Comparing Pomona College vs Dartmouth College

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Group of students smiling at the camera.

Comparing Pomona College vs Dartmouth College

When choosing a college, it’s essential to do your research to make an informed decision. Two popular institutions to consider are Pomona College and Dartmouth College. Both schools have a lot of similarities, such as being private liberal arts colleges, but they also have significant differences in aspects such as location, history, academics, campus life, and more. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at Pomona College vs Dartmouth College to give readers a comprehensive comparison of the two.


Pomona College is located in Claremont, California. It is part of a consortium of five undergraduate institutions known as The Claremont Colleges. The other colleges in the consortium include Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Scripps College, and Pitzer College. These schools share a campus and provide students with a broad range of cross-registration options.

Dartmouth College, on the other hand, is in Hanover, New Hampshire, a small town in rural New England. Dartmouth is located in a pleasant, natural environment with a focal point on university life and pursuits. There are few distractions, other than the college’s off-campus centers in New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

Dartmouth campus

One of the advantages of attending Pomona College is its proximity to Los Angeles, which is only 35 miles away. This allows students to take advantage of the city’s cultural offerings, internships, and job opportunities. Additionally, the college is located in a region with a mild climate, which allows for year-round outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and skiing in nearby mountains.

On the other hand, Dartmouth College is located in the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont, which is known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities. The college is situated near the White Mountains, which offer hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities. The region is also home to several small towns and villages, which provide students with opportunities to explore local culture and history.

History between Pomona College vs Dartmouth College

Pomona College was established in 1887. The institution has a long-standing tradition of providing quality liberal arts education, with a focus on both social responsibility and intellectual inquiry. Pomona’s lively student body regularly takes an active approach to campus life, especially with regards to environmentalism. Pomona is highly selective with an acceptance rate of just 7% of applicants.

Dartmouth College is the ninth oldest colleges in the United States, established in 1769. It is also one of the original colonial colleges founded before the American Revolution. Dartmouth was established to impart education to American Indians and has a unique history of inclusivity. Over the years, Dartmouth has grown to become one of the most prestigious institutions in the United States. Today, it offers a comprehensive liberal arts education to its students with a steady focus on undergraduate education

Despite being located on opposite coasts of the United States, Pomona College and Dartmouth College share a commitment to providing their students with a well-rounded education. Both institutions prioritize undergraduate education and offer a wide range of academic programs, extracurricular activities, and opportunities for personal growth. Additionally, both colleges have a strong sense of community and pride themselves on fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for all students.


Both Pomona and Dartmouth colleges are liberal arts colleges focused on providing undergraduates with a comprehensive education. Pomona offers majors in 48 subjects, with a focus on the arts, social sciences, and natural sciences. Additionally, Pomona students can select courses at The Claremont Colleges consortium institutions. Dartmouth College, on the other hand, offers undergraduate degrees in over 40 majors such as Computer Science, Engineering and Environmental studies. Dartmouth’s curriculum is based on a four-year academic plan, and it places significant emphasis on international study.

Furthermore, both colleges have a strong commitment to undergraduate research. Pomona College has a Summer Undergraduate Research Program that allows students to work closely with faculty members on research projects. Dartmouth College also has a similar program called the Women in Science Project, which aims to increase the number of women in science and engineering fields through research opportunities and mentorship.

Campus Life between Pomona College vs Dartmouth College

The campus life at both Pomona College and Dartmouth College is lively and active. Pomona offers a diverse array of extracurricular activities and clubs, with robust programs in the arts, community service, and athletics. Pomona is well-known for its low-key approach to Greek life. It does not have individual Greek organizations, but the students have the option of participating in Greek exchanges and sponsor Houses. Dartmouth, on the other hand, has both individual Greek organizations and sponsor Houses. Dartmouth is famous for its vibrant Greek Life and is synonymous with Fraternity and Sorority culture.

Group of students talking in a library.

Aside from extracurricular activities, both Pomona and Dartmouth offer a wide range of academic programs and resources to their students. Pomona has a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to work alongside faculty members on research projects. Dartmouth, on the other hand, has a unique academic calendar known as the D-Plan, which allows students to take off-campus terms and pursue internships or study abroad programs.

Furthermore, both colleges have a strong commitment to sustainability and environmentalism. Pomona has a student-led sustainability committee that works to reduce the college’s carbon footprint and promote sustainable practices on campus. Dartmouth has a sustainability office that oversees the college’s sustainability initiatives, including a composting program and a green revolving fund that finances energy-efficient projects on campus.


