10 Questions with Admissions
Please view our Pomona Preview brochure.
Pomona College has everything you might expect from one of the nation’s finest liberal arts colleges—exceptional faculty, an intimate learning environment and a broad-based curriculum. But before you assume we're just like everyone else, here are a few questions we hope you'll ask that will help you see why Pomona College is anything but ordinary…
I’m a social butterfly, and 1,500 students seems pretty small. Won’t a larger school offer me more opportunities?
We like to think Pomona offers the best of both worlds—an intimate learning environment with average class sizes of 15, and the access and facilities of a large research university. Our membership in the Claremont Colleges means we share resources with five other top colleges (known locally as the “5Cs”) and two graduate institutions located, quite literally, next door to one another. With a combined student body of almost 5,000, students have a social and campus experience that rivals many larger schools.
I’ve got my list of potential majors narrowed down to 20-30 options. Is that a problem?
Problem? More like awesome. We love students with broad interests, and in fact encourage exploration though our general education requirements and flexible curriculum. Once you’re ready to decide, we have 47 majors to choose from, covering almost every academic discipline.
As much as I like cleaning beakers and making coffee, access to REAL research is important to me. Can I do that at Pomona?
Student-faculty research opportunities abound, giving students the chance to work closely with faculty on projects that truly advance the boundaries of knowledge. It’s not uncommon for first-year students to get involved before their second year begins. The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) enables students to conduct extended, focused research in close cooperation with a Pomona faculty member. Research projects, which receive funding from Pomona and from public and private foundations, take place both on campus and in the field.
Assuming my break dancing career doesn't take off, private schools seem very expensive. Can I afford Pomona?
To maintain the remarkable strength and variety of Pomona’s student body, the College’s financial resources are critical. For U.S. citizens and permanent residents, admission decisions are made without consideration of a student’s financial circumstances. Over half of Pomona’s students receive financial aid from the College to support their study, and the College meets 100 percent of the demonstrated financial need of every enrolled student. Since 2008, all financial aid awards have been a combination of scholarships, grants and work study only.
Who teaches at Pomona? Do all the professors smoke pipes and wear tweed jackets?
While we can’t guarantee that no one wears tweed, like their students, Pomona faculty members are diverse in background and scholarly interests. All are committed teachers of undergraduates. They frequently experiment with new approaches and materials, tailoring instruction to the changing world beyond their classrooms or laboratories. Astronomy instructors and students may stargaze from the College’s one-meter telescope on nearby Table Mountain, for example, while those in archaeology may investigate prehistoric sites on the Santa Barbara Channel Islands.
Ok, the faculty are great, but what about the students? Do I have to be a Harry Potter fan to fit in?
It’s difficult to generalize about Pomona students—they're so varied and original that they resist easy categorization—but there are a few traits we can safely say are typical. Pomona students embrace new ideas, take initiative, ask questions and challenge the status quo. They are as academically capable a group as any college or university can claim, and they are interested in doing something important with their talents. It’s also safe to say that among them, you're sure to find some of the most interesting and inspiring people you'll ever encounter in your life. They also share a spirit of openness and collaboration. Our students are competitive but not cutthroat— that’s a very important distinction. They don't mind working hard, but you won't find them comparing grade point averages. Maybe it’s the weather or the palm trees or our proximity to the mountains and the beach. We tend to think it’s something more—a cooperation fostered by faculty in the lab and classroom.
And it’s ok if you don't like Harry Potter—just don't tell the Quidditch club.
Every college brochure shows a diverse student body (and people lying on a lawn, weirdly). What will I REALLY find at Pomona?
Students come to Pomona from every state in the nation and from many other countries, from private and public schools, from large cities, suburbs and towns so small they don't appear on most maps. Our student body is almost exactly half men, half women. More than one-third are students of color, and a substantial portion—across all ethnic backgrounds—are in the first generation of their families to attend a four-year college or university. We strive to provide informal and formal support for all students through various campus offices, such as the Asian American Resource Center, Queer Resource Center, Pomona College Women’s Union, Office of Black Student Affairs, Office of the Chaplains, Chicano/Latino Student Affairs and International Place.
I like the idea of attending college, but I also like the idea of frolicking with wild abandon on the beach. What should I do?
You're in luck. Not only does Pomona provide world class higher education, our annual Ski-Beach day is a chance for a busload of adventurous students dons parkas and gloves to try their skills on slopes of the nearby Mountain High resort. Then in the afternoon they board the bus once more for the ride to Newport Beach, or one of the other local beaches, to end the day with a cook-out by the sea, complete with swimsuits and boogie boards. It’s just one of the hundreds of campus events available to students at the Claremont Colleges, along with Humans vs. Zombies, Art After Hours and guest speakers like Bill Gates and comedian Dmitri Martin.
My mom seems to think I need to get a job after college. What opportunities to Pomona grads have?
More than 90 percent of Pomona’s first-year students can expect to complete their degrees within four years. The percentage of Pomona graduates accepted into medical school is more than twice the national average, and Pomona consistently ranks in the top tier in the number of graduates who go on to earn doctoral degrees. Pomona College graduates use the intellectual confidence and versatility they build here to become leaders in practically every field of human endeavor.
I’d like to send the Pomona Admissions Office freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, but they always seem to come out hard and tough. What can I do?
To prevent cookies from becoming hard and tough, avoid adding more flour than necessary to the cookie dough or batter. Also, avoid over-mixing once the flour is added. Don't give up! We're sure you'll get it. And just in case you don't have it, our mailing address is:
Hungry Admissions Counselors
c/o Pomona College Office of Admissions
333 N. College Way
Claremont, CA 91711