Northeastern vs Pomona: A Comprehensive Look at the Differences

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a female student thinking

Northeastern vs Pomona: A Comprehensive Look at the Differences

Are you considering attending college in the northeastern United States or on the West Coast? Two highly-regarded universities located in these regions are Northeastern University and Pomona College. Both universities offer unique academic and social experiences, so it’s important to understand the differences before making a decision. This article will provide a comprehensive look at the similarities and differences between Northeastern vs Pomona, covering everything from campus life to job placement rates. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better idea of which university might be the best fit for you.

Background: History and Overview of Northeastern vs Pomona

Northeastern University was founded in 1898 as the Evening Institute for Younger Men and has since grown into a comprehensive research university with over 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

The university is located in Boston, Massachusetts, and is known for its cooperative education program, where students alternate between semesters in the classroom and semesters working in related industries.

Pomona College, on the other hand, was founded in 1887 and is one of the oldest and most prestigious liberal arts colleges in the United States. Located in Claremont, California, Pomona is part of the Claremont Colleges consortium and has a student body of approximately 1,700.

Despite their differences in size and location, Northeastern and Pomona share a commitment to providing their students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in their chosen fields.

Two students talking in a desk with a laptop.

Northeastern’s co-op program allows students to gain real-world experience and make valuable connections in their industries, while Pomona’s small class sizes and emphasis on critical thinking and analysis help students develop the skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Both institutions also have a strong focus on research and innovation. Northeastern is home to a number of research centers and institutes, including the Global Resilience Institute and the Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice, while Pomona’s faculty and students are engaged in a wide range of research projects across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Location: Comparing the Climate, Geography, and Surrounding Areas

One major difference between these universities is their locations. Northeastern University is located in Boston, which experiences cold, snowy winters and mild summers. The city is known for its historical landmarks, rich culture, and diverse population.

In contrast, Pomona College is located in California, which has warm, sunny weather year-round. The surrounding area is known for its beautiful beaches and outdoor recreational opportunities, and students at Pomona have easy access to several other colleges in the Claremont consortium.

Another factor to consider when comparing the locations of these universities is their proximity to major cities. Northeastern University is located in the heart of Boston, a bustling city with a thriving economy and numerous job opportunities for graduates.

On the other hand, Pomona College is located in a suburban area about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. While students at Pomona have access to the cultural and entertainment offerings of Los Angeles, they may need to travel further for job opportunities after graduation.

Campus Life: Northeastern vs Pomona

Another major difference between these universities is campus life. Northeastern University has a large and diverse student body, with over 300 student organizations and clubs to choose from. The university also has a strong focus on community service and offers many opportunities for students to get involved in volunteer work.

At Pomona College, the student body is more tight-knit, and students can easily get to know their peers and professors. Though smaller in size, Pomona offers a range of clubs and organizations for students to join, as well as access to Claremont consortium events and activities.

Additionally, both universities offer a variety of extracurricular activities for students to participate in. Northeastern University has a strong emphasis on co-op programs, which allow students to gain real-world experience in their field of study.

Pomona College offers a unique outdoor education program where students can participate in activities such as rock climbing, backpacking, and kayaking. Both universities also have a range of cultural events and performances throughout the year, providing students with opportunities to explore different interests and learn about different cultures.

Academics: Northeastern vs Pomona

Both Northeastern and Pomona offer top-notch academic programs, but their curriculums and majors differ. Northeastern University’s strong focus on experiential learning means that students engage in practical, hands-on work related to their majors.

The university offers over 90 undergraduate majors and has a large graduate program as well, including law, business, and engineering.

Group of students sitting on the bench while using the alaptop.

Pomona, on the other hand, is strictly a liberal arts college, meaning that all students are required to take a range of humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences courses, regardless of their major. The college offers 47 majors and students benefit from small class sizes and personalized attention from professors.

Additionally, both Northeastern and Pomona offer opportunities for students to conduct research and participate in internships. Northeastern’s co-op program allows students to gain real-world experience in their field of study, while Pomona’s summer research program provides funding for students to conduct independent research projects with faculty members. These opportunities enhance students’ academic experiences and prepare them for future careers.

Faculty: Northeastern vs Pomona

The faculty at Northeastern and Pomona differ in their teaching styles and research opportunities. At Northeastern, professors are known for their practical approach to teaching and their real-world experience in their respective fields.

The university has a strong emphasis on research, and students have the opportunity to conduct independent studies and work on research projects with faculty members.

Pomona, on the other hand, emphasizes a more traditional liberal arts education, and faculty members are known for their personalized attention to students. The faculty-to-student ratio at Pomona is very low, allowing for a more intimate classroom experience.

