Tuition Freeze, CARES Funding and Summer Options (5/21/20)

Dear Pomona College Students and Families,

We are writing to provide an update regarding financial steps and summer opportunities as we carry forward our ongoing response to the coronavirus crisis. We hope you and those you love are doing well during this very challenging and unprecedented time.

With families across the nation and around the globe facing a major economic downturn, the Pomona College Board of Trustees voted Friday to freeze 2020-2021 tuition at 2019-2020 levels. This action reverses the 3.5 percent ($1,904) increase that had been announced before the pandemic struck and is one of a series of steps to assist students and families during this period of hardship.

As announced previously, for students on financial aid, Pomona also will replace the minimum student contribution ($1,900 to $2,200) with a scholarship. This policy is for the 2020-21 academic school year as an additional, temporary economic support during a time of crisis.

(Normally, most domestic students who are receiving financial aid are expected to help pay for some of their college costs through a student contribution, and students often rely on summer work income to cover the expected student contribution.)

CARES Act Funding

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides higher education institutions funds earmarked for student support as well as a portion earmarked for institutional costs.

Pomona College intends to disburse CARES Act funds directly to students in the next few weeks. The College will provide CARES Act funds to those students who were enrolled as of March 13, 2020 and who have a valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file.

If you have not filed a FAFSA while enrolled at Pomona and need CARES Act funding, complete and submit the 2019-20 FAFSA application by May 29, 2020 and list Pomona as a recipient. (The federal school code is 001173.)

Pomona students who are eligible to participate in federal aid programs, and thus able to fill out the FAFSA but who have not yet done so can receive CARES Act funds once they submit this form.

The CARES Act excludes undocumented, DACA, and international students from receiving these funds. However, the College will provide funds from its own resources to those undocumented, DACA, and international students who receive financial aid.

Remote Alternative Independent Summer Experience Program – RAISE

We are excited to announce that nearly 450 student applicants have been accepted to participate in these new multi-week paid fellowships for rising sophomores, juniors and seniors to pursue independent projects or connect with faculty research programs, all through virtual means. The Remote Alternative Independent Summer Experience Program (RAISE) supports activities that spur students' thinking and growth this summer, including reading, writing, research and creative expression. Students’ proposals covered subjects ranging from art to environmental analysis and from physics to philosophy.

Supported with a $2,500 fellowship, each student will design a final product that encapsulates what they learned, achieved or created this summer and that can be shared with the Pomona College community – and we can’t wait to see the results when summer is over. We are deeply grateful to our community of generous donors who have immediately responded by providing over $1.1 million of restricted endowed funds, as well as new gifts, to support our students this summer. 

Internships and Student Employment

The College has provided donor funding to support up to 125 Pomona College Internship Program (PCIP) students this summer who will be exploring potential career paths via internships performed remotely in fields such as public policy, healthcare research and publishing. In addition, the College is in the process of hiring 55 current students to work remotely to assist offices across the campus. Our staff and faculty greatly appreciate the contributions of our student workers.

The Weeks Ahead

While our hope for fall is to be able to resume in-person classes, we will continue to evaluate the situation and develop more detailed plans in the weeks ahead.

Whichever direction we go, Pomona will not be alone as we consult with public health officials, national and state educational associations, peer institutions nationwide and partners in The Claremont Colleges consortium.

We are grateful for the thoughtfulness, adaptability and deep commitment of our extended Sagehen community during this time. We will continue to provide you with updates as this complex situation evolves, and please know we are committed to supporting our students and engaging with you as we carry forward our vital academic mission in this challenging moment of history.


G. Gabrielle Starr, president
Seth Allen, vice president for strategy & dean of admissions and financial aid
Christina Ciambriello, chief of staff and secretary to the Board of Trustees
Robert Gaines, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college
Robert Goldberg, vice president, COO and treasurer
Avis Hinkson, vice president for student affairs and dean of students
Mark Kendall, assistant vice president for communications & strategic content
William Morse, vice president and chief information officer
Maria Watson, vice president for advancement