Philosophy: Pomona has a comprehensive need-based financial aid program for students who meet various conditions set by federal and state governments, the College, and other outside agencies. Students are admitted without consideration of their financial circumstances, except in the case of international students.
In awarding its own funds, the College assumes that students and their parents accept the first and primary responsibility for meeting educational costs. Pomona’s policy generally is to exclude students from being considered financially independent of their parents for college-administered scholarship aid unless a student is an orphan, a ward of the court, or at least 25 years of age. Spouses of married undergraduate students share in the responsibility to meet 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 particular circumstances. All students applying for financial aid, whether first-time first year applicants 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 Understanding Your Financial Aid which is available on the Pomona College website at the following address: https://www.pomona.edu/financial-aid
How to Apply: Candidates for admission who wish to apply for financial aid must submit both the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid federal Title IV code 001173) available on line at www.FAFSA.edu and the CSS PROFILE (institutional aid application-code 4607) available on line at http://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile. Applicants are encouraged include on the CSS Profile or write directly to the Pomona College Office of Financial Aid regarding any special circumstances they feel affect their ability to pay for college. Please refer to our website, www.Pomona.edu/financialaid, or the Pomona College financial aid brochure, Affordable Excellence, for details on financial aid application procedures. For additional detailed information, refer to the FAO website.
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. DACA and undocumented students must submit the CA Dream Act financial aid application (http://www.calgrants.org/) to be considered. For additional information, please visit www.calgrants.org, 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: Financial aid forms must be completed each year. A student and his or her family may assume that the College will continue to provide comparable assistance for subsequent years insofar as the family’s financial circumstances remain stable. As those circumstances change, financial aid may also change. It is important to understand that financial aid administered by the College is not renewed automatically. Parents and students must complete and submit the necessary forms and need analysis documents each year (i.e. CSS PROFILE, FAFSA, parent and student federal tax returns). At Pomona, financial aid is related to demonstrated financial need rather than academic measures. However, students must make satisfactory academic progress toward graduation in order to have their aid.
It is the responsibility of the student to submit a complete financial aid application (CSS PROFILE, FAFSA, parent and student federal tax returns and follow-up forms) before established deadlines. Deadline dates are “priority deadlines” and will be enforced according to the availability of aid funding for that year. Those that meet the deadline will be given consideration for assistance first. Other applications will be considered according to the date received and current funding levels.
Terms of Assistance: Students are considered for scholarship eligibility during their first four years of undergraduate enrollment. The Financial Aid Office (FAO) considers applicants for scholarship eligibility beyond the eighth semester only if enrollment is essential in order to complete the minimum requirements for the first baccalaureate degree or major. Financial aid beyond the eight semesters will include a packaged loan in the amount of $5000 per semester for each semester of enrollment. 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 any source. 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 Financial Aid Office uses electronic means (such as email and the student portal) as a primary method of communication and of providing financial aid, billing, payment, and enrollment services. Signatures or acknowledgments provided by the student electronically to Pomona via Pomona systems and/or @pomona.edu email are valid and legally binding.
Notification/Obligation to Read Email: For many financial aid communications, email to a student’s Pomona’s email account is the official form of notification to the student, and emails sent by financial aid staff to such email addresses will be presumed to have been received and read by the student.
Types of Financial Aid Available
Gift 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 recognize them for their support. To be eligible for gift aid, a student must apply for assistance by completing the CSS PROFILE and FAFSA and submitting parent and student federal tax forms before the established deadline. Receipt of any financial assistance from sources other than Pomona College (federal and state grants excluded) must be reported to the Financial Aid Office. These outside awards will result in an adjustment in the financial aid package in order to remain within a student’s calculated financial need and to utilize all resources available to that student. When a student receives outside scholarships, these funds reduce or eliminate the student’s responsibility to contribute from job earnings (summer expectation and term time work). If the total in outside scholarships exceeds the student’s responsibility, the College then reduces institutional scholarship and parent contribution, (50/50 respectively), by any additional amount. Outside scholarships may also be used to cover the cost of medical insurance or a one-time computer purchase, if approved by 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 8-10 hours per week. The amount awarded represents an opportunity for students to earn money toward college expenses, and represent a maximum that can be earned during the academic year. The exact dollars earned may be influenced by the hours available from the employer and student schedule for a term. Hours not worked and awarded dollars not earned may be converted to additional self-help aid (i.e. loans). Students are usually assigned campus jobs, although some students are assigned off-campus jobs at non-profit organizations. Earnings are directly deposited into the student’s checking or savings account at the end of each pay period.
The second form of self-help aid is student loans. Loans allow students to finance a portion of their education through utilization of future earnings resulting from and enhanced by the benefits of their college education. These loans must be repaid after the student has graduated or enrollment has ceased. Most student loans may be deferred if the student continues their education beyond their Bachelor’s Degree. Loan options include Perkins Loans, 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, 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 an exit interview 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 available online. Students may schedule individual appointments if they have additional questions. Questions concerning exit interviews should be directed to the student loan administrator in the Business Office or to the Associate Director of Financial Aid. For additional information on financial aid at Pomona College, please visit http://www.pomona.edu/financialaid.
Refund of Financial Aid: If a student has received any financial aid, the Office of Financial Aid calculates the institutional financial aid refund by prorating the scholarships and self-help (i.e., loan and work) to reflect the same percentage of scholarship and self-help contained in the original aid award 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.