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Pomona College

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityA+ Faculty AccessibilityA+
Useful SchoolworkA Excess CompetitionA+
Academic SuccessA Creativity/ InnovationA+
Individual ValueA+ University Resource UseA+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA+ FriendlinessA+
Campus MaintenanceA+ Social LifeA-
Surrounding CityD- Extra CurricularsA-
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Approachable

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful

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Date: Jan 31 2012
Major: Chemistry (This Major's Salary over time)
I had to decide between Rice and Pomona, and chose Pomona.

Houston is a great city, but it has its cons too. The weather is not perfect. It's very fickle and can change from sunny and warm to cold and cloudy in a matter of hours. Do not underestimate the humidity here- it gets very miserable in the summer and some days in the fall, as well as a few spotty days throughout the year. Claremont's weather is perfect. It was around 80 when I moved into it and is currently around 50-60 each day. There are rarely cloudy or rainy days…it's nearly perpetually sunny. Nights are pretty chilly but in a good way chilly. Humidity at Claremont is far less than it is at Houston. Houston isn't particularly an active city for a college person…the attractions there get old fast, and there's not that much of a music scene there. The same applies to Claremont, but not to LA. It takes about an hour to get to LA via car and it's not unbearable…LA traffic is just as bad as Houston traffic. There's a train that goes there too and is relatively cheap, but the hours for it sucks. LA like Houston is a car based city, but it has, in my opinion, the better culture, food, and museums. I think the fact Rice is so close to Houston attractions can be counteracted by the fact LA is a better city.

A lot of people worry about smog. Yes, in LA it is pretty bad. Much worse than Houston. Claremont doesn't get any of it though. It's a wonderful place to be in- each day I wake up to a picturesque view of mountains and lush green. Both Pomona and Rice have beautiful campuses, but I personally preferred Pomona?s to Rice(Scripps is better than both though). Claremont isn?t particularly a college town?lots of old folks, and it?s pretty expensive. Most stores in it close pretty early. However there are amenities available and the town has everything a college town needs, such as Walmart and Trader Joes. Rice Village is a better place in my opinion because it?s catered towards Rice kids, but it lacks a lot that Claremont does have, and to access most of it you need a car while Claremont is walkable.

Pomona kids and Rice kids are virtually identical. Both are laid back, ultra-friendly, intelligent, charismatic and well rounded kids with a multitude of passions. While Rice does have a residential college system, and it?s a pretty big thing going for it, Pomona took me in open hands even though I wasn?t a rich white kid. I made the best of friends here. The student body is so interknitted and coexistent that I think we all end up making a residential college of our own(with the other residential colleges being the other Claremont schools). There?s the occasional elitist, racist, and homophobe, but which college doesn?t have that?

I can?t comment on academics for Rice, but Pomona?s academics are PHENOMENAL. All of my professors are the best I?ve ever had in my life. They?re so dedicated to us that it humbles me. They?re all incredibly smart and insightful in not just their disciplines, but many integrated ones. And that?s Pomona?s true strength- how integrated it is. You?re required to take classes in many areas, but they all link together nicely. Classes are tough, but the professors grade you on merit of who you are, not in relationship to everyone else(as in, there is no curve). So what may seem like grade inflation is actually a representation of how intelligent Pomona?s body is. The fact you can cross enroll at the other colleges truly supplements the experience, because all of the other schools have the same amazing professors. Harvey Mudd has amazing science courses that I?ve heard rival those of MIT and Caltech, and Claremont McKenna probably has the best economics undergraduate program in the country, after U?Chicago. I as a Pomona student get to take classes at those fantastic schools all while enjoying the luxury of being a Pomona student(more on that later).

The dorms are great! I?m currently living in a single and it?s luxurious?even better than my room back home at Houston. Food is better than my mother?s(don?t tell her that), and the fact you get to use your dining money at 10 different places brings a lot of options in choosing. Pomona?s Coop serves the BEST MILKSHAKE I?VE EVER TASTED, Collin?s at CMC makes amazing stirfry, and Scripps cookies are probably my favorite food ever. There is this thing called Snack where we get served food late night, such as pancakes, cereal, and pizza. It?s a great way to meet new people and relieve yourself from the tough academic environment. I?m majoring in Biology and the facilities are amazing?there are lots of current day technological materials in the lab. The gym is just as good as Rice?s recreation center, which I went to often. The library is better than Rice?s in my honest opinion..very comfortable, lots of books available, but do note it?s not Pomona?s personal library but that of the entire consortium.

There is definitely a bubble at Pomona. I can?t lie to you?Pomona is like paradise. There?s always something going on here in terms of parties and events so people don?t want to go off to LA. Pomona?s academics and amenities are so good that you don?t even need to take advantage of the consortium?you?ll have a fantastic time without it[though a perfect time with it ]. The school spoils you to death?finals were recently over and we had this huge chocolate celebration. They even brought us puppies to play with to comfort ourselves! The moment you get into Pomona, you go to this thing called Orientation Adventure where you get to take advantage of the great outdoors, all while getting to know your classmates better. I personally went on the mountain trip because I had never seen mountains in my life, and it was simply an indescribable experience. Only a few weeks ago there was a ski-beach day where they took us to Mt. Baldy to ski(I kinda failed miserably at it xD) and then around midday to the beaches where we had so much fun. Pomona covers everything for you because it has so much money. It pays you for unpaid internships while giving you a car and covering gas fees for that. Need money to sponsor a club or start an event? Pomona will give you the money to do so. They were super generous with my financial aid and covered everything for me.

The consortium is the best part of the experience in my opinion. I have friends in all 5 schools and they?re simply the most diverse group of people I?ve met in my life(and coming from diverse Houston, that means a lot). Any events that happen at those 4 schools you?re welcome to attend, so it brings a lot of experience. For example, at CMC there?s this place known as the Atheneum where you listen to famous people talk all while enjoying dinner. The other schools throw much better parties than Pomona does, I must admit, but the fact I can visit them cancels out Pomona?s flaw.

questionHi! I was to excited to find this post because I am currently very conflicted between Rice and Pomona. I visited Rice but have not yet seen Pomona, but I love it on paper. I haven't been very into small schools but Pomona stands out to me. I was wondering did you feel like your opportunities were limited at Pomona because it was a smaller school? In the sciences did you feel like it was manageable to maintain a good GPA or extremely difficult? I truly love the idea of moving to California and being close to LA, and am neutral about going to Texas. I am trying to decide between applying Early decision to either Rice or Pomona. My only other concern is that Pomona is extremely difficult to get into and I feel like I have a better chance at Rice. I'd really appreciate your feedback and advice! Thank you!
commentEnjoyed the comparison between Pomona and Rice. You got to choose between two fantastic schools that offer some of the best UNDERGRADUATE education and quality of life in the nation. I know people who've had a good experience at Pomona, and I have a close relative (from SoCal!) who has loved attending Rice and experiencing the diversity and dynamism of Houston. The main difference seems to be that Rice is a bit more STEM oriented (but by no means a STEM school like MIT or Harvey Mudd) and more politically moderate. You can't go wrong at either school!
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