Impressions Of
Pomona College

Academic Experience

Female Economics Major C/O 2020

Is there anything you feel the Economics department does especially well or especially poorly?
Since the 5 C’s are smaller in general, you have a lot of one-on-one time with your professors. My Economics classes tend to be small, with no more than 25 students per class. We also have mentor sessions during the week and on the weekends. The mentor is someone who has previously taken the class who can go over homework or exam questions with you. The mentors also helped with the research for my Applied Econometrics class. One thing I don’t particularly like about Pomona’s Economic department is that the courses can be somewhat limited compared to Claremont McKenna. We don’t have as many electives, but you can take classes at one of the other 5 C’s. With that being said, you can only take two off-campus Economics classes that would count for your major. [The average class size is 15.]

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s competitive, but you can collaborate during the mentor sessions with other students in your course, and everyone has been super helpful. I’ve never felt like other students weren’t there to help, or that they’re there to bring others down. We’re all struggling together, so we work together to the task done.

Male Politics Major C/O 2020

Is there anything you feel the Politics department does especially well or especially poorly?
What the professors do especially well is listen to their students and ask what it is that they want out of the class. What they don’t do well is offer courses that students may want to take. They should at least schedule them at more opportune times each semester, and let students know when certain classes won’t be available.

How accessible have the professors in your department been?
My professors are very accessible. I’ve been able to reach them via email, or just going to their office hours when they have them. The resources that Pomona offers have been incredible the three years I’ve been going here.

Do you feel that people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
I would say that some are, and others may come from a different background that may not have experienced a certain school of thought or way of thinking. For me, coming from a conservative Midwest state in Texas to going to California, I was introduced to a lot of different schools of thought. It was a big culture shock for me, but I’m open to it opposed to some people on this campus that may not be. I feel like you experience that everywhere and it’s about how well you’re able to have a dialogue with those you disagree with.

Female Computer Science and Economics Double Major C/O 2022

Is there anything you feel either of your majors’ departments do especially well or especially poorly?
The professors in the Computer Science department are very devoted to helping students. They are very focused and lenient if you’re willing to put in the work and learn. It’s a little crowded and understaffed, so getting into classes can be hard. Hopefully, the hiring in the next couple of years will fix that. The Economics department is very solid, it’s been here forever. I don’t know that much about it, but so far, I like it.

How accessible have the professors in your departments been?
They are very accessible. My Computer Science professor holds office hours every day, which is kind of rare. Other professors hold them three times a week and you can go in to talk about anything. A lot of professors in Computer Science and in other departments have a lunch sign-up sheet outside their door, so you can sign up to get lunch with them any day. I’m also a Teaching Assistant for the Computer Science department, and through that, I’ve gotten to know the professors very well.

Social Opportunities

Male Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Major C/O 2021

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I’m somebody who likes to go out. There’s not a lot of nightlife in the Claremont area, but if that’s something you’re really about you can go to LA. I go to parties on Pomona’s campus or other campuses, or I like hanging out with friends and going to get food.

What nights of the week do you regularly go out?
I go to parties Friday and Saturday night depending on the weekend.

What have been some of your favorite times at Pomona?
Getting fountained by my friends on my birthday is one. That is a campus tradition. Also, there is an Office of Black Student Affairs retreat where all the mentors and mentees to go to Big Bear and hang out for two days and one night. That was a great time to hang out and get to know people.

Female Economics Major C/O 2020

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Pomona?
If I don’t have a sports commitment, I’ll generally go to a kickback and hang out with my friends. I’m not the type of person that likes to be caught up in sweaty parties with a lot of people. You can go do that which is a nice thing, but a lot of people all just chill in their suites and listen to music.

Are there any events on campus that you like to go to?
I would generally go to other sports games here and there to support friends, but that’s really about it in terms of school events. Sometimes the school will host destress events which I’ll go to because there are puppies and free food.

How happy are you with the weekend options at Pomona? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m pretty satisfied with the weekend options. I’m not really a big party type of person, but I know people like that who aren’t satisfied. If I want to just have a kickback in a room with 5 to 10 friends, I can do that without getting written up, so I’m generally pretty happy. Some weekends when I am craving that big state university type party, there’s a chance I’ll be slightly disappointed.

Male Politics Major C/O 2020

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Pomona?
I like to play basketball and be active. There isn’t much nightlife on campus unless you’re into partying a lot. I spend most of my time just hanging out and chilling with my friends. I enjoy their presence and their company. The people you meet here can change your life for the better because they open your mind to a diversity of thought that makes you want to be more productive individually and collectively.

What nights of the week do you regularly do things?
Usually Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Sometimes on Wednesday night because it’s hump day.

Are there any events that you like going to?
I’ve gone to a lot of concerts in L.A. I’ve gone to the Martin Luther King Day Parade, and I enjoyed that. I’ve also gone to a The Taste of Soul, which is a big one. There are lots of activities in L.A. that I’ve been a part of.

Campus Culture

Male Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Major C/O 2021

How would you describe the social scene?
It’s a close-knit school. By the end of freshman year, you will know everybody in your class, or at least everybody through someone, and a good amount of people in the class above you. We all stick together and support each other academically and socially. It’s a cool group of people.

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Especially during freshman year, they mix heavily because of sponsor groups and orientation adventure groups. Like most schools, there is a trend to self-segregate and gravitate towards people who are like you. It’s a lot less here given that it’s one of the most diverse schools in the country. It is common to see racially mixed social groups on campus. [35% of students are White.]

Do you think people are happy with their choice of Pomona?
I think by senior year people are happy with it. Few students transfer and go somewhere else. [Pomona has a 98% retention rate.]

