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Pomona College or Cornell

TequilaFeelsTequilaFeels 11 replies2 threads New Member
I am having a real tough choice decide where I should go. I was accepted to transfer at both schools. I am a non traditional student, older than the other students so I don't care much about things unrelated to academics or career related resources. I guess I am just at a different point in my life is all. Anyway I am a Political Science Major if that makes a difference. The location of both schools/weather patterns also make no difference to me.

The vibe I get from Pomona is that students are generally happier. They genuinely seem to care about you there and they seem really relaxed and that isn't a vibe I get from Cornell. Cornell seems more uptight and competitive. I can deal with both environments, but prefer to be more relaxed and chill. At the same time I do believe competition breed excellence. Also, with my financial aid package at Pomona id graduate debt free. With my financial aid package at Cornell id have a little debt but not much. That Is assuming I get the same financial aid for all three years I am there.

Another thing, COVID will have an economic impact on both schools. Who knows how financial aid will look, not to mention the other resources. Pomona has 1500 students and a 2 billion dollar endowment. Cornell has 15000 undergrads alone with a 7 billion dollar endowment. Pomona has more money per capita so it may seem like the better option, but there is no telling how much money each school really has because endowments aren't like savings accounts they can't just spend that money freely.

Pomona is small and has no grad students so the opportunities for research and building relationships with your professors I feel may be better than Cornell. This is important for graduate school. I feel Cornell offers better course options (yes I've looked through the 5c catalog not just Pomona.)

so to summarize:
I want to go to the school that offers the better resources in terms of career trajectory and who will be less affected by COVID 19. I also want to be adequately prepared for graduate school. Period. Nothing else matters. Feel free to mention any other factors that I am failing to consider.
edited May 9
5 replies
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Replies to: Pomona College or Cornell

  • websensationwebsensation 2132 replies40 threads Senior Member
    I am Cornell graduate and is remotely familiar with Pomona because I visited Pomona with my kid to show him Pomona area in case he was interested in a small liberal CA school. Cornell is freaking cold with 2 months of decent weather during summer. Also, Cornell is a huge hilly school located far away from any big city with all kinds of departments. Pomona is a avery small, tight liberal school located next to other small, tight liberal schools and is only 30 minutes from LAX; and the weather is mild and sunny. Of course, Pomona students are happier. My kid just didn't like the fact that Pomona was so small, so he chose Stanford. My advice is to consider costs, proximity, weather and your own feel over anything else. If you are not a STEM major, go to Pomona.
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  • monydadmonydad 7993 replies160 threads Senior Member
    edited June 27
    Above poster was more negatively impacted by the weather than most students there are, in my experience. Even most SOCAL students I knew there got on just fine. FWIW I thought it was beautiful in the Fall as well. Winter weather is indeed cold, and long, but most youngsters deal with it with less angst than above would suggest. Again, in my experience.

    If one is premed, as above poster was IIRC, it can be quite stressful. Almost anyplace, from what I read. Engineering and physical sciences are also quite challenging.

    "Pure" liberal arts majors, such as what Pomona offers, work hard at Cornell, but mostly they do not match stress levels with the engineers. My D2 graduated from there recently, in a Humanities major. She worked hard there, but had a great experience overall. She has done well afterwards, too.

    The primary utility of the endowments is in providing financial aid, and you already have your answer there. FWIW Cornell is divided into "endowed division" and "statutory division", and the latter gets funding from New York State. But Pomona's is indeed higher, even after the statutory contribution is monetized..

    Because of its graduate programs Cornell will have more students your age, which may be a positive.

    I guess driving time depends on where you are going. It is about 45 minutes from Pomona College to some of the big dance clubs( you are or will be 21), just over an hour to Venice Beach. This assumes both a car and reasonable traffic.
    Far enough so that most of the time you will probably be hanging around Claremont, but still you do have that outlet.

    Pomona is one of the best LACs, in a great situation, with the other colleges there. I can't say it would be a mistake to choose it. Just trying to balance things out a bit.
    The other choice need not be a mistake either. More upper level and advanced courses, likely more outside lecturers coming to campus due to the grad school, additional opportunities and courses provided by the other colleges there (eg policy studies in Hum Ec, ILR..) . In both cases it depends on what you make of the opportunities you are presented with.
    edited June 27
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  • happy1happy1 24031 replies2408 threads Super Moderator
    Two outstanding choices, congrats. There is no right or wrong choice.

    Both schools should have outstanding resources in terms of career trajectory.
    Both schools should prepare you extremely well for grad school.
    It is impossible to predict if one school will be more impacted by covid than the other.

    That said, it sounds to me like you prefer the overall atmosphere and lack of grad students at Pomona -- plus you can graduate debt free.
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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3691 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited June 27
    OP was asking about this in early May.
    edited June 27
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  • monydadmonydad 7993 replies160 threads Senior Member
    Good catch. Wonder what OP decided..
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