2011-12 Pomona College Catalog 
    May 21, 2024  
2011-12 Pomona College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG] Use the dropdown above to select the current 2023-24 catalog.


Admission to Pomona College

Pomona College admits a freshman class representing a broad range of interests, viewpoints, talents and backgrounds. The College has been coeducational from the beginning and its student body is comprised of an equal number of men and women. Pomona considers an ethnically, economically and geographically diverse student group to be an educational asset, and it actively encourages a mix of ideas, backgrounds and experiences in its student body.

Pomona attracts more qualified candidates than it can enroll, making it impossible to state a minimum record that will ensure admission. The strength of the high school program, the record of academic aptitude and achievement, and school recommendations are very important, as is the propensity to engage fully with peers and faculty. Special talents or experiences in science, music, drama, dance, art, journalism, athletics, community service and other fields, as well as evidence of originality, energy, motivation and leadership potential are also considered in the admissions process.

Students’ applications and supporting materials must present an accurate reflection of academic and personal traits on which the Admissions Committee can base its evaluation. If a high school transcript does not indicate the quality of performance for a large portion of the work (e.g., Pass/No Credit or ungraded courses), the applicant must submit other evidence for the Admissions Committee’s consideration of his or her ability and academic preparation. Students who have unusual academic backgrounds should consult the Office of Admissions about submitting other evidence of their readiness to undertake college work.

Financial need does not affect admissions decisions for U.S. citizens and permanent residents. The College seeks to enroll a number of students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Pomona College Board of Trustees adopted the following policy statement on admissions:

The future of the nation and humankind depends upon the quality of the education received by young people. Institutions such as Pomona College should prepare their graduates to lead lives of creative leadership and exemplary service.

For that reason, the Board of Trustees believes the College’s student body should be drawn from a pool composed of the most intellectually capable and academically committed collegebound students in the nation. From that pool, the College should select students for its entering classes who represent a rich cross-section of backgrounds, talents, experiences and perspectives, and who offer significant prospects for achievement and leadership at the College and after their graduation. This is essential to the creation of a lively and stimulating educational environment that will prepare graduates for life in a changing world.

The development of a student body, rich in talent and broad in its diversities, must be intentional and energetic. The College encourages applications from candidates around the world. It is the policy of the College to review admissions candidates who are United States citizens and permanent residents without regard to financial circumstances and to provide financial assistance for those who enroll to the extent of their demonstrated need.

Anyone interested in preparing for Pomona, or any school official who directs preparatory programs, is invited to contact the Office of Admissions for advice on specific programs and admissions procedures.

For more information, write, call or email the Office of Admissions, 333 N. College Way, Claremont, CA 91711; phone: (909) 621-8134; email: admissions@pomona.edu.

Campus Visits and Interviews

The College welcomes visitors and strongly encourages students and parents to visit the campus. Students may make appointments with the admissions staff for an interview and/or overnight stay. The Admissions Committee strongly recommends that all candidates interview with a member of the admissions staff or with an alumni representative of the College because we believe an interview is often an important part of your college selection process. Please call to make interview appointments at least two weeks in advance. Appointments for interviews typically fill by early December.

Tours and information sessions are offered every day the Office of Admissions is open. Though appointments for tours and information sessions are not necessary, students are encouraged to call to confirm dates and times. Visitors are invited to attend classes and take meals in the dining halls on weekdays when the College is in session. The Office of Admissions is open Monday through Friday throughout the year and Saturday mornings mid-September through early December. For more information on visiting and the interview process, please visit www.pomona.edu/admissions.

Admission to Freshman Standing

Candidates normally will have completed a minimum of four or five academic subjects each term, through the 10th, 11th and 12th grades. The Admissions Committee considers the rigor of the program and quality of the record, as well as the pattern of subjects. At a minimum, four years of English, three years of foreign language and at least two years each in laboratory and social sciences are expected. Four years of mathematics are expected and a four-year course of study that includes one year of geometry, a second year of algebra, a year of trigonometry and analytical geometry and a year of calculus is highly recommended. Courses in computer programming and statistics, while desirable, should not be substituted for these fundamental courses. Students interested in pursuing a science major should include in their high school curriculum one year each of courses in physics, chemistry and biology, emphasizing laboratory work and problem solving.

