Divorced or Separated Parents
Because parental responsibility for educational costs does not cease upon divorce or separation, Pomona College expects that both natural parents -- even when divorced or separated -- will provide funds for educational expenses based on their ability to contribute from their income and assets. The College expects that both parents will submit financial information and provide assistance for the student’s college expenses based on their ability, rather than their willingness, to contribute.
Applying for Financial Aid
By federal law, the student applicant, his/her custodial natural parent, and stepparent (if the custodial parent has remarried) must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal assistance. The FAFSA contains instructions to help the applicant determine who is the custodial parent, if that status is not clear.
To apply for Pomona College grant assistance, the student applicant, his/her custodial natural parent, and stepparent (if the custodial parent has remarried) must complete the FAFSA and the CSS\Financial Aid PROFILE applications. Applicants who report on the CSS\Financial Aid PROFILE that their biological or adoptive parents are separated, divorced or were never married, will receive an email from the College Scholarship Service requesting their non-custodial parent complete the electronic Non-Custodial Parent Profile Application. This application is separate from the CSS\Financial Aid PROFILE filed by the applicant and the custodial parent. The income and assets of both parents are considered, in light of all extra expenses their special situations may require. In its review, the College strives to be neither too demanding nor too lenient. Our concern is with relative fairness from one applicant to another.
In a limited number of special cases, the following criteria are considered to evaluate requests to waive/reduce the requirements for non-custodial parent information. Meeting one or more of these criteria does not automatically qualify students for a waiver; a combination of these criteria must be present for Pomona to consider waiving the requirement. Independent third party documentation may be requested to support requests for waivers. The criteria considered in the combination are:
- Whether or not the non-custodial parent can be located. If not, documentation of unsuccessful attempts to contact the non-custodial parent is required to support a request for waiver, e.g., copies of court records or requests for assistance from state or local government agencies;
- Whether or not the non-custodial parent has made child support payment. If not, a statement to that effect and/or documentation of unsuccessful attempts to obtain child support payments is required to support a request for waiver;
- Whether or not the divorce or separation took place so long ago that it is unreasonable to expect a contribution from the non-custodial parent. If the divorce or separation took place more than 10 years ago, and if other criteria for waiver are met (e.g., lack of child support payments), it is possible that the requirement for non-custodial parent information will be waived.