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Haverford vs Pomona: A Comprehensive Look at Two Top-Ranked Colleges

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of a student smiling at the camera.

Haverford vs Pomona: A Comprehensive Look at Two Top-Ranked Colleges

If you’re considering attending a top-ranked college, congratulations! You’re already on the path toward some excellent opportunities and experiences. However, with so many top-notch schools to choose from, how do you know which one is the best fit for you? In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at Haverford vs Pomona College, two of the most highly ranked schools in the US, to help you make an informed decision.

Introduction: Why Compare Haverford vs. Pomona?

The decision to attend college is an important one, and it’s essential to pick a school that resonates with your values, interests, and personality. Haverford and Pomona are the top 4 and 21 liberal arts colleges in the US, renowned for their exceptional academics and vibrant campus cultures. However, they also have some differences that may make one of them a better fit for you. Let’s take a closer look.

Firstly, Haverford College is located in Haverford, Pennsylvania, while Pomona College is located in Claremont, California. This difference in location can have a significant impact on your college experience. Haverford’s campus is situated in a suburban area, while Pomona’s campus is located in a more urban environment. This means that the types of activities and opportunities available to students may differ between the two schools.

Secondly, Haverford and Pomona have different approaches to their academic programs. Haverford has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, with students encouraged to take courses across a range of subjects. Pomona, on the other hand, has a more traditional academic structure, with students required to choose a major and complete a set number of courses in that field. This difference in approach may appeal to different types of students, depending on their academic interests and goals.

The History and Founding of Haverford vs Pomona College

Haverford College was founded in 1833, making it one of the oldest colleges in the US. It was established by Quakers who wanted to create a school that valued intellectual rigor, social responsibility, and ethical reasoning. The college has a rich tradition of social justice activism, with students and faculty participating in numerous local and global initiatives.

One notable aspect of Haverford College’s history is its commitment to diversity and inclusion. In the 1960s, the college actively recruited African-American students and faculty, and in 1970, it became one of the first colleges in the US to establish a Black Studies program. Today, Haverford continues to prioritize diversity and inclusion, with initiatives such as the Multicultural Scholars Program and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Pomona College was founded in 1887 in Pomona, California, by a group of Congregationalists who wanted to create a school that combined rigorous academics with a vibrant campus life. The college has a strong commitment to sustainability, with multiple eco-friendly initiatives and courses that promote environmentalism.

Aerial view of Pomona college in daytime.

Over the years, Pomona College has become known for its small class sizes and personalized attention to students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1, allowing for close relationships between professors and students. The college also has a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to work alongside faculty members on cutting-edge research projects. In addition, Pomona College has a diverse student body, with students from all 50 states and over 60 countries, creating a rich and dynamic campus community.

Campus Location and Setting: Haverford vs. Pomona

Haverford College is located in Haverford, Pennsylvania, a small suburb of Philadelphia. The campus covers 200 acres of lush, green land and is surrounded by verdant forests and creeks. The college is known for its Gothic-style architecture, which gives it a charming and cozy feel.

Pomona College is located in Claremont, California, a sunny, upscale suburb near Los Angeles. The campus covers 140 acres of landscaped lawns, gardens, and courtyards and is surrounded by the San Gabriel Mountains. The college is known for its Spanish-style architecture, which gives it a romantic and elegant atmosphere.

Despite their differences in location and architecture, both Haverford and Pomona offer stunning natural surroundings that provide students with ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Haverford’s campus is home to several hiking trails that wind through the nearby forests and creeks, while Pomona’s location at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains offers students access to skiing, hiking, and other outdoor adventures. Additionally, both colleges are committed to sustainability and have implemented eco-friendly practices on their campuses, such as using renewable energy sources and promoting waste reduction.

Admissions Criteria: How Do They Differ?

Both Haverford and Pomona are highly selective schools, with acceptance rates of 14% and 7%, respectively. However, they differ in some aspects of their admissions criteria. Haverford values intellectual curiosity, empathy, and social responsibility, and seeks well-rounded applicants who have excelled in academics, extracurriculars, and community service. Pomona values academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, and diversity, and seeks applicants who have a deep passion for learning, a global perspective, and a commitment to social justice.

