The best thing about Pomona is the people...and the milkshakes.
As a small, selective liberal arts college in California, on paper, Pomona was everything I ever dreamed of finding in a college. I thought to myself, "I could get an incredible education AND have palm trees on campus!? Can I get in there?" It wasn't until I started my time as a Pomona student, though, that everything I'd seen on paper came alive, and exceeded what I'd dreamed of.
Pomona's small size obviously makes it fast/easy to get around, and makes classes small (which is part of why professors are so accessible and classes are so discussion-based), but it also fosters the sense of community that is so tangible on campus. Yet not only is the community tight-knit--it's diverse, with students heralding from all over the world, with different racial/socioeconomic backgrounds, interests, perspectives and stories. Furthermore, there are multiple levels to the community, each of which offers support, from your Sponsor group (who you meet during your first year), to the Claremont consortium as a whole (you share classes, dining halls, clubs, and parties with the four adjacent colleges).
Pomona's selectivity has the advantage of creating a high standard for the academic rigor of the school, which not only brings your work and learning to a high level as a student, but opens doors for you school- and career-wise as an alum. That being said, part of the beauty of the Pomona experience is that the name "Pomona" is not as well known as the names of some other schools, and so students are not attracted to the school for the name in and of itself. Pomona attracts students who love the idea of everything Pomona stands for. Not only are they brilliant, but they are grounded, down-to-earth, and collaborative. You won't find a cutthroat atmosphere at Pomona, academically or socially.
As a liberal arts college, Pomona offers you breadth and depth in your education. It is more than common to have friends with crazy-sounding course combinations, like a pre-med student majoring in Japanese, a Psychology major minoring in Dance, or an English and Politics double-major. At Pomona you're really encouraged to try that one class that piques your interest, no matter how unrelated it is to what you always thought you wanted to focus on--and sometimes it's that encouragement that sets you down a whole new path you end up incredibly grateful to have stumbled upon.
Last, but not least, yes, Pomona is in California. The weather is amazing pretty much every single day (you can study for finals in December in your bathing suit), and you're surrounded by an array of awesome environments, which OTL (Pomona's student-run outdoors organization) lets you take advantage of (for free!!!). On any given weekend you can lead or participate in a trip to hike or ski on Mount Baldy, to explore Joshua Tree or the hot springs or Big Sur or LA, or go anywhere else you please.
So, overall, Pomona is just awesome. Whether you're having coffee or doing research with a professor, or having a debate with someone in your Sponsor group in your hall, or dancing at a party at one of the other schools, orrr trying one of the milkshakes at the Coop Fountain (do it), you're going to have an amazing time.
Pomona has been a wonderful place for me. There are so many resources available to you--top-notch professors, research opportunities, and interesting classes. The best part about the school, however, is the people! People are down-to-earth, friendly, and always interesting to talk to and get to know. The size is perfect, especially since there are four other colleges within a square mile.
The best thing about Pomona is the financial aid office and the incredible professors. Both are so supportive and helpful in every way you can think of. I have only been here a year, and I owe them so much. It's a pretty small school, but it's perfect for having close relationships with professors and the administration. Many people may not have heard of Pomona before, but those that have really admire the school.
I enjoy my life at Pomona very much.
The location is wonderful. Claremont is a nice suburban neighborhood with everything you might need on a weekly basis in walking distance from campus: fro-yo and ice cream shops, good restaurants your parents can take you to when they visit, american apparel and other clothing and shoe stores if you're in to that kind of thing, a farmer's market on the weekends, several banks, and a sweet coffee/tea shop with boba drinks and lots of good teas.
The best thing though is how much there is to do with in about 45 minutes if you have access to a car, which you probably will given that many people have them and zipcars are available to rent for $7 an hour. Within this 45 minutes are: the beach and surfing, LA and Hollywood with great events and concerts, and the mountains with rock climbing, hiking, and some truly more-than-decent skiing (and I usually ski at Alta/bird in so I know some sick skiing to judge)!
Alright, I'll level with you. This place is crazy nice. The academics are almost always great and professors are only here if they have an interest in your personal success. Nearly everyone is very good at what they do and work hard to become better (and definitely not at your expense). The administration is overly-protective, but well-run. Dorm-life is the de facto experience. The dorms are crazy nice - I'm writing this now in a large single with a fireplace. Oh yeah, the school has a 1.6 billion dollar endowment. *the what?* Yeah, it's huge, they're footing nearly the entire bill for my poor-ass to go here. The town is full of rich white people who would rather never see you ever. Consequently, Claremont is a horrible college town. There are a few bright-spots in town, but I'm not sure that they do well anyways. People stick to the colleges pretty tightly. There lies the biggest problem. We get no experience being independent in the free world. The dining halls feed us well, but we don't learn how to explore, pay rent, or feed ourselves. Ideally, you would take Pomona and place it in the middle of a city. However, it's just not possible. You'll never have such a personal experience in a different setting.
