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Carleton vs Pomona: A Side-by-Side Analysis

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Young woman holding her books while walking.

Carleton vs Pomona: A Side-by-Side Analysis

Choosing a college can be a daunting task, especially when there are so many great options out there. When comparing Carleton College vs Pomona College, we’ve created a direct analysis to help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each school. From location and student body demographics to academic programs and athletics, we will explore all major aspects of these two prestigious colleges.

Location and Campus

Carleton College is a small liberal arts college nestled in the charming town of Northfield, Minnesota. Its campus spans 955 acres and features Gothic-style architecture, well-manicured gardens, and ample green spaces. On the other hand, Pomona College is located in the bustling city of Claremont, California. Its campus spans 140 acres and features Spanish-style architecture and drought-resistant gardens.

While both campuses are beautiful in their own unique ways, students who prefer a quieter, more rural setting may gravitate towards Carleton, while those looking for more urban conveniences and opportunities may prefer Pomona.

Carleton College’s location in Northfield, Minnesota also offers students easy access to outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, biking, and skiing. The town is situated near several state parks and nature reserves, providing students with ample opportunities to explore the great outdoors.

In contrast, Pomona College’s location in Claremont, California offers students access to a vibrant arts and culture scene. The city is home to several museums, galleries, and theaters, providing students with opportunities to engage with the arts and attend cultural events.

Four students are sitting on the grass while holding their books

Both Carleton and Pomona offer students a tight-knit community and a strong sense of campus culture. Carleton’s campus is known for its quirky traditions, such as the annual “Primal Scream” event where students gather at midnight to scream their stress away during finals week. Pomona’s campus culture is centered around its commitment to sustainability and social justice, with many student-led initiatives focused on environmental activism and community service.

Student Body Demographics Between Carleton vs Pomona

Both Carleton and Pomona are highly selective colleges that attract top-tier students from around the world. At Carleton, the student body is composed of 2,105 students from 50 states and 47 countries. About 50% of students are female and 50% are male, and approximately 44% identify as students of color.

Meanwhile, Pomona has a student body of 1,717 students from all 50 states and 61 countries. Approximately 49% of students are female and 51% are male, and around 44% identify as students of color. Both colleges are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive community, and students who value cultural exchange and diverse perspectives will likely fit right in.

Carleton College has a strong commitment to socioeconomic diversity, with approximately 20% of students receiving Pell Grants.

Additionally, the college has a need-blind admission policy, meaning that a student’s ability to pay for tuition is not a factor in the admission decision. Pomona College also has a need-blind admission policy and offers generous financial aid packages to students, with approximately 60% of students receiving some form of financial aid.

Both colleges also have a strong commitment to sustainability. Carleton has a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and has implemented various initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint, such as using geothermal energy to heat and cool buildings. Pomona has a sustainability integration office that works to promote sustainable practices on campus and has implemented a number of initiatives, such as a bike share program and a composting program.

Academic Programs and Majors Offered by Carleton vs Pomona

Carleton is known for its strong emphasis on the liberal arts and offers over 33 majors in areas such as economics, biology, and psychology. The college’s curriculum also requires all students to complete a senior integrative exercise, which serves as a capstone project for their academic journey.

Pomona, on the other hand, offers over 48 majors in areas such as computer science, neuroscience, and gender and women’s studies. The college also allows students to take classes at any of the other four undergraduate colleges in the Claremont Colleges consortium, which widens their scope of academic offerings. Both colleges are highly respected in their respective fields and provide students with a rigorous and intellectually stimulating education.

In addition to their majors, Carleton and Pomona offer a variety of academic programs that enhance students’ learning experiences. Carleton’s off-campus studies program allows students to study abroad or domestically for a term or a year, while still receiving credit towards their degree. Pomona’s summer research program provides students with the opportunity to conduct independent research under the guidance of a faculty member, which can lead to publications and presentations at academic conferences.

a group of students reading a text from the book.