Additionally, Haverford places a strong emphasis on personal character and values and seeks applicants who demonstrate integrity, honesty, and a commitment to ethical behavior. In contrast, Pomona places a greater emphasis on intellectual curiosity and academic achievement and seeks applicants who have a strong academic record and a demonstrated passion for their chosen field of study.

Academic Programs Offered at Haverford vs Pomona College

Haverford College offers a wide range of academic programs, including majors in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The college has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary learning, with students encouraged to explore multiple academic fields and to conduct independent research. The college has a renowned honor code, which fosters academic integrity and self-governance among students.

In addition to its traditional academic programs, Haverford College also offers a number of unique and innovative courses and programs. For example, the college has a Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, which offers courses and opportunities for students to engage in social justice work and community service both locally and globally. Haverford also has a Bi-Co Environmental Studies Program, which allows students to take courses and conduct research in environmental science and policy at both Haverford. These programs, along with many others, provide students with a diverse and well-rounded education that prepares them for a variety of careers and life paths.

Female environmental student taking a sample from the river.

Pomona College offers a diverse range of academic programs, including majors in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The college has a strong emphasis on rigorous academics, with students expected to take a broad range of courses and engage in cutting-edge research. The college has a unique core curriculum, which exposes students to multiple academic fields and instills critical thinking and communication skills.

In addition to its traditional academic programs, Pomona College also offers several interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore topics from multiple perspectives. These programs include Environmental Analysis, Neuroscience, and Media Studies. Students in these programs take courses from multiple departments and engage in research that bridges different fields of study.

Pomona College also has a strong commitment to experiential learning, with opportunities for students to engage in internships, community service, and study abroad programs. The college has partnerships with organizations and institutions around the world, allowing students to gain real-world experience and cultural immersion. These experiences not only enhance students’ academic learning but also prepare them for success in their future careers.

Faculty and Student Ratio: Which College Offers More Support?

Both Haverford and Pomona have a low faculty-student ratio, with Haverford having a ratio of 9:1 and Pomona having a ratio of 8:1. This means that students have ample opportunities to interact with their professors, who are highly respected scholars in their fields. The colleges also offer extensive academic support services, including tutoring, writing centers, and career counseling.

However, there are some differences in the types of support offered by each college. Haverford has a strong emphasis on community-based learning, with many courses incorporating service projects and internships. This provides students with hands-on experience and the opportunity to apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Pomona, on the other hand, has a robust undergraduate research program, with many students working alongside faculty members on cutting-edge research projects.

Additionally, both colleges have a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs that provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and develop leadership skills. Haverford has a strong tradition of student-led organizations, with over 145 clubs and groups on campus. Pomona has a vibrant arts scene, with numerous music, theater, and dance performances throughout the year.

Student Body Diversity at Haverford vs Pomona College

Haverford College has a diverse student body, with students from 46 states and 41 countries. The college values inclusivity and equity and seeks to create a welcoming environment for all students, regardless of their background or identity. The college has multiple programs and initiatives that support diversity and social justice, including multicultural centers, affinity groups, and mentorship programs.

Pomona College also has a diverse student body, with students from 48 states and 32 countries. The college values diversity and multiculturalism and seeks to create a supportive community for all students. The college has multiple programs and initiatives that promote diversity and social justice, including multicultural centers, diversity committees, and student-led initiatives.

One of the ways that Pomona College promotes diversity is through its admissions process. The college actively seeks out students from underrepresented backgrounds and provides resources to support their success. Additionally, the college offers a variety of courses that explore issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and other forms of identity.

Students at Pomona College are also encouraged to engage in activism and advocacy work. The college has a strong tradition of student-led activism, and there are many opportunities for students to get involved in social justice initiatives on campus and in the surrounding community. Through these experiences, students develop leadership skills and a commitment to making positive change in the world.

Campus Culture: What Sets Haverford vs. Pomona Apart?

Haverford and Pomona have unique campus cultures that set them apart from other schools. Haverford is known for its rigorous academics, its commitment to ethical reasoning, and its laid-back and friendly atmosphere. The college has a strong student government and a thriving arts scene, with multiple theatrical productions, music concerts, and art exhibitions each year.

Pomona is known for its rigorous academics, its passionate and engaged student body, and its commitment to social justice. The college has a strong sense of community and collaboration, with students encouraged to work together on research projects, community service initiatives, and creative endeavors. The college has a vibrant arts scene, with multiple musical performances, theater productions, and art shows each year.

