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Comparing Pomona College vs the University of Pennsylvania

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of a student writing an essay.

Comparing Pomona College vs the University of Pennsylvania

Choosing the right college can be a daunting task for any high school graduate. With so many options to consider, it’s important to do your research and compare schools before making a decision. In this article, we will compare Pomona College vs the University of Pennsylvania, two prestigious institutions with different locations, academic programs, admission requirements, etc.

Location and Campus Comparison

Pomona College is a private liberal arts college located in Claremont, California, a small suburban city with a population of around 37,000 inhabitants. The college covers an area of 140 acres and is part of the Claremont Colleges Consortium, which includes five undergraduate colleges and two graduate schools. The University of Pennsylvania, on the other hand, is a private Ivy League research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a large urban city with a population of around 1.5 million people. The university covers an area of 302 acres and is split into four main campuses: the historic core campus, the medical campus, the law campus, and the West Philadelphia campus. While both institutions have beautiful campuses, students looking for a suburban or urban experience may prefer Pomona or Penn, respectively

a building in Pomona College

Aside from location, there are other differences between Pomona College and the University of Pennsylvania. Pomona College has a student population of around 1,700, while the University of Pennsylvania has a much larger student population of around 25,000. This means that Pomona College has a smaller student-to-faculty ratio, which can lead to more personalized attention from professors. Additionally, Pomona College has a strong emphasis on undergraduate education, while the University of Pennsylvania has a larger focus on graduate education and research.

Another difference between the two institutions is their athletic programs. Pomona College is a member of the NCAA Division III and has a strong tradition of success in sports such as swimming, track and field, and cross country. The University of Pennsylvania, on the other hand, is a member of the NCAA Division I and has a more extensive athletic program, with teams in sports such as football, basketball, and lacrosse. Students who are interested in participating in varsity athletics may want to consider the athletic programs offered at each institution when making their decision.

Academic Programs and Curriculum Differences between Pomona College vs the University of Pennsylvania

Pomona College emphasizes a liberal arts education and offers 48 majors in humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences, including majors like Africana studies, cognitive science, and environmental analysis. The college has a student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1 and an average class size of 15 students, which allows for close interaction between professors and students.

The University of Pennsylvania has 12 undergraduate schools and colleges, including schools of engineering, arts and sciences, nursing, and business, and offers over 100 majors to its students. The university has a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1 and an average class size of 27 students. Students looking for a more focused or specialized education may prefer Penn’s diverse array of schools and colleges

Despite the differences in the number of majors offered, both Pomona College and the University of Pennsylvania provide students with a wide range of academic opportunities. Pomona College’s emphasis on a liberal arts education allows students to explore various fields of study and develop critical thinking skills. On the other hand, the University of Pennsylvania’s specialized schools and colleges provide students with a more focused education, preparing them for specific career paths.

Additionally, both institutions offer unique academic programs that set them apart from other colleges and universities. Pomona College, for example, has a program called “The Claremont Colleges” which allows students to take classes at any of the other five undergraduate colleges in the Claremont Consortium. The University of Pennsylvania has a program called “Penn Integrates Knowledge” which brings together faculty from different disciplines to collaborate on research and teaching projects.

Admission Requirements and Selectivity Comparison

Pomona College has an acceptance rate of around 7.4%, making it a highly selective institution. The college looks for students with a strong academic record, intellectual curiosity, leadership potential, and extracurricular involvement. The middle 50% of the admitted class has an SAT range of 1430-1550 and an ACT range of 32-35.

The University of Pennsylvania also has a highly selective admission process, with an acceptance rate of around 8.4%. The university looks for students who are academically talented, intellectually curious, innovative, and socially responsible. The middle 50% of the admitted class has an SAT range of 1440-1570 and an ACT range of 33-35. Students looking for a challenging and competitive academic environment may prefer Pomona or Penn

It is important to note that while both Pomona College and the University of Pennsylvania have highly selective admission processes, they differ in their approach to evaluating applicants. Pomona College places a strong emphasis on holistic review, taking into account factors such as personal qualities, character, and potential for growth. In contrast, the University of Pennsylvania places a greater emphasis on academic achievement and intellectual potential. Prospective students should consider their own strengths and interests when deciding which institution is the best fit for them.

