Fall 2020

Why is the College only allowing online instruction for fall 2020?

Providing remote instruction is the best way to keep the Pomona community safe during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in the U.S. and in Southern California, as a hoped-for summer slowdown in transmissions has not materialized. Instead, the number of cases continues to rise, nationally, statewide and here in Los Angeles County.

Last week, the governor shut down beaches and other areas where people can congregate and neither the state nor L.A. County has yet to issue guidance governing how institutions of higher education should plan to operate; nor have they approved higher education institutions to move to phase 3 of general reopening plans. What we do know is that any reopening will be accompanied by strict rules to limit density on campus and adherence to strict public health protocols.

For these reasons and our concern that any on-campus experience for students would be necessarily restrictive led us to pursue an entirely remote mode of instruction for the fall semester.

Will students be allowed on campus for the spring 2021?

Our hope is that the public health situation in California and across the U.S. and the globe will permit us to invite students, faculty and staff back to campus in the spring. We will closely monitor the health situation and update the community in the fall.

What are the starting and ending dates for fall 2020?

The first day of instruction will be Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, one week ahead of the traditional start date.

Under the new schedule, undergraduates will complete all coursework by Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Final exams and assessments will be completed by Friday, Dec. 4, 2020.

Why is the semester starting and ending early?

The Claremont Colleges agreed to change the academic calendar under the presumption that students would return to campus. This early start and early end by Thanksgiving was intended to allow those students who travel for Thanksgiving to do so and not have to travel immediately back to campus, thus minimizing the impact of COVID-19 and the flu season on our community during the winter months.

The recent surge in COVID-19 cases in California and elsewhere around the country has led us to pursue remote instruction for the fall semester. We will still follow the revised academic calendar.

How did the College arrive at this decision?

The College did not arrive at its decision to move to an all-online mode of instruction easily. The College’s Executive Staff, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, made this decision in July in response to the rapidly declining public health situation in Southern California and elsewhere.

What will campus life look like?

For the most part, campus will be closed for the fall 2020 semester. We will maintain buildings and grounds as necessary and will support the faculty’s efforts to teach online, but the campus will be considered closed due to public health concerns.

What is the college doing with items it has in off-campus storage?

Pomona will continue to store items for students in off-campus storage free-of-charge until the school re-opens. If you have any other questions please email housing@pomona.edu

What will orientation look like?

The Dean of the College and Dean of Students offices are working to adjust dates for new advising, orientation, the “common read” book discussion and other start-of-term events. Please watch for an updated calendar.

When will Opening Convocation be held?

Opening Convocation will be held virtually on Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 11 a.m.

College Finances

How does the decision to be fully online impact the College’s finances?

Moving to a fully online semester does present financial challenges. The College will lose room and board revenue and potentially tuition revenue if students choose not to return. At the same time, the College will continue to incur costs to make the campus ready to receive students, faculty and staff at some point in the future. 

The College could see an annual budget shortfall ranging from $21 million to $35 million depending on final enrollment. The College is working on financial plans to make up this shortfall that will include deep reductions to the budgets of departments and offices, deferral of maintenance and renovation of our facilities and use of reserves, among other means.

Does the College plan to discount tuition?

No. In May we announced that we were freezing tuition for the coming academic year at 2019-2020 levels.

Financial Aid, Student Employment and Part-Time Enrollment

When will I receive my offer of financial aid?

Recently completed student applications for financial aid will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Students will receive an email from the Office of Financial Aid once their offer is available to view on the FINAID47 portal. Review your document checklist within your FINAID47 portal to ensure all documents have been received. Please allow for at least 10 days for our office to review your financial aid application and prepare your Offer of Financial Aid.

How will I know how much my refund will be?

Students with financial aid offers can log into CashNet to see the amount of their refund. If you are expecting financial aid, and it is not on your billing statement, your application may be incomplete or under review by a counselor.

There is also a refund chart in this section under the question “How does financial aid help with students’ off-campus housing costs?” that provides broad guidance for what refunds will look like for eligible domestic students. Because living costs vary dramatically outside of the U.S., students living outside of the U.S. will have refunds that will vary from the refund chart.

How is an off-campus budget affecting my financial aid?

