Application Plans

Pomona offers first-year applicants the option of Early Decision (ED) or Regular Decision. If Pomona is your absolute first-choice college, Early Decision may be a good option. Both ED I and ED II applicants are evaluated in the same way; the only difference is that ED II has a later calendar date (allowing applicants, for instance, to show more of their senior year grades and to take an additional round of standardized testing). While ED applicants are free to simultaneously apply to other colleges through non-binding, unrestricted admission plans (including Early Action), if admitted to Pomona through Early Decision, you unconditionally agree to attend Pomona College if you're accepted, and agree to withdraw all other applications.

Application Plan Application Deadline Notification Date Reply Date
Early Decision I Nov. 1 By Dec. 15 Jan. 1
Early Decision II Jan. 1 By Feb. 15 March 1
Regular Decision Jan. 1 By April 1 May 1

Application Requirements

Pomona accepts the Coalition for College Application, the Common Application and the QuestBridge application. We give no preference in the admissions process based on which of these applications you submit. We also require the following: 

  • Official high school transcript(s): For most students, this means asking your high school counselor to submit your official transcript(s) with grades through your junior year.
  • School Report and Counselor Recommendation: These should be submitted by your high school counselor. Please note that we do not release an admissions decision without a completed disciplinary history from a school administrator. If the School Report's disciplinary history questions are left blank or answered with "School policy prevents me from responding," we will not release an admissions decision.
  • Mid-Year Report: Your counselor should submit this form by Feb. 15 along with an updated transcript containing your most recent senior-year grades (typically, first-semester grades).
  • Two letters of recommendation: These should be written by teachers of core academic subject areas: English, foreign languages, math, science or social sciences. We suggest that you ask for recommendations from teachers whose classes you took during your junior or senior year. Optionally, a recommendation from a teacher of an elective subject (music, art, journalism, etc.), or by a coach, employer or other individual who can speak to your skills or special qualities may serve as an additional recommendation. 
  • One-time, non-refundable application fee of $70 or fee waiver: We understand that the application fee may present a financial hardship for some applicants. Please consult the “Fee Waiver” section of the Common Application “Profile.” If you indicate that you satisfy one of those criteria, you will become automatically eligible for an online fee waiver for each school to which you apply. The Common Application will email your school counselor, who will be required to submit a form confirming your eligibility for a fee waiver. Please note that the school ID for the counselor's form is 4607. Alternately, the Coalition Fee Waiver is made available to qualifying students who apply to Pomona College using the Coalition Application. Additionally, Pomona accepts the NACAC fee waiver form or a letter from your counselor, written on school letterhead, that directly requests a fee waiver for you. Please have your counselor email the NACAC form or the counselor letter directly to the Office of Admissions.
  • Test scores for international applicants: If you are applying from a school where English is not the primary language of instruction, you must also submit scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Official score reports may be sent, or students may self-report their scores on their applications. All enrolling students are required to submit an official score report, and any discrepancies between self-reported and official test scores may jeopardize a student's offer of admission.
  • Standardized test scores: Results of either the SAT or ACT are required. Applicants may self-report scores on their applications. All enrolling students are required to submit an official score report, and any discrepancies between self-reported and official test scores may jeopardize a student's offer of admission.

More on standardized test scores

We will consider your highest section scores on the SAT by super-scoring; we will also super-score ACT section scores. The writing section on the SAT and ACT is not required. In addition to submitting SAT or ACT test results, home-schooled students are encouraged, although not required, to submit results of at least two SAT Subject or Advanced Placement exams. These exams may allow home-schooled students to demonstrate their various academic abilities in ways that can provide additional context for a home-school application. Home-schooled applicants who have questions should email or call the office directly at (909) 621-8134.

Policy on questions about applicants’ criminal history

Pomona College believes in treating applicants who have a criminal history with fairness and dignity. Beginning with the 2019-20 admissions cycle, the College adopts the following policies:

  • The Admissions Process for Applicants: The application to Pomona College will no longer contain questions about criminal history. The Admissions Committee will make all decisions on candidates for admission without knowledge of criminal history.
  • The Enrollment Process for Admitted Students: Prior to enrollment, students will be required to answer the following question regarding criminal history: Have you ever been adjudicated guilty or convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or other crime? Those depositing students who check yes will be sent a request to provide context and background information about their affirmative answer. This information will be reviewed by a special committee within two weeks of the receipt of the information.
  • Committee Review for Depositing Students: A review committee that includes Pomona College admissions officers, staff, and faculty will convene to review the affirmative responses and determine whether a past criminal offense justifies a revocation of the College’s offer of admission. This Committee is responsible for making the final determination about admission. Candidates will be notified of the Committee’s decision before being permitted to complete the enrollment process.
  • Questions: If you have any questions regarding this policy please contact Adam Sapp, Assistant Vice President for Admissions (909) 621-8134.

The Last Possible Testing Dates

Application Plan SAT ACT TOEFL
Early Decision I October September October
Early Decision II December December December
Regular Decision December December January

Pomona-Specific Essay Questions

For students submitting the Common Application, we require two additional short essays. Applicants will choose to answer two of the following three questions in responses of 200 to 250 words.

  1. Imagine having a 1 a.m. debate/discussion with your peers in college about an issue you care about. What is that issue, and what is the discussion? 
  2. Share your favorite quote, and tell us what it means to you. The quote can be from an author, leader, musical artist, family member or other source—famous or not. (The quote does not count toward your word limit.)
  3. We want to understand you better! Tell us about a skill you have (useless or useful) and what it says about you.

Optional Application Supplements

  • Interviews: If you're thinking about applying, we offer off-campus alumni interviews to seniors beginning in September and up to December 1. We do not track demonstrated interest in the application process, so interviews are entirely optional. To schedule an alumni interview, please register online at least three weeks in advance. Please be aware that our alumni network does not extend to every corner of the country or world, and we cannot always fulfill every interview request. Registration is available by September.
  • Arts Supplements: If you have a special talent or wish to submit additional information about yourself in the area of dance, music, theatre, or visual art, we encourage you to submit a supplement through SlideRoom. More detailed information can be found on the Supplements page.

A Note About AP and IB Credits

Students admitted to Pomona may receive credit for AP and IB exam scores. Credit received this way can be applied to two of the 32 course credits required for graduation. Additionally, advanced standing may be conferred by individual departments based on AP, IB or SAT Subject Test scores. More detailed information can be found on the Advanced Standing page.