Claremont, CA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 468 total reviews with an average rating of 4.0

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5 College Junior

Weather: Sunny weather year-round, except for maybe 5 days of light sprinkles.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Lots of food options, yoga/pilates/spin studios, hip consignment shops.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Campus Dining: Great options ranging from organic and super-healthy to pepperoni pizza.
Love the dining halls!

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Campus Housing: The student community in each residential housing unit is close-knit and bonded with each other. Everyone I know LOVES their freshman sponsor group.

2 people found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Majors: The math major is one of Pomona's best and most popular majors. Through the Claremont Consortium more than 140 unique math classes are offered, and the academic flexibility of the math major makes it easy to study exactly what it is you want. The math teachers are among the most quirky, helpful, and brilliant teachers at Pomona.

2 people found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: Buildings are constantly renovated, and they're really high-tech and beautiful. All the ugly buildings (like 2 of them) are in the process of getting demolished to make for new buildings.

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: I've found Pomona to be really diverse. I've made close friends from all socioeconomic and racial groups, but beyond these identities, all of my friends are so different and unique. I've gained a lot of perspective from them.

1 person found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: I graduated with no debt from Pomona College thanks to the great, no-loan financial aid.

4 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Pomona has one of the most comprehensive and generous financial aid policies of any school in the country- no one should hesitate to apply because of the high sticker price. If you are a US Citizen, Permanent Resident, or International student residing in the USA Canada, or Mexico, your application will be read on a need-blind basis. If you are admitted, your demonstrated need will be met completely with just grants and work-study, no loans. Even if you are an international student living outside of the above countries, if you are admitted, your financial need will be completely met. Very few schools do this.

The financial aid office is very understanding and accommodating. They will not penalize you for turning in documents late, and they do not play tricks with your FA. Your financial aid package will actually increase each year to make your cost the same, if your circumstances remain the same.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Claremont is a small suburban community with limited recreational options for college students, yet the Claremont Village provides 5C students with easy access to shops and small food venues

4 College Sophomore

Academics: ABSOLUTELY GREAT!!! You can take classes at the other Claremont Colleges and they still count towards your degree. One bad thing though is that it is exceedingly hard to get into classes as a first or second year.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Girls are better looking than guys but guys get higher grades on other website because of religiosity (weird right?).
Most people are preppy.
It can be boring because most friends dress like each other; very few chol@s.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: If you are into nightlife, it is certainly there. Some complains include seeing the same people over and over (since the 5C community is small) and the average-ness of the party.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: The Claremont Village, which is directly across Pomona's campus, has an eclectic mix of restaurants and cafes. Most of these have a student discount. Some notable places include:


*Jamba Juice

*Yogurt Land, which offers really cheap FroYo and is open later than most places

*Some Crust Bakery, which has phenomenal bakery items and sandwiches, most noticeably their egg sliders.

*Last Drop Cafe, which has great drinks and good sandwiches

*Eureka Burger and the Back Abbey, upgrades from the typical fast food burger joint

*Bua Thai, which has fairly priced and decent thai food

*Z-Pizza, which serves healthier pizza than places like Pizza Hut and Domino's

*Sacas, which has cheap shawarmas and other Mediterranean food

*Delhi Palace Express, which has very cheap Indian food catered towards a milder taste

*Bert and Rocky's, which has chocolate and ice-cream at decent prices

*CK Cafe, which serves Boba and smoothies

*King Kong Sushi, which has decent sushi

*42nd St. Bagels, which serves a great assortment of bagels and sandwiches but closes early

*Pita Pit, pita sandwiches and falafel

The big problem with the Claremont Village, and a big part of the reason I will refuse to give off-campus dinner any higher than a B+, is that everything closes early in the Village, limiting convenient walkable dining options to students to the 5C eateries, like the Coop Fountain. If you have a car, life will be MUCH easier- within 5 miles of Pomona College is just about any fast food chain you can think of and a ton of other awesome restaurants like Sanamluang and Cassie's Soul Food, and a much greater variety of 24 hour restaurants. Otherwise, you're stuck ordering delivery from Mix Bowl, which serves mediocre thai food till 2AM, or the pizza chains.

2 people found this useful Report
College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: No one I know of lives off campus. As a liberal arts college, Pomona really emphasizes residential life, and a fundamental part of it involves living on campus and interacting directly with the people who go here.

Now, one thing you could do is to be off-campus in the other 5C's, or in other words, do an housing exchange for a year. Usually, the other 5C's have at least one person who would like to live at Pomona- it's a straightforward process. Doing a housing exchange is a great way to have closer access to classes you may be taking or meeting new people, but few at Pomona do it due to the great variety of people here and the fact that most of the classes people take are usually at Pomona.

1 College Freshman

Greek Life: Greek life is almost a non-existent part of Pomona's life. There are like two or three fraternities, but they don't have houses on campus, nor does the school fund them. The fraternities do throw the occasional party here and there, but these are open to everyone and just an integrated part of social life here.