In evaluating a candidate’s high school program, extra weight is generally given to honors, International Baccalaureate and AP courses, if they are available in the school. Although courses in areas such as journalism, debate, leadership and religious doctrine, as well as courses in music, art or theatre are valuable, they are not considered academic courses in assessing the strength of the candidate’s high school program.

Application Forms

Pomona College accepts the Common Application with the College’s required supplement. The Common Application is available online (www.commonapp.org) and either paper or electronic versions are accepted. The supplement is also available online at www.pomona.edu or www.commonapp.org. Please consult the Pomona Website for more information. Pomona College also accepts the QuestBridge application for students applying through that program.

Early Admission

Students who have completed the junior year of high school may be considered for admission to freshman standing. Such candidates for early admission are expected to arrange an interview with a member of the admissions staff to discuss their readiness for college life and academic work and to provide evidence that they have exhausted the academic opportunities offered at their school.

Early Decision

When Pomona is the clear first choice, students are encouraged to apply under one of the Early Decision options. This may allow them to resolve their college choice earlier in the senior year. The deadline for applying for Early Decision I is Nov. 1, and candidates are notified by mid-December. The deadline for Early Decision II is Dec. 28; candidates are notified by Feb. 15.

Students who apply to Pomona under an Early Decision option may not also apply for Early Decision at other colleges. As a “binding” decision between the College and the candidate, applicants admitted under Early Decision agree to withdraw all other applications, to initiate no new ones and to enroll at Pomona. Students who are unsure that Pomona is their first choice should apply under the Regular Decision schedule, for which the deadline is Jan. 2.

An Early Decision applicant must file all of the materials described in the section Application Instructions for Freshman Candidates and indicate Early Decision on the application form and sign the Early Decision agreement. Financial Aid instructions for Early Decision candidates can be found in the financial aid brochure, Affordable Excellence, which is available upon request.

Early Decision candidates will receive one of three decisions:

  1. The candidate is admitted and is expected to enroll.
  2. The decision is deferred. These candidates will receive their final decisions with the Regular Decision applicants pending mid-year grades, additional testing information, supplementary writing samples or other information requested by the Admissions Committee.
  3. The application is denied. In these cases, the Admissions Committee’s decision is that the student would not be admitted in the Regular Decision group and would not benefit from further review.

Deferral of Admission Enrollment Policy

Students offered admission under Regular or Early Decision may apply to defer their entry to the College by one year. Students offered admission from the waiting list may not defer entry. Requests to defer are reviewed and approved individually by the Dean of Admissions and must be received by May 1 with their enrollment forms.

Deferral of admission involves several requirements:

  1. Enrollment in any individual college course must be discussed with an admissions dean at Pomona College. Students may not enroll in a degree program.
  2. In accepting the $500 deposit, Pomona College will guarantee the student’s place for the following academic year as a full-time freshman with the commitment that the student will enroll at Pomona and will initiate no new applications to other colleges or universities.
  3. The student must write to admissions before March 1, reconfirming intention to enroll for the fall semester. In this letter, the student will include how he or she has spent the year and plans for the remainder of the year. Upon receipt of that information, the Dean of Admissions will confirm membership in the entering class.
  4. If the student intends to apply for financial aid from Pomona College for the academic year of enrollment, he or she must contact the Office of Financial Aid by Jan. 1 regarding required financial aid forms.

International Students

The College welcomes cultural and linguistic diversity, but has no English as a Second Language or other remedial programs for non- English-speaking foreign students. A “Guide for International Students” is available on the Admissions section of the Pomona College Website at www.pomona.edu and is available in hard copy by request. The application deadline for students studying outside the United States is Jan. 2 if submitted electronically; Dec. 15 if sent via postal mail. Candidates who have not studied in a school where English is the medium of instruction must submit official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) directly from the Educational Testing Service or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Financial aid for foreign students is limited, although every admitted student applying for financial aid at the time they submit their application will receive 100 percent of his or her demonstrated need. Foreign students who need financial aid may not apply for Early Decision or for transfer admission.

Application Instructions for Freshman Candidates

Pomona College accepts applications for fall entrance. Although the final date for filing an application is Jan. 2, freshman candidates are urged to submit the Preliminary Application as soon as they have decided to apply to Pomona College. Jan. 2 is also the deadline for all credentials other than senior year midterm grades. Mid-term grades are due by Feb. 15. Each candidate is responsible for submitting all items on time. When the Office of Admissions receives the application (Preliminary Application or the Common Application), and again when the application is complete, the candidate is notified.

