Swarthmore vs Pomona: Which College is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Swarthmore vs Pomona: Which College is Right for You?

Choosing the right college can be a daunting task for any student. With so many options available, it can be challenging to distinguish one college from another. This article aims to compare Swarthmore vs Pomona’s popular liberal arts colleges to help students make an informed decision when deciding which college to attend.

Swarthmore vs Pomona: Location and Campus Size

Swarthmore and Pomona are both located in smaller towns outside of major cities. Swarthmore is situated in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, while Pomona is located in Claremont, California. While the two campuses are separated by almost 3,000 miles, there are similarities in their size and general vibe. Swarthmore’s campus is 399 acres, while Pomona sits on a 140-acre campus. Both have sprawling green spaces, intimate class sizes, and accessible faculty.

Despite their similarities, there are also some notable differences between the two campuses. Swarthmore’s campus is more densely populated with buildings, while Pomona’s campus has more open spaces and gardens. Additionally, Swarthmore’s campus is located in a more wooded area, while Pomona’s campus is situated in a more arid climate. However, both campuses offer a variety of extracurricular activities and opportunities for students to get involved in their communities.

Swarthmore vs Pomona: Curriculum and Academic Programs Offered

Swarthmore and Pomona are both renowned for their excellent academic programs. Swarthmore ranks among the top liberal arts colleges in the country with a focus on interdisciplinary study, critical thinking, and a commitment to social responsibility. Pomona, on the other hand, has a distinct reputation for its strengths in STEM fields and its prestigious Harvey Mudd engineering program. Both colleges offer small class sizes, and students are afforded ample opportunities to work closely with faculty through independent study projects and research opportunities.

Additionally, Swarthmore and Pomona offer a wide range of extracurricular activities and clubs for students to get involved in. Swarthmore has a strong emphasis on the arts, with a renowned theater program and a student-run art gallery. Pomona has a thriving athletic program, with numerous varsity sports teams and a state-of-the-art athletic facility. Both colleges also have active student government associations and community service organizations, providing students with opportunities to engage in leadership and service activities outside of the classroom.

Student Life at Swarthmore vs Pomona: Activities, Clubs, and Organizations

Student life at both colleges is diverse and flourishing. Swarthmore offers its students over 100 student organizations, ranging from community service routines to cultural groups. Pomona College, with its consortium partners, offers over 600 clubs and organizations in which students can participate. Both institutions offer ample opportunities for extracurricular involvement and cultivate a vibrant student life.

Additionally, both Swarthmore and Pomona have a wide range of athletic teams and intramural sports for students to participate in. Swarthmore has 22 varsity sports teams, while Pomona has 21 varsity teams and 17 club sports. Both colleges also have state-of-the-art athletic facilities, including gyms, swimming pools, and outdoor fields. Whether you are a serious athlete or just looking to stay active, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in sports at Swarthmore and Pomona.

Housing Options Available at Swarthmore vs Pomona

Both Swarthmore and Pomona guarantee on-campus housing to all students for the duration of their college careers. At Swarthmore, students live in one of eight residence halls on campus, each with its unique character and culture. Pomona College, with its consortium partners, offers an extensive range of housing options, including traditional residence halls, suites, and apartments.

Students lounging on a college dorm.

Additionally, both Swarthmore and Pomona offer housing options for students who wish to live off-campus. Swarthmore provides resources and support for students who choose to live in nearby apartments or houses, while Pomona offers a variety of off-campus housing options through its consortium partners. These options allow students to experience living in the surrounding communities while still being connected to campus life.

Faculty and Student Ratio at Swarthmore vs Pomona

Both Swarthmore and Pomona take pride in their commitment to providing students with a personalized education. They achieve this through small class sizes and accessible faculty. Swarthmore has an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio, while Pomona has an 8:1 ratio. Both institutions have dedicated professors who are passionate about their subjects and care deeply about their students.

a professor in front of his class

Furthermore, the small faculty and student ratio at both Swarthmore and Pomona allows for more opportunities for students to engage in research and independent study projects. Students have the chance to work closely with professors and receive personalized guidance and mentorship. This not only enhances their academic experience but also prepares them for graduate studies and future careers.

