Pomona College Visit Report by debakianmj
Information Session: Yes - Amazing. The speaker made an effort to get to know every student in the crowd. All the staff introduced themselves and their specialties. We heard an amazing speech from a Pomona student.
Overnight Visit: Yes - Stayed three nights with a Pomona student in Mudd Hall. Very enriching experience, and everyone was extremely fun, friendly, and accommodating.
Classroom Visit: Yes - Visited a Calculus III class by Radunskaya and an Advanced Biochem class by Edward Crane. Incredibly friendly to us prospies and I learned so much. The professors are brilliant and very helpful.
Campus Visit Notes for Pomona College
Here’s what I learned about Pomona the three days I visited there:
1) The weather is just as good as described, but in the night, it gets very cold. Not snowy cold, mind you, but you do need to bring a sweatshirt or a light jacket to deal with it.
2) They weren’t lying about their one million dollar per student endowment. You really do get the sense that Pomona spoils its students like as if money was being churned up from a bottomless well. Everyone I talked to mentioned something to the likes of “Pomona has way too much money, and they have a need to spend it, so they’ll get anything you need done for you”
3) Most incredible, nurturing, and amazing student body I have ever experienced. I bonded with my prospective students and hosts as if they were long lost best friends. We had unforgettable memories together. Everyone I met was incredibly smart but made no attempt to brag about it or show it off- people were very accommodating and friendly. The students are as laid back as described- no one ever mentioned anything about grades or workload while I was there, and they definitely are a “play hard work hard” kind of student body. It was surreal yet wonderful seeing their transition from fun and partying on the weekends to studying and focusing on the weekdays. People were so talented there and everyone was unique, so you really got the sense of diversity at Pomona.
4) Awesome administrators, who I enjoyed pizza, dinner, and frozen yogurt with while talking about all sorts of things, none involved with the college admission process. They are very, very accommodating and such incredible and inspirational people. I’ve never felt so welcomed in my life.
5) There is no shortage of things to do at Pomona! I experienced dance concerts, orchestras, tennis games, an international festival, a music festival, a science night, movies, a barbecue, a social event at CMC, a night of Karaoke, and a fun arena styled fight (with those giant rods of rubber…don’t remember the name of it) sponsored by That Saturday Group. Keep in mind this was all in three days.
6) The view from CMC’s Kravis Center is amazing. Ask a student to take you to the roof, and marvel at the sight around you- snowcapped mountains, a lush landscape of trees and 5 very beautiful colleges, and LA in the distance. Sontag Hall at Pomona is amazing too, go to their roof and pick some oranges from their rooftop garden while enjoying the sight.
7) Every college in the consortium is amazing and very accessible, with the furthest being Harvey Mudd College, which was about a 15 minute walk from the southernmost part of Pomona. Scripps is enchanting- I fell in love with how pretty it was. Claremont McKenna was right across Pomona and very modern looking, like a modern version of Pomona almost. Pitzer was awesome as well- I really felt the community concerned vibe there, and the desert landscaping was a sight to see, almost as if Pitzer was in an oasis of sorts. Harvey Mudd wasn’t appealing, but it wasn’t horrible looking either, and I got the most sense of charm and quirkiness from it, seeing sofas outside, wheeled contraptions stuck to trees, and the occasional bonfire.
8) There is so much food. I almost got sick of looking at food at Pomona… they fed us, if I counted right, 8 times in one day, and that’s excluding the snacks people were free to pick up from Sumner Hall. The dining halls have such good food and so much choices. I saw many vegan and vegetarian options, and was happy to see that there’s ice-cream available in every meal. At Snack, they served make-your-self burritos, and it was quite an experience.
9) LA is very accessible! They took us on bus to see Universal Studios and it took about 45 minutes to get there. The traffic wasn’t bad at all. We saw the Metrolink that links Claremont to LA along our drive and it’s right across Pomona’s campus.
10) The facilities at Pomona are amazing. Rain’s Athletic Center, Bridges Hall of Music, Seaver Biology Building, Seaver Theatre, Pendleton Dance Center, Mudd-Hannold Library, Lincoln Edmund’s Building, Oldenborg, Smith Campus Center….I could go on and on. The campus was the perfect size- not too small, but not too big either. And you will see more trees at Pomona than you probably have seen in a lifetime.
11) The professors are some of the most brilliant, inspirational, friendly, and amazing people I’ve ever met. I loved the dance professor’s inspirational sayings, the geology teacher’s love toward his students, the philosophy professor’s sense of well-balanced and unbiased considerations, the math professor’s ensuring that her students understood the concepts well, and the biochemistry professor’s critical yet focused care of his students’ presentations.
I must say I was worried about Pomona. It sounded like a perfect college on paper, but I was cynical that those views wouldn’t carry out in real life. I’m glad to have seen my cynicism utterly defied and replaced by a sense of love towards it like none other. I’m currently experiencing Pomona withdrawal, hoping to go back to the amazing people and campus there. I turned down many schools, some even almost universally considered better than Pomona, over it and couldn’t be happier with my decision to do so!
Hotel/Lodging Recommendations or Comments:
My mother stayed at Claremont Hotel and Tennis Club, which was cheap (55$), had a large double bedroom with TV and internet, and provided her complimentary shuttle to and from the Claremont Colleges.
Dining/Restaurant Recommendations or Comments:
Eat at the dining halls at Pomona and the other 4 colleges, they're excellent! Also try Yogurtland in Claremont Village, it is delicious, fat free, low calorie, and not at all hard on the budget.
Other Comments (Transportation, local attractions, parking, etc.):
Take time to explore the other four colleges as well. Take a tour of the Claremont Village, and be sure to visit LA for attractions such as Disneyland and Universal Studios!