If you really want a big Greek scene, Pomona is not the place to find it.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Computers: You can honestly survive here without ever bringing your own computer, printer, or scanner. The computer labs offer 24/7 access, the internet is extremely fast, and printing is cheap at 2 cents per page. Each dorm room has an ethernet outlet which, when connected with an ethernet cord, can provide internet speeds at 500MB-1000MB per second.

The technology on campus is extremely high-tech, and it is clear that a great deal of money goes towards improving technology for Pomona students each year. ITS at Pomona is accessible to fix computers for free or to address computer related issues. Each academic building has a computer lab or two. The newer academic buildings in particular, like Lincoln-Edmunds, are equipped with expensive Mac Pro desktops in their entirety.

There are problems, however. In some rooms, including mines, the ethernet outlet was completely broken, which meant relying on the WiFi network for the entirety of the year. There are 4 WiFi networks, which makes it unlikely that all 4 will fail to work anywhere on campus, but they have a bad habit of disconnecting, and they are nowhere near as fast as an ethernet cable. The printers often malfunction, and it may take ITS almost a month to fix them.

3 College Freshman

Nightlife: I will not speak of the party culture because I have not partaken in it at all. Nor do I go clubbing. There is a lot happening on campus that I can still go to, however, especially on the weekends. On one Saturday, there were almost 10 different non-party things happening all one one night- NoChella (an alternative music festival at Pomona), an orchestra at the Scripps Garrison Theater, an arts showcase called Decay, Asian American Mentoring Program Snack, Biffle Night sponsored by That Saturday Group, a 47 Things Trip, Salsa Night at the Edmunds Ballroom, a talk about the exotification of women by the Women's Union, and a lacrosse game at the field behind the Rains Gymnasium. I often find myself frustrated with all of the things that I want to go to and the necessities demanded by academics here. Nightlife during the weekdays is pretty much non-existent for the non-party person, but this isn't a huge loss because most people are studying anyway. However, most of the academic events, like workshops and discussions, happen in the evening on weekdays.

The Claremont Village offers almost nothing to Pomona students in terms of nightlife. You can watch a movie at Laemmle or get some Froyo at Yogurtland...that's pretty much it.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Drug Safety: A different perspective: You can go the whole year without having ever touched any substances and still have a blast. I did. No one EVER pressured me to try something that I did not want to try.

The drug scene is a little exaggerated. It is definitely prevalent (especially in the form of alcohol), but it does not dominate. There is a significant portion of the student body that does not partake in any substances at all. Sub-free halls rarely break down in their promise to not have substances. So fear not if you're the type to not do drugs- you'll find a group of people who don't either.

5 College Freshman

Weather: Yes, everyone knows that SoCal weather is awesome. But did you know that Pomona College does in fact experience seasons? The trees, which are not native to the area, do change their colors, and for a good month or so the campus is covered with beautiful orange, red, and yellow leaves (see for yourself here: http://voices.pomona.edu/2012/12/fall-does-exist/). For those who miss their snow, from November-February the mountains about 25 minutes away are covered with it, making for a beautiful scenic view of green grass and snow-capped mountains from the campus and a short drive to make snow angels and have snowball fights. It rains on campus about once or twice each month, and when it does, it's beautiful.

People get tired of the perpetual sunshine sometimes, but the moment they return home they realize how incredible it really is. I'm from Houston and it has been raining, hot, and humid for the past week. I MISS CALIFORNIA WEATHER SO MUCH..

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: The campus itself, despite being right next to some of California's most sketchy cities, is extremely safe- you can walk outside at 3AM without any harm. Campus police patrols the campus 24/7 but is not intrusive, and there are blue lights all around campus if any emergency happens. The most common dangers include bike robberies and prohibited entrance into the dorms. People here become a little bit too trusting and forget to lock their doors at night, which can in the rare case result in someone from outside of Pomona entering and stealing.

The health center is of high quality, and it has solid hours. For minor injuries and common illnesses, it does the job. The health center's policy is pretty good- they don't charge for appointments if you call them in advance, and if you are charged for any treatment, you won't be expected to pay it until 30 days from your visit, in which it is transferred to your student account.

There is a counseling center which offers free consultation and services to the students, but it has a reporting policy which turns many off about it. I've heard that it is often understaffed and that it's not very helpful, but keep in mind that this is just hearsay, not my own experience.

Being right along a fault line, Pomona College is in high danger of earthquakes (just like the rest of California). The school does earthquake drills every year, provides all of the students an earthquake emergency bag, and has enough supplies to last everyone two weeks after an earthquake.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Almost 98% of Pomona students live on campus, and for good reason- it's hard to beat Pomona's residential life and dorm quality.