Pomona is definitely a small school. It' s great in that we have a huge number of resources at our fingertips. A lot of students get grants from the school for outside research, we get more time with our professors, and a close community of friends that really look out for one another. I do wish Pomona were closer to Los Angeles. Aside from the recent expansion, Claremont isn't exactly the hustling epicenter of excitement and fun. There are some people who don't know about Pomona, but those that do know it's a rigorous and happy school. The administration is generally supportive of student initiatives. The school really cares for its students, and bends over backwards to make them feel welcome and supported. Pomona--after 3 years--sometimes feels stagnant or unexciting, but I've made so many good friends and taken so many great classes, that I don't really mind.
I love Pomona because
- It only has undergraduate students, so the students get a lot of attention. Also, the professors do research, which they need help with, so many student get an opportunity to do research as an undergrad. I was able to do paid research in Vietnam with one of my sociology professors the summer after freshmen year.
- It’s a residential college with nearly all of the students living on campus all 4 years. It’s great to have my 30 best friends as next-door neighbors!
- I like the size of the school (I think a little less than 400 people in each class at Pomona), but there are also the other four colleges (Scripps, Pitzer, Harvey Mudd, and Claremont McKenna) if you want to meet more people. Also, you can take classes, eat in the dining halls, and go to the parties at the other schools, so there is always something to do.
- The administration is great. If you ever have a problem, they have your back.
- They gave me by far the best financial aid package, and this year they did away with loans, so any need you have will be met with grants that you don’t have to pay back.
- Although the average person on the street may not recognize the name Pomona, it’s a great school academically, and the people who matter (meaning the people who would hire you or graduate schools) are familiar with the school.
- Claremont is a nice town, and it also very easy to get to LA
- The weather is great
The best thing about Pomona is the financial aid office and the incredible professors. Both are so supportive and helpful in every way you can think of. I have only been here a year, and I owe them so much. The one thing I would change is the constant feeling that we should each be so proud of our race...I'm not into that kind of thing. In fact there have been several racist incidents in just the last few months of school. It's ridiculous, but I guess it's a process that we should all work towards getting rid of prejudices...in college and in the real world. It's a pretty small school, but it's perfect for having close relationships with professors and the administration. Many people may not have heard of Pomona before, but those that have really admire the school.
When I got to Pomona I was blown away by how beautiful the campus is. Driving around Claremont you totally get this quaint small college town feel. Though it's nice to have the Village right next door, it's not the most practical thing, seeing that their expensive boutiques are out of a typical college student's price range.
When I tell people that I go to Pomona, I'm never sure people will recognize the school name. If they haven't been in the college scene in awhile chances are you haven't heard of it, but among college age students or parents of college students I feel like they usually show recognition. Often when they have heard about Pomona they have heard really good things about it.
I think there is a lot of school pride, and that students know that they are going to a good quality school. Though they say that you can be your own worse critic. I think if I do hear complaints about Pomona, it is mostly from Pomona's students. They realize they go to a good school, but there are always tons of things to critique on.
One of the most difficult, confusing, stressful processes is the room draw at the end of the year. The returning students often can't really answer the freshman's questions because apparently the room draw process changes from year to year. The changes don't seem to have made the process any less stressful.
Pomona is a very small school (about half the size of my high school) and everyone lives on campus. Because of this there is a very communal feeling. You'll know the face or the name of everyone in your class by the end of the year (assuming you're not a recluse). The town is also rather small, but with such close proximity to LA (30 minute train ride), it serves as a comfortable spot to get off of campus for a little while and catch a movie or grab a bite to eat. The administration does a good job with getting you adjusted and making sure you stay happy. There is a lot of stress placed on the happiness of the students at Pomona.
Not many people who I talk to have heard of Pomona. But it has a name to people you would want it to have a name to. As in, people know that Pomona is a damn good college. I think it is a bit too small. I see people too many times in a day. The administration is good for the most part. Some new administration think they are in a place that they are not, but they will hopefully adjust, or else they simply won't survive. For the most part, the administration is on your side. If I could change something, it would be to be able to get a better experience of independence. I am fed everyday by the dining hall. I don't clean my own bathrooms. Not that this is bad, but I feel like I am in a hotel sometimes.
The best thing about Pomona is really hard to define. I just know that I love it. It gets to be a little small after the first two years, especially as the population of students who goes out on a regular basis is pretty small. With the 5Cs though it's a pretty good size as long as you make the effort to meet people from the other schools. We spend a lot of time on campus and almost never make it out to LA. The good thing is that if you have a car or know someone with a car you can easily get to the beaches, J-Tree, the museums, Pasadena, or concerts. Claremont Village itself trys to pretend that there are not 5000 college students living there. Most of the places are a little upscale for a college budget (though Full of Life Bakery and the Juice Co. stand out as being delicious!) but a new expansion to the village is trying to combat that. There's not much of a nightlife off of campus however. There is one sportsbar that is always too packed (with non-college people) and one other bar. But the colleges always have parties or at least gatherings everynight of the week except Sunday. Having the other colleges there is a huge plus for Pomona socially as the nerdiness of Pomona is a little balanced out by the alphaness of CMC.