Candidates for freshman admission will be notified of the Admissions Committee’s decision in early April.

The required credentials are:

  1. Application. Includes one wallet-size photograph (optional) and a $65 non-refundable application fee, which covers a small portion of the cost of processing applications. If the $65 fee is a financial hardship, it may be waived temporarily by written request of a counselor and permanently if the candidate’s financial aid application shows substantial need. (To verify fees and other application information for the 2012-13 academic year, please check www.pomona.edu.)
  2. Recommendations. Confidential reports, one from the secondary school principal or counselor and at least two from classroom teachers in core academic subjects (as defined in the section “Admission to Freshman Standing”), are to be sent directly to the Office of Admissions.
  3. Official Transcript of High School Record to Date. Candidates must file a transcript of work through the junior year and, as soon as grades are available, a transcript complete through the first semester or first trimester of the senior year. The school’s transcript form is satisfactory. It should include an interpretation of the grading system and a clear designation of honors, International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement courses. The student must file transcripts for any college courses taken in high school. Admission offers are made with the provision that academic performance will continue to be as strong as it has been to date. A final transcript confirming graduation and good standing at the conclusion of the school year is also required.
  4. Test Results. Official test-score reports sent directly from the testing agency are required for either the ACT (administered by the American College Testing Program) or the SAT and two SAT Subject Tests (administered by the College Board). Home-schooled students should submit four SAT Subject Tests. Please see the Home-Schooled Students section.

Also suggested:

  1. Interview: Interviews are very strongly recommended for all students, and students residing in Southern California are expected to interview on campus. An interview is an exchange of questions and information between the student and the interviewer, who may be an admissions staff member, a senior interviewer or an alumni volunteer. An interview gives the candidate an opportunity to learn first-hand how Pomona suits his or her interests. Notes of the interview are added to the student’s folder when he or she applies. Those living outside of Southern California may request an interview with an alumni volunteer. Candidates may begin interviewing on campus during the spring of their junior year. Early high school graduates are required to interview on campus. Home-schooled candidates are required to interview either on campus or with an alumnus.
  2. Documentation of Special Talents: The Admissions Committee encourages students to submit evidence of their special talents. Recordings of musical composition or performance, video or résumés of theatre or dance background, photographs of artwork, athletic information and science research may be included with the application to be reviewed by faculty. Please follow the instructions in the application and use our Arts, Athletic or Science Supplement Forms located in the “Apply” section of our Website: www.pomona.edu/admissions.

Admission to Transfer Standing

Students are considered for transfer standing (fall entrance only) if they will have completed the equivalent of at least one year’s full-time college work at the time of enrollment at Pomona (a minimum equivalent of six Pomona courses). Students who will have completed less should apply for freshman standing.

Candidates who have previously applied to Pomona College should make that known when contacting the Office of Admissions about transferring. Candidates who previously have been enrolled at Pomona must submit an academic plan for graduation.

All transfer students must spend a minimum of four semesters in full-time regular standing at Pomona in order to receive the B.A. degree. A student may not transfer more than 16 course credits toward the 32 minimum requirement. Please see the section Grades, Credit and the Academic Record  in this catalog for further rules regarding credit.

In evaluating transfer applications, the Admissions Committee places considerable weight on the nature and quality of the previous college record. Where the college transcript does not clearly indicate the quality of work (e.g., a large number of Pass/No Credit courses), it is the applicant’s responsibility to provide supplementary information on which the Admissions Committee can base its decision.

Credit granted for work taken at other institutions is determined by the Academic Procedures Committee after the candidate has been admitted. Course credit is ordinarily transferable if: 1) the prior college is accredited; 2) the course carries a grade of C or better; and 3) the course is comparable to a course offered by Pomona. Pomona faculty members may be consulted on the question of course comparability, and the candidate may be asked to submit catalog course descriptions, syllabi and reading lists in addition to complete transcripts. This process may be time-consuming, and normally only a tentative estimate of course transferability is available to the candidate when enrolling at Pomona College. Conversion of credit from a unit system can be made by equating four semester hours or six quarter hours to one Pomona course.

Visiting Students

Students at other colleges who wish to attend Pomona for a semester or a year, but who are not interested in pursuing a Pomona degree, may do so by completing the transfer application and indicating “Visiting.” These students are admitted on a space-available basis and are not eligible for Pomona College financial aid funds.