Swarthmore vs Pomona: Admission Requirements

Getting into Swarthmore or Pomona is highly competitive. With acceptance rates of 8% and 7%, respectively, the admission panels expect students who demonstrate not only academic excellence but also an exceptional extracurricular record. Applicants are expected to submit excellent test scores, and essays and engage in meaningful extracurricular activities.

Additionally, both Swarthmore and Pomona value diversity and seek to admit students from a wide range of backgrounds. They also prioritize students who have demonstrated leadership skills and a commitment to community service. It is important for applicants to showcase their unique experiences and perspectives in their application materials.

Furthermore, Swarthmore and Pomona have a holistic approach to admissions, meaning they consider the whole person and not just their academic achievements. This includes factors such as personal character, creativity, and potential for growth. Therefore, applicants should aim to present a well-rounded and authentic portrayal of themselves in their application.

Tuition Fees, Financial Aid, and Scholarships at Swarthmore vs Pomona

Both institutions offer excellent financial aid packages, with approximately 50% of students at each institution receiving some form of financial aid. Pomona is consistently ranked as one of the colleges that meet 100% demonstrated financial need, meaning that if you qualify for financial aid, it will be provided. Similarly, Swarthmore meets 100% of the student’s demonstrated need. The average tuition fee for Swarthmore and Pomona is around $59,000 per year.

Additionally, both Swarthmore and Pomona offer a variety of scholarships to their students. Swarthmore offers merit-based scholarships, such as the McCabe Scholarship, which covers full tuition and fees for four years. Pomona offers scholarships for academic achievement, leadership, and community service, such as the Pomona College Scholars Program.

Graduation hat with coins underneath it on a wooden table.

It is important to note that both institutions also offer work-study programs, which allow students to work on campus and earn money to help pay for their education. Swarthmore’s work-study program is need-based, while Pomona’s program is available to all students regardless of financial need.

Post-Graduation Opportunities: Alumni Network, Career Services, and Graduate School Placement

Both Swarthmore and Pomona have active alumni networks that students can access post-graduation. The schools offer career services with a wide range of career resources, including resume critiques, job search strategies, and access to various job fairs. Swarthmore’s graduates are known to have a high acceptance rate to top-notch graduate school programs, while Pomona students have an easier time finding employment.

In addition to the alumni networks and career services, both Swarthmore and Pomona offer various post-graduation opportunities for their students. Swarthmore has a robust fellowship program that provides funding for students to pursue research, internships, and other projects after graduation. Pomona, on the other hand, has a strong entrepreneurship program that helps students start their own businesses and provides them with resources and mentorship.

Furthermore, both schools have partnerships with various organizations and companies that offer job and internship opportunities exclusively to their graduates. These partnerships provide students with a competitive advantage in the job market and help them secure employment in their desired fields.

Campus Diversity: Comparing the Demographics of Swarthmore and Pomona

Swarthmore and Pomona are both committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Swarthmore has a student population that is 50% women and 50% men, with minorities accounting for a quarter of the student body. Pomona, on the other hand, has a 43% minority student population, with women accounting for 52% of the student body.

It is important to note that both Swarthmore and Pomona have made efforts to increase diversity on their campuses in recent years. Swarthmore has implemented a need-blind admissions policy, which means that a student’s ability to pay for tuition is not taken into consideration during the admissions process. Pomona has also taken steps to increase diversity, including offering scholarships to first-generation college students and partnering with organizations that support underrepresented students in higher education.

Sports Teams, Facilities, and Intramural Programs Offered by Swarthmore and Pomona

Both Swarthmore and Pomona offer ample opportunities for athletic engagement. Swarthmore boasts a considerable range of performances and sports, including soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, and swimming. Pomona, with its stronger focus on STEM, has a considerable number of intramural athletic activities, including hiking and rock climbing clubs and a robust swimming and diving program.

