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What Does it Cost to Attend Pomona College?

A private liberal arts college located in southern California, Pomona College entices students with its small faculty-to-student ratio and its gorgeous weather. If your student is wants more individualized attention while still meeting a diverse group of students from around the world, then Pomona College is a great choice.


No matter what kind of school your student is looking at, college is a significant financial investment in their future. While it’s tempting to look at the blanket list price for a college, we want you to know that these costs don’t give you the whole picture: very few students pay the list price at any college.


Instead, you’ll want to look at the factors that determine your net cost, or the expected family contribution, for that particular school. This includes looking at different types of aid, such as federal and state aid, aid provided by the institution, and other scholarships or awards that your student may qualify for. We’re going to break down what it costs to attend Pomona College so that you can make the right decision for your family.


Pomona College’s List Price


We’ve already talked about why you shouldn’t make a decision about affordability based on the list price, but the list price is an important piece of information when it comes to determining your net price. Depending on how much financial aid you expect your student to receive, you can make an educated guess about how much of the list price you can expect to pay.


The cost of attendance, or what we affectionately call the list price, includes tuition, room, board, and other miscellaneous costs of living. For the 2016-2017 year, the estimated cost of attendance for in-state and out-of-state students at Pomona was the same, around $67,357.


Most families do not pay the list price at any institution, whether it’s Pomona or another school. Typically, families with an annual household income over $175,000 tend to pay list price; if merit aid is offered at the school and their student qualifies, families can expect to pay less than list price.


What is the Price with Financial Aid?


Hopefully you feel some relief knowing that it’s not likely that you’ll be paying the full list price. So what can you expect to pay once you factor in financial aid? Again, based on the 2016-2017 data, the average net cost for students with financial aid, either in-state or out-of-state, was $55,721.


Cost Based on Household Income


Your particular net cost is highly dependent on your household income, which will qualify your student for more or less financial aid. These are the average net prices for a student based on household income:


  • $0-$30,000: $5,739*
  • $30,001-$48,000: $3,432
  • $48,001-$75,000: $6,975
  • $75,001-$110,000: $13,363
  • Over $110,000: $37,440


*These numbers do not reflect any Pell Grants that families may receive. Families with an income of $0-30k often receive Federal Pell Grants, which reduce the amount of financial aid that individual institutions need to award. This is why there is a higher tuition rate for families with $0-30k vs. those with $30k-48k.


What is the Merit Aid Net Price? What is the Average Net Price for Students Without Need?


In general, there are two types of aid: merit-based and need-based. We touched on need-based aid above, where we broke down the cost by household income. However, if your household income is close to or above $175,000, you’re looking at paying close to full price.


At Pomona College, 8% of students without need receive merit aid, and the average award size is $56. This is the same whether the student is in-state or out-of-state, which means that students without need can expect to pay $67,301.


It may not be much, but every little bit helps.


Student Loans and Debt


Whether your student takes out loans will depend on how much of the net price is covered and other sources of aid. At Pomona College, about two-thirds of the students take out loans, or 67%. The average size of federal loans per undergraduate is $1,631.



Given the financial investment that you would be making if your student chooses to attend Pomona, you may want to know whether most students graduate and how much they expect to earn after graduation. Luckily, 97% of students at Pomona graduate within 6 years, and after ten years, the average Pomona graduate earns around $58,100 a year.


Other Ways to Save


So far, we’ve touched on two main sources of aid—financial aid from government sources and institutional aid. For Pomona, these types of aid are largely awarded based on need, but even if your household income is around that $175,000 mark, there are ways that you can make college more affordable.


One of the best ways to do this is to encourage your student to look for scholarships from private corporations and nonprofit organizations. Many of these scholarships are merit-based, which means that your student can qualify for them based on their academic achievements or other talents.


One example of a nonprofit-hosted scholarship is the prestigious National Merit Scholarship. In order to qualify, your student must:


  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT during their junior year (or the equivalent year in other educational patterns)
  • Attend a high school, traditional or homeschooled, in the United States, D.C., or a U.S. commonwealth or territory


Not only could scoring well on the PSAT lower the cost of attendance, but it can also help them perform well on the SAT, which can open up other scholarship opportunities.


Pomona does have a few additional financial options for students, including a work allotment program and endowed scholarships. Your best option for additional funding if you don’t qualify for need-based aid, though, is still finding merit-based scholarships.


Local Cost of Living Considerations


You also want to consider what it will be like for your student to live around Pomona, and how a part-time job might reduce the financial cost of college. The overall cost of living index for Claremont is 196.4, meaning that it’s about 96.4% higher than the national average. Most of this is due to housing, and although it’s more expensive than the California state average, it’s more affordable to live in Claremont that it is in the rest of the Los Angeles metro area.


Pomona requires that their freshman and sophomore students live on-campus; students can apply to live off-campus during their junior or senior years. Most students at Pomona choose to stay on-campus all four years, but if your student was interested in living off-campus, these are the average apartment rents in Claremont:


  • 1 bedroom: $1,560
  • 2 bedroom: $2,020
  • 3 bedroom: $2,710


According to the Economic Policy Institute, the hourly minimum wage in California is currently $12.00. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage in the Los Angeles area across all occupations is $19.13. While you student may be able to offset some of the costs of their education through part-time work, merit scholarships are a better bet for minimizing your student’s financial stress during college.


Wrapping it Up


When it comes to helping your student select and apply for college, there are so many factors you need to consider. Along with affordability, you’ll want to consider the educational opportunities that schools like Pomona provide for students, and if the school makes sense for your student’s specific goals.


That’s where CollegeVine can help. As a part of our College Applications Program, we help students figure out how to make any school more affordable using our Finances tool, which can show the ROI of different schools and majors and help students identify scholarships to apply for. On average, our students earn about $83,000 in scholarships, which helps make their academic dreams a reality. Find out if working with our Financial Aid Tools is right for your family!


For more information about Pomona College and financial aid, check out these posts:


The Ultimate Guide to Applying to Pomona

Parents: 12 Must-Know College Financial Aid Terms

FAFSA, CSS Profile, IDOC, Oh My: A Guide to Financial Aid

Everything You Need to Know About the Cal Grant


Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Short Bio
Gianna Cifredo is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she majored in Philosophy. She has six years of higher education and test prep experience, and now works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida and is a proud cat mom.