Pomona is very sensitive to the discourse of diversity, almost overly so. The major controversy on campus my freshman year was the lack of gender neutral bathrooms. Since then, the situation has been remedied and every dorm now has female, male, and gender neutral bathrooms. Everyone is very liberal at Pomona which leads to an openness to "difference" but a lack of variety in opinion and a decided bias against conservatives.
One major drawback to Pomona is that nobody has heard of it. If they have it's often a mistake and they think you mean Cal Poly Pomona...which actually gets to be frustrating.
Pomona is like a resort. You will be very well provided for and looked after. The only problem is that it's like having wealthy, caring, but totally over protective, over involved parents. Everything has to be perfectly spotless, so it ends up feeling like there is no culture. There a lot of bright, creative people around who try to make Pomona feel more like home, but the general culture of Pomona is pretty bland. Claremont is more of the same. Cute, beautifully groomed, wealthy, and bland. Still, the weather is awesome, and if you find your niche, it can be a really great place to be.
Pomona is small, but all the Claremont Colleges combine to form one medium-sized school. Classes, dining halls, and parties are shared by all 5 colleges, so you have plenty of opportunities to meet kids outside of Pomona. Nearly everyone lives on campus and the dorms are generally really nice. The food is good. The campus is beautiful and every day the lawns are full of kids reading and/or playing Frisbee. It's usually warm and sunny, and it's only oppressively hot for the first couple and last couple weeks of the year. Some smog is usually visible on the horizon, but it's really noticeable on campus only a few days a year.
Sometimes the school feels like one big family - by the time you're a senior you'll know just about everyone in your class. Claremont is not a college town. Everyone just hangs out and parties on campus.
The best thing about Pomona is the consortium. Students are allowed to take classes at any of the five colleges and there are five college parties every weekend. Students can also take advantage of events put on by other colleges. For example, I saw Bono speak at Claremont McKenna and went to a Dodgers game through Pitzer. Pomona also has quite a large endowment which allows them to put on many events for students and give students opportunities to do paid research and internships. This also makes it easy to get financial aid, so that money can't prevent anyone from attending Pomona. The school is very small, which is great because classes are small and students really form good relationships with their professors. However, the other campuses make the social life bigger and allows the school not to seem too small. When I tell people I go to Pomona most have no idea what it is and ask if it's a community college. However, people that have heard of Pomona are usually impressed. I spent alot of time in the dorms during freshman year. Pomona's sponsor group system, which puts freshman in housing in groups with two sophomore sponsors, creates a close knit bound for freshman in their halls. Many students do get off campus on weekends and take the metrolink into LA. Claremont village is a block from campus and has good restaurants and decent shopping, however, people don't hang out in town very much besides going to get food of a haircut because the town is very small and there's not much to do there.
Pomona is awesome! I'm currently abroad in Argentina, which is great times, but this semester really has made me appreciate and miss Pomona. I look back at my freshman year as one of the most amazing times of my life- everything from OA to sponsor groups to my first classes was such an experience, and I'm so jealous of the freshmen every year that are just beginning their time.
I decided on a small liberal-arts school and now comparing it to my friends' experiences in Boston University or University of NM and my own in the University of Buenos Aires, I know I made the right choice. There's something great about being part of a community- where the people you're debating in class are the same people you're hitting on in the party that night, or cheering for in a game. Living on campus (and like 97% of pomona students do) is by far the best part of college. Especially freshman year, there's always something going on in your hall, there's always someone nearby who's going through the exact same thing, and if you need help on something, you can just walk downstairs and work with your friends on your homework.
I definitely like the 5 school thing- it gives some character and diversity to the student body and some much needed variety in the food. It also means there are opportunities to get out and meet new people.
Claremont's kind of a downer as far as college towns go. I wanted to go to school in a city, and so I wasn't crazy about the thought of LA suburbs, but it's not that bad. Claremont's really calm, and cute, but there's not a whollle lot to do, especially without a car, but it's getting better. The school does sponsor trips to other places. On the upside, there's always a lot going on on campus, from music, to dance, to films etc, so it means you don't have to leave and drive somewhere and pay a lot of money to get drunk and party (which is what people really want to do in college anyway). I didn't have a car my first year, and I still got off campus and had a great time when I was on campus.