Application Instructions for Transfer Candidates

Transfer candidates will be considered for fall entrance only. Applications and all supporting materials must be on file by March 15. For students studying outside of the United States, the deadline is March 1.

Please note that Pomona College does not accept the Common Application for transfer candidates. All application materials, with the exception of the Application for Admission—Form 1, must be sent together in one large envelope. Applicants should return secondary school and college reports, faculty references and transcripts in sealed envelopes with authorized signatures across the envelope flaps. (College entrance examination results, i.e., SAT Reasoning Test and ACT, must be sent directly to Pomona College from the testing agency.)

Transfer applicants will be notified of the Admissions Committee’s decision by mid-May.

The required credentials are:

  1. Application. Includes one wallet-size photograph (optional) and a $65 non-refundable fee, which covers a small portion of the cost of processing applications.
  2. Secondary School Report. A confidential report by the secondary school principal or counselor is required. This form may be waived for candidates who, at the time they apply, have completed at least two full years of college work or who have been out of high school for more than two years. All candidates who are unable to receive the report by their secondary school must contact the Office of Admissions.
  3. College Report. This report is required from a member of the Dean of Students Office or, at community colleges, a member of the counseling staff who has access to the student’s complete college record. If the candidate has attended more than one college, a copy of this form should be submitted by an administrator from the college attended most recently. If the candidate is not currently enrolled in a college, a letter from his or her employer (if working) or superior in command (if in the military) must be filed in addition to the recommendation from the college.
  4. College Faculty Recommendations. Two evaluations of the candidate’s academic potential by college instructors.
  5. Transcripts.
    1. A complete transcript of the secondary school record showing the date of graduation and providing an interpretation of the grading system.
    2. An official transcript from each college or university attended, including a statement of good standing or honorable dismissal. Failure to list and provide transcripts for all colleges attended will be considered sufficient grounds for requiring withdrawal from Pomona College.
  6. Standardized Test Results. Official testscore reports for either the SAT Reasoning Test administered by the College Board or the ACT administered by the American College Testing Program are required for all transfer candidates. (See below for further information.)

Also suggested:

  1. Interviews. Interviews are very strongly recommended. An interview is an exchange of questions and information between the student and an admissions staff member. An interview gives the candidate an opportunity to learn how Pomona suits his or her interests. Notes of the interview are added to the student’s folder when he or she applies. Students residing or attending college/university in Southern California are expected to interview on campus.
  2. Documentation of Special Talents. The Admissions Committee strongly encourages students to submit evidence of their special talents. Recordings of musical composition or performance, video or résumés of theatre or dance background, and slides or photographs of artwork may be included with the application to be reviewed by faculty. Please follow the instructions in the application.

External Credit

It is possible to obtain Pomona College credit for the following:

  1. Advanced Placement Credit. Scores of 4 and 5 on Advanced Placement Exams are eligible for credit. See the section Grades, Credit and the Academic Record  in this catalog for more information.
  2. International Baccalaureate Credit. One course credit is granted for scores of 6 or 7 on higher-level International Baccalaureate examinations.
  3. College Courses Taken While in High School. Credits will be allowed for transferable courses on receipt of a college transcript. There is no limit to the amount of advanced standing credit that may be accrued through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and pre-matriculation college courses, but credit for advanced standing does not supersede the College’s requirement of 30 postcollege-matriculation courses as part of the 32 courses needed for graduation.

Credit by Examination

Pomona College does not allow credit by examination, other than by the programs described in the section External Credit.

Standardized Tests

All candidates for admission are required to take either the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT. Candidates who take the SAT Reasoning Test are expected to submit results for two College Board SAT Subject Tests. Homeschooled students are expected to submit the results of four SAT Subject Tests. Please see the Home-Schooled Students section. Candidates should schedule the SAT Tests or ACT to allow at least one month between the test date and the appropriate application deadline. Students must request that official test-score reports be sent directly to the College from the testing agency. The College will not accept results of ACT examinations administered outside the United States.

Arrangements for taking the College Board or American College Testing Program examinations are made directly with the testing agency, and the responsibility for completing these arrangements rests with the candidate. Application to take the tests must be filed approximately four weeks in advance of the examination. Candidates are urged to fill out the descriptive questionnaire associated with the tests.

