We hope to provide you with answers to your most pressing questions about the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on your preparation for college, your college search process, your ability to finance a college education, and/or your college decision and enrollment. As new policies are implemented both nationally and locally, we will be adding and updating information to keep you informed. Our campus is currently closed to visitors, with all admissions-related activities taking place online. 

We understand that students and families are experiencing many disruptions to their lives at this time, and we seek to be as responsive as possible to your questions and concerns. If you do not find the answers you seek here, please contact us at admissions@pomona.edu or sign up for a virtual Q&A session or individual virtual appointment with an admissions officer.

How is Pomona responding to the coronavirus outbreak?

Pomona College continues to take measures to support public health efforts in response to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In line with national and state measures, and with an abundance of concern for the Pomona College community and all people’s health, we have reduced the number of people on Pomona’s campus as much as possible. The Office of Financial Aid has instituted a Summer Contribution Emergency Grant for all current and incoming students who receive financial aid and have a minimum student contribution. This will replace the minimum student contribution ($1,900-$2,200) with additional grant funding for 2020-21. Pomona also launched the Remote Alternative Independent Summer Experience (RAISE) Program to provide multi-week, paid fellowship opportunities for current students to pursue research or projects with faculty guidance and has selected nearly 450 students for these $2,500 fellowships. An additional 125 students will be financially supported through the Pomona College Internship Program (PCIP) this summer as they explore potential career paths via internships performed remotely. Please see the College’s Coronavirus Information website for more details.

Is Pomona open for visitors?

As of March 16, the Office of Admissions canceled all campus visits and closed to the public. We regret that we cannot welcome students and their families to campus, but we feel this is the best protective measure to take to ensure the health and safety of everyone. While nothing can completely replace the experience of being on campus, we do invite you to take a virtual tour of Pomona or a virtual tour of The Claremont Colleges, or sign up for one of our Virtual Visit options (information sessions, Q&A events or video chats with admissions officers).

Has Pomona changed how they are admitting students due to the coronavirus outbreak?

Admission decisions for first-year students for the Class of 2024 were released as scheduled on Friday March 20. Admissions decisions for transfer applicants were released on March 30.

If You Are a Current Admitted Student

How will I be able to learn more about Pomona after being admitted?

Although we cannot welcome admitted students and their families to campus at this time, we have many ways for you to connect with the Pomona community and explore all that we have to offer. Through videos, webinars, our student blog, podcasts, news features, email, and social media, we hope to answer your questions—even those you haven't thought of yet. Your Destination Pomona portal, accessed through your applicant status page, will feature curated information and the opportunity to text us or sign up for individual chats. Students and families can also find more content on our Admitted Students webpage and our New Students website.

I was admitted Early Decision I and want to drop a course. Does admissions need to know?

We discourage all admitted students from changing their senior schedules. As outlined in your admission letter, we expect you to “maintain your strong academic performance and personal integrity.” If there is a situation outside of your control impacting your course schedule,  please reach out to us at in@pomona.edu as soon as possible and ask your teacher or counselor to provide a follow-up explanation of a course cancellation or elimination to admissions@pomona.edu

Can I change my schedule in the last half of senior year? What if a course has been canceled?

We discourage all admitted students from changing their senior schedules. As outlined in your admission letter, we expect you to “maintain your strong academic performance and personal integrity.” If there is a situation outside of your control, please reach out to us at in@pomona.edu as soon as possible and ask your teacher or counselor to provide a follow-up explanation of a course cancellation or elimination to admissions@pomona.edu

My high school has moved all courses online. Will this impact my admission decision?

We understand there have been extraordinary changes in the lives of high school students across the world. No online designation is required on the transcript, nor is an update to admissions required if your school moves classes online.

What if my classes are now Pass/Fail or I will not receive a grade?

Districts and high schools are making decisions now that best serve their populations. We plan to be as flexible as possible in adapting to the changes that are coming. We will honor the decisions made by your high school as long as they are official policy.

