What does Pomona look for in an applicant?
Read through the information on their website. What are the specific admission requirements? What does the mission statement say? That can give you a sense of who they are looking for.
Pomona is one of the most unpredictable schools out there. I had two friends last year who both had 4.5+ gpa’s, 1570+ SATs, were national merit finalists, played varsity sports, were captains of those teams, NHS leaders plus super talented at an instrument etc. and both were flat out rejected- not even a waitlist. With such a low acceptance rate it’s super hard to tell what they’re looking for and it changes year by year. I will also add that I’ve heard from college counselors that they really favor private school kids, and FGLI kids. The ‘regular’ public school kids seem to have a tougher time getting in- especially if you’re not a full IB kid. I also had a couple different friends who did an early academic evaluation for sports at Pomona, they told him he did not meet their criteria even though he’d never gotten a B in high school and had taken many AP classes. It’s really a game of luck there tbh- especially if u go to public school and are in the AP program and not IB. (if you’re in AP make sure to load up on hard classes like crazy)
It’s possible they are weighing the hyper grade inflation at some schools against them. At the private school my kid attends (whose acceptance rate is below 20%), the top 5% of the class would have nothing close to that GPA. A grades are very difficult to get and no one would be able to get those grades from every teacher. Still they go on to top schools, a Pomona would be a school kids in the top 20% of grade would attend. ( Someone was attending from this years class). I don’t know how many applied. I don’t know that kids rank or anything else but it wouldn’t be a huge wow. More of a nod.
I don’t know Pomona well but I’d imagine they know the schools kids are applying from based on a number of factors. If those kids had top stats which they obviously did, perhaps they were from the local region or a school system where many kids apply.
Less a game of luck, then a game where the school wants kids from many places with lots of various types of diversity beyond top stats which those kids obviously have. Even with top stats, all of these schools are a reach.
emphasize your quirks.
what about you is different than the next kid who was captain of their sports team with a perfect gpa and state award?
Something I’ve found at Pomona is that my classmates will never fail to surprise me with their seemingly “random” interests and accomplishments.
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And to add that they are not necessarily looking for accomplishments that have been quantified with some sort of prize or position. Sometimes it’s the “little” personal stuff that demonstrate the qualities that they hope will have the potential to make a big difference to other students on their campus.
With more applicants these days earning 4.00 GPAs and scoring over 90 percentile in standardized tests, I believe Colleges like Swarthmore, Amherst, Williams, and Pomona give more consideration to how students will fit in- based on essays regarding why and how those schools’ missions align with the students’ career goals.
I totally agree with CHOLLEY. Pomona College is all about “fit”–and you really won’t know what that means until you get to the college. I don’t think grades and test scores matter as much as long as you’re within a good range (but people with lower scores have gotten in!). Just try to be yourself and hopefully that shines through in the application!