View of s male swimmer doing laps in the pool.

In addition to the sports teams and intramural programs offered, both Swarthmore and Pomona have top-notch athletic facilities. Swarthmore’s athletic facilities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, a track and field complex, and multiple outdoor fields for various sports. Pomona’s athletic facilities include a 50-meter pool, a rock climbing wall, and a fitness center equipped with the latest exercise equipment. Both colleges prioritize the health and wellness of their students, providing them with ample opportunities to stay active and engaged in physical activity.

Campus Safety: Comparing Crime Rates on the Campuses of Swarthmore and Pomona.

The safety and well-being of students are paramount in both Swarthmore and Pomona. The two institutions work hard to keep their campuses safe and secure for all students.

However, there were some differences in the number of property crimes reported on each campus. Swarthmore reported 10 incidents of theft and 3 incidents of burglary, while Pomona reported 6 incidents of theft and 2 incidents of burglary. Both institutions have taken steps to address these issues, including increasing campus security and implementing educational programs to promote responsible behavior and prevent theft. Overall, students can feel confident in the efforts made by Swarthmore and Pomona to maintain a safe and secure campus environment.

Student Reviews: What Current Students Think About their Experience at Swarthmore or Pomona?

Both institutions receive overwhelmingly positive reviews from current students. Students at Swarthmore appreciate the intimate and challenging academic environment and excellent student life. Pomona’s students value its science and engineering programs’ rigor and its collaborative community-oriented spirit.

Additionally, many students at both Swarthmore and Pomona praise the supportive and engaged faculty members who are dedicated to their student’s success. The small class sizes at both institutions allow for personalized attention and meaningful interactions with professors. Furthermore, students at both schools appreciate the diverse range of extracurricular activities and clubs available, which provide opportunities for personal growth and leadership development.

Faculty Profiles: Distinguishing Features of Professors at Swarthmore versus those at Pomona.

Both Swarthmore and Pomona have faculty that are exceptional in their respective fields, with a commitment to teaching and scholarship. At Swarthmore, the professors are known to be approachable and invested in their students’ success. Pomona’s faculty are known for their dedication to undergraduate research and their commitment to interdisciplinary education.

Another distinguishing feature of Swarthmore’s professors is their emphasis on critical thinking and intellectual curiosity. They encourage students to question assumptions and challenge conventional wisdom, fostering a culture of intellectual inquiry. In contrast, Pomona’s professors are known for their emphasis on experiential learning and hands-on education. They often incorporate real-world experiences and practical applications into their teaching, preparing students for careers in their chosen fields.

Despite these differences, both Swarthmore and Pomona share a commitment to diversity and inclusion in their faculty. They actively seek out and hire professors from diverse backgrounds, ensuring that students are exposed to a wide range of perspectives and experiences. This commitment to diversity also extends to the curriculum, with both colleges offering courses that explore issues of race, gender, sexuality, and social justice.

Campus Sustainability Initiatives: Comparing the Environmental Footprint of Swarthmore versus that of Pomona.

Both institutions pride themselves on being environmentally responsible. Swarthmore has active sustainability programs, including a thriving environmental studies program and initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. Pomona, which is situated in a sustainable city, promotes sustainable living through academic programs that study sustainable development and an active garden program.

However, when it comes to renewable energy, Swarthmore has made more progress than Pomona. Swarthmore has installed solar panels on several buildings, which generate a significant portion of the campus’s energy needs. In contrast, Pomona has yet to invest in renewable energy sources on campus. This is an area where Pomona could improve its sustainability efforts and reduce its environmental impact.

History and Traditions of Swarthmore versus those of Pomona.

Both Swarthmore and Pomona have a rich history and tradition. Swarthmore, which was founded in 1864 by Quakers, is known for its Quaker values and its commitment to social responsibility. Pomona, which was founded in 1887, has a history of academic excellence and its focus on providing a liberal education for students.