Both colleges pride themselves on their commitment to diversity and inclusivity. At Pomona, 48% of students identify as students of color, whereas at Dartmouth, students of color make up 37% of the undergraduate population. At Pomona, 8% of students are international students, while they make up 10% of the undergraduate population at Dartmouth. One area where there is a significant difference between the two institutions is in socio-economic diversity. Pomona offers one of the most comprehensive financial aid programs in the country, whereas Dartmouth admits approximately 14-15% of students who are eligible for Pell grants.

Despite the differences in socio-economic diversity, both Pomona and Dartmouth have made efforts to increase access to higher education for underrepresented groups. Pomona has a partnership with QuestBridge, a non-profit organization that connects high-achieving, low-income students with top colleges and universities. Dartmouth has a program called First-Year Student Enrichment Program (FYSEP), which provides academic and social support to first-generation and low-income students.

Additionally, both colleges have active student organizations and initiatives that promote diversity and inclusivity on campus. Pomona has a student-led organization called MOSAIC, which stands for Multicultural and Social Justice Issues Collective. Dartmouth has a student-led initiative called #OnlyAtDartmouth, which aims to celebrate and promote diversity on campus through social media and events.

Admissions between Pomona College vs Dartmouth College

Both Pomona College and Dartmouth College have a highly selective admissions process. Pomona has an acceptance rate of 7%, while Dartmouth has an acceptance rate of 9%. Pomona values academic achievements, character, and potential equally for admission, while Dartmouth considers academic transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, recommendations, essays, and extracurricular activities collectively for admission into the school. Interviews are not mandatory for either college’s application.

It is important to note that both Pomona and Dartmouth have a need-blind admissions policy, meaning that they do not consider an applicant’s ability to pay when making admissions decisions. Both colleges also offer need-based financial aid to admitted students, ensuring that students from all economic backgrounds have access to a high-quality education.

Additionally, both Pomona and Dartmouth have a commitment to diversity and inclusion in their admissions process. They actively seek out students from a variety of backgrounds, including underrepresented minorities, first-generation college students, and students from low-income families. This commitment to diversity is reflected in the student body at both colleges, which is made up of students from all over the world with a wide range of experiences and perspectives.


Both Pomona and Dartmouth colleges have athletic programs that are active and competitive. Pomona offers 21 NCAA Division III varsity sports, including basketball, soccer, tennis, and track and field. Dartmouth, on the other hand, offers over 35 Division I varsity teams, competing in sports such as football, hockey, and Skiing. Athletic facilities at both schools are comprehensive and well-equipped.

Sports equipment laid out in a bench.

In addition to varsity sports, both Pomona and Dartmouth offer a variety of intramural and club sports for students to participate in. These include ultimate frisbee, volleyball, and even Quidditch. These programs provide opportunities for students to stay active and engaged in sports, even if they are not at a varsity level.

Furthermore, both colleges have a strong tradition of supporting their athletic teams, with students, faculty, and alumni coming out to cheer on their respective schools. This creates a sense of community and school spirit that is palpable on game days and helps to foster a strong sense of belonging among students.

Alumni Network

Pomona and Dartmouth have active and accomplished alumni networks. Pomona College has famous alumni such as Steve Lacy, Melvin Calvin, and David R. Goode, while Dartmouth’s prominent alumni include Dr. Seuss, Robert Frost and Mindy Kaling. Both schools offer career services for all years to help students achieve professional successes.

Additionally, both Pomona and Dartmouth have strong alumni mentorship programs. These programs connect current students with alumni who work in their desired fields, providing valuable networking opportunities and career guidance. Alumni mentors can offer insights into their industries, share job search strategies, and even provide job referrals. These mentorship programs are just one of the many ways that Pomona and Dartmouth support their students beyond graduation.

Rankings between Pomona College vs Dartmouth College

Pomona College and Dartmouth College consistently rank highly on various rankings for undergraduate institutions in the United States. According to the U.S. News and World Report’s Best College rankings for 2021, Pomona College ranks #5 for National Liberal Arts Colleges, and Dartmouth College is #12. Forbes’ lists of America’s top colleges ranked Pomona College #8 in 2020, and Dartmouth College #13 in 2021.

Additionally, both colleges have also been recognized for their commitment to sustainability. Pomona College has been named one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States by The Princeton Review for several years in a row. Dartmouth College has also been recognized for its sustainability efforts, ranking #5 on the Sierra Club’s 2020 Cool Schools list.

Cost of Attendance

Both colleges are pricey, with tuition, room, board, and fees costing over $70,000 annually. However, Pomona College has a more comprehensive financial aid program, covering 100% of demonstrated financial need for all students. Dartmouth too offers robust aid packages, but admission can be harder to come by for low-income students.

It’s important to note that the cost of attendance at both colleges can vary depending on a student’s individual circumstances. For example, students who choose to live off-campus may be able to save money on room and board expenses. Additionally, both colleges offer various scholarships and grants that can help offset the cost of attendance.

