Pomona app

Pomona is my first choice school. I want to do ED2, but financially it isn’t a good option for me or my family, so I will be applying RD. How can I still show Pomona that it is my top choice?

Well, first of all, Pomona says that applicant interest is not considered in their admissions decisions - if that makes you feel any better. I might have said that it wouldn’t hurt to just email your admissions officer, but if you’re not sure you’d go if you got in, I’m not sure exactly what you would tell them that would make any difference anyway. And, even though Pomona’s a very good college, if you’re saying that your parents simply can’t afford what the NPC says it will cost to go there, then maybe you shouldn’t apply (sorry).

Pomona-specific essays will tell them not only about your interest but also about your fit. I can’t see a better way. And it seems they have a really good eye for quirky, authentic, unusual. The proverbial model UN team member and a treasurer of the school government may not be as impressive there as in some other institutions.
As a parent of an ED1 admitted student who had a sticker shock of major proportion but ultimately went with it, I can tell you the following:

  1. Based on running endless NPCs and in Pomona’s case, empiric confirmation, their need-based FA there is better than anywhere else, except for 1. Princeton 2. Harvard 3. Stanford 4. Rice (in these 4, by a lot) and 5. Yale (somewhat). If I’m missing something, please correct me. So if Pomona is unaffordable, it is likely that other top places will be too; on the other hand, colleges like Grinnell, mixing need and merit, should sound interesting.
  2. They insist the FA is identical for ED and RD. ED acceptance rate seems significantly higher. Perhaps giving them an ED2 shot is worth it? If you get admitted and decide not to go, they’ll let you out, we were offered that option without hard feelings. As for alternatives, we also thought hard, and almost decided to go with McGill in Montreal, with COA almost identical to Princeton, and easy admission for high stats.
  3. Their financial aid seems to be very receptive to considering recent financial downturns, covid-based or otherwise. So if there are some real numbers to convince them, they might reconsider. But they were not interested in possible future bleak scenarios (like “long-term trends in our industry are bad”). “Get back to us once your fears become reality” was the answer.

But in a way, I agree with @otisp. Think hard if you are mentally ready to turn them down over money. So if your parents really cannot afford it no matter what, don’t apply. If they need to go through a grieving process over how the college finances work (as we did), that’s a different story.

Thanks for the reply! The only reason my mom is concerned about finances is because I am heavily considering grad school, either a PhD or JD. We need to afford further education down the road. If I was just doing undergrad and nothing else, we would absolutely front load the money we have for a BA and do Pomona EDII. Because that is not the case, I have applied to schools I can 100% afford, most of them being in the UK (UCL, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, etc.). I have already submitted my application to Pomona for RD consideration, so all I can do now is hope for the best. Thank you for the response.

It’s sound financial planning.
Yes, we too also hoped our 529 would be enough for undergrad and most of the grad education. But when I mentioned that on CC, words like “privilege” and “entitlement” were used in response.
A Pomona graduate whom we know did her Ph.D. at Northwestern and told us that most of her friends were offered admission to fully funded doctoral programs, or even received some money as TAs. That’s our hope. BTW, I didn’t realize UK education would be that much more affordable, all things considered.

Haha! UK education is more affordable. For a humanities degree, it’s about $28,000 for tuition each year. (A degree is only 3 years, not 4). Considering living expenses and travel costs, about ~$40,000 a year for three years. Compare this to sticker price Pomona, which is about $75,000 a year for 4 years.

With deals so good, I’m surprised anyone would consider those overpriced US colleges :wink: