Pomona College has a comprehensive need-based financial aid program for students who enroll as degree-seeking students. Students are admitted to Pomona without consideration of their financial circumstances, except in the case of international students. The Office of Financial Aid coordinates funding from federal, state, private and institutional resources to ensure an Offer of Financial Aid that meets the full demonstrated need of each student as determined by the Office of Financial Aid.
In distributing its own funds, the College assumes that students and their parents are the first and primary source of funding for a student’s education. The various sources of financial aid are secondary resources to fill the funding gap between the cost of attending and what the family can reasonably afford. Pomona’s general policy is to exclude students from being considered financially independent of their parents for college-administered grant aid unless a student is an orphan, a ward of the court, veteran or at least 25 years of age. Spouses of married undergraduate students also share in the responsibility of meeting a student’s educational costs. Pomona expects financial aid applicants to apply for and use resources from state, federal, and private funding sources, contribute from their earnings during non-enrollment periods (for example, summer) and use earnings from part-time employment during the academic year to meet educational expenses.
The amount of aid each student receives varies according to each family’s individual circumstances. All students applying for financial aid, whether applying to college for the first time or currently enrolled students, must submit all required documents in order to be considered for financial aid. For complete details on Pomona College aid programs, consult our Financial Aid Handbook, which is available on the Pomona College website.
How to Apply
Candidates for admission who wish to apply for financial aid must submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to be considered for federal financial aid and some types of state aid; the federal Title IV school code is 001173. To be considered for institutional aid, students must also submit the CSS Profile. Applicants are encouraged to include on the CSS Profile or write directly to the Pomona College Office of Financial Aid, any special circumstances they feel affect their ability to pay for college. Please refer to the Office of Financial Aid website or the Pomona College financial aid brochure, Affordable Excellence, for more details regarding the financial aid application procedures.
California State Aid Programs
All Pomona College applicants who meet the California residency requirements must apply for aid through the California Student Aid Commission. US citizens and permanent residents must submit a FAFSA and have their high school submit their verified GPA by March 2 to be considered for state grant eligibility for the upcoming academic year. DACA and undocumented students who meet the eligibility requirements of AB540 must submit the CA Dream Act Application to be considered. For additional information, please visit the Cal Grants website, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 888-224-7268, or write directly to the California Student Aid Commission, Student Support Services Branch P.O. Box 419027, Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9027.
Renewal of Aid
Students must reapply for financial aid each year they are enrolled. A student may assume that the College will continue to provide comparable assistance for subsequent years insofar as the family’s financial circumstances remain consistent from year to year. As circumstances change, financial aid eligibility may also change.
It is the responsibility of the student to complete their financial aid application (CSS Profile, FAFSA/CA Dream Act Application, parent and student federal tax returns and follow-up forms) before established deadlines. Those that meet the deadline will be given consideration for assistance first. Late applications will be reviewed and aid will be provided if the student meets all eligibility requirements.
Terms of Assistance
Students are eligible for financial aid consideration during their first eight semesters of undergraduate enrollment. Applicants for need-based grant eligibility beyond the eighth semester are considered only if enrollment is essential to complete the minimum requirements for the first baccalaureate degree or major, and they are approved by the College to return. Students who have been approved to enroll for more than eight semesters and who are recipients of financial aid will have an additional student contribution of $5000 per semester. The additional student contribution may be paid with an educational loan. Students who enroll for a fifth year in pursuit of a minor, a second major or a second degree, are not eligible for financial aid from Pomona. Eligibility for federal student aid is limited to the equivalent of 12 semesters of full-time undergraduate enrollment, including course work taken at other colleges and universities. Students must also maintain satisfactory academic progress to retain financial aid eligibility.
Communication with Students
Pomona’s Office of Financial Aid uses electronic means (such as email and the student portal) as primary methods of communication and to provide financial aid information. Signatures or acknowledgments provided by the student electronically to the College via Pomona systems and/or @pomona.edu email are valid and legally binding. Emails sent by financial aid staff to a student’s Pomona email account will be presumed to have been received and read by the student.
Types of Financial Aid Available
Grant aid that Pomona distributes includes the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), California State Grant, and institutional grants. A description of each of these aid types may be found on the financial aid website. Need based scholarship aid is provided primarily from the College and outside agencies. Students receiving an endowed or restricted scholarship are informed of the donor or source of their scholarship and may be asked to provide information to the College for annual donor reporting. To be eligible for grant aid, a student must apply for assistance by completing the CSS Profile and FAFSA/CA Dream Act Application and submitting parent and student tax documents before the established deadlines. Receipt of any financial assistance from sources other than Pomona College must be reported to the Office of Financial Aid. These outside awards are coordinated with the student’s Offer of Financial Aid in order to ensure a student’s total sources of financial aid do not exceed their financial need. When a student receives outside scholarships, these funds reduce or eliminate the student’s responsibility to contribute from job earnings (summer expectation and student employment during the school year). If the total in outside scholarships exceeds the student’s responsibility, the College then reduces institutional grant and parent contribution (50%/50% respectively). Outside scholarships may also be used to cover the cost of medical insurance or a one-time computer purchase, if approved by the awarding agency.
Self-Help aid comes in two forms. The first is student employment. Most students receiving need-based financial aid are awarded student employment, which authorizes students to work up to 10 hours per week. The amount awarded represents an opportunity for students to earn money to put toward school-related expenses and represent a maximum that can be earned during the academic year. The exact dollars earned are based on the hours worked. Hours not worked and awarded dollars not earned may be replaced with an educational loan, upon request from the student. Students are not assigned campus jobs; campus jobs are posted on the online job board Handshake and advertised at the on-campus job fair. Students may evaluate positions and apply for the job that best fits their experience, schedule and employment goals. Students may also consider employment with non-profit and community organizations with whom we maintain a contract and working relationship. Earnings are paid to the student directly at the end of each pay period. Students who elect to use direct deposit may have their earnings deposited into the student’s checking or savings account.
A second form of self-help aid is student loans. Loans allow students to finance a portion of their education. Loans must be repaid after the student has graduated or their enrollment has reduced to less than half-time. Most student loans may be deferred if the student continues their education beyond their bachelor’s degree. Federal loan options include Federal Direct Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) and Federal Direct PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students). A description of each loan, including eligibility, annual loan limits, fees, current interest rates, and repayment terms can be found at the financial aid website.
Student Loan Exit Interviews
All students who have received student loans during their course of study at Pomona College are required to attend one or more exit interviews before leaving the College. This is a requirement for graduation and for students who take a leave of absence or withdraw completely. It is the student’s responsibility to see that this requirement has been met. Exit interview sessions are generally available online. Questions concerning exit interviews should be directed to the student loan administrator in the Finance Office or to the Office of Financial Aid.
Refund of Financial Aid
If a student received financial aid and takes a leave of absence or withdraws before the end of the semester, the Office of Financial Aid calculates the institutional financial aid refund by prorating the grant aid to reflect the same percentage of grant aid contained in the original financial aid offer before the student withdrew. If a student has received any federal aid, the federal refund calculation is performed according to federal regulations. A more detailed description of the financial aid refund and repayment policy is published for general reference by the Office of Financial Aid. Sample refund calculations are also available to students upon request.