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Colgate vs Pomona: Which College is Right for You?

November 29, 2023
By AdmissionSight
a young college student writing while on online class

Colgate vs Pomona: Which College is Right for You?

Choosing the right college is a crucial decision for high school seniors. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to even think about where to begin. Two popular choices for many students are Colgate University and Pomona College. In this article, we’ll conduct an in-depth analysis of Colgate vs. Pomona, comparing their various academic features to extracurricular activities, campus life, financial aid, and more. By the end of this article, you will have a clearer picture of which college is the right fit for you.

Colgate vs. Pomona: An Overview of the Two Colleges

Colgate University is a private liberal arts college located in Hamilton, New York. It has a small student body of approximately 3,100 students and an acceptance rate of around 12%. In contrast, Pomona College is a private liberal arts college located in Claremont, California, with a slightly larger student body of approximately 1,700 students and a lower acceptance rate of around 7%. Both colleges offer a variety of undergraduate majors and minors, with a focus on small class sizes and personalized attention from faculty members.

Colgate University was founded in 1819 and has a long-standing tradition of academic excellence. The college offers over 50 majors and minors, with popular programs in economics, political science, and psychology. Colgate is also known for its strong athletic programs, with 25 varsity sports teams competing in the NCAA Division I.

Pomona College, on the other hand, was founded in 1887 and is part of the Claremont Colleges consortium, which includes five undergraduate colleges and two graduate schools. Pomona offers over 45 majors and minors, with popular programs in economics, computer science, and neuroscience. The college is also known for its commitment to sustainability, with a LEED Platinum-certified residence hall and a student-led organic farm on campus.

Location Matters: How to Choose Between Colgate vs. Pomona

One of the most significant factors in choosing a college is its location. Colgate University is located in a small town in rural upstate New York, while Pomona College is located in Claremont, a suburban area near Los Angeles. Colgate’s location offers a more serene, peaceful atmosphere, with opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking and skiing. In contrast, Pomona’s location provides easy access to cultural attractions in Los Angeles and other nearby cities.

Another factor to consider when choosing between Colgate and Pomona is the climate. Colgate experiences cold winters with heavy snowfall, while Pomona has a mild Mediterranean climate with warm, sunny weather year-round. This may be an important consideration for students who prefer certain types of weather or have health conditions that are affected by climate.

Additionally, the cost of living in each location should be taken into account. Living expenses in upstate New York tend to be lower than in the Los Angeles area, which may make Colgate a more affordable option for some students. However, Pomona’s location near a major city may provide more opportunities for internships and job prospects, which could offset the higher cost of living.

Academic Offerings at Colgate vs. Pomona: Which One is Better for You?

Both Colgate and Pomona have highly regarded academic programs, with a strong emphasis on liberal arts education. Colgate offers 56 majors and minors across its three divisions: arts and humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences. Pomona offers 48 majors and minors in five areas of study: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, interdisciplinary studies, and the arts. Both colleges have rigorous academic programs, with a high level of academic expectation and personal attention from faculty members.

View of a person looking at Math equations

However, there are some differences between the two schools when it comes to academic offerings. Colgate has a strong focus on interdisciplinary studies, with many of its majors and minors crossing over into multiple divisions. Pomona, on the other hand, has a reputation for its strong natural sciences programs, with a number of its graduates going on to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Another factor to consider is the size of the schools. Colgate has a smaller student body, with just over 3,100 undergraduate students, while Pomona has a slightly larger student body of around 1,700. This can impact the academic experience, with smaller schools often offering more personalized attention from faculty members, while larger schools may have more resources and opportunities for research and internships.

Campus Life at Colgate vs. Pomona: A Comprehensive Comparison

When it comes to campus life, both Colgate and Pomona offer a range of extracurricular activities, including clubs and organizations, athletics, performing arts, and more. Colgate has over 200 student clubs and organizations, with a strong emphasis on student engagement and leadership development. Pomona also has a robust student life program, with over 200 clubs and organizations, including a student-run radio station and a renowned outdoor education program.

However, there are some differences in the campus life experience at Colgate and Pomona. Colgate is located in a small town in upstate New York, which provides a tight-knit community feel and a strong sense of school spirit. The campus is also surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, with opportunities for hiking and outdoor recreation. In contrast, Pomona is located in the suburbs of Los Angeles, which offers a more urban environment with access to a diverse range of cultural experiences and entertainment options.

Another notable difference is the housing options available at each school. Colgate requires all students to live on campus for their first three years, with a variety of housing options ranging from traditional dorms to theme houses and apartments. Pomona also offers on-campus housing, but students have the option to live off-campus starting in their sophomore year. Many students choose to live in nearby apartments or houses in the surrounding community.

Extracurricular Activities: Which College Has More to Offer?

Both Colgate and Pomona offer a wide range of extracurricular activities, but there are some differences between the two colleges. Colgate has a strong emphasis on community service, with its Max A. Shacknai Center for volunteerism and Community Service and numerous volunteer programs. Pomona, on the other hand, has a reputation for artistic and creative pursuits, with its Pomona College Band, Theater Department, and Art Museum. Ultimately, your interests and passions will determine which college has more to offer in terms of extracurricular activities.

A woman looking at paintings in the Museum of Modern Art

In addition to community service and the arts, both Colgate and Pomona offer a variety of sports teams and fitness programs. Colgate has a Division I athletics program, with teams in sports such as football, basketball, and lacrosse. Pomona, on the other hand, has a strong focus on outdoor recreation, with opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, and skiing in the nearby mountains.

Furthermore, both colleges have active student organizations and clubs, ranging from political groups to cultural associations. Colgate has a particularly strong Greek life presence, with over 25 fraternities and sororities on campus. Pomona, on the other hand, has a unique program called “Sagehens Give Back,” which allows students to volunteer in the local community and earn academic credit for their service.

Financial Aid Packages: How Do They Compare at Colgate vs. Pomona?

Both Colgate and Pomona are committed to making college accessible and affordable for all students. Colgate offers need-based financial aid to students who qualify, with an average grant of around $64,355 per year. Pomona also offers need-based financial aid, with an average grant of around $68,005 per year. Both colleges have a no-loan policy, meaning that they do not require students to take out loans to cover their tuition.

However, there are some differences in the financial aid packages offered by Colgate and Pomona. Colgate offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships, while Pomona does not offer any merit-based aid. On the other hand, Pomona offers a summer earnings expectation for students, which requires them to earn a certain amount of money through summer employment to contribute to their college expenses. Colgate does not have a summer earnings expectation.

Student-Faculty Ratio Comparison: Which College Offers More Personalized Attention?

Both Colgate and Pomona have a low student-faculty ratio, meaning that students can expect personalized attention and mentorship from their professors. Colgate’s student-faculty ratio is 9:1, while Pomona’s is 8:1. Both colleges have a highly engaged faculty, with a focus on teaching, research, and mentorship.

However, there are some differences between the two colleges when it comes to the type of personalized attention students can expect. Colgate has a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, with many opportunities for students to work closely with faculty members on research projects. Pomona, on the other hand, has a unique program called the “Mentor Program,” where students are paired with a faculty member who serves as their academic and personal mentor throughout their time at the college.

Additionally, while both colleges have small class sizes and a low student-faculty ratio, Pomona has a slightly larger student body than Colgate. This means that while students at both colleges can expect personalized attention from their professors, Pomona students may have a slightly larger pool of peers to collaborate and engage with in their classes and extracurricular activities.

Internship Opportunities at Colgate vs. Pomona: What’s the Difference?

Both Colgate and Pomona offer a variety of internship and experiential learning opportunities, with a focus on connecting students with industry leaders and experts. Colgate has a robust Career Services department, offering career counseling, job placement, and alumni networking opportunities. Pomona’s Career Development Office also provides a wide range of career resources, including job and internship databases, industry panels, and networking events.

However, there are some differences between the two schools when it comes to internship opportunities. Colgate is located in a small town in upstate New York, which limits the number of local internship options available to students. On the other hand, Pomona is located in the greater Los Angeles area, providing students with access to a wider range of internship opportunities in various industries. Additionally, Pomona has a strong emphasis on social justice and community engagement, which is reflected in its internship offerings. Many of Pomona’s internships focus on working with non-profit organizations and community-based initiatives.

Alumni Networks and Career Services at Colgate and Pomona

Both Colgate and Pomona have active alumni networks, with graduates working in a wide range of fields and industries. Colgate’s alumni network is particularly strong in areas like finance, law, and journalism, while Pomona has a reputation for producing successful graduates in fields like entertainment and technology. Both colleges have career services offices dedicated to helping students and alumni navigate the job market and make career plans.

In addition to their alumni networks and career services, both Colgate and Pomona offer a variety of resources to help students prepare for their future careers. Colgate has a robust internship program, with opportunities available in a variety of industries and locations. Pomona offers career-focused workshops and events throughout the year, as well as a mentorship program that connects students with alumni in their desired fields. Both colleges also have strong partnerships with employers, providing students with access to job and internship opportunities.

