Pomona ranked No. 1 on Forbes best colleges list

July 31, 2015
Mason Hall at Pomona College. (Korea Times file)

Mason Hall at Pomona College. (Korea Times file)

Forbes released its top-10 colleges for 2015 recently, and the results may come as a surprise.

The publication dubbed a California university as the best in the U.S. for 2015.

No, it’s not Stanford or University of California, Berkeley.

It’s Pomona College in Claremont. This marks the first time a school from Southern California has ever topped the magazine’s list.

“There’s a recognition of quality of our education, the financial resources that we provide for financial aid for accessibility and affordability and the outcomes that our students are going on to do amazing things,” Pomona College President David Oxtoby told Southern California Public Radio. “I don’t think that changed dramatically this year but maybe just enough to push us to No. 1.”

To understand the rankings further, it helps to dig into what qualities the writers took into account when compiling the list.

The categories included student satisfaction, financial aid, debt, on-time graduation and student-to-faculty ratios.

Forbes also put a heavy emphasis on what happened after students graduated. In other words, did the education and experiences translate well to the real world?

“Our sights are set directly on ROI (Return On Investment): What are students getting out of college?” Forbes staff writer Caroline Howard said.

Although the exact figures weren’t released, Pomona had to have ranked high on “Post-Graduate Success.”

“We’re getting lots of social media comments and emails and phone calls and so forth so people are having a lot of fun with this,” Oxtoby said. “It’s not that we believe everything in the rankings, but it creates wonderful conversations about the special education we have here at Pomona.”

Williams College, another liberal arts school located in Massachusetts, came in second.



1. Pomona College, California

2. Williams College, Massachusetts

3. Stanford University, California

4. Princeton University, New Jersey

5. Yale University, Connecticut

6. Harvard College, Massachusetts

7. Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania

8. Brown University, Rhode Island

9. Amherst College, Massachusetts

10. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts


  1. Edward

    August 3, 2015 at 8:05 AM

    My cousin graduated from Pomona College. Eh, it’s just okay. A lot of liberal dreamers from privileged families go there. Have no idea how the real world works. They wore shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops under their graduation gowns. Very unprofessional.

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