Apply to Pomona College Academy for Youth Success

**UPDATE: The PAYS Application for the Class of 2027 is now closed. Letters of recommendation will be accepted until Monday, March 4th at 11:59pm! If you have any questions about your application, please email or call us!**

Participants will be selected by a committee of Pomona College faculty, staff and students. The selection committee will consider every part of the application and make recommendations based on academic potential. In some cases, the selection committee will request to interview an applicant. Each year the committee admits 30 participants. New applicants must be currently enrolled in 9th grade, attend high school in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County or Ventura County, and vaccinated for COVID-19.


 To be eligible to apply, you must: 

  • Reside within one of our five local counties (Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County or Ventura County)
  • Be a current 9th grade student

Other factors taken into consideration include:

  • First-Generation College-Bound student
  • Low-Income (Qualifies for Free-Reduced Lunch)
  • Currently taking Geometry OR Integrated Math II

Selection Process

The dates for the 2024 selection process are as follows:

  • Application Opens: Monday, November 13, 2023
  • Application and Transcript Deadline: Monday, February 26, 2024
  • Recommendation Form Deadline: Monday, March 4, 2024
  • Notification of Decision: Friday, April 19, 2024

Summer Program Dates

Residential Dates: Sunday, June 23- Friday, July 19, 2024

**Academic Year Calendar will be shared upon admission.**

***In order to participate in the residential experience, admitted students must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination (including Booster).***


All aspects of PAYS programming are of NO COST to PAYS scholars. Pomona College covers all costs including housing, food, activities, and transportation to field trips. Students will only be required to bring basic school supplies, such as pencils and paper. 

Application Information

A complete application will include the following materials. It is preferred that the application be completed online. However, a paper copy (found below) may be scanned and emailed, mailed in one envelope, OR faxed to (909) 607-8006.

  • Online New Student Application OR Paper New Student Application  
  • Two Completed Essays (500 words MAX each)
    • Essay 1: Tell us about your educational experience so far; what are your thoughts about it? What would you change? Why? Is there anything you would keep the same? Why? You may choose to consider your educational experience in comparison to others in your school, your school district, and/or the country.
    • Essay 2: We are interested in learning more about the factors and challenges that have influenced your life, aspirations, and achievements. How did these factors and challenges affect you and what have you learned from them? Share with us how these experiences have made you into the person you are today.
    • OPTIONAL Essay 3: PAYS embraces diversity and inclusivity in its many forms. If there is a specific background, life experience, perspective, passion, character, and/or interest that is so meaningful that your application would be incomplete without it, we’re all ears. Feel free to share that with us! (350 words max)
    • OPTIONAL Additional Information: Is there something that is not on your application that you would like to share? You may use the space below to provide any additional information. Examples include, but are not limited to extenuating circumstances, personal website/blog/YouTube channel, artwork, or music recording, etc. If you need more space, please attach a separate sheet of paper to this application (350 words max). Share or email materials to
  • Transcript of current academic year
    • Official copy is preferred, but not required
    • May be emailed or mailed by applicant or counselor
    • If emailed, include in subject line: FirstName_LastName_HighSchool_PAYSTranscipt
  • Two Recommendation Forms
    • One must be completed by a core subject (Math, History, English, Science) teacher
    • The other can be completed by teacher, counselor, coach, community leader, etc.
    • Please include recommender contact information in online application and they will receive the recommendation form via email
    • If your recommender prefers a paper recommendation form, you can use the Paper Recommendation Form
    • Applicants may submit up to a total of 4 letters of recommendation

Please submit any physical documents by email, fax, OR mail, as follows
Fax: (909) 607-8006

Draper Center for Community Partnerships
Pomona College
Attn: PAYS
735 N. Dartmouth Ave. Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: (909) 607-1810 

For questions or to have a full paper application mailed to you, please contact us at (909) 607-1810 or