Furthermore, both colleges have strong interdisciplinary programs that encourage students to explore multiple fields of study. Carleton’s Environmental Studies program combines courses from biology, geology, and economics to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of environmental issues.

Pomona’s Media Studies program combines courses from art, literature, and computer science to explore the intersection of technology and culture. These programs allow students to approach complex issues from multiple perspectives and develop a well-rounded education.

Faculty and Class Size of Carleton vs Pomona

Carleton has a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1 and employs 259 full-time faculty members, 99% of whom hold a PhD or equivalent. This low ratio allows for personalized attention and mentorship from professors, and class sizes average around 16 students.

Meanwhile, Pomona has a student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1 and employs 294 full-time faculty members, 96% of whom hold a PhD or equivalent. Class sizes at Pomona average around 15 students, ensuring that students receive ample support and guidance from their professors.

Additionally, both Carleton and Pomona offer small seminar-style classes, allowing for in-depth discussions and collaboration among students and faculty. These classes often have a maximum enrollment of 12 students, providing an even more intimate learning experience. This emphasis on small class sizes and personalized attention from faculty is a hallmark of both institutions and contributes to their strong academic reputations.

Admission Requirements and Selectivity at Carleton vs Pomona

Both Carleton and Pomona are highly selective colleges that receive a large volume of applications every year. For the class of 2024, Carleton received 6,531 applications and admitted 1,249 students, resulting in a 19.1% acceptance rate. Pomona received 10,245 applications and admitted 745 students, resulting in a 7.3% acceptance rate. Both colleges require applicants to submit standardized test scores, transcripts, essays, and letters of recommendation, and also offer need-blind admissions and generous financial aid packages.

Aside from the standard admission requirements, Carleton and Pomona also consider extracurricular activities, leadership experience, and community involvement when evaluating applicants. Carleton values students who have a passion for learning and intellectual curiosity, while Pomona looks for students who are committed to making a positive impact in their communities.

It is important to note that while both colleges have high selectivity rates, they also have holistic admissions processes that take into account the whole applicant, not just their academic achievements. Therefore, it is important for applicants to showcase their unique qualities and experiences in their application materials.

Campus Life and Student Activities of Carleton and Pomona

Carleton and Pomona both offer a rich campus life that encourages students to get involved in extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations. Carleton has over 244 student-run organizations, including a student-run dairy farm and a radio station. The college also hosts a number of annual events such as the Winter Serenade, which showcases student talent in music and dance.

At Pomona, students can choose from over 240 clubs and organizations, including a student-run organic farm and a literary magazine. The college also hosts a number of events such as the Renaissance Festival, which celebrates art, music, and food from different historical eras.

Aside from the numerous clubs and organizations, both Carleton and Pomona offer a variety of student activities that cater to different interests. Carleton has a strong tradition of outdoor activities, with students participating in activities such as rock climbing, kayaking, and camping. The college also has a student-run Outing Club that organizes trips and events throughout the year.

a group of people celebrating

Pomona, on the other hand, has a thriving arts scene, with students participating in theater productions, dance performances, and art exhibitions. The college also has a student-run art gallery that showcases student artwork.

Furthermore, both Carleton and Pomona have a strong commitment to community service and social justice. Carleton has a Center for Community and Civic Engagement that connects students with local organizations and provides opportunities for community service. The college also has a strong focus on sustainability, with initiatives such as a student-led composting program and a campus-wide recycling program.

Pomona has a similar commitment to community service, with students participating in programs such as the Pomona College Academy for Youth Success, which provides academic support to local high school students. The college also has a strong focus on diversity and inclusion, with initiatives such as the Queer Resource Center and the Chicano/Latino Student Affairs Office.

Housing Options and Accommodations Between Carleton vs Pomona

Carleton and Pomona both offer a variety of housing options for students, ranging from traditional dormitories to apartment-style living. At Carleton, first-year students are required to live on campus and are assigned to one of eight residential colleges, where they live with fellow students and participate in a variety of social and academic activities.

