USC and Pomona College

I applied ED to Pomona College, which is by far my first choice. My GPA is well below the average of admitted students and ACT scores are below average as well. However, my GPA was good until the second semester of my junior year when it dropped due to missing school due to a now resolved extreme bout of mental illness, and I indicated this on my application. I also have an interview with Pomona, which I am hoping will increase my chances. If I don’t get accepted ED to Pomona, then my second choice is USC. I also come from a fairly low-performing school with very few awards or clubs, I am applying to Pomona as a questbridge non-finalist and neither of my parents have college degrees. What are my chances of getting in, and will they take my illness into consideration when looking at my application?

Unweighted gpa: 3.47
Weighted gpa: 3.6

ACT (highest score - June test):
English: 35
Math: 24
Reading: 24
Science: 27
Composite: 28

4 years of marching band - section leader senior year
3 years of robotics - very successful team, subgroup leader senior year
3 years of jazz band
3 years of pep band

Freshman year: Honors bio
Sophomore year: Honors geometry, honors chemistry
Junior year: Honors algebra 2, AP US gov, AP macroeconomics, AP lang and comp (4), AP chemistry
Senior year: AP psych, AP lit and comp

Honestly, Pomona weighs GPA highly. Last year around 35% of those offered admission were valediction and another 10% salutatorian. Also the common data set shows that over 82% of their students had a 30 or above on their ACT. Your GPA and ACT do not really match Pomona’s admitted students, but it never hurts to try

Both schools are tough to get in. So you need to lower your expectation significantly. One school which I think may be suitable for you considering your stats (assuming you want to stay in LA) is LMU. Check that out.

Thank you! I don’t really have super high expectations for either, and I already got into a couple safety schools. I haven’t looked much into LMU, but my part of the reason I’m applying to Pomona and USC is the fact that they have extremely good need-based financial aid. Do you know what kind of aid LMU provides?

I know LMU provides a bunch of good merit scholarships (my daughter got its full-ride trusty scholarship last year and was seriously considering it, until got her UCLA Regents). LMU is a very nice school and has very friendly students. My daughter really liked it and it was hard for her to finally pass on it!

Hi @BandAndRobots !

How cool that you have had the seized the opportunity to be on a robotics team!
I have a couple of follow-up questions for you before making suggestions to colleges.

  1. Are you male or female? I ask because there are some women’s colleges that offer really generous financial aid and I think would be grateful to extend an offer to a Questbridge non-finalist.
  2. Is your racial or ethnic origin from an underrepresented minority?
  3. Do you want to stay in California?
  4. Are you taking Math this year? (If so, what? )

I believe you will have some great opportunities via Regular Decision, it is just a matter of finding the best fit.

Hang in there, there are a lot of great schools and you have a very compelling situation.

You might ask your GC to address your health issues in their recommendation for your remaining apps. A general comment from them seems like a better idea than specifically telling them you had mental health issues. And coming from the GC makes it sound less like an excuse. Can’t change what is already submitted, but a good idea for your remaining apps if possible.

I am not sure talking about the mental health issue will help OP. This is a very sensitive issue and unless the atcoms get the feeling that the applicant has completely recovered, it may be counterproductive even mentioning it.

@CallieMom Thank you!

  1. I am female, however I would very much prefer a co-ed college.
  2. I am white
  3. I actually live in Michigan, but have family in Orange County and would prefer to be in California. I don’t think that I would feel comfortable anywhere but the midwest and southern California
  4. Yes, I am taking precalculus this year.

here are a few more match schools to consider
I recommend refocusing your college search

@alexj170 I already got accepted to three different schools. It’s not like I’m counting on those two. There’s no need to be condescending like that, especially to a student who is obviously already stressed out. I realize that they are reach schools, I’m not dumb.

If you want to be close to OC why not take a look at Whittier College or University of Redlands. Both would keep you near family and both are very nice schools, small and personal.

University of Redlands, Chapman, Loyola Marymount.

Hi! I live in the OC, and I am also a senior applying to college this year! I’m applying to USC also.
I think you should definitely take a look at San Diego State University (this is becoming a much harder school to get into, it has a really great social scene and great academics and its location is near the beach in California, and San Diego is an awesome city), Chapman University (beautiful private school that gives financial aid based on your grades & test scores. You can enter your stats on their website and see the amount you will be awarded), and UCI (really tough to get into still, but it is located in Newport Beach/Irvine which is sooo beautiful! These cities are two of the best in the OC.
Good luck!!! I hope you find a school that fits you well. I really do think you will like Chapman, SDSU, and UCI!
Let me know if you have any questions about the OC & nearby schools :slight_smile:

The GC can mention a “health issue”. They do not need to be specific (nor should they).

@collegequartz: OP is in need of FA so UCI and SDSU will probably not be financially possible since OP is out of state. OOS students usually pay close to full price for California publics. Chapman is an excellent suggestion along with LMU, Whittier and University of Redlands, all privates which may give enough need based aid.

Thank you everyone, the suggestions are very helpful! :slight_smile: of course I will still apply to my two top choices because it won’t hurt, but it’s nice to have suggestions for schools that aren’t huge reaches, lol. Chapman actually looks right up my alley.

@BandAndRobots … A girl with robotics experience, FAB!!! Use it whenever you get a chance in an interview or follow-up essay, it would be really helpful. Would you consider Scripps? I know it is a Women’s College, but since it is part of the consortium you will be integrated with students from the other schools and you can take classes in the other consortium schools. I mention this b/c they offer some of the most generous merit aid I have seen. The merit aid (as opposed to need based) could really help out your family. Just a thought… plus Scripps is beautiful. A couple of other posters also mentioned University of Redlands. The school also offers merit aid to many of their stronger applicants, and it is just up the street (ok 15 or so miles away from the Consortium). You go, Girl!