Each dorm has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. On South Campus, Harwood has the smallest rooms, but it is also the prettiest dorm and has the best lighting. Lyon has gigantic rooms and access to a computer lab, but it has pretty bad lighting and a weird battleship coloring. Mudd-Blaisdell is not the best looking on the inside, but it is the only air-conditioned dorm available to freshmen, and the lounges are great. Gibson has large rooms and a tight-knit community feel, but it's excluded from the rest and has the least number of people to interact with. Wig is the closest to classes and the Village, but it is also the most isolated from the other freshmen dorms and far away from the dining halls and the other 5C's.

The dorms become better as you progress through the school. North Campus dorms look less like apartments and more like palaces, with courtyards, secret gardens, and giant rooms. Over 70% of the rooms are singles for upperclassmen, so you're pretty much assured one after freshman year, and even for freshman year just putting down that you want a single means you have a high chance of getting one. Best of all, unlike universities and some colleges, every room at Pomona costs exactly the same, regardless of size and location.

On the whole, Pomona dorms are spacious, beautiful, and conveniently located. There are a few bad rooms, but one will rarely go wrong with the options here.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: Pomona's diversity never ceases to astound me. The Class of 2016 is the most ethnically diverse class in Pomona's history, and it really does carry out in the interactions you have with people here. A significant number come from low-income and first-generation backgrounds, and people come from every corner of the world.

Diversity on paper doesn't mean anything if it doesn't carry out in reality, but at Pomona, it does. My sponsor group this year was extremely diverse, with seemingly polar opposite of personalities living right across one another. This however did not create tensions or animosities, but friendships and understanding. People are extremely open-minded here, and as a low-income, first-generation student of color, I have never felt discouraged or attacked here.

Everyone here has a unique story, personality, and set of quirks,There is no typical Pomona student. People study just about everything here, undertake all sorts of extracurricular passions, and have different demands for social and intellectual needs. Everyone offers a perspective that you won't get from anyone else. However, the school does lean overwhelmingly liberal, and if you are conservative, you may find the lack of conservatives on campus stifling. People here also tend to be more "learning-for-the-sake-of-learning" than pre-professional.

This is where the other 5C's come in. With 6500 students to interact with, Pomona isn't as stifling as a stand-alone liberal arts college of its size may feel. Each school has a unique twist to it- CMC tends to be more conservative and pre-professional, Pitzer is even more liberal than Pomona and far more non-traditional, and Harvey Mudd has a strong emphasis on math and science, both for employment directly after graduation and for graduate school. If you can't find a niche at Pomona, you'll be sure to find one at one of the other five colleges.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Having 7 dining halls is a fantastic asset and almost unheard of for any other liberal arts college. The system is smoothly run- one meal swipe carries throughout the 5 colleges.

The food tends to be pretty good overall. It (especially ethnic food) does not usually compare to a homemade meal, but it's a significant upgrade from cafeteria food. Each dining hall serves food buffet style and has particular specialties. Students check the Five College Menu Website to see all of the menus in one place and decide where they would like to go.

There are other places to eat as well- namely, student run cafes and restaurants. I think there are 9 of these places in the 5C's. Each semester, students receive a couple hundred dollars called Flex, which can be used at these places to supplement the standard meal plan. The Coop Fountain, Pomona's student run cafe, makes great quesadillas and milkshakes. The library has a much needed coffee shop which also serves bakery items. I have heard that the Muddhole at Harvey Mudd serves amazing sandwiches and that the Grove House at Pitzer serves great organic food, but I've yet to try them. For those on the run, the Coop Store offers pre-prepared sandwiches and a wide assortment of snacks and drinks.

5 College Sophomore

Parking: Inexpensive, plentiful, and safe for vehicles. Freshmen cannot, however, keep cars on campus without special permission.


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Campus Signage Campus Signage Smith Tower is visible in the background

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Just about any Pomona student will tell you that they truly enjoyed their college experience. And it's not just the free booze that makes Pomona one of the happiest colleges in the country. While it certainly helps, the booze alone couldn't make everyone so darn genuinely happy, day in and day out. After all, some people don't even drink, and they seem just as happy as everyone else. It's not the location, either. The classes are good, and the professors are great, and that certainly plays its part, and it's an open, friendly campus, which is nice. But there is some other factor that makes people like this place so much. There are some people who are dead set on hating it. Why, you might wonder, do they go in the first place? One reason is parental pressure. Another is students, who by the end, have to grudgingly admit that they have enjoyed themselves. They might still claim that they don't have an affectionate place in their heart for their alma mater, but they can't deny that the experience was worthwhile.

The question is, "Why are Pomona students so unabashedly jolly?" There are only two feasible answers. One, they drug the water here. Unlikely, perhaps, but maybe Pomona is the site of a modern day governmental experiment in mass mind control. Barring that, it must be that people here just really like the people they go to college with. Are Pomona students better people than other selective liberal arts college students? Probably not. However, Pomona puts a great deal of stress on allowing people space to find their own way of doing things, both socially and academically. Sometimes, this is frustrating, sometimes people pine after the lost structure of high school and family life, but in the end, with the amount of freedom students are granted, they end up somewhere they want to be. Now if only everyone could get jobs.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At Pomona College

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