Information concerning test dates, application fees, test-result reports, testing procedures, sample questions and special administration of the tests may be obtained from the testing agencies. Inquiries should be sent to one of the following addresses:

College Entrance Examination Board
P.O. Box 589
Princeton, NJ 08541
Website: www.collegeboard.com

The American College Testing Program
P.O. Box 168
Iowa City, IA 52243
Website: www.actstudent.org

Pomona College requires either the SAT plus two SAT Subject Tests OR the ACT. In submitting their application for admission consideration, students will certify that they will send to Pomona reports of all test scores taken on any date, whether ACT or SAT and SAT Subject Tests or both.

Information below addresses general requirements for first-year students and transfer students as well as specific issues for international and home-schooled students.

First-year and Transfer Students

SAT and SAT Subject Test Scores. Students submitting results from the SAT for consideration as part of their application for first-year admission must additionally submit the results from two SAT Subject Tests, which are NOT in the same field. For example, students should not submit the results of both Math I and Math II, but rather should provide results showing work in a broader range of fields.

Pomona College requires that applicants submit all SAT scores from all test dates. The Admissions Committee will consider the highest section scores across all SAT test dates. Final admissions decisions will be made using your highest individual test scores.

With each test result submitted, Pomona College will update records with any new individual high scores and this can benefit candidates by allowing Pomona College to fully consider the application with the context of best testing performance.

Because the essay samples will be released only to official score recipients, applicants to the College must identify Pomona directly to the College Board to receive official test results.

Transfer students must submit either the new or older version of the SAT or may submit ACT results. Students who have taken SAT Subject Tests must submit those results as well.

The ACT. Students may choose to submit the ACT (or the SAT with two SAT Subject Tests). Pomona College requires that candidates submit all ACT scores from all test dates. Consistent with the ACT standards for acceptable use of ACT test score, the Office of Admissions will record the test date reflecting the highest composite score. We will consider all sittings and having all test scores from all dates permits the Admissions Committee further consideration of peak or higher subscores from other test dates as skill sets and performance are evaluated in our review process.

Although the writing examination remains optional on the new version of the ACT, we expect and recommend that students take the optional section and submit the results.

Candidates should be sure to identify Pomona as an official recipient for whichever tests are pursued so we can directly receive the results.

For more information, please view Pomona College’s Policy on Reporting Standardized Testing available online at: http://www.pomona.edu/admissions/apply/standardized-testing-reporting.aspx

Home-Schooled Students

Home-schooled students will follow the same testing requirements as other candidates, but will be expected to submit additional testing. SAT or ACT results must be submitted with scores from four SAT Subject Tests or a combination of four SAT Subject Tests and Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate Higher Level examination results in a variety of fields.

International Students

Assessment of English as a Foreign Language. Students who have not attended a school where English is the medium of instruction must also submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with their application materials—in addition to SAT and SAT Subject Tests (where available). If providing TOEFL or IELTS results presents a hardship, please contact the Office of Admissions for possible alternatives.

Regrettably, the College will not accept the results of ACT examinations administered outside of the United States. The College will not use the results of the SAT English Language Placement Test of the Test of English as a Second Language.

Instructions For Candidates Accepting Admission

Deposit. Enrolling students are required to make a $500 deposit (for 2012-13, please verify amount at www.pomona.edu). This deposit does not apply to tuition or to room and board, but is held until a student’s graduation or withdrawal from the College. At that time, any outstanding bills or charges are deducted and any balance is refunded unless part or all of the deposit has been forfeited by withdrawal after established deadlines. No refund will be made to candidates who accept admission and withdraw after the freshman reply date of May 1 or the transfer reply date of June 1 for fall admission.

Supplementary Transcript. An official transcript reporting final grades must be filed as soon as possible after the close of the last term. It should include a statement of graduation or honorable dismissal. Please note that all offers of admission are conditional, upon review of final grades. Students who do not submit final transcripts by July 1 for the fall term will be unable to enroll.

Housing Form, Contact Information Form, Student Photograph. Housing assignments are based on the information provided by new students on the Housing Form. The Contact Information Form asks for information needed for future mailings regarding orientation, registration, medical services, housing and billing. A current digital photograph (2”by 2”, passport style) is requested of each new student for inclusion in the electronic Student Handbook.

Medical Certificate. An entering student must submit by August 1 a medical examination report on a form furnished by the College, including the results of a tuberculin skin test or chest X-ray within the preceding six months and active immunization against tetanus. Without them, enrollment cannot be completed.