What Does it Take to Get Into Pomona College?

Strategies by School
April 9, 2020
The Historic And Tightly-Knit Pomona College Has So Much More To Offer Students Than Typical Liberal Arts Appeal…

If you’ve ever dreamed of studying at one of the most well-respected liberal arts colleges in the country, Pomona College offers that and more. With a scenic campus just 35 miles from the cultural melting pot of Los Angeles, Pomona provides both a beautiful campus to call home and world-renowned professors to help you expand your horizons and realize your academic dreams.

In this article, we’ll cover what you need to know to get accepted into Pomona College and begin this next phase in your education!

What You’ll Find In This Article

Pomona's Ideal Student

As a small yet renowned liberal arts college, Pomona’s admissions are very competitive. The average incoming Pomona students have GPA and test scores that look like this:

  • GPA: 4.05
  • SAT: 1470
  • ACT: 32

Pomona is known for holding its students to a high standard, and in order to meet this standard you’ll need to have impressive academic scores as well as a record of dedication to your commitments, hobbies, and extracurricular activities. Pomona students often come from the top of their high school classes and work incredibly hard to study at one of the most prestigious colleges in the nation.

While it’s nearly impossible to generalize the diverse student body Pomona College nurtures, there are shared values that every student across campus embodies. These are the traits that draw scholars from across the globe to study at this tight-knit college, and if you find yourself holding these values, you should consider Pomona among your top college choices.


While nearly every college freshman is curious, the students at Pomona College take this to a whole new level. Students are not only taught to push the boundaries of their own imaginations but to explore themselves and the world around them on a daily basis. Students put their curiosity to use doing real research, discovering the connections between communities, and learning about local and global matters on a whole new level.

  • When was the last time you went out of your way to learn something, and what drove you to do so?
  • What is your favorite way to indulge your curiosity? Do you read, talk to others, or experience things for yourself?
  • How would you use your natural curiosity to your advantage at Pomona College?


Students who study at Pomona go beyond simply showing up to class. With small, intimate classes and the chance to engage with professors one-on-one, this is not the college for those looking to coast through. Across campus, students interact with their professors, peers, and the resources around them with a sense of passion. Nobody at Pomona is pursuing their education out of obligation - instead they’re truly driven to complete their education.

  • Think of a time when you went above and beyond what was expected of you at school.
  • What topics excite you and make you want to learn more?
  • If you attended Pomona, how would you make the most of their top tier professors and resources?


Your peers at Pomona are more than just friends; they’re a support system, study buddies, and a lifelong network all wrapped into one. Students are taught the spirit of collaboration early at Pomona; because there are no graduate students, even first-year students are given the chance to shine in their classes and research!

  • How do you approach collaborating with people your age?
  • Can you recall a time when you worked with a teacher, mentor, or counselor to achieve something significant?
  • How can you use your extracurricular involvement to show a track record of being a team player, a leader, or an important team member?


Pomona College is known for encouraging students to pursue their passions. With 48 majors, students are not bound by the limits of their imagination. They can pursue a wide range of passions and interests until their junior year when they must choose from any one of Pomona’s programs. Some of their most popular programs include:

  • Art (Ranked 4th nationwide)
  • Communications (Ranked 5th)
  • International Relations (Ranked 8th)
  • Chemistry (Ranked 10th)


Pomona College is much more than just a typical liberal arts school, while its small size makes it feel as intimate as a little state school. However, the ideal Pomona student is capable of thinking on a much larger scale; a global scale. A Pomona student is one who is energized, more than happy to work with others, and always focused on their goal (but unafraid to step back and take a break when needed!)

Yet, Pomona College stands with many others when they say that there’s no generic “ideal student” that they look for. Admissions officials are looking for students who go above and beyond in their own unique ways. If the possibility of bringing your unique flair to this tight-knit and high-achieving campus energizes you, read below to see what you’ll need to do to get accepted into Pomona College.

What You Need To Get Accepted Into Pomona College


Pomona College accepts both the Common Application and the Coalition Application. They do not prefer one application over the other, so the choice is yours and is mostly up to personal preference. You should take the time to become familiar with the application you choose to submit, and we have guides for both the Common Application and the Coalition Application that may help you get started.

There are several deadlines you need to be aware of. Early decision I applications are due November 15th, while early decision II and regular decision are both due on January 1st.


In addition to your official high school transcript, your school counselor must also submit your Mid-Year report halfway through your senior year. Be sure to stay on top of requesting these crucial documents in order to keep your application up to date.


Students are required to submit either an ACT or SAT score with their application. International students must also submit their scores for either the TOEFL or the IELTS.


