What Are Pomona’s GPA and SAT Requirements?

January 26, 2024
By AdmissionSight
a student writing on her notebook and looking at the camera

What Are Pomona’s GPA and SAT Requirements?

Getting into Pomona College requires meeting its GPA and SAT standards. These requirements are crucial for gauging if you’re a good fit academically. It’s about showing you can handle Pomona’s challenging courses, not just scoring high.

Pomona GPA Requirements

Your high school GPA is a critical component of your application to Pomona College. It reflects your academic discipline and readiness for college-level coursework.

Pomona’s admissions process is holistic, but your GPA can significantly influence your chances of acceptance. It demonstrates your ability to excel academically in a competitive environment.

Here are the factors influencing your GPA that Pomona considers:

  • High School Courses: The subjects you chose indicate your academic interests and strengths. Pomona looks for students who challenge themselves with advanced courses relevant to their intended field of study.
  • Course Rigor: Enrollment in honors, AP, IB, or dual-enrollment courses shows your willingness to tackle difficult coursework, which is highly valued at Pomona.
  • Class Rank: Where you stand in your graduating class can highlight your academic achievements in relation to your peers. Pomona considers this as a measure of your academic performance.
  • Grade Trends: An upward trend in grades through your high school years is seen positively, as it indicates improvement and the ability to adapt to increasing challenges.
  • School Context: The context of your academic achievements, including the competitiveness and resources of your high school, helps Pomona assess your GPA within the right context.

Pomona College’s admissions committee evaluates these factors to understand your academic journey and potential for success in their rigorous academic environment.

Does Pomona have a minimum GPA requirement?

Pomona College does not officially set a minimum GPA requirement for applicants. This approach allows the admissions committee to consider a wide range of applicants, acknowledging that a student’s potential cannot be fully measured by numbers alone.

However, the competitive nature of admissions at Pomona means that your GPA plays a significant role in your application’s success.

Pomona average GPA

Despite not having a minimum GPA requirement, knowing the GPA statistics of admitted students is crucial. The average GPA of students admitted to Pomona is around 4.06.

An average GPA of 4.06 at Pomona suggests that the college admits students who have excelled academically in high school, often beyond the standard 4.0 scale due to advanced placement, honors, and other weighted courses.

Nationally, this positions Pomona as a highly selective institution, where admitted students have usually maximized their high school’s curriculum to achieve above and beyond traditional A grades.

Approaching the GPA statistics with a strategic mindset is essential. Understand where your GPA places you in relation to Pomona’s average. If your GPA is below the average, consider how other aspects of your application, such as your SAT scores, extracurricular achievements, and personal essays, can highlight your strengths.

Given Pomona’s consideration of course rigor, aim to take challenging courses throughout high school to show your academic ambition and capability.

If your GPA isn’t where you’d like it to be, focus on showing an upward trend in your grades. Pomona values growth and resilience.

Use your personal statement as well to add context to your GPA, especially if you’ve faced challenges that impacted your academic performance. This is your opportunity to explain your unique circumstances.

By understanding and strategically approaching Pomona’s GPA statistics, you can better position your application for success, keeping in mind that the college evaluates candidates holistically.

GPA tips for Pomona

Aiming for a target GPA of 4.06 or higher is a strategic goal for applicants to Pomona College. Achieving and maintaining such a GPA requires consistent effort and smart strategies throughout your high school career.

View of a student writing an essay.

Here are specific tips to help you meet and maintain Pomona’s GPA requirements:

  • Focus on your academic performance in all subjects, but pay extra attention to core courses and those related to your intended major.
  • Enroll in AP, IB, honors, or dual-enrollment courses. These not only boost your GPA but also demonstrate your readiness for college-level work.
  • Develop strong time management skills to balance coursework, extracurricular activities, and personal commitments effectively.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help from teachers or tutors if you’re struggling with a subject. Early intervention can prevent small setbacks from becoming larger issues.
  • Keep track of assignments, tests, and deadlines. Being organized can help reduce stress and improve your academic performance.
  • Participate actively in class discussions and projects. Engagement can enhance your understanding of the material and positively impact your grades.
  • Consider academic summer programs or college courses to strengthen your knowledge and possibly earn college credit.
  • Ensure you’re getting enough rest, eating well, and taking breaks. A healthy lifestyle supports academic success.

Can I get into Pomona with a low GPA?

You can still be a competitive applicant to Pomona College if your GPA isn’t as high as you’d like, but it requires a strategic approach to your application.

Pomona’s admissions process is holistic, meaning that while GPA and SAT scores are important, they are not the sole determinants of your admission. This holistic review allows students with lower GPAs to still stand out if other parts of their application shine brightly.

