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How to get into Pomona College—General Information

Pomona College is a private college in Claremont, California. It was first established in 1887, and in 1925 it became the first of the Claremont Colleges consortium institutions. Of the five undergraduate colleges in this consortium, the Pomona acceptance rate is the lowest at 6.6%. The student body in the institution at large is just over 3,400, and the Pomona College demographics are diverse. As of spring 2022, the total undergraduate Pomona College enrollment was 1,747.

What we’ll cover in this How to Get Into Pomona Guide:

  • Pomona College GPA
  • Optimal Pomona College SAT scores
  • Interpreting the Pomona acceptance rate
  • Pomona College demographics
  • How to write the Pomona supplemental essays
  • Acing the Pomona interview, and more

When thinking about how to get into Pomona College, you will want to make sure each part of your application—your GPA, test scores, Pomona interview, and Pomona supplemental essays—is of the highest quality. This means matching the average Pomona College GPA, studying well in advance to ensure strong Pomona College SAT scores, and preparing for the Pomona supplemental essays and Pomona interview. Given the low Pomona acceptance rate, you should start strategizing for the application process early to increase your chance of success.

Figuring out how to get into Pomona College takes strategy. We can help. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former Pomona College admissions officers) includes Pomona graduates. Want to maximize your Pomona College admissions odds? Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.

How can I get into Pomona?

The first thing to look at when considering Pomona College is the Pomona acceptance rate. The number of students who applied for the Pomona class of 2025 was 11,620. Of those students, just over 760 were admitted. This makes for a total Pomona acceptance rate of 6.6%. 

Like most top schools, Pomona uses a comprehensive review process. That means Pomona considers each applicant’s specific situation. The Pomona acceptance rate is low and there is no definitive formula for getting accepted, but admitted students share a passion for academics and strive to make a difference in their lives. The school’s holistic admissions process along with a commitment to global outreach explain the diverse Pomona College demographics.

If you’re wondering how to get into Pomona College, we advise you plan to exceed the average Pomona College GPA, attend your Pomona interview, and start preparing early to compete with the average Pomona College SAT scores.

Is Pomona difficult to get into?

Even though there isn’t an official minimum Pomona College SAT requirement, Pomona College is highly selective.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the college has implemented a test-optional policy for students applying for first-year Pomona College admissions for fall 2022, 2023, and 2024. However, due to the low Pomona acceptance rate, we strongly advise you to take the SAT or ACT to compete with high Pomona College SAT standards. You should aim to meet the school’s median Pomona College SAT and ACT scores—SAT EBRW: 750, SAT Math: 770, and ACT Composite: 34. 

Similarly, Pomona doesn’t officially require a minimum Pomona College GPA to apply. However, according to their 2021-2022 data, an applicant’s academic GPA is a very important factor.

To increase your chances of impressing Pomona College admissions, keep your grades high to compete with the average Pomona College GPA, study for and submit SAT and ACT scores, and contemplate your Pomona supplemental essays as early as possible.

What is the required GPA for Pomona College?

No GPA will guarantee acceptance from Pomona College admissions. Depending on the Pomona College demographics of your intake year, you could fall beneath the cut-offs whatever your GPA. However, if you want a shot at getting in, aim for a high GPA.

The average Pomona College GPA ranges from 3.8 to 4.5. Perhaps more important for Pomona College admissions than a Pomona College GPA is an applicant’s class rank. Due to the caliber of the other candidates also vying for a place at Pomona College, aim for all A’s and to graduate in the top 10% of your class. 

Don’t take easy courses just to make the grade. In addition to your academic performance, Pomona looks at the rigor of your course load. You’ll want to take honors, AP, or IB courses, and even courses at your local community college to have a chance at success in spite of the low Pomona acceptance rate. 

If you attend a school that doesn’t offer advanced courses, don’t worry. Pomona considers applicants in context, so you won’t be put at a disadvantage. The college’s commitment to recruiting students from different backgrounds and experiences further contributes to the diverse Pomona College demographics.

Are you already a junior or senior wondering how to get into Pomona College with a GPA lower than 3.8? Check out our article for advice if your grades don’t match the average Pomona College GPA.

What does the Pomona application look like?

Thinking about how to get into Pomona College? You’re probably curious about what the application process looks like. 

