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A Great Pomona College Essay Example

What’s Covered:


Pomona College is one of the five Claremont Colleges in Claremont, California. It is a small, highly-selective school, so it’s important to write strong essays to help your application stand out. In this post, we’ll go over an essay that a real student submitted to Pomona College, and outline their strengths and areas of improvement. (Names and identifying information have been changed, but all other details are preserved).


Alexandra Johnson, an expert advisor from CollegeVine advising, provided commentary on this post. Advisors offer one-on-one guidance on everything from essays to test prep to financial aid. If you want help writing your essays or feedback on drafts, check out CollegeVine advising to book a consultation with Alexandra Johnson or any of our skilled advisors. 


Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized. 


Pomona College Essay Example


Prompt: We believe that everyone has something to contribute and receive from a diverse community. Why is belonging to a diverse and inclusive college community important to you? (200 words)


‘It’s almost bland! How’s that possible? But it looks good’, I thought as I tasted the jollof rice. All my 40-minute efforts were wasted due to just a missing piece: salt. 


This experience engraved in me the appreciation of diversity in any successful environment. Whenever I get to any community, I see the community as a whole dish that’s to be made with different ingredients: people. To a casual onlooker, my perspective may appear inconsequential, but as it’s said: ‘the proportion of ingredients is important, but the final result is also a matter of how you put them together. Equilibrium is key’. My inclination towards diversity isn’t just contained to my culinary habits—it’s a recurring theme throughout my life. Raised in a diversified socio-cultural environment—Nairobi, a haven of 250+ tribes and languages—I have learned to respect, interact, and love others despite their backgrounds. Diversity opens doors for me to grow as I learn about people’s differences, hearing their stories and appreciating their backgrounds. It’s in doing so that the ‘dish’ becomes delectable. At Pomona, I look forward to meeting a tight-knit Sagehen-permeated community of tasty ‘ingredients’ (‘salt’ included) where I’ll be embraced as a vital ingredient: me.


What the Essay Did Well


This essay did a great job of sharing how the student has encountered diversity before and what they have learned from these experiences. The student mentions that they grew up in an environment with “250+ tribes and languages.” Then, they detail how they’ve learned to “respect, interact, and love others despite their backgrounds.” By including what they’ve learned, the writer shows how they thrive in a diverse environment and further, how they will contribute diversity to Pomona College’s campus. 


The writer also has a great idea for a theme about recipes that ties into why diversity is important. They mention how having every ingredient in jollof rice is essential to the dish turning out well; similarly, they say that diversity on campus is important to promote learning. This theme is creative, and it allows the writer to include an activity they enjoy, cooking, in the essay. By including a brief story about cooking, the writer also has a great first sentence: “It’s almost bland! How’s that possible?” This dialogue catches the reader’s attention, and it gets the reader excited to read the essay. Try including a unique first sentence like this in your own essay! 


What Could Be Improved 


While the first line does well as a hook, the writer could have elaborated a little more on their ideas in the first paragraph. They could have improved this by sharing more about why they were making this recipe and how often they cook. Sharing details like this would allow the reader to learn more about the student and their interests. 


Similarly, the student could have shared more about themselves and how diversity has directly impacted them. They begin to do this when they talk about growing up with many tribes and languages and how it taught them lessons about respect for those who are different. However, the essay would be stronger if the reader gave an example of a time when they learned to respect someone with a different background. An example would provide the reader with a better idea of how the writer interacts with those who are different than them, as well as what the writer has gained from diversity and wants to gain from the diverse environment at Pomona College. 


Where to Get Feedback on Your Essay 


Want feedback like this on your Pomona College essay before you submit? We offer expert essay review by advisors who have helped students get into their dream schools. You can book a review with one of our experts to receive notes on your topic, grammar, and essay structure to make your essay stand out to admissions officers.


Haven’t started writing your essay yet? Our advisors also offer expert college counseling packages. You can purchase a package to get one-on-one guidance on any aspect of the college application process, including brainstorming and writing essays.


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Our college essay experts go through a rigorous selection process that evaluates their writing skills and knowledge of college admissions. We also train them on how to interpret prompts, facilitate the brainstorming process, and provide inspiration for great essays, with curriculum culled from our years of experience helping students write essays that work.