Cost of Attendance Comparison between Pomona College vs the University of Pennsylvania

Pomona College has a total estimated cost of attendance of around $79,120 per year, including tuition, fees, room, board, books, and personal expenses. The college meets 100% of students’ demonstrated need and offers need-based financial aid, grants, and loans to eligible students. The University of Pennsylvania has a total estimated cost of attendance of around $80,876 per year, including tuition, fees, room, board, books, and personal expenses.

The university also meets 100% of students’ demonstrated need and offers need-based financial aid, grants, and loans to eligible students. Both institutions are committed to making higher education accessible and affordable for all students, regardless of their financial background

View of FAFSa forms strewn on the table.

Despite the similarities in cost of attendance, there are some differences in the financial aid packages offered by Pomona College and the University of Pennsylvania. Pomona College offers a no-loan policy for students with a family income of less than $75,000 per year, meaning that these students will not have to take out any loans to cover their education costs. On the other hand, the University of Pennsylvania does not have a no-loan policy, but it does offer a wider range of merit-based scholarships to students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement or talent in a particular area.

Another factor to consider when comparing the cost of attendance at these two institutions is the location. Pomona College is located in Claremont, California, which has a relatively high cost of living compared to other parts of the country. In contrast, the University of Pennsylvania is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which has a lower cost of living. This means that students attending Pomona College may need to budget more carefully for living expenses, while students at the University of Pennsylvania may have more flexibility in their spending.

Student Life Comparison

Pomona College has a small residential campus and offers a vibrant and supportive community for its students. The college has over 200 student organizations and clubs, including an outdoor club, a newspaper, a radio station, and a dance group. The college also hosts cultural events, lectures, and performances throughout the year.

The University of Pennsylvania has a larger and more diverse student body, with over 400 student organizations and clubs, including a jazz ensemble, a theatre group, and a service organization. The university also hosts cultural events, lectures, and performances throughout the year and has a thriving Greek life. Students looking for a tight-knit or more diverse community may prefer Pomona or Penn, respectively

Additionally, both Pomona College and the University of Pennsylvania offer a variety of resources and support services for their students. Pomona College has a writing center, a career development center, and a health center, among other resources. The University of Pennsylvania has similar resources, as well as a counseling and psychological services center and a learning resources center. Both schools prioritize the well-being and success of their students, providing them with the necessary tools and support to thrive academically and personally.

Faculty and Research Opportunities Comparison between Pomona College vs the University of Pennsylvania

Pomona College has a distinguished faculty that includes Fulbright scholars, Guggenheim fellows, and MacArthur fellows, among others. The faculty is committed to undergraduate teaching and research and offers students the opportunity to work on independent research projects, pursue internships and study abroad programs, and engage in collaborative research with professors.

The University of Pennsylvania also has a renowned faculty that includes Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and National Academy of Sciences members, among others. The faculty is committed to interdisciplinary research and innovation and offers students access to world-class research facilities, labs, and centers. Students looking for a more personalized or innovative research experience may prefer Pomona or Penn

Furthermore, Pomona College has a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to present their findings at national conferences and publish their work in academic journals. The college also offers research grants and fellowships to support student research projects. In addition, Pomona has a unique partnership with the nearby Claremont Colleges, which allows students to take courses and collaborate on research projects with faculty and students from other institutions.

On the other hand, the University of Pennsylvania has a strong focus on interdisciplinary research, with numerous research centers and institutes that bring together faculty and students from different departments and disciplines. The university also offers a variety of research opportunities for undergraduate students, including summer research programs and research assistant positions. Penn’s location in Philadelphia also provides students with access to a vibrant research community and numerous internship opportunities in a variety of fields.

