them are actually stereotypical college kids who keep running out of money and work during the school year and summer to help pay for tuition. And even though they all are very smart I haven't found many that flaunt it.


To a certain degree, they are. The campus is quite liberal and there is a tendency to be overly harsh on matters of political correctness. That being said, dialogue is usually encouraged, and thanks to the amazingly bright group of students around, the dialogue takes place at a high level. And we do take academics seriously, but are less competitive with one another than is typical for East Coast schools of the same caliber. The general more laid-back attitude of California does permeate the culture on campus, which is something that everyone here appreciates.


Not at all. Pomona students are extremely laid back and very relaxed about almost everything. I don't know a single one who whom I would label as arrogant. Pomona students are smart, but they don't have a pressing need to let everyone know how amazing they are.


Yes and no. It's a particularly kind of snobbery. We are academic snobs, but in general, Pomona students are very welcoming and warm.


I think that the stereotypes of all the schools in the Claremont Consortium are rooted in truth but that they don't affect daily interactions; most people have friends at other colleges.




Hmm, I'd have to say it can be a pretty fair assessment. Some kids here are real assholes/douche bags... For the most part people are okay, but I would say that a lot of Pomona students do look down on the other 5Cs. Now, whether or not that’s a legitimate mindset is a different story, haha. As for the “rich white kid” stereotype, that’s true. Students here predominately come for elite preparatory schools and have never had a hard day in their life, economically speaking. Oh, and they tend to be very white. I’m not saying they’re all bad people, but it can be hard to relate to them if you come from a different background. Plus they tend to be kind of boring, predictable, and fake. On the opposite end of the spectrum you have the people of color, who are mostly crazy. They are so militant and out of touch with reality that it would be laughable if they weren’t so annoying. You might think I’m joking, but I’m not. These are (mostly) the sort of people that have largely forgotten what liberalism is and instead try to enforce their quasi-fascist (I’d rather not use that word, but I don’t know how else to convey it…) viewpoint on everyone else. The most annoying thing of all is that the most vocal group is AAMP (the Asian-American Mentor Program), but Asians have the least to complain about among all minorities. Don’t get me wrong—I’m a minority and am quite liberal. But I’m also rational, and most of these “people of color” (oh, be prepared to encounter all sorts of terms like this if you head to Pomona, e.g., “power dynamics” and “WOCs” aka “women of color”) just don’t have much ground to stand upon. They complain about the most trivial things and are waaaaay too sensitive. As a liberal, I do sympathize with a lot of their political views: imperialism is/was horrible, Latin America got fucked by the US, the US still fucks tons of people/countries over and it’s unacceptable, the government is a piece of shit, and so on. Also the white people here can be very stupid, so sometimes one just does want to smack them upside their heads and knock some sense into them. On the other hand, as a liberal, I also think there is something very wrong going on when you suspect that the people of color on campus would brainwash (well, actually I think they do brainwash people in some cases) or use Orwellian “thoughtspeak” to control the views and minds of others to conform to their agenda. As for the gay people, I’d actually say there really aren’t that many here, but they are very vocal. Not a bad thing, although all the minority communities here (as I implied earlier) tend to be extremely sensitive and can get annoying. The people here are generally liberal (white people mostly follow some sort of lackadaisical liberal agenda and pat themselves on their backs undeservedly, while the people of color tend to go the on the opposite end and follow the contrarian path of liberal insanity; thankfully there are some people who take the middle ground between the two extremes). So I guess the moral of the story is that you’ll have trouble relating with any major group on campus if you don’t share their background or their agenda. Pomona students also tend to be very cliquey, which just compounds the problem. That said, I don’t fall into any said group and I’ve found some of the best friends of my life here, so the picture is probably not as bad as I might have painted it. Or maybe I’ve just been lucky, haha.


To some extent. I think a lot of it can be attributed to jealousy. I know I'm being stuck up when I say this, but Pomona is the biggest campus, offers the most classes, is the most prestigious, etc. Taking a class at another school is generally just easier. Except for science classes at Harvey Mudd.


These stereotypes are completely inaccurate. Pomona students are as far from pretentious as they can possibly be. In fact, Pomona students are some of the most enthusiastic about interacting with students from the other four colleges.


On the whole, no these stereotypes are not accurate. They tend to eminate from the fact that Pomona usually has the most rigorous admissions standards of the five colleges, and there are a FEW students who remind opposing of that at competitions and athletic events. It also doesn't help that some students tried to make fun of the accusations by donning shirts that read "We're not elitist, we're just better than you." However, all the references to our students being "better" than those from other schools is simply done in rivalry and in jest, just as a majority of students from universities across the country will claim their own school's superiority at sporting events. This does not make us elitist. In fact, in my experience, Pomona students are as down-to-earth as any group of students at the colleges or any other schools I have visited.


Somewhat; Pomona students know that they must be smart if they got into Pomona, but I think the real source of campus rivalry among the Claremont Colleges comes from the sports teams. Pomona and Pitzer share sports teams, and Claremont McKenna, Scripps, and Harvey Mudd share teams. This rivalry is usually more fun than harmful.


The school is definitely way too politically correct for its own good.


Uh, see previous response. I don't think the kids as a whole are particularly snobby, although a few certainly are. I'm pretty sure they'd be jerks wherever they went to school though. Mostly we're sort of dorky, I think.