Pomona College signage

Despite their differences, both Swarthmore and Pomona share a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Swarthmore has a long-standing commitment to admitting students regardless of their race, religion, or gender, and has been recognized for its efforts to create a welcoming and inclusive community. Pomona has also made strides in promoting diversity and inclusion, with initiatives such as its “Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan” and its commitment to increasing the number of underrepresented students on campus.

Another key difference between Swarthmore and Pomona is their location. Swarthmore is located in a suburban area outside of Philadelphia, while Pomona is located in the city of Claremont, California. This difference in location has an impact on the student experience, with Swarthmore students having access to the cultural and historical attractions of Philadelphia, while Pomona students have access to the vibrant arts and culture scene of Los Angeles.

Study Abroad Programs Available for Students enrolled in either College.

Both Swarthmore and Pomona offer extensive study abroad programs with options to study in various parts of the world. Swarthmore has an exotic assortment of programs in Morocco, Japan, and Costa Rica, while Pomona’s partnership with Claremont McKenna and Scripps Colleges provides students with opportunities to study in more than 30 different countries.

a group of foreign students carrying the flag of the country they are from

Studying abroad is a great way to gain a global perspective and immerse oneself in a new culture. Swarthmore and Pomona both offer programs that allow students to take courses in a foreign language, participate in internships, and engage in community service projects. These programs are designed to help students develop a deeper understanding of the world and their place in it.

In addition to the academic benefits, studying abroad can also be a life-changing experience. Students have the opportunity to make new friends, try new foods, and explore new places. They can also develop valuable skills such as adaptability, independence, and cross-cultural communication, which can be useful in their future careers.

Unique Opportunities are Available to Students Attracted to either the College’s Location or Reputation

Swarthmore’s location in Pennsylvania and its focus on the humanities and social sciences might attract those who value a classic liberal arts curriculum. Pomona’s proximity to the entertainment capital of the world and its reputation for STEM excellence may appeal to students looking for a career in Technology or the Arts.

Additionally, Swarthmore offers a unique opportunity for students interested in environmental studies. The college has a 220-acre arboretum that serves as a living laboratory for students to conduct research and gain hands-on experience in environmental science.

On the other hand, Pomona College has a strong emphasis on international studies and offers a variety of study-abroad programs. Students can choose from over 50 programs in more than 30 countries, allowing them to gain a global perspective and expand their cultural horizons.

Future Prospects for Growth & Innovation: The Road Ahead for both Colleges.

Both Swarthmore and Pomona have ambitious plans in place to continue to provide their students with first-rate education and innovative programs. Swarthmore’s plans for the future include a new biology building, an expansion of its McCabe Library, and renovations to its athletic facilities. Pomona plans to continue investing in its ground-breaking engineering program, and its computer science and cinema studies programs while innovating and updating its academic facilities.

In addition to these plans, both colleges are also exploring ways to increase diversity and inclusivity on their campuses. Swarthmore has recently launched a new initiative to recruit and support students from underrepresented backgrounds, while Pomona has established a task force to address issues of diversity and equity. Both colleges recognize the importance of creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students and are committed to making meaningful progress in this area.

Conclusion: Making Your Decision – How to Choose between Swarthmore & Pomona

Choosing between Swarthmore and Pomona can be challenging, but narrowing down your decision comes down to the atmosphere and students’ personal priorities. Both institutions offer academic excellence, a thriving student experience, and ample opportunities for student engagement. The choice ultimately comes down to what your priorities are as a student and what type of college environment you feel would best fit your personality and career goals.

One factor to consider when choosing between Swarthmore and Pomona is the location of the college. Swarthmore is located in a suburban area outside of Philadelphia, while Pomona is located in the city of Claremont, California. This difference in location can greatly impact a student’s experience, as the surrounding community can offer different opportunities for internships, cultural events, and outdoor activities.

Another important consideration is the size of the student body. Swarthmore has a smaller student body of around 1,600 students, while Pomona has a larger student body of around 1,700 students. This difference in size can affect the sense of community and the opportunities for socializing and networking. It’s important to consider whether you prefer a smaller, more intimate community or a larger, more diverse community when making your decision.


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