Pomona College Ranked #4 in U.S. News & World Report
Pomona College has been ranked fourth among all liberal arts colleges in America by U.S. News & World Report in the magazine's 2004 guide to “America's Best Colleges.” The ranking is Pomona's highest since the annual survey began in the 1980s. In the previous 10 years, the college had finished fifth in the U.S. News survey eight times, along with one seventh-place and one eighth-place ranking.
In this year’s results, released on August 22, Pomona tied for the fourth spot with Carleton College and Wellesley College. Williams was ranked first, followed by Amherst College at second and Swarthmore College at third.
In the most recent survey, Pomona College also ranked second in selectivity, ninth in graduation rate and 16th in diversity of its student body among the nation’s 217 liberal arts colleges.College administrators were pleased to be again named among the nation’s leading small liberal arts colleges. “I am delighted that the excellence of Pomona College has once again been recognized by U.S. News and World Report in their annual survey," said David Oxtoby, Pomona's president. "Qualities such as our academic excellence, the small size of our classes, the strength of our student body, and the support of our alumni are all important aspects of the College that contribute to its high ranking. At the same time, it is important to emphasize that other distinctive features of liberal arts colleges are not revealed in such a study. I hope that this survey will encourage prospective students to find out about what makes Pomona College unique in the ranks of higher education.”
One of those qualities, said Ann Quinley, vice president and dean of students, is the quality of Pomona's community. "The student community is bound together by an interest in learning and by an ambition to do well in academic pursuits, [yet] students are collaborative rather than competitive—an attitude that is encouraged by faculty." Quinley also noted that "The many opportunities to do research with faculty build experience that is valuable for graduate and medical school and cements life-long friendships between students and their professors."
Pomona College is the founding member of The Claremont Colleges, a consortium of five independent undergraduate and two graduate institutions, that did particularly well in the U.S. News rankings. Among the other members of the consortium to be named, Claremont McKenna College ranked 12th; Harvey Mudd College tied for 17th; and Scripps College tied for 34th.
Pomona College also made news recently as a result of a national college student poll conducted by Princeton Review. According to the 2004 edition of their book The Best 351 Colleges, Pomona students as a group are the second happiest to be found at any of America's top colleges and universities. The top spot in the survey went to DePaul University in Chicago. Pomona's second-place ranking in the category of "Happiest Students" was based on a survey of more than 100,000 students who rated their own schools and college experiences in a variety of categories ranging from academics to campus life. Pomona was also ranked second in the category “schools that run like butter” and 14th for “dorms like palaces.”
According to Bruce Poch, vice president for admissions at Pomona, "When you consider the combined message of the two guides, it's especially noteworthy to see this blend of 'happiest' students with such a high level of academic quality and selectivity. It says what we have always known: our students are extremely capable, extremely well supported and extremely happy to be here.”