How does all of this affect the requirement to submit a final high school transcript by July 1?

We require that, by July 1, each enrolling student submits a final transcript that includes final grades and classes as well as the student’s high school graduation date. We strongly prefer that the transcript be submitted electronically. If your final transcript will not be available by July 1, please notify us at in@pomona.edu. If your classes were cancelled, please ask a school district official, high school principal or other school-based leader to submit a letter to that effect, confirming the student’s graduation date, in lieu of the final transcript. If you have any other concerns impacting the submission of your final transcript, please email us. We plan to be as flexible as possible in working with you and school counselors to ensure your enrollment.

I am considering taking a gap year. What do I need to do?

We understand that students might be uncertain about enrolling in college at this time and might consider a gap year a good option. We have taken this into account by changing our policies around gap-year requests. Currently, admitted students may request to defer enrollment and embark on a gap year by emailing the Dean of Admissions by May 1. Requests should be sent to Executive Assistant Gina Green at gina.green@pomona.edu. Students who request their gap year by May 1 but need more time to develop their year-long plan will have until June 1 to formalize and submit their written plan to the Dean of Admissions. If a student changes their mind about taking a gap year before June 1, they may request to re-join the Class of 2024, and that request will be granted. After June 1, students will only be permitted to re-join the Class of 2024 on a space available basis. Please note that, if you are admitted off of the wait list, you are not eligible to defer your admission (i.e. to take a gap year). For more information on gap years, see our Gap Year page.

I am a transfer student. My courses are now online or will not receive a grade. Will I still receive credit for them?

If your college courses were originally held in-person and have been moved to an online platform or distance learning format, Pomona will continue to offer transfer credit for these courses. If your courses will not be graded but will receive a pass/no pass or credit/no credit designation, Pomona will offer transfer credit so long as your institution defines “pass” or “credit” as a C- or higher letter grade.

Do I need to take an AP Test for an AP Class? If I take the AP Test this year will I still get credit?

We do not require you to take the AP test in order to complete these classes. Our credit policies for AP test scores has not changed; please see the Advanced Standing webpage for more information.

What about IB tests? If I am at an international school do I need to take my IB exam?

On March 23, the IBO notified us that exams scheduled for May 2020 will not take place. There is currently a plan in place to assess IB work and award Diplomas. Please refer to the IB coronavirus webpage for more details. We will remain flexible about processing transcripts and will work closely with international high schools to ensure timely receipt of final transcripts.

My family’s income has been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19). Can I appeal my financial aid award?

Pomona College understands that your family may have very recent and immediate changes to your financial circumstances related to the ongoing and quickly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Office of Financial Aid will work with you to answer your questions and provide as much information as possible. We recognize that as business and school closures continue through the spring, the impact on our families grows.

Typically, a family may submit a request for review of their financial aid award based on a change in circumstances consisting of sustained unemployment or income changes for at least two months. Changes or anticipated changes to income may not always result in a change to the financial aid offer, or may result in a one-semester revision that will be re-evaluated in the fall, but our staff will work with each student who has concerns about their individual circumstances. Specific questions can be directed to the Office of Financial Aid. As part of a financial aid award review, we will request that you complete a Change in Circumstances form and submit the requested documentation detailed on the form.

What If I’m on financial aid and I can't find a job this summer? Will Pomona adjust my financial aid award?

Yes. During the 2020-2021 academic year the minimum student contribution will be replaced with a one-time emergency grant from Pomona College. Pomona will replace the minimum student contribution ($1,900-$2,200) with additional grant funding. For more information on this policy see the Financial Aid Office website.

Is it possible to waive or reduce the enrollment deposit requirement?

