It’s that time of year again! Yes, it’s time for the admitted students to decide whether or not they will commit and become a Sagehen (a Pomona Sagehen, that is. Not to be confused with a Pitzer Sagehen)! So, I’m finally gonna put out there what I’ve been telling the prospies for the last few weeks: Why I chose Pomona.
You see, out of all the colleges I got in to, I only had 2 viable choices, Pomona and University of Florida. It was a no-brainer for me, but it might not be a no-brainer for you guys out there. Yes, I chose Pomona over UF because it was obviously the better choice (and I’ll explain why), but, you see, even if I had gotten into Stanford, which was originally my first choice, by then, I still would’ve ended up picking Pomona, and here’s why:
1. Pomona offers excellent financial aid. You’d think that a state school like UF would have been cheaper for me since its sticker price is a lot lower than Pomona’s, but when looking at your financial aid packages, I think you guys will realize something important: the amount of need met is more important than the sticker price, because even though Pomona’s net price is around $60,000 and UF’s is around $20,000, Pomona meets 100% of demonstrated financial need and other schools might not. Pomona required me to pay less than UF did. Hence, Pomona was cheaper.
2. Pomona is small. This might turn some people off, but to others, it can have a lot of appeal. Some people like going to a huge school, for a number of reasons, whether it’s to find themselves in a sea of people or to have a lot connection prospects, and some people like going to a small school for various reasons. It’s really up to preference, whether you like small schools or big schools, but I’ll tell you the advantages of Pomona’s size. A small school offers a small student to faculty ratio. I’ll go deeper into the importance of this in another blog post, but to sum it up, the faculty really gets to know the students. Also, you get to meet a bigger proportion of your school, just because it’s easier to meet 1,600 people (Pomona’s population) than, say, 50,000 people. I feel like we really have a tight-knit community here at Pomona, and we really are like family. Also, you get smaller class sizes.
3. Having said that, there are more than 1,600 students around you given the entire consortium. So, while “at home” (i.e. on your own campus), you are only surrounded by 1,600 students, but you have the ability to meet more people because there are 6,000 students that make up the consortium, which brings me to my next point…
4. The consortium! It’s really easy to get involved with the rest of the consortium because we are all so close to each other. In other consortiums, the campuses may be a 10-minute drive from each other, so even though they’re relatively close to each other, they’re not that accessible without transportation. But for us, it takes around 20 minutes walking to get from South Campus in Pomona to the farthest end of Harvey Mudd. This means a lot of things for us. For one, you can take classes on the other campuses because they’re just a little farther than your Pomona classes. Two, you can participate in activities and extra curriculars on the other campuses (for example, I’m research assistant for my CMC professor). Three, dining halls! If you get tired of Frank or Frary, you can venture out into the other campuses’ dining halls and even figure out what your favorite dining halls are for certain meals.
5. Pomona is really open. I think this is a characteristic of pretty much any liberal arts school, but Pomona really puts the “liberal” in “Liberal Arts.” Now, don’t worry, I don’t mean that necessarily in a political way. I just mean that Pomona is open to all kinds of ideas and people, so you don’t ever have to worry about being stigmatized for anything. Just last night, I was talking to a prospie who was wondering about what the experience would be like for her since she is a Muslim who wears a hijab and she noticed that there aren’t many other Hijabis around campus. I explained to her that even if she does feel like she’s the only Hijabi around, no one will make her feel ostracized or like an alien for it, because people here embrace differences and, even better, like to learn about them. I think Pomona does a really good job of making you feel like an individual without making you feel lonely.
So those are some of my basic reasons for coming to Pomona. I hope this helps some of you in making your decision, and even more, I hope to see you as Sagehen Freshmen next Fall. Chirp Chirp!