Career Services and Outcomes Comparison

Pomona College has a comprehensive career development office that offers students career counseling, job search strategies, resume writing, and networking opportunities. The college has a strong alumni network that provides students with mentorship, internships, and job opportunities in various fields, including education, law, medicine, and the arts.

an AP class with students participating in a room discussion

The University of Pennsylvania also has a robust career services office that offers students career decision-making, online job postings, on-campus recruiting, and alumni connections. The university has a vast alumni network that spans across the globe and includes CEOs, politicians, Nobel laureates, and prominent public figures. Students looking for a strong career support system or powerful alumni connections may prefer Pomona or Penn

Additionally, both Pomona College and the University of Pennsylvania have impressive career outcomes for their graduates. According to recent data, Pomona College graduates have a median starting salary of $60,000 and a median mid-career salary of $123,000. The University of Pennsylvania graduates have a median starting salary of $70,000 and a median mid-career salary of $129,000. Both colleges have high rates of graduates who go on to pursue advanced degrees or secure employment in their desired fields. These strong career outcomes demonstrate the effectiveness of the career services and alumni networks at both institutions.

Extracurricular Activities and Opportunities Comparison between Pomona College vs the University of Pennsylvania

Pomona College and the University of Pennsylvania offer students a wide range of extracurricular activities and opportunities. Pomona has numerous clubs and organizations, including a quidditch team, a mountaineering club, and a beekeeping club. The college also has a vibrant arts scene, including a dance company, a theater group, and a music conservatory.

The University of Pennsylvania has a strong Greek life presence, with over 50 fraternities and sororities. The university also has a renowned performing arts program, including a theater group, a symphony orchestra, and a jazz ensemble. Students looking for a unique or diverse extracurricular experience may prefer Pomona or Penn

However, there are some differences in the types of extracurricular activities offered at each institution. Pomona College has a strong focus on outdoor activities, with clubs dedicated to hiking, camping, and rock climbing. The college also has a sustainability club that focuses on environmental issues and promotes sustainable living. On the other hand, the University of Pennsylvania has a strong focus on community service, with many clubs and organizations dedicated to volunteering and making a positive impact on the local community.

Additionally, both institutions offer opportunities for students to study abroad and participate in international programs. Pomona College has partnerships with universities in over 50 countries, and offers programs in a variety of fields, including language immersion, environmental studies, and cultural studies. The University of Pennsylvania also has a strong international presence, with study abroad programs in over 50 countries, and opportunities for students to participate in international internships and research projects.

Alumni Network Comparison

Pomona College and the University of Pennsylvania have impressive alumni networks that provide unique opportunities for current students and recent graduates. Pomona has over 24,000 alumni worldwide, including Pulitzer Prize winners, Academy Award winners, and MacArthur fellows. The college’s alumni network offers students mentorship, internships, and career opportunities in various fields, including entertainment, technology, and politics. The University of Pennsylvania has over 300,000 alumni worldwide, including CEOs, politicians, and Nobel laureates. The university’s alumni network offers students access to a global community of leaders, entrepreneurs, and visionaries. Students looking for powerful or influential alumni connections may prefer Pomona or Penn

However, it’s important to note that the size of an alumni network isn’t the only factor to consider. The quality of the connections and the level of engagement from alumni can also make a significant difference. At Pomona, alumni are known for their strong commitment to the college and its students. They frequently return to campus to speak with students, attend events, and offer their expertise. Similarly, Penn alumni are known for their active involvement in the university’s programs and initiatives. They often serve as mentors, guest speakers, and advocates for current students. So, while both schools have impressive alumni networks, students should also consider the level of engagement and support they can expect from those networks when making their decision.

Student Diversity and Inclusivity Comparison between Pomona College vs the University of Pennsylvania

Pomona College and the University of Pennsylvania are committed to creating diverse and inclusive communities that embrace difference and foster equity and access. Pomona has a student body that includes students from over 60 countries, and a robust set of programs and initiatives that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, including a center for Black cultural and intellectual life, a queer resource center, and an intercultural center.