Students for whom payment of the $500 enrollment fee constitutes a hardship may be eligible for a reduced deposit or may arrange a payment plan. Please email the Office of Admissions at in@pomona.edu to find out your options. Additionally, NACAC (the National Association for College Admission Counseling) has just released an Enrollment Deposit Waiver Form you may fill out and submit to Pomona in order to request a waiver.

If You Are a Current High School Junior or Sophomore

I am interested in Pomona—can I visit campus?

Pomona’s campus is currently closed to visitors, and we expect this situation to continue into the summer. Please check back by July 1 for any major updates. While there is no substitute for experiencing Pomona in person, we are more than just a location—we are also a collection of people. We have many resources that focus on connecting you with Pomona people—we think this will be immensely helpful to you as you navigate your college options. While the admissions office is closed to visitors, we are offering daily virtual information sessions, virtual Q&A events and individual, virtual appointments. We also invite you to take a virtual tour of Pomona or a virtual tour of The Claremont Colleges. There are loads of other ways to learn about Pomona from the comfort of your home: webinars; our student blog, Voices; news features; our Sagecast podcasts; and social media. Or reach out to one of our friendly summer fellows with any questions.

Can I connect with an admissions officer?

Yes! We like to connect you to the staff member who visits your region, so reach out to your officer either by email or for short, virtual appointments for current sophomores and juniors. Students or family members can sign up for 15-minute virtual chats with an admissions officer, Monday–Friday.

Will Pomona still require standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) for applicants for Fall 2021?

Pomona College is adopting a test-optional policy for applicants for admission for entry in Fall 2021. This one-year policy means SAT or ACT scores are not required for applicants for first-year or transfer admission, but students may still choose to submit them. For those questioning whether to submit test scores, students are encouraged to decide how best to present themselves to the admission committee and whether—or not—their standardized test results accurately reflect their academic ability and potential. For those who elect to submit them, test scores will be reviewed holistically, in the context of other application materials and indicators of academic ability and promise.

The Office of Admissions will continue to place emphasis on academic achievement, leadership and extracurricular activities, essays, and letters of recommendation from teachers and counselors. The submission of arts supplements and completion of an alumni interview continue to be optional components of the Pomona application.

Has Pomona changed their application deadlines for Fall 2021 applicants?

Due to the myriad disruptions to so many students’ lives, Pomona has adjusted their deadlines for first-year admission applications. Early Decision I applications will be due Nov. 15, 2020. Early Decision II and Regular Decision applications will be due Jan. 8, 2021.

Will Pomona continue to accept AP and IB scores to award course credits?

There is no change to our policies for accepting AP and IB scores to award course credits. Course credit is awarded to students with scores of 4 or 5 on Advanced Placement (AP) exams; for scores of 6 or 7 on Higher-Level International Baccalaureate (IB) exams; and for comparable scores on British A-Level exams. Exams based on year-long courses receive one credit; exams based on semester-long courses receive one-half course credit. Credit is not granted for exams that duplicate each other, such as AP and IB English Literature.

What if my course schedule is impacted by changes at my high school? What if my courses are not being graded?

For juniors, we recognize that junior year is often seen as one of the most important of your high school career, and we understand that you may be undergoing minor and major changes to your schooling. Some schools may be altering their course offerings this semester (and possibly beyond). We plan to be as flexible as possible in adapting to the changes that are coming. We will honor the decisions made by your high school as long as they are official policy. Please review the recommendations on our website as you consider your options for course scheduling. As with all aspects of our admissions process, we take your context into account and will be accommodating if courses are no longer available to you.

What if my school will not offer letter grades for my courses but only pass/fail?​

If your high school no longer offers letter grades for the spring of junior year, we will not hold this against you in the admissions process.  We will be considering the grades that do appear on your transcript, prior to this semester and in your senior year, as a strong indicator of your academic performance and potential.

My high school has moved all courses online. Will this impact my admission decision?

We understand there have been extraordinary changes in the lives of high school students across the world. No online designation is required on the transcript, nor is an update to admissions required if your school moves classes online.