Another factor to consider when evaluating the cost of attendance is the potential return on investment. Both Pomona College and Dartmouth are highly regarded institutions that offer excellent academic programs and opportunities for career advancement. Graduates from these colleges often go on to successful careers in a variety of fields, which can help justify the cost of attendance in the long run.

Student Population between Pomona College vs Dartmouth College

Pomona College has a total undergraduate student population of approximately 1,670 students, while Dartmouth College has a total undergraduate student population of about 4,400 students. Class sizes at both schools are small, but classes at Pomona are more intimate, with an average class size of 15 students, while at Dartmouth, the average class size is 19 students.

Female student typing in his laptop for a college essay.

Despite the difference in student population, both Pomona and Dartmouth offer a diverse student body. Pomona College has a student body that is 50% students of color, while Dartmouth College has a student body that is 47% students of color. Both schools also have a strong international student presence, with Pomona having students from over 60 countries and Dartmouth having students from over 70 countries.

Additionally, both Pomona and Dartmouth have a strong commitment to providing financial aid to their students. Pomona College meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students, while Dartmouth College meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students without loans. This commitment to financial aid ensures that students from all backgrounds have access to a high-quality education at these institutions.

Faculty Quality

Pomona College has a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1, while Dartmouth College has a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1. Both schools have a high percentage of professors with terminal degrees, extensive teaching experience, and active research interests in their respective fields.

Additionally, both Pomona College and Dartmouth College have a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, with professors who prioritize mentoring and engaging with their students. This dedication to teaching is reflected in the numerous awards and accolades received by faculty members at both institutions, as well as the high satisfaction ratings reported by students in course evaluations.

Career Opportunities between Pomona College vs Dartmouth College

Pomona and Dartmouth Colleges offer their students comprehensive career services. Pomona has an impressive record of over 97% of students fully employed or in graduate school after graduation. Dartmouth offers its students robust career fairs, mentoring, and alumni networking opportunities.

Additionally, both colleges have strong partnerships with local and national companies, providing students with internship and job opportunities in a variety of fields. Pomona’s Career Development Office has connections with companies such as Google, Goldman Sachs, and Teach for America. Dartmouth’s Center for Professional Development partners with organizations like Deloitte, Microsoft, and the Peace Corps. These partnerships give students the chance to gain real-world experience and make valuable connections in their desired industries.

Student Support Services

Both institutions provide their students with extensive academic and personal support. Pomona’s resources include personalized academic advising, tutoring, writing center, and career services. Dartmouth offers wellness services, a comprehensive center for career development, academic support services, and a counseling center that offers mental health services to students.

In addition to the academic and personal support services mentioned above, Pomona College also offers a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs for students to get involved in. These range from sports teams to cultural organizations, and provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and meet new people.

At Dartmouth College, students have access to a wide range of research opportunities, both on and off campus. The college has partnerships with a number of research institutions and organizations, and students can participate in research projects in fields ranging from biology to engineering.

Notable Departments/Programs between Pomona College vs Dartmouth College

Pomona College offers several unique departments and programs, including a joint program with Harvey Mudd College in the physics-astronomy field, an environmental analysis program, and the Pomona College in Politics program. While at Dartmouth, there are unique programs such as the Engineering Sciences program offering a Bachelor of Engineering science degree and the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric program focusing on writing for all academic levels.

Group of students talking in a table.

In addition to these programs, Pomona College also offers a highly regarded neuroscience program, which includes opportunities for research and internships. The college also has a strong emphasis on the arts, with a variety of courses and programs in visual and performing arts.

At Dartmouth, students can take advantage of the Thayer School of Engineering, which offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs in engineering and applied sciences. The college also has a unique Native American Studies program, which focuses on the history, culture, and contemporary issues of Native American communities.


Ultimately, both Pomona College and Dartmouth College offer exceptional undergraduate experiences. Still, it is up to each individual student to consider their priorities, goals, and needs to make the right college selection. Visitors can visit the respective institutions’ websites and attend virtual tours or informational sessions to learn more about each school’s offerings and campus culture. Both institutions will provide students with an excellent education, a vibrant campus life, and academic training that will prepare them for whatever career path they choose to pursue in the future.

It is important to note that while both Pomona College and Dartmouth College have many similarities, they also have distinct differences. For example, Pomona College is located in Southern California, which offers students access to a diverse range of cultural experiences and outdoor activities. On the other hand, Dartmouth College is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, which provides students with a more traditional college town experience and access to the natural beauty of the Northeast.

Additionally, both colleges have unique academic programs and research opportunities. Pomona College is known for its strong emphasis on the liberal arts and interdisciplinary studies, while Dartmouth College is renowned for its programs in engineering, business, and the sciences. Students should carefully consider their academic interests and goals when choosing between these two exceptional institutions.


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