Pomona sort of irritates me sometimes when the students don't appreciate what they have. There might be various protests or angry student denouncements of some perceived inequality on campus, while at least for me, I feel like Pomona is as good as it might get in terms of political correctness and inequality and instead of complaining, people should focus on changing the real world, where things are obviously shittier. It's called the "pomona bubble"- people so focused on our world that they forget about the real one.
Pomona is a community. It sounds corny, but it really is true. I had at least met almost every member of my graduating class, and was friendly with many of them. We work hard but was also play hard, and we try to take care of each other. I think that that is the social benefit of a small school- it's hard to get lost.
Additionally, spending four years with Pomona College students is possibly the coolest experience you'll ever have. I don't think that I will ever again be with so many brilliant, driven people who truly care about and want to try to change the world. We debate environmental issues over dinner and politics late at night. It's also a great place in that most people are willing to listen to each other's opinions and shut up when they know the person who's speaking knows more about a given subject than they do.
It's also fun. Pomona has nice housing, fun parties, and is in southern California! It's really just a great place to be. Think about it raining only 20 days out of the year, and then try to tell me that that isn't awesome.
Pomona is a small, liberal arts school that is part of the Claremont Consortium. People usually just politely smile when I mention what school I go to, or they assume it's Cal Poly Pomona. I often just leave it at Southern California.
The town of Claremont is small and too quant to be much of a college town, but it has the necessary frozen yogurt, movie theater and Jamba Juice. Recent expansion has improved it a lot.
With a total of 5,000 students at the Claremont Colleges - Pomona being the largest at 1,500 - the size is great. We're not so small or isolated that it feels like we're in the middle of nowhere, but it also isn't too easy to get lost.
Pomona is a great school. True, it is small...but I like that. I like the fact that I've had classes as small as 5 students and others as large as 50 students. My favorite spot on campus would have to be Sontag Theatre. Its outdoors and sorta romanesque in architecture. People rarely go there unless there is an event and its just a nice spot to read or rest when its warm outside. I also love the library it's huge and has really comfortable couches.
The best part about Pomona is the Sponsor Group program for freshmen. It gives everybody at least 15 automatic friends and helps to adjust to school. I made 5 extremely close friends through my sponsor group and we were then able to branch off, find more friends, and then bring them into our original circle. Its a great way to meet people.
I would change the overall climate of PC-ness on campus. The administration made a big deal over someone writing "Hillary is a Foxy Lesbian" on a whiteboard. the beautiful thing about a whiteboard is the ability to wipe away the message and move on with your life.
Being from the east coast, I say I go to Pomona and people give me the obligatory head nod,m but have no idea where it is or if it is any good. I usually call it the Amherst of the west and then people get an idea of how good it is. Pomona is widely known among graduate schools as being excellent and its name is growing in the business world. That being said, its hard to get an east coast inernship going to Pomona, I'm not sure about the job market.
Overall, I freaking love everything about Pomona. Great people, great weather, and a great institution.
One of the best things I think Pomona does is the sponsor group system for incoming freshmen. There may be similar programs at other universities, but I'm pretty sure Pomona's way of doing it is unique. Basically, each hall (say, ten to twenty new freshmen) is considered a sponsor group, and for each group there is a male and female sophomore who are the sponsors. Unlike RAs, sponsors are almost incapable of "getting you in trouble" and are there to act as big brothers and sisters, showing you the ropes and organizing activities that make the sponsor group come together. In this, you make friends with the people you're living with right away, and you have two people just a year older that can tell you just about anything you want to know. Of course, the individuals make this happen, and not all sponsors do their job well. However, I think it is because of sponsor groups that freshmen acclimatize so quickly to Pomona.
As far as size, Pomona is perfect--if you're looking for a small community. The thing is, it can be as small as you want it or as large; you can stay within Pomona's bounds or you can discover completely different people at the other four colleges (all five are grouped together in one area) simply by going to parties and events that were probably advertised on flyers around the campuses.
One unfortunate thing about Pomona is it is neither as diverse nor as tolerant as it claims to be. Yes, it is ethnically very diverse compared to other schools, but idealistically (ie in people's ideals/principles) there are few differences among the students. An attempt to remedy this is through the Pomona Student Union, which organizes debates between outspoken people in the nation about current issues. For instance, one such event was about immigration and one of the founders of the Minute Man project was invited to speak. You'd think this was great: hearing the side that basically everyone at Pomona opposes, and of course hopes is shot down in the debate by "our" side. What actually happened was a protest, involving a group of students not only standing with their backs to the speaker but then shouting at him in not a very civilized way. This man was _invited_ to present his side of a very important case and was not even allowed to speak by some of his listeners. I don't see much tolerance in that.