International students participating in a class

The University of Pennsylvania has a diverse student body that includes students from over 100 countries, and a range of programs and initiatives that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, including a center for Hispanic excellence, a center for Africana studies, and a center for gender, sexuality, and women’s studies. Students looking for a welcoming and inclusive campus environment may prefer Pomona or Penn

Additionally, both Pomona College and the University of Pennsylvania have active student organizations that promote diversity and inclusivity on campus. These organizations provide a platform for students to engage in discussions and activities related to social justice, cultural awareness, and community building.

Pomona has student groups such as the Asian American Sponsor Program, the Latinx Student Union, and the Disability Alliance, while Penn has organizations such as the Black Student League, the Asian Pacific Student Coalition, and the Queer Student Alliance. These groups offer a supportive and empowering community for students from diverse backgrounds, and contribute to the vibrant and inclusive campus culture at both institutions.

Campus Safety and Security Comparison

Pomona College and the University of Pennsylvania are committed to providing safe and secure campus environments for their students, faculty, and staff. Pomona has a campus safety and security department that provides 24-hour patrol, emergency response, and crime prevention services, as well as a student safety escort service and a campus-wide emergency notification system.

The university also has a campus safety and security department that provides 24-hour patrol, emergency response, and crime prevention services, as well as a student safety escort service and a campus-wide emergency notification system. Penn also has a comprehensive public safety department that includes a police department, an emergency communication center, and a safety education and outreach unit. Students looking for a safe and secure campus environment may prefer Pomona or Penn

Athletics Programs Comparison

Pomona College and the University of Pennsylvania have strong athletics programs that offer students the opportunity to compete at the NCAA Division III and Division I levels, respectively. Pomona has 21 varsity sports teams, including basketball, soccer, volleyball, and swimming, as well as a range of club and intramural sports options. The college also has impressive athletic facilities, including a multi-purpose stadium, a fitness center, and an aquatic center.

The University of Pennsylvania has 33 varsity sports teams, including football, baseball, basketball, and lacrosse, as well as a wide range of club and intramural sports options. The university also has impressive athletic facilities, including a multi-purpose stadium, a tennis center, and a weight room. Students looking for a strong athletics program or fitness facilities may prefer Pomona or Penn

Social Scene and Nightlife Comparison between Pomona College vs the University of Pennsylvania

Pomona College and the University of Pennsylvania offer students a diverse social scene and nightlife options, depending on their preferences. Pomona has a vibrant arts and culture scene, including concerts, plays, and performances, as well as a range of student parties and events. The college also has a nearby village with shops, restaurants, and movie theaters.

Group of students spending time

The University of Pennsylvania has a bustling city life, with a range of restaurants, bars, clubs, and museums in its vicinity. Students looking for a thriving arts and culture scene or city life may prefer Pomona or Penn

College Towns: Claremont vs Philadelphia

Pomona College and the University of Pennsylvania are located in two different college towns, with different vibes and amenities. Claremont is a quiet and charming suburb with tree-lined streets, small shops, and cafes, and a sense of community. The town is surrounded by natural growth, including scenic mountains, and ample hiking opportunities. Philadelphia is a bustling urban city with an eclectic mix of neighborhoods, including shops, museums, theaters, and restaurants. It’s a perfect blend of modern and historical, with a rich culture and art scene. Students looking for a small town or big city experience may prefer Pomona or Penn, respectively

Overall, Pomona College and the University of Pennsylvania are two excellent institutions that offer their students diverse academic, social, and cultural opportunities. Whether you’re looking for a suburban or urban environment, a liberal arts or specialized education, a tight-knit or diverse community, a personalized or innovative research experience, a strong or supportive alumni network, a unique or diverse extracurricular experience, a welcoming or inclusive campus environment, a safe and secure campus, strong athletics program or fitness facilities, a thriving arts and culture scene or city life, or a small town or big city experience, Pomona and Penn have something to offer to everyone.

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