Guide to Applying to Pomona College

Application Strategy

Guide to Applying to Pomona College

A small liberal arts school with approximately 1,500 enrolled students, Pomona College symbolizes what many envision to be an ideal undergraduate educational experience. It has a very low student-faculty ratio, allowing its students ample opportunities to work closely with professors, receive help on homework assignments, and develop long-lasting relationships with mentors dedicated to the students. As the school is solely focused on undergraduate education, Professors come to Pomona College not to bask in their research but to specifically be involved with students. In addition, on-campus housing is guaranteed for the entire undergraduate experience, which creates for a vibrant, active community that encourages teamwork. Located within driving distance of Los Angeles, the beach, and the mountains, the school is also perfectly situated in sunny Southern California.

For those interested in applying to this remarkable school, this article will serve as a guide to creating a “Pomona-oriented” application.

How Important is the Personal Statement? Any suggestions?

Due to Pomona’s interest in a diverse student body and the high degree of competitiveness of its applicant pool, any student interested in attending Pomona College needs to spend a considerable amount of time working on his or her personal statement. Pomona will certainly use statistics such as GPA and SAT scores to compare applicants, but since one of the school’s primary goals is to create a diverse, multifaceted student body, it is of utmost importance to portray this in the application.

As the personal statement will be the primary piece of the application that gives insight into the personality, thought process, and interests of the applicant, be sure to dedicate as much time as is necessary to develop a personal statement that reflects not only your accomplishments but what specifically you have that makes you unique. Since many applicants focus solely on quantifiable achievements (GPA, SAT, etc.), they forget that schools are not only looking at the numbers and forget to include insights as to who they are as a person. Pomona College wants to know who you are and this is the opportunity to show them something they don’t already know by reading your application. Be sure to keep in mind that Pomona College is a liberal arts school. Open-mindedness is definitely a quality that is pervasive at the school.

What about the secondary essay? Any other useful tips?

You'll notice that a large portion of the Pomona application is essays. The secondary essay will also be of significance, as this essay will allow you to further expand on what you may not have been able to during your personal statement. Although the prompt may vary year to year, this essay is meant to entice applicants to show another aspect of themselves that may not be noticeably observed in the common application. The best way to approach this essay is with an open mind and with the intent of showing the admissions committee something new.

But, in addition to the secondary essay, you can submit supplementary information related to the Arts, Athletics, and the Sciences. Please read the information on this on the Pomona website to be sure you have something that is relevant, and if you do, do not hesitate to send it to the school. (But, again, make sure it is relevant! More material does not increase your chances of getting accepted.) Pomona loves students that are passionate about something, whether it be sports, an instrument, art, etc. Even with lower numbers (GPA, SAT, etc.), students may be admitted that show particular promise towards specific subjects.

As a Pomona College alum, I can certainly vouch on behalf of the amazing talent that comes out of the school. Due to its sole focus on undergraduate studies, its close-knit community, its Southern California location, and its role in the Claremont Consortium (there are four other undergraduate schools and two graduate schools in the immediate vicinity at which students may take courses), it creates for a unique experience that is not easily found elsewhere.

Consider applying! And if you do, good luck!