Another unfortunate thing about Pomona is housing--not housing itself (which is pretty good, except for a general lack of a/c) but the process by which housing is determined for everyone after their freshman year. I can't even describe it, because it is an utter mess. You'd think the administration would have figured out a better way to do it after all these years. One cool thing about housing, though, is sub-free. I don't know how common this is, but sub-free housing means at least a floor of a dorm that does not tolerate substances (ie alcohol and tobacco) because the people living there have agreed not to use these while present. (Obviously these people can go to parties still, they just can't bring substances back with them.) This provides a safe living space for those who are uncomfortable with substances as well as a much quieter dorm to sleep in.
On the subject of sub-free, there is actually a campus organization called The Saturday Group that organizes Saturday activities other than drinking parties. For instance, one night they rented out a roller-rink for a few hours for students to have good clean fun and refreshments. On the other hand, if you're into the usual parties, each weekend is almost guaranteed to have something crazy going on, like Smiley 80's, one of the biggest parties of the year.
Getting off campus is easy--the "Village" is right next door, and has some good restaurants and fun shops. Getting somewhere that's actually interesting is a bit harder without a car, though the train station is a two-minute walk from campus and can go straight to Union Station in Los Angeles. On campus, there are a lot of places people spend time, one of which would be the Coop Fountain, a little cafe open at least til midnight every night where people go to eat, drink, do homework, play pool, or just chill.
Pomona is an incredible school that offers an experience that only a handful of other schools do. It a has a beautiful campus, great faculty, incredibly friendly and talented students, and fabulous weather.
Though being part of the 5Cs consortium definitely makes more activities (rugby, ultimate frisbee, a cappella groups, dance, queer resource center etc.) and courses available, the consortium as a whole lacks some departments you might find at schools with hefty graduate programs such as Stanford and Yale (i.e. architecture, diverse types of engineering, languages such as Korean, Arabic, Hebrew, or Swahili). It also means that most non-intro courses are offered once a year, or once every two years. However, the Trustees are considering expanding the student body by 100 to 200 students which hopefully they well.
There is definitely a lot of school pride. Most students love the place to death.
Pomona's administration is GREAT at running the school. However, they also aren't super open to experimentation, and will rarely push the envelope and try out new things or change their ways...
Pomona is a very small school. It's very likely that the student population will be smaller than your typical public high school, so EVERYONE knows each other whether you'll like it or not. With that said, you get a chance to know everyone really well if you want to, and you get to have a closer relationship with your professors and staff. So it's really what you want to make of it. There are pros and cons to its size, so you have to decide if you're willing to have the good with the not so good (being able to have dinner with your professor and also having a lot of people know things about you without you even telling them). Another important thing: if you're looking to have an exciting life in the nearby city of Claremont, it's not gonna happen. Claremont is a small suburban town of about 35,000 people, most of whom are bedroom-community families and senior citizen retirement homes. The "Village" is slowly starting to cater to college students (Jamba Juice, Stabucks, Peet's Coffee, Movie Theater, American Apparel) but it's definitely not comparable to more typical college towns (antique stores, wine tasting, really expensive boutiques). As for the social scene, as I said it's a small school so you'll be seeing the same people years on end. There is this association with Pomona students being open-minded and liberal, but some student organizations and administration have their own versions of expressing that. So we had an "Immigration Debate" last year sponsored by the political group Pomona Student Union. They invited the President of the Minutemen group and an economist to battle on if we should open or close America's borders. Many people took interest in this, many took offense. There are some vocal student groups here and they get amazing things organized, but the process is cumbersome and sometimes frustrating.
The consortium makes pomona ten times more bad-ass than the east-coast competition at Williams, Amherst, or Swarthmore. We've small school academics and social scene and every advantage of a big school. Pomona was the first of the 5C consortium, so we were built as an independent institution unlike the others. This means we aren't forced to take classes at other schools or leave the pomona bubble, but at the same time the consortium is always there. It's something other small school offer, and having it doesn't mean you lose the small school feel at all.
Pomona is a small liberal arts school filled with motivated, ambitious, open minded students. It's not very well known but to those who have heard of it has a prestigious reputation. It's located in Claremont CA and has a quaint college town with a more lively recent expansion but neither especially built for the college students. Very welcoming and safe. Most students spend a lot of their time on campus, otherwise most venture to LA. Administration does a good job. I wish sports got a little bit more accolade since student athletes for Pomona are really in it for the love of the sport and actually do well. There's a lot of complaints regarding pc and environmental precautions. Both of which I think are beneficial.
Good size school, the consortium makes it so that there enough people you don't feel strangled, but its small enough that everything feels familiar.
The new village expansion is really nice and makes living in Claremont less like being in a bubble.
Pomona provides an incredible environment to receive a strong liberal arts undergraduate education. Classes are small, teachers are extremely intellegent, caring, and willing to generously donate their time, and the students are all passionate about something and eager to take advantage of the many opportunities Pomona has to offer. My friends are country-wide champeon debators, world class ping-pong players, and students who have truly mind-boggling accomplishments in their past, but they are all humble, sweet people. Since the name Pomona College clearly doesn`t elicit the same reaction as Harvard, the people who choose to come are the ones truly looking for a school that will facilitate learning and growth, and not just the ones looking to brag about the name and then enjoy the grade inflation of the Ivys.