Female Economics Major C/O 2020

How would you describe the overall social scene at Pomona?
In general, the social life is pretty mixed. Some people will go out more, versus people who stay in the room like I do. Because of how small each class is, I think you really get to know your classmates well, and that might be your only form of interaction with people who you don’t see in certain clubs and anywhere on campus. I think it facilitates a very nice mix of social groups. In general, the social life is pretty relaxed, which is one of the reasons I chose Pomona. When I visited, people genuinely seemed happy and were smiling all the time.

Do you feel like you’re more so a student at Pomona or a student of the college consortium?
I’d say I’m still more so a student at Pomona. I don’t think I’ve taken advantage of the 5 C school system as much as my friends have. I tend to stay on Pomona’s campus to take classes. As much as we are a unified set of schools, there’s also this boundary of each student having pride about getting into whichever school they get to attend.

Female Computer Science and Economics Double Major C/O 2022

How did you meet your closest friends?
I did a thing called Sponsor Groups where we live with two sophomore mentors for the first year. They are meant to be our friends, give us advice, and can’t get us in trouble. We’re put together for a certain reason, whatever that may be. I ended up bonding with a lot of them, and they are actually my friends. A couple of other people I’ve met have also lived in my building.

How would you describe the overall social scene at Pomona?
For lack of a more concrete word, I think it’s very intimate. You know a lot of people really well and can walk around and recognize someone, or if you’re lost at the dining hall there’s probably someone you can go sit with. Again, if it feels too small, you can go to the other campuses.

How would you describe the student body?
It’s a very environmentally conscious, friendly, intelligent group of people. Something to consider is that while people are very friendly and open-minded, it’s a very liberal heavy campus. That’s not to say there aren’t other opinions on campus, it’s just that one is showed over the others. People really like to play sports and hang out outside. There’s a big outdoors community that goes hiking, skiing, and goes to the beach. You can get to all those things very quickly. On The Loose is one of the biggest outdoors club here.

Claremont, CA

Pros of

  • “You are kind of halfway between L.A. and the Joshua Tree area, so if you’re very outdoorsy, you can go surfing or hiking.”
  • “The location allows for a lot of diverse outdoor experiences. You can go skiing one day, go to the beach the next, and go camping the day after that.”
  • “There are lots of extracurricular activities you can do. You can go to Mount Baldy or the movie theatre.”
  • “The weather. It’s only cold for a month, and otherwise it’s pleasant in the high 70s.”

Cons of

  • “It’s far away from L.A. It’s 40-minutes away by train, but it’s kind of sketchy and can take an hour. It’s not super accessible once you get into L.A. because it just goes to Union Station.”
  • “The traffic is horrendous all the time. It’s completely unpredictable.” [Los Angeles is the worst city in the world for traffic.]
  • “It’s a very quiet town. School sanctioned parties have even been shut down because of complaints from the neighborhood. Claremont is definitely an older folks’ town, and because that is the case, there isn’t much to do after 10 PM. If you’re looking for that city experience, you will have to go into L.A.”

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Male Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about Pomona before entering as a freshman?
I wish I had made a greater attempt to get to know all my professors and to realize that relationship wasn’t a hierarchal one. It’s a relationship where we can both benefit, enjoy, and learn from. I wish I took more advantage of that because they are accessible and help students in a life-long mentoring way.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
In terms of physical things on campus, you will miss the state of the South and North Campus dorms because you don’t get taken by there. The North Campus dorms are actually really nice. There are also some cool events that organizations the administration host that prospective students don’t know about. Like the Women’s Union and the Office of Black Student Affairs host events that are nice.

Male Politics Major C/O 2020

What is something you wish you knew about Pomona before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew what the school’s true mission was before I applied to Pomona. I didn’t know what school I was applying to when I did. This doesn’t subtract from my experience, and I’m not unhappy with anything I found out.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The dining halls. When I came to visit, I didn’t get to see all the dining halls. Although we do have two dining halls on Pomona’s campus, it’s important for them to know they can go eat at any of the 5 C’s dining halls.

Female Computer Science and Economics Double Major C/O 2022

What is something you wish you knew about Pomona before entering as a freshman?
The freshman experience is something they’ve honed in on and perfected.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Going to what we call the Coop Café, where we order food and sit and watch people interact. That’s a very normal thing to do on campus, and shows a better perception of student life.

Reasons to attend and not to attend Pomona College

To Attend

  • “If you’re a person who is intellectually passionate, you’ll find people and professors here to fuel that passion.”
  • “Professors care about students. If you find an area where they don’t, you’ll have the tools and people to change that.”
  • “We have pretty good dining halls. Friends that have come to visit me are amazed at the selection we have.”
  • “The small class environment. Our introduction classes have a maximum of 30 people, so you do get that one-on-one interaction with your professors, and you get to know your classmates really well.”

To Not Attend

  • “Our sports teams aren’t necessarily the greatest. If you’re really going for a school that has a sports team that unifies the entire student body and has tailgates, Pomona is not the place to be. We’re a D3 college, and are student-athletes. The student part always comes before the athlete part, so people are more focused on their academics than they are the athletic side.”
  • “If you know exactly what you want to do and are just looking to get the resources for that specific career, it’s not the place for you. It’s going to make you question your major and why you picked what you did, and your advisor is going to ask you to take a ton of different classes. If you want to know how to get a certain job, they aren’t going to tell you.”
  • “Sometimes Pomona can be stingy with their money, which is a big issue this year. For a school trying to promote the idea of students graduating debt free with no student loans, I think the institution should do all that they can to make that happen.”[57% of students receive need-based scholarship aid.]
Notice: Pomona College is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Pomona College.

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