The amount of college support is directly tied to individual student need. With all instruction conducted remotely for Fall 2020, the College this fall uses an off-campus expense budget for all students. This budget is based on average expenses for off-campus living. (The average is determined by surveying students living off campus, along with data from housing surveys for students in California and across the U.S.). Because average expenses living off-campus are lower than expenses living on campus, the budget also is lower, and this reduces the amount of aid to match the reduction in expenses. The College continues to award financial aid funding to meet the full demonstrated need of students.

Why has my student employment allotment been reduced?

Due to Pomona College going to remote instruction for fall 2020, we expect there will not be as many jobs for students to work as there have been in the past. Therefore, the College will provide all students on financial aid with a $500 grant to pay for books for fall 2020. Students with the fewest resources also will receive an additional $750 to cover their personal expenses. All students receiving a grant of $500 or more will see a corresponding decrease in their student employment allotment, as their need in being met by emergency grant rather than the opportunity to work. The emergency grant is applied to the student account.

Is there a different budget and refund if I live on my own rather than at home?

We want students to make the best decisions for themselves during these challenging times. To simplify the process of not living on-campus, the college made a temporary change and eliminated for Fall 2020 the “at home” budget, which provided less financial assistance. Instead, we placed all students on an off-campus budget that assumes higher expenses than living at home and therefore provides more assistance.

Last spring, the College housed a small number of students who were unable to leave campus for various reasons. Will the College permit some students to live on campus in the fall?

For public health reasons, the College does not intend to house students on campus for the fall semester. 

We recognize that moving to a remote mode of instruction creates additional hardships for some students. With this in mind, we plan to:

  • Increase the amount of financial aid available to students to cover their off-campus cost of attendance including for housing and food.  Students with specific needs or questions should work individually with their financial aid counselor
  • Convert a portion of the fall student employment contribution into grants for students with the greatest financial need;
  • Various campus offices will hire student workers to work remotely. Beginning Aug. 10, students may apply for jobs via Handshake software hosted by the Career Development Office (CDO). New students will be able to access training information for Handshake in early August so that they will be knowledgeable about the software prior to the recruiting period.

How does financial aid help with students’ off-campus housing costs?

For the fall, your student account will be charged for tuition and student body fees. Your scholarships and grants will be applied to your fall charges and may create a refund to assist with your housing, utilities (internet access), food, books, school supplies and personal expenses. Each student’s individual financial aid can vary based on need. The following chart provides a general explanation of the refund you can expect based on the amount of scholarship you receive in the fall semester. If your student account balance has a prior semester charges or other miscellaneous charges, your expected refund will be reduced to cover those charges.

Students who live outside the U.S. may have a different housing budget based on the cost of living in their specific home area which may impact the expected refund. 

If your total Fall 2020 scholarships and grants from financial aid are: Your student account will be charged for tuition and fees: You would owe the following to Pomona: You could expect a refund to assist with books, personal expenses, housing and food:

$33,797 or more

$27,387 

$0 

at least $6,410

between $27,387 and $33,796

$27,387 

$0 

up to $6,409

Less than $27,387

$27,387 

 $27,387 less total scholarships

$0 

How and when can I access my financial aid refund for off campus living expenses?

The Student Accounts Office releases refunds to students beginning the first week of the semester, if you have submitted all required financial aid and verification documents by August 1. Your document checklist can be viewed within your FINAID47 portal. To request your refund from Student Accounts, visit “My Student Account” link in your portal and follow the link for the Credit Balance Refund request. 

Why did I not receive a grant for my Student Health Insurance charge?

The College has extended the deadline for students to waive out of the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). After the deadline, the Office of Financial Aid will apply a grant of $1,328 to cover half of the insurance premium for students who are receiving need-based financial aid. If you have been charged for SHIP, but do not plan to enroll, please complete the waiver process with the Dean of Students Office.

What happens to my financial aid if I take a leave of absence?