Additionally, the dorms are beautiful and clean, and the cafeteria food is the best college food I have found!
Pomona is full of NICE kids who often come from similiar middle to upper class backgrounds and did very well in high school in the most traditional academic sense. The student body sometimes seems split between those who wonder how on earth they got in to Pomona and those who don't think about it at all.
Pomona is not very well known, especially on the East Coast, where people assume it's a state school...leads to frequent jokes. Most students have a great sense of humor and often joke about the school's shortcomings. School pride varies highly, but does not congregate around sports, at all.
Drinking is prevalent at Pomona, the sub-free versus substance-use split segregates students in a negative way and it often seems that you either drink too much every weekend or don't drink at all.
We are generally very pampered on campus. Often does not feel like the real world, no thanks to Claremont, a small strange college town. (Thank God for the new movie theater.)
It's a small liberal arts college and don't let the presence of another 4000 students about 2 blocks away fool you...the school will still feel small. The students are smart (and aware of it) and there will be plenty of people to talk to and be challenged by. That said, the PC atmosphere can be suffocating and frustrating. It's fun to watch people work themselves into a frenzy over gender neutral bathrooms, but in all honesty plenty of "normal" students exist; they just aren't as vocal. You don't fall in love with Pomona until you make great friends, but given the student body that WILL happen.
When I tell people that I go to Pomona College, I usually have to follow it by, "it's a small liberal arts college in Southern California". It's really awesome when people have heard of it, but I never expect people to have heard of it. People go to Pomona for the learning experience and the social life, not for the prestige. I know people who chose Pomona over Harvard because they thought they'd get a better education at Pomona. Obviously, people that choose Pomona aren't after the big name, but I'm not sure they realize just how frustratingly anonymous the college is. Grad schools, med schools, etc, know about Pomona and appreciate out academics, but most places don't. Getting a job right out of college, I'd be much better off if I had chosen Berkeley over Pomona...and my GPA would probably be better, too!
Pomona is great because of its size. Classes are intimate, beginning right away during your freshman year. People are relaxed and prefer to collaborate rather than compete. Pomona faculty are wonderful, and the administration is simultaneously professional and personal.
The best thing about Pomona is the weather. It's glorious. I was tanning back in February and loving it. I wish it wasn't so suburbian and I wish the immediate surrounding area was more interesting. The further surrounding area is super interesting, and the outdoor program we have called On The Loose is really excellent, allowing you to take free or dirt-free trips for hundreds of miles around. The administration seems fine, people have a natural aversion to the word so they'll complain no matter what. Pomona's got bundles of money and it benefits the students a ton. Sometimes it seems like people should be able to get money easily and they can't, and that doesn't make sense. But most of the time, Pomona funds whatever you want to do.
Pomona offers an idyllic setting for the college experience: In the middle of a quaint California suburb on a campus that serves as a veritable oasis in the desert of urban sprall that comprises inland sounthern California. Sun, palm trees, sprawling green lawns, terracotta roofs...there is simply no more beautiful place to go to school. I like to tell my parents that they are essentially paying for me to be on vacation, as virtually year round I find myself frequenting the pool, margarita and textbook in hand along with several friends. Maybe its because we're pampered by the incomparable weather, but people here are genuinely happy. We are certainly an academic bunch, but everyone is so multitalented that networks of friends are extensive and the whole enviornment seems free of the blanket of pressure-filled stress that so many competitive colleges seem to be plagued by. We all get along with eachother, our professors, and even the administration. Honestly, its just a really happy, beautiful place.
Pomona is just the right size; you know most people, but it isn't too small. The best thing about Pomona are the teachers - they are always available to help and they brilliant. It is really easy to get to know the teachers at Pomona. Not a lot of people know about Pomona and how good of a school it is - it is on par with schools like Amherst and Williams. There is a lot of school pride, yet as far as athletics go there isn't that much pride.
Pomona is a hidden treasure when it comes to colleges. With a very high rate of selectivity, Pomona picks out some of the most incredible, interesting, and unique students across the country. Yet, ask a stranger on the street anywhere outside of Southern California, and they won't know the name. As a member of the Claremont Consortium, Pomona is 1 of 5 schools located within a square mile in Claremont, CA. The result: small school academic environment with the benefits of 4 other colleges a 5-minute walk away. That means you get a better social scene, more clubs/activities, 5 times the number of classes that would normally be available (you can take classes at any of them), and a grand total of 6 different dining halls to choose from (2 on Pomona's campus). The atmosphere at Pomona is welcoming, and the college does some great things to make sure every student enjoys and benefits from their experience here.