Despite these differences, both universities have highly qualified faculty members who are dedicated to their students’ success. At Northeastern, professors often bring their industry experience into the classroom, providing students with practical knowledge and skills that are directly applicable to their future careers.

At Pomona, faculty members are committed to helping students develop critical thinking and analytical skills, which are essential for success in any field.

Additionally, both universities offer opportunities for students to engage with faculty members outside of the classroom. At Northeastern, students can participate in co-op programs, which allow them to work in their field of study and gain valuable experience while still in school.

Pomona offers research opportunities for students, allowing them to work closely with faculty members on projects that align with their interests and career goals.

Admissions Process: Acceptance Rates, Application Requirements, and Scholarships

The admissions process for Northeastern and Pomona can be competitive, but the application requirements and acceptance rates differ. Northeastern University requires standardized test scores and essays as part of the application, and their acceptance rate is around 18%.

Unidentified person writing in a paper.


Pomona College has a much lower acceptance rate at around 7%, and has a test-optional admissions policy. The college also offers both need-based and merit-based scholarships to admitted students.

It is important to note that both Northeastern and Pomona have holistic admissions processes, meaning that they consider factors beyond just test scores and grades. They also take into account extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. Additionally, both schools offer resources for prospective students to learn more about the admissions process, such as campus tours, information sessions, and virtual events.

Cost of Attendance: Northeastern vs Pomona

Both Northeastern and Pomona are private universities and can be expensive to attend. Northeastern’s tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year are approximately $60,000, while Pomona’s tuition and fees for the same year are around $58,000.

However, both universities offer need-based financial aid and have generous scholarship programs to offset costs. It’s important to consider the cost of attendance when deciding which university to attend.

Additionally, students should also factor in the cost of living when considering attending either Northeastern or Pomona. Both universities are located in areas with a high cost of living, which can add to the overall expenses.

However, both universities offer on-campus housing options and resources to help students find affordable off-campus housing. It’s important to research and budget for all expenses when making a decision about attending either university.

Career Services: Northeastern vs Pomona

One important consideration when attending university is the job placement and career opportunities available after graduation. Both Northeastern and Pomona have strong career services offices that work to help students find internships, co-op experiences, and full-time employment.

Northeastern’s cooperative education program allows students to gain hands-on experience in their field of study, making them more competitive in the job market. Pomona College has a dedicated alumni network that helps graduates connect with each other and find job opportunities.

In addition to the career services offered by Northeastern and Pomona, both universities also have strong partnerships with local and national companies. These partnerships provide students with access to exclusive job opportunities and networking events.

Northeastern’s co-op program has partnerships with over 3,000 employers, while Pomona’s alumni network includes successful professionals in a variety of industries.

Furthermore, both universities offer resources and support for students who are interested in entrepreneurship and starting their own businesses. Northeastern’s entrepreneurship program, IDEA, provides students with mentorship, funding, and resources to turn their ideas into successful ventures.

Pomona’s Draper Center for Community Partnerships offers workshops and funding opportunities for students interested in social entrepreneurship and community-based projects.

Campus Safety: Northeastern vs Pomona

Campus safety is a top concern for students and their families. Both Northeastern and Pomona have strong security measures in place to keep their campuses safe. Northeastern’s campus is located in a busy urban area, so the university has a large police force and offers a number of safety resources for students.

Pomona College’s campus is located in a residential area with low crime rates, and the college has its own safety department to monitor campus activity.

Female student smiling at the camera while sitting.

Despite the security measures in place, students need to take precautions to ensure their safety. Both universities offer safety training programs and encourage students to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity. Additionally, students can take advantage of safety escorts provided by campus security.

In the event of an emergency, both Northeastern and Pomona have emergency alert systems in place to quickly notify students and staff. These systems include text messages, emails, and loudspeakers on campus. It is important for students to keep their contact information up to date to ensure they receive these alerts in a timely manner.

Student Housing: Dorm Rooms, Apartments, and Commuting Options

Another major consideration when attending university is housing. Both Northeastern and Pomona offer on-campus housing options, as well as off-campus apartments and commuting options.

Northeastern’s on-campus housing includes traditional dorm rooms and apartment-style living, and the university works with students to find off-campus housing options. Pomona offers on-campus housing in the form of dorms and suites and also has off-campus apartments available for upperclassmen.

It’s important to note that living on campus can provide a unique college experience, as it allows students to be fully immersed in campus life and easily participate in extracurricular activities. However, off-campus housing can offer more independence and flexibility, as well as potentially lower costs. Commuting options, such as public transportation or biking, can also be a viable option for students who prefer to live off-campus but still want to be close to campus.