Additionally, both Haverford and Pomona have a strong emphasis on undergraduate research opportunities. Haverford offers a variety of research grants and fellowships for students to pursue independent research projects, while Pomona has a dedicated Office of Undergraduate Research that provides resources and support for students interested in conducting research. These opportunities allow students to gain hands-on experience in their fields of study and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in their respective disciplines.

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities at Haverford vs. Pomona

Haverford College has a strong athletics program, with multiple varsity teams and intramural leagues. The college also has a wide range of extracurricular activities, including political clubs, service organizations, and cultural groups. The college values community service and encourages students to get involved in local and global initiatives.

Additionally, Haverford College offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities for students to enjoy. The college has a beautiful nature trail that winds through the campus, as well as a rock climbing wall and a ropes course. Students can also participate in outdoor adventure trips, such as backpacking and kayaking, through the Outdoor Action program. These activities provide students with opportunities to explore the natural beauty of the surrounding area and develop leadership and teamwork skills.

rowing team

Pomona College also has a strong athletics program, with multiple varsity teams and intramural leagues. The college also has a wide range of extracurricular activities, including political clubs, service organizations, and cultural groups. The college values social justice and encourages students to get involved in local and global initiatives that promote equity and inclusivity.

One of the unique aspects of athletics at Pomona College is the emphasis on balancing academics and sports. Student-athletes are encouraged to prioritize their studies and are provided with academic support to help them succeed both on and off the field. Additionally, the college has a strong commitment to sustainability and has implemented eco-friendly practices in its athletic facilities and events.

Aside from athletics, Pomona College offers a variety of opportunities for students to engage in the arts. The college has a vibrant performing arts scene, with multiple theater productions and music concerts throughout the year. There are also opportunities for students to get involved in visual arts, such as photography and painting, through student-run clubs and organizations.

Career Opportunities Post-College: Comparing Outcomes for Graduates

Haverford and Pomona have impressive outcomes for their graduates, with high rates of employment and graduate school acceptance. Haverford graduates go on to pursue careers in multiple fields, including finance, law, medicine, and education. Pomona graduates also pursue a wide range of careers, including consulting, research, social work, medicine, and entrepreneurship.

However, there are some differences in the career paths of Haverford and Pomona graduates. Haverford graduates tend to have a higher percentage of alumni who pursue careers in academia and research, while Pomona graduates have a higher percentage of alumni who pursue careers in the tech industry.

Additionally, both colleges have strong alumni networks that can provide valuable connections and opportunities for recent graduates. Haverford’s alumni network is particularly strong in the Northeastern United States, while Pomona’s alumni network has a strong presence on the West Coast.

Alumni Networks: Which College Offers More Connections?

Both Haverford and Pomona have robust alumni networks, with graduates who are leaders in multiple industries and fields. Haverford has a small but tightly-knit community of alumni who stay connected through social events, career networks, and mentorship programs. Pomona has a larger alumni network, with graduates who serve on boards, mentorship programs, and fundraising campaigns.

a female student being interviewed

However, while Pomona’s alumni network may be larger, Haverford’s alumni are known for their strong sense of loyalty and willingness to help fellow alumni. Haverford’s alumni have a reputation for going out of their way to support each other, whether it’s through job referrals, networking opportunities, or simply offering advice and guidance. This tight-knit community can be especially beneficial for recent graduates who are just starting out in their careers and looking for guidance and support from more experienced professionals.

Conclusion: Which is the Better Fit for You?

Choosing between Haverford and Pomona can be a tough decision, but with the right information, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your values and goals. Both schools offer exceptional academics, a vibrant campus culture, and amazing opportunities for personal and professional growth. Ultimately, the best fit for you will depend on your personality, interests, and aspirations. Visit the campuses, talk to current students and faculty, and do your research to make an informed decision that will set you up for success.

It’s important to consider the location and environment of each school as well. Haverford is located in a suburban area outside of Philadelphia, while Pomona is located in a suburban area outside of Los Angeles. Haverford has a smaller campus and a tight-knit community, while Pomona has a larger campus and a more diverse student body. Think about what kind of environment you thrive in and what kind of location you prefer when making your decision.

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