Students who go on leave by Aug. 21 will not receive financial aid and will not be billed for tuition and fees. Students are eligible for eight semesters of financial aid (pro-rated for transfers), excluding semesters when a student is on leave. Students who plan to return in the spring semester must submit financial aid documents no later than Nov. 15, 2020. Students who plan to return for fall 2021 will apply for financial aid for the next year by Jan. 15, 2021. Financial aid eligibility is determined each year based on the family’s financial circumstances and is not impacted by an approved leave of absence.

Students who have borrowed educational loans complete exit counseling upon taking a leave of absence. Loan repayment begins six to nine months after the last day of enrollment (the end of the spring semester), depending on the type of loan borrowed. Students who want more information should contact their loan servicer. The Financial Aid Office and Pomona Student Loan Office will contact students on leave to complete exit counseling.

What does part-time enrollment at the College entail?

Students enrolled in less than 3 credits by Sept. 4, 2020, the 10th day of classes, will be considered part-time and be billed per credit as opposed to full-time tuition. If you receive need-based financial aid, please be mindful that you will not receive institutional aid if you enroll in less than 1.5 credits. In addition, if you’re enrolled part-time, you will not be eligible for a campus (remote) job. For more information about part-time enrollment, check with Student Accounts and for more information about the impact on your financial aid award, please consult with the Office of Financial Aid.

What happens to my financial aid if I am Part-Time?

Enrolling part time for the semester reduces the overall cost for the semester. Students enrolled in fewer than three courses will be charged $9,063 per course. Because actual expenses are lower when enrolled in fewer courses, the budget is lower which in turn reduces the amount of aid a student is eligible for. The College continues to award financial aid funding to meet the full demonstrated need of students. Students who enroll part time should carefully evaluate their academic plan to meet graduation requirements in eight semesters (pro-rated for transfers). Students that require enrollment beyond eight semesters petition for approval through the Academic Procedures Committee, which reviews each request on a case-by-case basis. There are financial aid implications for a ninth semester of enrollment that are detailed in our Financial Aid Handbook. Part-time students are not eligible to work in remote campus jobs. Students enrolled less than half time (1.5 courses) are not eligible for institutional financial aid and Federal Direct Student Loans.

We understand that this is an anxious time for all, and we hope these answers help you to better understand your financial aid award for this coming semester. We are eager to help, and we appreciate your patience as our team works to both renew financial aid and to answer the questions coming into the office.

Will the College hire student workers to work on campus or remotely?

Yes, various offices will hire student workers to work remotely. Beginning August 10, students may apply for jobs via Handshake software hosted by the Career Development Office (CDO). New students will be able to access training information for Handshake in early August so that they will be knowledgeable about the software prior to the recruiting period.

Career Development Office (CDO) Resources

Is the CDO open?

The Career Development Office (CDO) remains open and is supporting students virtually during regular operating hours (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST).  Pomona students can log in to Handshake to make an appointment, attend an online event/workshop, search for job/internship opportunities, or browse the resource directory.  Get started by visiting Handshake.

Where can I search student jobs?

All campus jobs will be remote for the Fall 2020 semester. These job opportunities will be posted on Handshake and will go live on Aug. 10.

How do I apply for a remote student job?

All postings will be posted on Handshake. Students will be able to apply to jobs starting on Aug. 10. If you are a student who receives financial aid, please include this information in your cover letter. New students will have access to Handshake training in early August to familiarize themselves with the software and recruitment process.

Who can secure a remote student job?

We recognize the important role that campus employment plays in providing resources for students to cover their expenses and gain skills for future employment. Thus, the College is committed to making sure that as many full-time Pomona students as possible are able to secure remote campus employment with priority given to those receiving financial aid. Towards that end, and building on the model used this summer, we are limiting students to one job or 6-8 hours of remote employment per week. Students may have noticed that their student employment allotments were reduced as a result of the College replacing a portion of the fall student employment allotment with grant for books and in some cases and for personal expenses as well. Students receiving fellowships, research grants or other kinds of work-based stipends will not be eligible for student employment. Part-time students are also not eligible for student employment. Students are also not eligible to volunteer in unpaid research.  Lastly, students are also not eligible to work on campus or come to campus for their student jobs.

Can students apply for PCIP for the fall semester?