Your counselor should submit a recommendation along with a school report that includes your disciplinary history if any. Pomona College will not release an admissions decision without these documents, so make sure you talk with your high school counselor to ensure they get sent.


This is where learning how to ask for a letter of recommendation can become one of your most valuable skills, because Pomona asks for two letters of recommendation from teachers who taught you in core subjects. You may also submit an additional recommendation from an elective teacher, coach, or even employer who can shed light on who you are as a person and a student.


Pomona College asks students for a nonrefundable $70 fee, however, waivers are available for students with financial need. Students will need to go through either the Common or Coalition application’s process for requesting a fee waiver in order to receive one.

Pomona's Campus Life


The 140-acre campus is home to both the historic and cutting edge and within traveling distance of Los Angeles and the beautiful mountains, beaches, and parks that many Pomona students come to love during their four years.

Back on campus, students are encouraged to both live and learn together with a majority of students choosing to live on campus. As the founding member of The Claremont Colleges, students have access to a wide variety of on-campus and off-campus events.


Student organizations across Pomona and The Claremont Colleges open up a world of possibilities. First-year students are given the opportunity to find clubs to join every year during the “Turf Dinner”, and there’s plenty of different options to explore. From clubs that engage your love of music to nurture your interest in helping your communities, there are clubs to fill nearly every interest on campus. And while Pomona may not have a traditional Greek life, there are still three chapters on campus that students can join if they choose.

A quarter of students at Pomona play varsity sports, and together with Pitzer College students make up 21 varsity teams. Outside of varsity sports, there are a variety of other ways to get active on campus including tennis, flag football, and softball.


With 16 different residence halls each with their own unique feel, it’s no wonder that a majority of students choose to live on campus throughout their four years at Pomona College. Students can choose from a variety of dorms after their first-year based on their preferences, needs, and personalities. With many of the dorms within walkable distance of the main campus hubs, students can choose to walk or bike throughout most of their time at Pomona. There are also three dining halls to choose from, all with plenty of options and a focus on sustainable food.


The first-year orientation at Pomona is much more than just a boring lecture; it’s an adventure around campus that can propel lifelong friendships and a sense of wonder. These trips are led by older, more experienced Pomona students, with staff and faculty tagging along for the ride.

From Application To Career: What You'll Experience At Pomona


Pomona College is known for being one of the most diverse colleges in the nation, and they maintain that diversity by carefully vetting each application they receive. More than numbers, Pomona College wants to learn about the real you. Do your best to highlight your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses (and your desire to work on them!) throughout your application. This honesty and a true glimpse into your personality will do more for your application than trying to craft a persona of “the perfect student” ever will.


With only 250 words, your answer to the Pomona short response essay must be sharp yet personal. Don’t be afraid to use strong language, but avoid technical jargon or flowery prose. Your goal in the essay is to answer the prompt fully and with your own voice. Be careful to avoid overzealous edits to your essay, as the editing process is when you lose much of the personality and spark that make college essays stand out. Still, make sure your essay is proofread and polished before submission, meaning no typos in sight!


As you study at Pomona, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded individuals who can help spur real personal growth. Both inside and outside of the classroom, you’ll learn how to have deep and meaningful conversations that can lead to results, action, or anything else you can imagine. At Pomona, you’ll learn more than just how to be a good student. You’ll learn how you can best contribute to the greater world around you.


Your future post-Pomona looks bright if the careers of musician Kris Kristofferson and actor Richard Chamberlain are any indication. In addition to joining an impressive list of alumni, you’ll also have access to many alumni events and annual gatherings once you leave Pomona.

As far as your future employment, many Pomona graduates find themselves in the following fields:

  • Higher education
  • Research
  • Health care
  • Non-profits
  • Technology

Your Future At Pomona College

For many students, college is just as much an experience as it is an investment in their future. Pomona College offers students the best of both worlds, with countless experiences interwoven in their top-notch programs. Here, a liberal arts education goes beyond the classroom and into the very hearts of Pomona’s students. Many alumni report having deep conversations outside the classroom with their peers that have impacted their lives far into the future.

However, such a combination of experience and learning is very sought after. This, along with Pomona’s small class sizes, makes this one of the most competitive schools in the country. Our WeAdmit counselors know it can be difficult to work on an application for such a competitive school, and we’d love to help you perfect your application. We have experience working through every problem that comes up during the application process, from nerves to missing paperwork...

And We’d Love To Help You Every Step Of The Way!



Need more Information?

Gain all the information you need by getting in touch with our admissions team or booking a free 30-minute counseling session.