Is Pomona more difficult to get into than Columbia?

<p>So I was talking to my college counselor who is advising me on the college application process, and we happened to come across the topic of my top 2 choices: Pomona and Columbia. She claims that admission to Pomona is in fact more difficult than Columbia despite the fact that Pomona's acceptance rate is double that of Columbia. Apparently Pomona's applicants are more self selective than that of Columbia. Does this reasoning make sense?</p>

<p>I believe that's true. </p>

<p>Both are elite colleges that have the luxury of admitting whomever they please, but because of Columbia's greater name recognition and the ease with which the Common App system allows shotgun-style applications, Columbia would likely get many more applications based on hope, peer pressure, prestige seeking, and sheer desperation, Pomona is much more of a targeted boutique institution that attracts -- almost exclusively -- high achieving, self-selecting students looking for much more than a particular school name on their degree.</p>

<p>Accordingly, I would guess the number of no hope, "time waster apps" to be far less at Pomona, and respectfully suggest that the relative admissions percentage there may be much lower than it appears.</p>

<p>Like guessing the number of angels that can fit on the head of a pin, once you're up in those rarified heights admission is always a crapshoot.</p>

<p>Their selectivities, because of the aforementioned self-selection, are closer than suggested by the difference in acceptance rates, but I still speculate that Columbia is more selective.</p>

<p>Well Columbia has a lower admissions rate, but because it is more well-known than Pomona, it probably has a larger percentage of underqualified applicants. Lots of people apply to Ivies "just for the hell of it" because they are well-known and popular schools, but most Pomona applicants apply because they like the school, not for bragging rights should they be accepted. Therefore, it's hard to say how the difficulties would compare for someone qualified.</p>