Meanwhile, Pomona offers a variety of housing options, including traditional residence halls, suites, and apartments. The college also has a housing system that allows students to live in themed communities based on their interests or identities.

In addition to the standard housing options, both Carleton and Pomona offer accommodations for students with disabilities or special needs. Carleton’s Disability Services Office works with students to provide accessible housing options and accommodations, such as wheelchair-accessible rooms or rooms with visual fire alarms. Similarly, Pomona’s Office of Accessibility and Disability Resources works with students to provide accommodations, such as accessible rooms or sign language interpreters.

Both colleges also offer resources for students who are looking for off-campus housing options. Carleton’s Off-Campus Studies Office provides resources and support for students who are interested in living off-campus, including information on local rental options and roommate matching services. Pomona’s Off-Campus Housing Office offers a similar service, providing students with information on local rental options and resources for finding roommates.

Career Services and Alumni Networks of Both Colleges

Carleton and Pomona both offer robust career services that support students in achieving their post-graduation goals. At Carleton, the Career Center provides students with resources such as career counseling, resume building, and job search support. The center also hosts a number of events such as career fairs and alumni panels.

Meanwhile, Pomona’s Career Development Office helps students with all aspects of career planning, including exploring different career paths, building professional networks, and job search strategies. The office also hosts a number of events such as career treks and employer information sessions, and boasts a strong network of alumni who can offer guidance and support to current students.

Additionally, both Carleton and Pomona have active alumni networks that provide valuable resources and connections for students and recent graduates. Carleton’s alumni network includes over 30,000 members who are eager to offer mentorship, career advice, and networking opportunities to current students.

a male student being supported by a female professor

Pomona’s alumni network is similarly robust, with over 25,000 members who are actively involved in supporting the career development of current students. Both schools also offer online platforms for alumni to connect with each other and with current students, providing a valuable resource for those seeking to build their professional networks.

Athletics and Sports Programs Offered at Carleton vs Pomona

Carleton and Pomona both offer a range of athletic opportunities for students, including varsity sports, club sports, and intramural sports. Carleton competes in the NCAA Division III and offers 20 varsity sports teams such as basketball, soccer, and cross-country. The college also has a strong tradition of athletic excellence, with 26 national championships and 394 All-Americans in its history.

Pomona also competes in the NCAA Division III and offers 21 varsity sports teams such as water polo, volleyball, and tennis. The college also has a strong tradition of athletic success, with numerous conference championships and individual accolades to its name.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

Carleton and Pomona both value diversity, equity, and inclusion, and have implemented a number of initiatives to create a more inclusive and welcoming campus community. At Carleton, the Office of Intercultural and International Life offers a range of resources and programming to support students from diverse backgrounds. The college also has a Bias Response Team that provides a safe and confidential way for students to report incidents of bias or discrimination.

Meanwhile, Pomona’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion provides a range of services and support to students from underrepresented backgrounds. The college also has a Bias Incident Response Team that works to address incidents of hate or bias on campus.

Research Opportunities for Students

Carleton and Pomona both provide students with ample opportunities to engage in research and scholarship. At Carleton, the undergraduate research program offers funding, mentorship, and resources to support student research projects across all academic disciplines. The college also hosts an annual Celebration of Scholarship event, which showcases student research and creative works.

Meanwhile, Pomona’s Office of Undergraduate Research helps students find research opportunities on and off campus and connects them with faculty mentors. The college also offers a number of research-related programs such as the Emerging Scholars Program and the Summer Undergraduate Research Program.

Study Abroad Programs Offered by Carleton vs Pomona

Carleton and Pomona both offer a wide range of study abroad programs that allow students to enhance their academic and personal experiences. At Carleton, the Off-Campus Studies program offers over 200 programs in more than 60 countries, ranging from semester-long programs to short-term courses. The program also offers funding and support for students who choose to do independent off-campus research projects.

Young man holding different blogs of countries.

