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Apply to Pomona College Academy for Youth Success

Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS) has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Dates have been modified and PAYS will be moving to a virtual experience throughout the academic year until further notice.

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 and attend high school in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, or San Bernardino County.


 To be eligible to apply, you must: 

  • Reside within one of our four local counties (Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, or San Bernardino 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)
  • African-American, Latinx, South-East Asian (API), Native American, and other underrepresented ethnicities/races
  • Currently taking Geometry OR Integrated Math II

Selection Process

The dates for the 2021 selection process are as follows:

  • Application Opens: Friday, November 13, 2020
  • Application Deadline: Friday, February 26, 2021
  • Recommendation Form and Transcript Deadline: Wednesday, March 3, 2021
  • Notification of Decision: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Summer Program Dates

Due to COVID-19, we must continue to follow state and national restrictions; therefore, our 2021 summer experience will be virtual. 

Virtual: Monday, June 20 - Friday, July 23, 2021

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




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.

  1. Online New Student Application OR Paper New Student Application [PDF]  
  2. Two Completed Essays (500 words each):
    • Prompt 1: Think 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.
    • Prompt 2: Discuss a situation where you have faced a significant challenge. How did this experience affect you and what did you learn from this experience?
  3. 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_PAYSTranscipt
  4. Two Recommendation Forms
    • One must be completed by a core subject 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 [PDF]

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 Stephanie Rios at (909) 607-1810 or