Pomona College

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Pomona College is one of the premier liberal arts colleges on the west coast. Pomona College is located in Claremont, California, which means that it nearby Los Angeles and the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. When it was established in the 1880’s, the founders envisioned a New England style college with small classes and firm student-faculty relationships. Pomona College offers almost 50 undergraduate majors and over 2,000 courses. Pomona College is one of the most private colleges in California. This exclusive college only has around 1,600 students, so the student-to-teacher ratio of just eight to one.

Pomona is an active member of the NCAA Division III Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Students can choose from over 200 clubs and organizations. Over half of students study abroad through 50 programs in 30 participating countries. Students who attend Pomona may enroll in up to 50 percent of their classes at the four sister colleges in the Claremont College System. This gives students access to the resources of a larger university while maintaining the best qualities of a small college. The Claremont College System offers students over 2200 courses each year. At any given time, there are over 200 English and 150 math courses available.

All degree programs require students to take at least one course in one of the five target academic areas. These include Creative Expression, Human Behavior, Mathematical Reasoning, Values and Cultural Studies and Physical and Biological Sciences. Pomona College’s Academic Support and Learning Center provide one-on-one coaching and study groups. The Writing Center offers free help to improve research papers and writing skills. The Quantitative Skills Center provides one-on-one help for students who need help with topics like math and statistics.

Pomona College Accreditation Details

Pomona College is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Individual departments and programs also maintain accreditation through additional organizations.

Pomona College Application Requirements

Pomona College only accepts around 700 applicants from a pool of 8,000 students. Around one-third of admitted students are valedictorians and salutatorians. Over 90 percent of incoming students will be in the top ten percent of their classes. When completing the online application, students must submit their official high school transcript with a school report and counselor recommendation. Students must answer all disciplinary questions or their application will be rejected. Students must submit at least two letters of recommendation from teachers of important academic areas like English, math and science. Applicants are free to either submit SAT or ACT scores. Students are encouraged to request an interview with an admissions officer or alumni representative.

When making admissions decisions, the applicant reviewers will judge the curriculum rigor, which should include honors, Advanced Placement or community college courses. The students’ record of academic aptitude and extracurricular achievement will be considered. Personal essay reviews do not focus on strong writing, but on passion and thoughtfulness. The admissions officers look for evidence of community involvement, passionate pursuits and invested interests. Candidates should demonstrate a love for learning, a willingness for challenges, an openness to new ideas and an appreciation of collaborative environments. A deep appreciation for visual creativity, performing arts and the sciences is appreciated.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The standard tuition for Pomona College is $45,800 without any financial aid. The total cost of attendance with room, board and other fees is around $62,600. Because of the high costs of attendance, Pomona College offers all students customized financial aid packages to help them pay for school. Each financial aid package consists of grants, scholarships and small work stipends. Loans are not included in these financial aid packages. Each student’s specific award is determined through a careful review of the student’s family, financial and special circumstances.

Student Experience

Pomona College offers excellent science and liberal arts degrees. For example, the Bachelor of Science in astronomy teaches students about cosmology, stellar astrophysics and planetary astronomy through hands-on research and project collaboration. Students may choose one of three physics tracks for their degree, which include astrophysics, planetary and space sciences. Pomona College offers astronomy students a one-meter telescope on top of a mountain and an on-campus observatory, digital planetarium and optics research lab. Students will explore stellar, galactic and cosmic events while researching the history of the universe, the details of astrophysics and science behind celestial mechanics. Some students even learn how to design and build astronomical instruments or discover new experimental data analysis techniques.

Cognitive science majors will explore how the mind works using interdisciplinary perspectives from psychology, philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience and computer science. The degree familiarizes students with cognitive science tools and methods for studying the mind. Students will learn how humans interpret sensory experiences, organize memories,
analyze consciousness and understand language. These students must take a computer science course and an experimental research class to expand their disciplinary focus. Students may either choose a degree concentration in psychology or computer science. This program emphasizes original research, hands-on workshops and off-campus intern positions. The curriculum will cover cognition and the arts, subconscious cognition, the neural basis of thinking and computational models of the mind.

Students actively engaged in various research through state-of-the-art labs spread across the campus. Pomona is consistently ranked as one of the top ten liberal arts, undergraduate colleges in the country. The nine percent acceptance rate means that it is one of the most exclusive colleges in the country. However, Pomona College has an endowment of two billion dollars. Over 70 percent of students is from out of state and over 60 percent receive need-based financial aid. Over 97 percent of students live in one of the residence halls.

Most faculty work with students on research projects throughout the semester. Pomona College hosts a subsidized Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) for students every year. The Pomona College Career Development program provides pre-professional opportunities to students. The Pomona College Internship Program (PCIP) helps hundreds of students obtain paid internships at over 100 different organizations in the state. The Summer Experience Funding (SEF) program offers low paying, domestic and global internships. Pomona College offers an environment rich with diverse cultures and natural beauty, which includes ocean, desert and mountain recreation opportunities all within one hour of driving.