Like most top-tier schools, the Pomona college admissions process is comprehensive. This means many factors contribute to the low Pomona acceptance rate, not just your ability to meet the average Pomona College GPA or average Pomona SAT scores. Pomona College admissions officers want to get to know you as well as they can through your application. This is why the process is quite involved and why the Pomona College demographics reflect higher GPAs and test scores.

Before you begin, carefully think about the best way to present yourself—especially in the Pomona supplemental essays. Consider your goals, creativity, and talents. These characteristics reveal things about you that numbers cannot, which is what makes them important factors when figuring out how to get into Pomona College.

The Pomona application deadline for Early Decision I is November 15th, and the application deadline for Regular Decision is January 8th.

According to Pomona College admissions, applicants must submit:

Wondering how to get into Pomona College? Start by collecting all of your materials well before the application deadline. For more tips on how to ace the Common App, click here.

What extracurriculars does Pomona College look for?

When thinking about how to get into Pomona College, keep in mind that your extracurriculars say a lot about you. You do not have to write about your extracurricular activities in your Pomona supplemental essays, but doing so will help the Pomona College admissions team determine whether you’re a good fit. 

Don’t take on too many extracurriculars in hope that the sheer number of your activities will impress the Pomona College admissions team. That’s not how to get into Pomona College. Aim for quality over quantity with activities that display a high level of achievement or leadership, are more exclusive, and promote growth.

When thinking about how to get into Pomona College and the impact extracurriculars have, don’t be discouraged if your school or community doesn’t provide exciting activities to choose from. Just like with available courses, Pomona views your extracurriculars in the context of what you did with the options available. This is another way the Pomona College admissions process supports higher-than-average Pomona College demographics for each incoming class.

Regardless of which school you’re trying to get into, extracurriculars matter. Check out our webinar for tips on building your extracurricular profile.

What is the acceptance rate at Pomona College?

The Pomona acceptance rate is one of the first things to consider when figuring out how to get into Pomona College. The applicant pool for the Pomona Class of 2025 was highly diverse — Pomona College demographics indicate that the student body is split equally between men and women. Students applied from all 50 states, Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and 59 countries. Pomona accepted 766 out of 11,620 applicants, making the Pomona acceptance rate just 6.6%.

Remember, there is no official minimum Pomona College GPA, but it’s worth noting that 92.6% of the Class of 2025 ranked in the top 10% of their respective schools. Consequently, we believe that class rank is important when considering the low Pomona acceptance rate. 

Additionally, you’ll have to keep your GPA high in order to compete with the current Pomona College admissions odds. However, if you’re already at the end of your high school career with a GPA lower than 3.8, it is possible for high Pomona College SAT scores and great Pomona supplemental essays to offset a suboptimal GPA. 

Want to learn more about acceptance rates? Check out our expert guide.

Does Pomona College offer interviews?

Another factor when considering how to get into Pomona College is the Pomona interview. The Pomona interview is optional, and less than 10% of applicants interview per cycle. If you choose not to participate in the Pomona interview you will not be put at a disadvantage. However, CollegeAdvisor.com suggests you complete all optional elements of the Pomona College admissions process, including the Pomona interview, to maximize your chances of being accepted. After all, the Pomona college demographics indicate that the school is looking for candidates from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. What better way to showcase this than through the Pomona interview?

The Pomona interview is conducted virtually with alumni. If you decide to participate, you can request your Pomona interview through the online form. The deadline to request an interview for QuestBridge and Early Decision applicants is October 11th. The Regular Decision interview request deadline is December 3rd.

When thinking about how to get into Pomona College, and how to succeed in your Pomona interview, consider the strengths that make you unique. Before the interview, prepare items for discussion such as your interests, long-term goals, as well as any questions you have.

Want interview tips straight from a former Admissions Officers? Check out our CollegeAdvisor Masterclass webinar!

How do I write a Pomona College supplemental essay?

An important component in your “how to get into Pomona College” plan should be writing strong Pomona supplemental essays. You should answer each of the three short Pomona supplemental essays thoughtfully. Since the Pomona acceptance rate is less than 7%, we suggest you set aside enough time to thoroughly write and revise each prompt. Moreover, you should write your Pomona supplemental essays authentically, and when necessary, demonstrate your understanding of Pomona College demographics. Before writing the Pomona supplemental essays, we recommend viewing our webinar on common college essay mistakes.  

