Chances of getting into Pomona *again* as a transfer

My son was lucky enough to be accepted to Pomona College last year but after a sudden turn of events, an acceptance off the waitlist at Brown in June, he backed off from Pomona and switched his plan to Brown. He has found that Brown doesn’t have everything he loved about Pomona and he is reapplying to transfer in the fall of 2020. Has anyone been accepted to Pomona College and then re-accepted as a transfer? The odds were so low to begin with. His academic record at Brown is excellent. We are hoping they’ll take him back! Any insight into the transfer admissions there would be appreciated.

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If he withdrew politely it is possible. I have seen it happen (and not happen). Good luck to him.

I wish the ‘Ivy or bust’ applicants could see posts like this. Not a dis on Brown- just the point that it is the fit for the kid that matters.

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He did withdraw politely. And he wasn’t about the Ivy name at all. In fact, it was a deterrent. He spoke about rising above all the hype by going to Pomona. It was a really hard choice for him but he thought the university atmosphere would give him more in some way. He didn’t consider fit the way he should have and the way he realizes it now. Can you be more specific about having seen it happen and not happen?

Wasn’t poking your son as an ‘Ivy or Bust’ applicant! just noting that there are a lot of them here on CC…

I know several students who chose XU over YU because of a particular factor that seemed more important to them at the decision point, but when they got to college realized that the factor was not as important as they had imagined. The two I know best essentially wrote that as their ‘why’ essay, and were told by the AOs at YU that they get that. As you probably know, quite a few colleges send a ‘we’ll keep your records for a year just in case you re-think your decision not to come’ note for just that reason.

But, obviously it doesn’t always work, esp at the more selective level, not least b/c there just aren’t as many places available. Opinion only, but my read of a couple of the students I know who were unsuccessful in transferring to a college that had previously accepted them is that they didn’t have as much of a handle on why they weren’t happy as they thought they did. Reading yourself is hard at any age, but for for young adults in the middle of big transitions it can be especially hard.

All anecdotal though, so only marginally better than reading tea leaves :smile:

n.b., Pomona is a little unusual in that its acceptance & transfer acceptance rates are pretty much the same.

Good luck to him!

Well, he was advised not to dwell too much on what he doesn’t like about Brown but rather highlight those aspects of Pomona that he has a newfound appreciation for hoping that makes it obvious that those factors are currently missing. Trying to stay positive. Thanks!

Transfer Update: He got in to Pomona. Phew. Now trying to finalize the idea that the community at Pomona is worth leaving the academics at Brown. Thoughts?


Congrats to your son!!

…and the conundrum is also familiar: by the time the transfer process is done, the knitting into the community has progressed…

Why does he think that the academics at Pomona will be less than those at Brown?

Academics at Pomona are just as challenging and at just as high a level as any Ivy. So there is absolutely no reason for your S to think that he is taking a step down academically. Congratulations!

He believes in his area of interest, Cognitive Science, the opportunities may be better overall (inc research) at Brown and with the depth of course offerings, it’s hard to give up although he was not happy with the overall social “vibe” at Brown and felt more comfortable at Pomona. If academics measure up, he’s all in. He did not find his people at Brown but wonders if he still could.

I believe you are right. He will likely look back and laugh but it’s a concern now since the dept. is much smaller at Pomona, although probably amazing in its own right. He was never about the ivy brand anyway so it’s all good. He really wants an intellectual community and it seems Pomona is a better for him so it’s exciting and stressful all at the same time,

This post makes me so nervous. My son chose Brown over Pomona after a torturous decision. I think he chose prestige over fit. I hope he doesn’t have buyer’s remorse. What didn’t your son like about Brown?

It’s so hard. It was a torturous decision last year between the two schools and he focused on what he perceived were better overall academics and research which led him to Brown. He has enjoyed the classes but just hasn’t found his people. Its’s the difference between smart and intellectual. He loves learning and thinking and discussing and debating. He needs a more scholarly community than what he found at Brown. Also, his experience was that there was no effort by the school to create a sense of community. You’re on your own to find your place whereas Pomona really seems to foster a sense of belonging. While others surely had a diff experience, the dorm he was assigned did nothing to bring the residents together. Plenty of first-years do well there (obviously) but it just wasn’t what he had hoped for.

As my son is looking at brown and pomona- I would love to hear what your son chose and how he is doing!

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My dd had the opposite experience of the original poster - was in at Brown & then got into Pomona off the waitlist after accepting at Brown.

She is a junior at Pomona and loves it, although she did take this year off due to covid & not being on campus. She’ll be back in the fall. She only has second guessed herself a few times. Its a fabulous school.

He is taking a gap year so hasn’t started.

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