Campus Diversity: A Look at the Student Body Makeup of Each College

Both Colgate and Pomona have diverse student populations, with a focus on creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students. Colgate’s student body is approximately 64% white, 6% Asian, 9% Hispanic, and 5% Black. Pomona’s student body is approximately 32% white, 16% Hispanic, 18% Asian, and 10% Black. Both colleges are committed to promoting diversity and multiculturalism, with a variety of student-led initiatives and programs.

In addition to promoting diversity on campus, both Colgate and Pomona also prioritize creating a supportive and inclusive environment for students from underrepresented backgrounds. This includes providing resources such as mentorship programs, affinity groups, and scholarships for students of color, first-generation students, and low-income students.

Furthermore, both colleges actively recruit and retain a diverse faculty and staff, recognizing the importance of representation and diverse perspectives in the learning environment. This commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected in the curriculum, with courses and programs that explore issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and other forms of identity and difference.

Housing Options at Colgate vs. Pomona: Which One is Best for You?

When it comes to housing, both Colgate and Pomona offer a range of options, from traditional residence halls to apartments and suites. Colgate has a tradition of residential living, with students living on campus throughout their four years. Pomona also offers a variety of on-campus housing options, with a focus on sustainable living and community development. Ultimately, your housing preferences and priorities will determine which college’s housing options are the best fit for you.

female students relaxing In bedroom of campus accommodation

It is important to note that both Colgate and Pomona also offer off-campus housing options for upperclassmen. Colgate has a limited number of off-campus houses and apartments available for juniors and seniors, while Pomona has a larger selection of off-campus apartments and houses within walking distance of campus. However, living off-campus may come with additional responsibilities, such as finding and signing a lease, paying rent and utilities, and commuting to campus. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of both on-campus and off-campus housing options before making a decision.

Sports Programs Comparison: Which College is More Athletic?

Both Colgate and Pomona have strong athletic programs, with opportunities for students to participate in a wide range of intercollegiate and intramural sports. Colgate is a Division I school and a member of the Patriot League, with 25 intercollegiate varsity sports teams. Pomona is a Division III school and a member of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, with opportunities for students to participate in over 20 intercollegiate sports teams.

Despite being a Division III school, Pomona has a strong tradition of athletic excellence. In fact, Pomona has won the Division III Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, which recognizes the top overall athletic program in Division III, five times in the past decade. This is a testament to the dedication and hard work of Pomona’s student-athletes and coaches.

On the other hand, Colgate’s athletic program has a strong focus on community service and giving back. The school’s “Raider Relief” program encourages student-athletes to volunteer in the local community, and many teams participate in service projects throughout the year. This emphasis on service and community engagement sets Colgate apart from other schools with strong athletic programs.

Admissions Process Comparison: What You Need to Know About Applying to Colgate and Pomona

Both Colgate and Pomona have competitive admissions processes, with a focus on academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, and personal character. Colgate accepts around 12% of applicants, while Pomona accepts around 7%. Both colleges require standardized test scores and a range of application materials, including essays, recommendations, and transcripts.

However, there are some differences in the admissions process between the two schools. Colgate places a greater emphasis on demonstrated interest, such as campus visits and interviews, while Pomona does not consider demonstrated interest in their admissions decisions. Additionally, Pomona has a test-optional policy, allowing students to choose whether or not to submit standardized test scores, while Colgate requires all applicants to submit test scores.

Another difference is in the application deadlines. Colgate has an Early Decision option, with a deadline of November 15th, and a Regular Decision deadline of January 15th. Pomona also has an Early Decision option, with a deadline of November 15th, but their Regular Decision deadline is earlier, on January 1st. It’s important to note that both schools have a need-blind admissions policy, meaning that a student’s financial need is not considered in the admissions decision.

Cost of Attendance Comparison: How Much Will It Cost to Attend Colgate or Pomona?

The cost of attendance at both Colgate and Pomona is relatively high, but both colleges are committed to making college accessible and affordable for all students. The estimated cost of attendance at Colgate is around $83,814 per year, while the estimated cost of attendance at Pomona is around $82,700 per year. Both colleges offer need-based financial aid, with a focus on making college affordable for all students.

financial aid for students

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing between Colgate and Pomona. Ultimately, it is up to you to determine which college is the best fit for your academic interests, career goals, and personal priorities. By conducting thorough research and visiting both colleges, you can make an informed decision that will set you up for success in the years ahead.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance is not the only factor to consider when choosing a college. Both Colgate and Pomona offer unique academic programs, extracurricular activities, and campus cultures that may appeal to different students. Additionally, location and access to resources such as internships and research opportunities may also play a role in your decision-making process. It is important to weigh all of these factors and prioritize what is most important to you when making your final decision.

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