Pomona was my dream college ever since my sophomore year of high school, and receiving my Early Decision acceptance letter in December of my senior year was one of the happiest moments of my life. I absolutely love Pomona, and it seems like a lot of my peers share this sentiment. Pretty much everyone is extremely grateful and happy to be here.
For me, Pomona is the perfect size. It's the quintessential liberal arts college enhanced by the resources that the other Claremont Colleges provide. There are plenty of people to meet, and most Pomona students like making new friends.
Some students gripe about Pomona's lack of name recognition as compared to large universities. However, this doesn't matter to me because important people like employers and grad schools know how amazing Pomona is. From my personal experiences, it seems like most people from the western United States are familiar with Pomona and know how good it is.
Even though Pomona is a perfect fit for me, it's not for everyone. The type of person that enjoys it the most is liberal, free spirited, open minded, and likes to have fun. Close minded, socially conservative students should stay away. The Pomona community is full of gay rights activists, feminists, environmentalists, social justice advocates, and other people supporting leftist causes.
Pomona is a small, prestigious liberal arts college. Because they have kept the acceptance low, the class environment is much more personal and you have a great opportunity to get to know your teachers and the staff. This also leads to a generally friendlier atmosphere. The town is also very much a college town in my opinion. There has been a lot of resent renovations that have been created with the students in mind, including a theater, ice cream place, and coffee house.
Pomona is a fantastic fit for me. As shallow as it may be, weather helps a lot. 90% bright sunny days out of the entire year makes for great relaxing weather, and at least personally I find it hard to be motivated to do just about anything when it is dreary and cloudy out. Especially coming from cold and snowy Minnesota, spending 8 months of the year in the beautiful SoCal climate is a wonderful change. It also makes outdoor sports an option for recreation year round, which is a boon to players of frisbee, basketball, soccer, beach volleyball, etc.
Pomona also maintains a good balance between being a small liberal arts school of 1500ish students while being a member of the 5 Claremont Colleges for a total students body of 4-5 thousand students. The consortium offers the resources of a bigger school (larger student body to interact with, huge library access, cross registration at all the schools) while the smaller college allows for personal contact with the admin and small class sizes.
The college's location in relatively close proximity to LA (and the beaches!) while reisiding in a small town lends offers the opportunities of a major city and the safety and community of a smaller suburb with its own flavor.
Except for a slight tendency to be a little too activist-oriented on what to me are trivial political correctness issues, Pomona has no major faults.
The best thing about Pomona is the feel and the environment. the students are happy and driven. Additionally it is really easy for students to get involved in the school projects and decisions. The school is just the right size. It is easy to get to know other students and get to know the faculty. The members of the administration are all really dedicated to the school and the students.
Pomona is the greatest school ever. I think this is mostly because of the atmosphere at the school, just as much as the great academics and so on. Basically, everyone really cares about their work, really wants to learn, and is driven to succeed. At the same time, though, almost everyone is really relaxed about it. There is absolutely no (and I really mean it--none at all!) competition between students, in any class or department, with none of the rather toxic fighting to do better than everyone else (either to be better or just to beat an insane curve). Everyone is friendly, and it's generally wonderful to be around people who are just as academically engaged yet fun-loving and relaxed at the same time.
Is Pomona the happiest place on Earth? I'm really not sure. There are a bunch of really happy people, a bunch of really serious people, a ton of extroverts, a ton of introverts, and a bunch of kids diagnosable with the DSM-IV. The amazing part is that we all get along. People are accepting of our eccentricities. Believe me, if I have friends, people must be accepting of the odd ones. Pomona is so accepting that students tend to stick on campus. We kind of live in a bubble, and not many people like to see the outside world--other than the small but cute town of Claremont.
As you look at all of the liberal arts schools, you'll realize that they are actually quite similar. The thing that really sets Pomona apart is the other 4 C's. Living on the 5 C's is awesome. There are parties every night and always something to do. You can even head to another campus to make new friends.
Pomona IS a small school. But as someone who went into the application process wanting a large school, I have to say: don't worry! I meet as many people in a given day/week/year as I ever could at a large school, and even at a small school I get introduced to new people all the time. The best thing is- because it's a small campus, you're more likely to run into them again! And its small size creates a great sense of community.
Claremont is a cute little town (no fast food though, unless you count Jamba Juice), and LA isn't too far off to visit on weekends (30 minute train ride).
Pomona College has the beautiful southern California weather, amazing financial aid (I know more than a couple on a full ride, including books and travel), very lax policies, small class sizes and professors who are more than willing to give you personal attention, and every single person has a story to tell! People usually have never heard of Pomona, but the people that have are very impressed. Claremont is a safe, well-off suburb, which means both safety and boredom when everything shuts down before nightfall.
Forget Disneyland, Pomona is the happiest place on earth. My four years here are perfect in every way. The people are amazing, and the academic opportunities are endless. We work hard (read: VERY hard), and sometimes the stress gets to us. But there are so many amazing things for Pomona students to do on and off campus that we never get down for very long.