Pomona College students who are enrolled full-time for fall 2020 may apply for Pomona College Internship Program (PCIP). In light of the ongoing pandemic, the CDO will continue to *only* accept remote opportunities that are secured at the time you apply for PCIP. The PCIP application will open at end of July/early August and will close early September. You can find more information about PCIP on the CDO website.

Will there be job and internship opportunities posted on Handshake for the fall?

Yes. Employers are still hiring. We have seen an increase in the number of employers offering remote positions for jobs and internships. To find these opportunities, log on to Handshake and click on the “Jobs” tab on the left side of the dashboard. There, you will find postings for both jobs and internships.

Where can I find out more about CDO resources?

Stay up to date on CDO services or programs via Handshake or through the CDO website. Additionally, the CDO emails out a Sneak Peek of the Week newsletter at the beginning of every week to all students which highlights upcoming events, resources, and opportunities available.  You can also stay abreast through our social media pages: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Student Billing

When will bills be due?

The College will post statements to CASHNET on July 13.  First payments will be due on August 1.

If I decide to withdraw or take a leave of absence, will I receive a refund of my tuition?

Students (not newly admitted students) who wish to withdraw or take a leave of absence may do so and receive a full refund depending on timing.

The deadline for cancelling enrollment without losing any tuition or student body fees is Friday August 21, the last business day before the start of classes on August 24.  Students who decide to withdraw between August 21 and October 15 will receive a pro-rata refund of their tuition and student fees. Students who decide to withdraw after October 15 will not be eligible for a refund.

The deadline for new students to withdraw and receive a refund of their $500 fee deposit paid upon admission is August 1.

What is the Tuition Payment Agreement and when should I sign it?

The Pomona College Tuition Payment Agreement is a document that must be signed each summer by all students who are planning to be enrolled in the fall semester. The document provides information to Student Accounts regarding the student’s choice of payment plan and whether parents or other family members are authorized to request and receive information about the students account. 

The document needs to be signed electronically thru DocuSign by July 10. In the absence of a tuition agreement, the July statement will reflect the option of the monthly payment plan.

Student Affairs Resources

How can I contact my class dean?

Class Deans are available to assist students with academic questions as well as to provide guidance on navigating the College and identifying appropriate resources. Feel free to email them to schedule an appointment.

I’m thinking about taking a leave of absence. Who should I contact?

Returning students (not newly admitted first years or transfers) may contact Dean Anthony Ferreria to discuss taking a leave of absence for fall 2020 before Friday, August 21. He will provide you with the appropriate forms to complete. If you are considering taking a leave of absence, please be sure to consult with your faculty advisor, and the offices of Financial Aid, Student Accounts and International Students Services (as relevant) to discuss the implications of taking a leave. Please note if a student decides to take a leave of absence, they will not be eligible for student employment with the College, will not be eligible for a financial aid package or be eligible for the Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP). Also note you will not be allowed to transfer in coursework from another institution for the fall 2020 or spring 2021 semesters. Your leave may be a semester or the full year. To return for spring 2021, you will to complete appropriate forms by Dec 10, 2020 and to return for fall 2021, we will need to receive appropriate forms by June 1, 2021.

As a returning student, what happens if I take a leave of absence?

Please note if a student decides to take a leave of absence, they will not be eligible for student employment with the College, will not be eligible for a financial aid package, will not be eligible for the Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP) and cannot be involved in volunteer leadership positions such as sponsors, orientation adventure leaders, judicial board panels, etc.

Also note you will not be allowed to transfer in coursework from another institution for the fall 2020 or spring 2021 semesters. Your leave may be a semester or the full year.

For more information, contact Dean Anthony Ferreria before Friday, Aug. 21 to discuss taking a leave of absence for fall 2020.

Athletics

Will there be athletic competition? 

Intercollegiate athletic participation is a highly valued aspect of the educational experience at Pomona and Pitzer, as it provides tangible learning opportunities outside of the classroom.  Unfortunately, we will not be competing this fall. The decision to cancel athletic competition was not taken lightly, nor was the decision made swiftly. We remain committed to the continued growth and development of our student athletes and will support them by providing educational, team building and wellness programming. A few examples include:

  • Leadership programming 
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives
  • Mental health initiatives

How will the College support athletics-related activity for students in the fall?