Meanwhile, Pomona’s Study Abroad program offers over 50 programs in more than 30 countries, including a number of faculty-led programs. The college also offers funding and support for students who wish to do research or internships abroad.

Financial Aid and Tuition Costs

Carleton and Pomona are both committed to making college accessible and affordable to all students, regardless of their financial background. Both colleges offer need-based financial aid that covers the full demonstrated need of each admitted student.

At Carleton, the average need-based grant for the class of 2024 is $56,528, and the tuition and fees for the academic year 2020-2021 is $60,265. Meanwhile, at Pomona, the average need-based grant for the class of 2024 is $57,761, and the tuition and fees for the academic year 2020-2021 is $55,048.

Graduate School Placement Rates

Carleton and Pomona both have strong track records when it comes to graduate school placement. According to data from 2019, 68% of Carleton graduates who applied to graduate school were admitted to a program within one year of graduation.

Meanwhile, 77% of Pomona graduates who applied to graduate school were admitted to a program within one year of graduation. These rates are a testament to the quality of education and mentorship that students receive at both institutions.

Campus Safety and Security Measures

Carleton and Pomona are both committed to providing a safe and secure campus environment for all students, faculty, and staff. At Carleton, the Department of Public Safety provides 24/7 coverage and patrols the campus regularly. The department also offers a number of programs and resources to promote safety and emergency preparedness.

Meanwhile, at Pomona, the Campus Safety department provides 24/7 coverage and offers a number of safety programs and services such as self-defense classes and a campus escort program.

Environmental Sustainability Efforts

Carleton and Pomona are both committed to promoting sustainable practices and reducing their carbon footprint. At Carleton, the Sustainability Office works to reduce waste, conserve energy, and promote sustainable transportation on campus. The college also offers a number of programs and events such as the Green Thumbs sustainability group and the annual Bike to Work Day.

Meanwhile, Pomona’s Office of Sustainability works to promote sustainable practices and behavior on and off campus. The college also has a number of programs such as the Green Bikes program and the Food Recovery Network, which redistributes excess food from dining halls to those in need.

Extracurricular Opportunities for Students

Carleton and Pomona both offer a range of extracurricular opportunities for students that allow them to pursue their passions and interests outside of the classroom. At Carleton, students can join a variety of clubs and organizations such as the student-run theater company or the a cappella group. The college also hosts a number of events such as the annual Spring Concert, which features popular musical acts.

Group of students huddled together while listening to an instructor.

Meanwhile, at Pomona, students can join a range of clubs and organizations such as the Debate Team or the Model United Nations club. The college also hosts a number of events such as the annual Ski Beach Day, which brings together students for a day of fun in the sun.

LGBTQ+ Resources and Support

Carleton and Pomona are both committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive campus environment for LGBTQ+ students. At Carleton, the Gender and Sexuality Center offers a range of resources and support for LGBTQ+ students, including advocacy, counseling, and education. The center also hosts a number of events and programs throughout the year such as LGBTQ+ History Month.

Meanwhile, at Pomona, the Queer Resource Center provides a safe and supportive space for LGBTQ+ students to gather, socialize, and access resources. The center also hosts a number of events and programs such as the annual Drag Show, which showcases student talent and raises awareness for LGBTQ+ issues.

Student Mental Health Resources of Carleton vs Pomona

Carleton and Pomona both prioritize the well-being and mental health of their students. At Carleton, the Student Health and Counseling Center provides a range of services such as counseling, crisis intervention, and medication management. The center also offers a number of wellness programs and resources such as stress reduction workshops and mindfulness training.

Meanwhile, at Pomona, the Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services center offers a range of mental health services such as individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and medication management. The center also hosts a number of programs and workshops throughout the year such as the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program.

Overall, both Carleton College and Pomona College offer an exceptional undergraduate education with unique strengths and qualities. While they may differ in terms of location, campus culture, and academic offerings, both colleges are committed to providing students with a rigorous and intellectually stimulating education that prepares them for success in their future endeavors.

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