Update on Pomona College

Well, I don’t know how to properly start this. I mean, if you remember me, I’m the one that posted that sketch discussion concerning how I would manage to pay the $9900 fee to attend Pomona for one year given my financial situation.
Anyway, I just have to say that I didn’t end up paying that much , and I’m on track to be debt free when I graduate. This is unimportant, though, I’d have been willing to pay 4 times that to come to Pomona. I absolutely love this place.
I’ve only been here for 2 years, and I’ve decided to take a gap year,because I’m not down to go to zoom university. I found a good paying job nearby Pomona, that’s meant for graduates but they’re giving me a shot.

Enough backstory, I’m tearing up writing this because to say that the last 2 years have been the best two of my life would be an understatement. Pomona College is like a paradise on Earth. There are literal pomegranates and exotic fruits that grow all around campus. It’s ridiculous. There is so much diversity; there is literally a dining hall ( 1 of the 7 that students can go to) where you’re not allowed to speak English. You walk in and you hear this beautiful cacophony of foreign languages and tongues. The food is amazing; there are just so many options. It’s all so beautiful, which takes me to the campus itself. The beauty of the place always leaves me awestruck. I’m absolutely going to reflect on the surreal nature of the place. It’s all just so amazing.
If this place is like this, imagine Harvard or the more elite schools. How the West could create such literal paradises is beyond me. I ponder what those schools must do to be considered superior to Pomona. I trust the ratings, but I’m genuinely curious, because I can’t imagine how things could be better.

Concerning academics, for reference, I’m STEM which to be fair is really focused on in Pomona, to the dismay of some. I’m on the chemical engineering track (4 years with clinic at Harvey Mudd on my last year). I’m also considering premed since all i need is psych to finish the requirements. The attention that I’ve been able to get in classes and support has been overwhelming and is definitively the only reason that I’ve been able to continue on my career path. In Ochem, the professor reached out to me (I didn’t reach out to him for help, big difference) to ask if we could have weekly tutoring sessions to make sure the material stuck since I did poorly on the first exam. I couldn’t fit Vector Calculus into my schedule (required for engineering) so I went to the professor who taught it and he offered to have private classes with me (for credit, and approved by the academic faculty). I didn’t pay anything extra for this help. It’s literally all there for free. This place is ridiculous.

I've made best friends ever, been to Hawaii, paid for by Pomona as a part of my research presentation. I haven't been to LA yet, Its like 2 hours away. LAS VEGAS is literally only 3 hours or so by bus. They offer tickets, and theyre planning on building a high speed rail so it'll only be 2 hours long. Its insane how awesome this institution is, I hope I make it in life so I can donate to this place and support the next generation having this experience.

Last point, I promise. I think a lot of my joy might be due to the age. I mean 18-22 is a pretty remarkable period in development. I don't want to discredit any other colleges. I think that America got college right in general. I don't imagine any one really dislikes their college experience.
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It’s nice to hear that you’re having a wonderful experience at Pomona. I was going to ask what this first post in a new thread has to do with financial aid and scholarships and suggest that you add it as a follow-up in your previous thread about how to pay for Pomona, but I see that thread was closed when you asked about intentionally defaulting on private student loans as a way to get money to pay for Pomona without the responsibility to make payments on the loans. So now my suggestion is that this post be moved to the Pomona College forum.


This is what it looks like when a college is an excellent fit for a student.

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My future DIL went to Amherst even though it left a gap, and she had better offers. She took out unsubsidized Direct loans up time the extent possible and co-signed private loans for about $7500 a year to meet the expenses after work, savings, parental contributions were maxed out. She has no regrets as she feels it was an exhilarating, life changing , magical adventure that catapulted her into a top MBA program and a very high paying job and career. She is repaying loans without much trouble at all—just about done doing so. Sometimes it works out.

Both Pomona and Amherst are considered the top LACs in the US, and IMO, worth some financial stretch. How much, is the question, and really depends upon the student, career plans, family situation and , of course, luck.

Ehh… Amherst and Pomona are consistently ranked behind Williams as “the top LAC” in the U.S. by the most well-known college ranking entity. So no, not “the” top LACs.

Among the top LACs. I don’t see a whole lot of difference when it comes to that minutia, but clearly it does to some people.

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No ma’am, just gently correcting you. :smile:

Ranking is, essentially, an opinion, not a scientific fact. Moreover, Niche, for example, rates Pomona as #1, ahead of Williams. So does Forbes. So your “consistently” ain’t all that consistent.

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FWIW, I have friends who went to Pomona with me who have kids who went to Williams and friends who went to Williams who have kids who went to Pomona and nobody seems too bent out of shape in either direction. Frankly, what surprises me that I am fortunate to know so many people who went to these amazing colleges (including Amherst), considering how small they are!

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To be clear, my comments are tongue and cheek (is there an emoji for that?) more than anything else, and the “consistently” reference was to only one (perhaps the most well known) source of college rankings: USN&WR. Perhaps I should have expected the indignant responses, considering the forum and the references. College “rankings” at the top schools are more about bragging rights than substance.

When my son (rising Junior in college) and I were creating the college application list a few years back – and we were looking primarily at undergrad-focused institutions such as LAC’s – one of the things that we researched into was the endowment per student. While the EPS doesn’t necessarily mean that the institutional money will go freely into supporting all aspects of the students’ campus life, it does mean that the institution has a greater room and flexibility in controlling and maintaining its quality educational missions, including the financial aid.

Pomona is ranked #1 among all the LAC’s in EPS rankings. Among all colleges, it’s impressively ranked #7 only behind Princeton, Soka, Yale, Stanford, Harvard and MIT. For a variety of factors that were important to us along with the EPS, Pomona easily moved to the top tier of my son’s application list. At the time of the application, Pomona was ranked #7 by USNWR’s LAC rankings (#5 the following year), which we laughed off. The OP’s happy testimonials are a confirmation that we had our sights on the right place.

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Let’s get back to the point of this post (which is NOT rankings). The OP is having a great expereince at a great college and wants to share this with others. That should be celebrated. Please no more posts about rankings.

Three of my kids had wonderful, magical, delightful college experiences. One at a state school, one at a LAC (not Pomona, Williams, Amherst) and one at a top 20 or 25 or whatever number, maybe lower Than that. So Or higher. it’s not just the very top schools that can provide this sort of experience. It’s great for all concerned when a school and student are great matches.

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Deleted additional comments about rankings. Once again, let’s move on.

Pomona College is a great LAC. Congratulation to its alum [color=blue]Jennifer A. Doudna/color for winning this year Nobel Prize in Chemistry!


Here is a more in-depth coverage of the story:


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Better than what? And where are the statistics that show that a majority of Williams students applied but were not admitted to Ivy League schools?