Though students will not be on campus, it is possible for coaches and strength and conditioning staff to engage with enrolled student athletes. Student athletes will have the opportunity to further their athletic development during this extended time away from the team training environment.  Staff must adhere to all NCAA policies. Additionally, coaches will be able to stay connected with student athletes through virtual meetings and will continue to offer support for their teams academically and socially.

What will leadership programming look like?

Leadership programming is a great way to challenge, support and grow leaders within athletic teams and the institutions. Ultimately, we hope to have an engaging curriculum that promotes leadership within our community and beyond.

Why will diversity, equity, and inclusion be a priority for our department during COVID19?

Pomona-Pitzer Athletics is firmly committed to supporting and furthering critical work surrounding equity and inclusion, actively working towards solutions on our campuses and beyond.  Our department will use this time to build awareness, engagement, meaningful dialogue, education, action and accountability, as our faculty, staff and student-athletes work together for a future of social justice and positive change.

How will the department support the mental health of its student athletes?

It is important for us to address the mental health needs of our student athletes. The 2020 NCAA Student Athlete COVID19 Well-being Survey revealed that a majority of student athletes surveyed reported experiencing high rates of mental distress since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, students also reported experiencing sleep difficulties, sadness, a sense of loss and depression. The well-being of our student athletes will always be of the utmost importance and we are currently devising a plan to provide support.

Will I keep a year of eligibility if I don’t compete in the fall?

Yes.

What is the status of Sagehen winter and spring sports?

Our winter sports will not compete in the fall semester. Conversations about competitive seasons for the winter and spring sports will be ongoing and will depend on the state of California, Los Angeles County and institutional safety guidelines.

Will the fall sport teams be able to practice and/or compete in the spring?

We will continue to monitor the health and safety guidelines presented by the NCAA, SCIAC, state and the county. Our hope is that there will be an opportunity for all teams to participate in intercollegiate athletic competition within the spring semester, but health and safety will always come first.

What will the physical education curriculum look like?

The Department of Physical Education is working towards the safe continuation of our curriculum and students will be able to enroll in courses that count towards their physical education general education requirement. We anticipate a variety of virtual class options and engaged support from our physical education faculty.

Other Resources

What support will campus life offer to students?

The Office of Campus Life is prepared to support ASPC as well as campus clubs and organizations to provide a robust online student experience. The leadership of ASPC has funded clubs and is working with student leaders across the Claremont Colleges to engage students in co-curricular activities. Stay tuned for a calendar of events, speakers, movies, games and online gatherings.

Will students still have access to student leaders like RAs, sponsors and mentors?

Yes, all of these roles will still exist and will be reaching out to you as we get closer to the start of the semester. They will have “office hours” and other gatherings online throughout the semester.

What mental health and medical resources are available to students?

Students will have access to Monsour Counseling and Student Health Service as well as Timely MD/Campus Health which will provide telehealth and counseling services. Additionally, Pomona College will continue to provide reimbursement of up to $50 for 10 sessions per semester for sessions with a licensed provider. Students can find more information on our wellness page.

What resources are available for international students?

What resources are available for DACA and undocumented students?

Pomona College offers a range of resources for DACA students as well as undocumented students to foster their academic success.

Technical Resources

I’m in need of technical support. Who can I contact?

ITS has developed a number of instructional and operational continuity resources to help support online teaching and learning as well as remote work. An overview of these resources can be found below. For more information on instructional continuity, please visit the Instructional Continuity site, our Instructional Continuity Sakai page or the Instructional Continuity FAQ page.

Please keep in mind that technical help is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.  to 5 p.m. We can be reached at Servicedesk@pomona.edu or by calling 909-621-8061. 

Are laptops or hotspots available for students?

The College is loaning laptops and hotpots to Pomona students who do not have a computer or internet available to them.  As we only have a limited number available, we ask that you please only request a laptop or hotspot only if you absolutely do not have access to a computer or internet.

If you would like to check out one of these devices, please fill out a student technology request form. We will need your mailing address and a valid phone number. Laptops and internet hotspots will be given out in the order in which requests are received until they are expended. Once Pomona resumes normal operations, these laptops will have to be returned to the College.