Transfer Students Explain Why They Chose Pomona

Brianna Huynh, left, and Noah Benjamin

Whether they come from community colleges or four-year institutions, the United States or anywhere around the globe, transfer students at Pomona take residence inside Smiley Hall as they begin their academic journeys in a new setting.

There, they meet others with similar paths to the College.

Some transfer students attend Pomona for the flexibility to chase interests they have beyond their major. Others enroll to join a diverse student body and charming surrounding community.

No matter the reason, transfer students enrich the classroom and campus life with their unique perspectives on academia and their personal experiences.

Two transfer students explain what drew them to Pomona:

Brianna Huynh ’24

As the resident advisor for transfer students, Brianna Huynh ’24 is a key resource for those with questions about their new environment—questions the 21-year-old had herself when she transferred to Pomona in fall 2022.

While at American River College in Sacramento, California, Huynh developed a soft spot for math. When looking to transfer, she considered UCs and CSUs—as all California community college students do, she says—but found Pomona’s liberal arts education too good to pass up.

“I wanted to be more than a math major,” Huynh says. “When looking at the coursework at Pomona, I was excited by the idea I could pursue a math degree and take other classes in Asian American Studies, public policy—subjects I had interest in in community college.”

“Pomona cares about what you’re interested in,” she adds, “and what you want to explore outside of your major.”

Huynh, a member of the , has found Pomona to be a supportive and welcoming environment. Residential life has been all it’s cracked up to be, she says, and the small class sizes add a certain warmth to learning.

Beyond the classroom, Huynh adds, the greater College community “makes you feel like you’ve been here the whole time.”

Noah Benjamin ’24

After two academic years as one of 40,000 students at UC Davis, Noah Benjamin ’24 decided to transfer to a college with fewer students. With a twin sister at nearby Scripps College, he opted to come to Pomona in fall 2021.

Benjamin, a math major, says downsizing from 300-seat lecture halls to intimate classrooms afforded him more facetime with his professors and peers. At Pomona, he is no longer anonymously sitting in a large lecture, but instead is working directly with his classmates and professors.

The 23-year-old recalls quickly embracing his new surroundings. Living with others navigating similar learning curves, he says, encourages collaboration and camaraderie.

“It’s nice to be on a residential campus where you live with people,” Benjamin adds. “You’re given a community at Pomona, where at a larger school, you’re surrounded by people, but it doesn’t have the same sense of community we have at Pomona.”

In addition to making fast friends at Smiley Hall, Benjamin joined the Glee Club and helped start the Pomona Chess Club.

“There’s a natural connection you have with other transfer students when you meet them,” he says. “Because you’re a transfer you look out for each other. I feel so thankful to have taken part in so many different things.”

With Commencement weekend on the horizon, Benjamin plans to enter a Ph.D. program next school year.

“At Pomona,” he says, “it’s easy to come in and be part of things. I’m so thankful there’s so much available here that I dove headfirst into. These experiences are really a boon for anyone’s college experience. They’ve really been for mine.”