Pomona is a great college in a lot of ways and not so great in others. The highlights: ridiculously generous financial aid, really small class sizes, dedicated and talented professors and staff, great weather and beautiful campus, good housing, and lots of (ranging from mediocre to excellent) dining halls to choose from. As for the bad side of things, I’ve already explained most of that.
Personally I love the small-college environment and overall would recommend this school to anyone who is intellectually curious.
One bad thing is the town though. Claremont is a boring place filled with rich, old white people who go to bed at 9pm. That means most stores close very early and the place is pretty lackluster. Still, they added a "college" section to the place recently that has some great restaurants and a movie theater, so it’s not that terrible anymore.
When I first decided to attend Pomona, most people I told were like, "Cal Poly Pomona?" A lot of people have not heard of it - I think this is a factor that turns some people to bigger name-brand schools like Stanford and the Ivies. But one thing I have discovered is that the people who are really going to matter in terms of your success in life, like employers, know Pomona's name, and are impressed by it. So don't worry about the name! Pomona is an amazing place, and I am so glad I go there! I don't want to leave. This is the prevailing sentiment among seniors (and everyone else) - I've never spoken to ANYONE who didn't like it.
It's hard to choose one "best" thing about Pomona. The weather is amazing, of course. And this really matters, more than most people expect. Everyone is very happy and friendly all the time, and I think near-constant sunshine has a lot to do with it (also that happy people are drawn here). But another favorite thing is that Pomona kids are curious - they like to learn, like to DO things! I love little random facts and trivia - at Pomona, I am surrounds by my kind, and I learn a lot!
Oh, and the relationship you have with your profs in amazing. They all, always, know you name in the first week. TA's don't exist, at least to teach. They are there to help you out in labs and on homework. In my experience, almost all profs have large office hours and are willing to meet you whenever extra to help you. Pomona has this thing where it pays for both your meals if you have lunch with a professor! I take advantage of this all the time.
In my freshman year, I had two separate lunches with Nobel laureates. There were about 10 people at the table. No big deal.
Also, Pomona just has a ton of money to give to you to start whatever you want to do. They pay for awesome trips (like last year I went whale-watching and saw Dane Cook at the Laugh Factory in LA). IF you want to start a club (e.g. Cheese-Tasting), you get funding. I got an email recently saying that the Associated Students had a ton of money left, so if you had an idea of how to spend it, email them!
One of the biggest student complaints is that the weight and cardio rooms are rather dingy considering Pomona's size and wealth. They are serviceable, though.
What makes Pomona special is it's small, intimate setting. While many students at bigger universities fight for attention from professors, Pomona students constantly interact with their teachers on a one on one basis. It is common that teachers at Pomona ask students to call them by their first name, or even invite them to their house for dinner. Although the school is small, the five college consortium offers students all the benefits of a larger university. Students at Pomona can dine, take classes, or join organizations at any of the other four colleges. This allows students more oppurtunities than are usually offered at small institutions.
Pomona is also special because of the quality of its student body. While the students are some of the most gifted in the country, they are also some of the most laid back. It is rare that Pomona students ask each other about grades or test scores. There is very little academic competition at Pomona. Students don't rip pages out of text books, or break other people's lab equipment. Instead, students work together to help one another learn and understand the material.
The great thing about Pomona College is that it is a small liberal arts school with the resources of a university. A small student body allows for small classes and more time with professors, but the five college consortium also provides additional resources and the opportunity to take classes at any of the five colleges. Socially, the additional colleges mean a larger number of students with which to network, and a larger overall social scene.
Pomona students are the best thing about Pomona. They are all extremely smart, but they do not throw it in your face. At first meeting, Pomona students seem like ordinary people, but upon hearing about their interests and accomplishments, you quickly realize what an amazingly talent group of people they are. The faculty at Pomona are amazing, with the exception of a few bad eggs. Research opportunities for undergrads (because there are no graduate students) are abundant, and can even be obtained in freshman year. Pomona is a smalll school, but having the other Claremont Colleges next door allows for more of a social scene. I spend most of my free time on campus with my friends in the dorms and at parties. The town of Claremont is cute and small, but it's not necessarily the ideal college town. Stores close relatively early. There was a recent expansion of the village with more restuarants and a movie theater, which was much needed.
The best thing is the weather and the location (sort of). I think I'd like a bit bigger of a school, but I really enjoy the student to professor ratio. The administration and faculty are all great. Mostly people hangout in the dorms because Claremont isn't a college town whatsoever. It's just a bunch of rich old people in a wannabe fancy village and there just happens to be a college in that town that no one really gives a shit about. Most people don't even know where or what Pomona is, but if they look it up, they think it's pretty impressive(not to be cocky).
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