Athletics Department: Northeastern vs Pomona

Lastly, athletics can be an important aspect of university life. Northeastern and Pomona have different approaches to their athletics programs. Northeastern has a strong Division I athletics program, with over 18 varsity sports teams that compete in the Colonial Athletic Association. The university’s athletic facilities include a state-of-the-art gym and sports complex.

Pomona, which competes in Division III athletics, offers a range of varsity sports teams and several intramural and recreational sports programs. The college’s athletic facilities are smaller in scale but still offer a range of fitness and sports options for students.

Moreover, both universities have unique fan cultures surrounding their sports teams. Northeastern’s hockey team, in particular, has a dedicated following known as the “Doghouse,” who attend games in full force, wearing school colors and cheering loudly.

Pomona’s Sagehens also has a strong fan base, with students and alumni attending games and matches to support their teams. The college also hosts an annual “Sagehen Day,” where all sports teams compete and the community comes together to celebrate athletics.

It’s important to note that athletics can also have a significant impact on a university’s reputation and recruitment efforts. Northeastern’s success in athletics has helped to raise the school’s profile and attract top student-athletes. Similarly, Pomona’s commitment to providing a range of sports options for students has helped to create a well-rounded and active student body.

Alumni Success Stories: Northeastern vs Pomona

Finally, it’s worth noting some of the notable graduates from Northeastern University and Pomona College. Northeastern graduates include actress Rachel Dratch, musician Aimee Mann, and entrepreneur Brian Halligan. Pomona College alumni include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, novelist David Foster Wallace, and journalist Fareed Zakaria.

Group of students huddled together to smile for the camera.

However, there are many other successful alumni from both universities who have made significant contributions in their respective fields. For instance, Northeastern University has produced notable graduates such as journalist Lisa Ling, astronaut William Oefelein, and former CEO of Dunkin’ Brands Nigel Travis.

Pomona College has also seen its fair share of successful alumni, including Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson, and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina.

It’s important to note that the success of these alumni is a testament to the quality of education and opportunities provided by both Northeastern University and Pomona College. These universities have a long-standing tradition of producing graduates who go on to make a positive impact in their communities and beyond.

Social Life: Northeastern vs Pomona

When deciding where to attend university, social life is an important consideration. Northeastern and Pomona offer different opportunities for nightlife, dining, and community engagement. Boston, where Northeastern is located, has a thriving nightlife scene, with several bars and clubs frequented by college students.

The university also has a range of dining options, from traditional dining halls to cafes and food trucks. Pomona, located in Claremont, has a more low-key social scene, with a focus on community engagement and outdoor activities. The college’s dining halls offer a range of healthy and sustainable food options.

At Northeastern, students can also participate in a variety of community engagement opportunities, such as volunteering at local non-profit organizations or participating in service-learning courses. The university has partnerships with over 600 community organizations, providing students with ample opportunities to make a positive impact in the surrounding neighborhoods.

On the other hand, Pomona College offers a unique outdoor experience for students. The college is located near several hiking trails and outdoor recreational areas, providing students with opportunities to explore the natural beauty of Southern California.

Additionally, the college hosts several outdoor events throughout the year, such as picnics and outdoor concerts, which allow students to socialize and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Conclusion: Which University is Right for You?

Now that you’ve learned about the similarities and differences between Northeastern University and Pomona College, it’s time to make a decision. If you’re looking for a large university with a diverse student body, strong career services, and a focus on experiential learning, Northeastern may be the right choice for you.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a small, liberal arts college with personalized attention from faculty, a tight-knit community, and sunny California weather, Pomona may be the better option. Ultimately, it’s important to consider your own academic and social preferences when choosing a university.

Group of students talking in front of the classroom.

It’s also worth noting that both Northeastern and Pomona offer a variety of extracurricular activities and opportunities for students to get involved on campus. From sports teams to student organizations to community service projects, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your college experience at either university.

Additionally, both schools have strong alumni networks that can provide valuable connections and resources after graduation. So, as you weigh your options, be sure to consider not just the academic programs and campus culture, but also the opportunities for personal and professional growth outside of the classroom.

If you’re set on getting into a world-class college but aren’t sure how to make it happen, we can help! AdmissionSight is a leading college entrance expert with over a decade of experience helping students just like you get into the schools of their dreams.

At AdmissionSight, we focus on offering a wide range of services, all aimed at helping students perfect their applications to catch the attention of admissions officers. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about what we offer.


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