These Pomona supplemental essays appear on the Pomona College admissions page:

Question 1 (word limit 150):

College is about more than your major. It’s about learning through classes, conversations, experiences, and finding connections across multiple topics. Tell us about a time recently when you became excited to learn more about something: a time when your curiosity pushed you to eagerly pursue and idea or topic further through research or discussion. 

Question 2 (word limit 200):

Pomona is committed to achieving the benefits of diversity for all students by creating a community that learns and grows together through the exchange of different lived experiences and perspectives. Our community is made up of students from diverse cultures, races, ethnicities, and linguistic backgrounds; political, religious and social views; physical abilities; home environments and socioeconomic backgrounds; hometowns and regions; and sexes, gender identities and sexual orientations.

Both of the following prompts address this topic, and we ask you to respond to one of them. We give no preference, so choose the prompt that resonates the most with you.

1. We believe that everyone has something to contribute and receive from a diverse community. Why is belonging to a diverse and inclusive college community important to you?

2. Advancing diversity and inclusion (D&I) can be hard work and a continuous learning process. Tell us about how you have either recently championed D&I or how you plan to maintain a deep commitment to D&I in college.

Question 3 (word limit 200):

According to our Board of Trustees, “institutions such as Pomona College should prepare their graduates to lead lives of creative leadership and exemplary service.” How do you hope to use the knowledge you will gain in college to impact something greater than yourself, such as your family, neighborhood, community, city or society?

How does Pomona College review applications?

When considering how to get into Pomona College, most students focus on the selective Pomona acceptance rate, median Pomona College SAT scores, and average Pomona College GPA. These things matter, but Pomona admits people—not numbers.

Like most top schools, Pomona uses a holistic review process, which they outline on their Pomona College Admissions page.

Pomona College admissions considers:

  • Courses taken
  • Rigor of curriculum
  • GPA
  • Letters of recommendations
  • Pomona supplemental essays
  • Qualities
  • Application type
  • Pomona affiliation

Instead of having minimum grade cut-offs, the college considers each of these components in the Pomona College admissions process. This comprehensive process helps increase the diversity of the impressive Pomona College demographics.

Will Pomona College consider my social media?

While thinking about how to get into Pomona College, students may worry about how their social media presence might affect their acceptance odds. However, Pomona College admissions officers tend not to look at students’ social media profiles. Since Pomona receives thousands of applications a year, the Pomona College admissions team usually doesn’t have time to look at applicants’ social media. 

This doesn’t mean, though, that you should post offensive or irresponsible content. While it may not hurt your Pomona College admissions odds, the content you post could affect you down the line. Play it safe and use your social media responsibly.

Is Pomona College the school for me?

Most students, when researching how to get into Pomona College, don’t question whether Pomona is right for them. Many are enticed by Pomona’s expert faculty, intimate classrooms, and wide range of curricula. However, as you can tell from the competitive Pomona acceptance rate, the college isn’t a good fit for everyone.

Pay attention to the Pomona College demographics and contrast them with your own needs for diversity. Ask questions in the Pomona interview about campus life, etc. You are interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you.

Like other elite schools, Pomona is a reach even for the most gifted students. The good news is, if you’re so much as considering how to get into Pomona College, you probably have the high grades and a strong student portfolio to get into such an exclusive college.

Additional tips to get into Pomona

Build your profile

When thinking about how to get into Pomona College, remember that the school looks for students with academic drive and big plans for their futures. Well before the Pomona application deadline, develop your interests and seize opportunities that strengthen your profile.

Cultivate your relationships

Pomona relies on two recommendation letters to help understand who you are. So your letters are an important factor in how to get into Pomona College. During high school, build strong relationships with your teachers, counselors, coaches, and mentors.

Don’t wait

The Pomona application deadline can sneak up on you, so prepare early. If you’re applying Early Decision, give yourself enough time to collect your application materials.

Finally, there’s no simple formula to get into Pomona College. Pomona wants students who think outside the box. If you determine that Pomona is a good fit, apply! Consider every aspect of Pomona College admissions–not just the average Pomona College GPA or the Pomona College SAT scores. Instead, focus on submitting the strongest application you can, and consider Pomona Early Decision if Pomona is your top choice. Good luck!


This guide was written by Amanda Rebuck. If you want to know how to get into Pomona, we’ve got you covered. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes graduates from the country’s top schools. Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.