In the context of Pomona’s GPA and SAT requirements, it’s essential to understand that the admissions committee looks beyond numbers to gauge a candidate’s potential. Here’s how you can strengthen your application:

  • SAT/ACT Scores: High standardized test scores can help offset a lower GPA by demonstrating your academic abilities. If you excel in these exams, it can signal to Pomona that you’re capable of handling college-level work.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Showcasing leadership roles, initiatives, or significant involvement in activities outside of the classroom can highlight your personal qualities, passions, and the unique perspectives you can bring to Pomona.
  • Essays: Your application essays are a golden opportunity to tell your story, explain any extenuating circumstances that may have impacted your academic performance, and illustrate how you’ve grown from these experiences.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Strong letters from teachers or mentors who can vouch for your character, work ethic, and potential can significantly boost your application. These letters can provide context to your GPA and emphasize your strengths.
  • Interviews: If offered, an interview is a chance to make a personal impression on the admissions committee. It’s an opportunity to discuss your achievements, challenges, and how you’ve overcome them.

While a lower GPA might require you to work harder on other aspects of your application, remember that Pomona values diverse experiences and perspectives. Highlighting your strengths, achievements, and the challenges you’ve overcome can make you a compelling candidate, even if your GPA isn’t as high as the average admit.

Pomona SAT Requirements

Your SAT score is a significant component of your application to Pomona College. Alongside Pomona’s GPA and SAT requirements, your SAT score helps the admissions committee assess your readiness for the academic challenges that Pomona offers.

SAT books placed next to each other on a shelf.

A strong SAT score can complement your GPA, providing a fuller picture of your academic abilities. It serves as a standardized measure that Pomona uses to compare applicants from diverse educational backgrounds.

Pomona looks at your SAT scores in the context of your entire application, considering how your academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, essays, and letters of recommendation all paint a picture of who you are as a student and a member of the community.

Therefore, while your SAT score is important, it’s one of many factors that Pomona evaluates in its holistic review process.

Does Pomona have a minimum SAT requirement?

Pomona College does not have a minimum SAT requirement for applicants. This policy supports Pomona’s holistic approach to admissions, allowing the college to consider a wide array of talents and experiences beyond standardized test scores.

Despite the lack of a minimum requirement, understanding Pomona’s SAT statistics is crucial for gauging the level of competition and the quality of students typically admitted.

Pomona average SAT

Here are the typical SAT scores of Pomona students:

Average SAT Score 25th Percentile SAT Score 75th Percentile SAT Score
1520 1480 1550

These scores signify a highly competitive applicant pool. An average SAT score of 1520 places Pomona’s admitted students among the top performers nationally. The 25th and 75th percentile scores indicate that a significant majority of Pomona students have achieved exceptionally high on the SAT, showcasing their preparedness for the academic rigor they will encounter.

Achieving a score within these ranges can enhance your application, but it’s important to understand what each percentile means for you.

If your SAT score is around the 25th percentile (1480), you’re at the lower end of the scores for admitted students. This doesn’t mean your chances are slim, but it does suggest you should ensure other parts of your application are strong and compelling.

Conversely, scoring at or above the average (1520) or within the 75th percentile (1550) places you in a strong position, indicating that your standardized test performance aligns well with the high-achieving student body at Pomona.

Still, remember that Pomona values diverse experiences and perspectives, so every part of your application should reflect your unique qualities and contributions you’d bring to the campus community.

SAT tips for Pomona

Aiming for a target SAT score at or above the 75th percentile—1550 or higher—is a wise goal for Pomona College applicants. Specifically, strive for a 790 in SAT Math and a 770 in SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing to position yourself competitively.

Here are tips and resources to help you prepare for the SAT:

  • Begin your SAT preparation well in advance of your test date. This gives you ample time to familiarize yourself with the test format and identify areas that need improvement.
  • Take advantage of official SAT practice tests and materials from the College Board. These resources provide the most accurate representation of the actual test.
  • If self-study isn’t enough, consider enrolling in an SAT prep course. These courses can offer personalized feedback and strategies tailored to your needs.
  • Use your practice test results to identify weak points in your knowledge. Allocate more study time to these areas to ensure steady improvement.
  • Develop strategies to manage your time effectively during the test. Practice with timed sections to improve your pacing.

Young female student focused on her desk in the bedroom, studying at home with a laptop.

  • For the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section, read a variety of texts, especially non-fiction and classical literature, to improve your reading comprehension and analytical skills.
  • Make sure you’re comfortable with all the math concepts covered on the SAT. Practice regularly, focusing on areas where you find the most difficulty.
  • Familiarize yourself with SAT-specific strategies, such as guessing techniques and how to eliminate incorrect answer choices.
  • Consistent, focused study is more effective than cramming. Set a regular study schedule and stick to it.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep, nutrition, and exercise. A healthy body supports a sharp mind, especially on test day.

Pomona testing policy

Pomona College currently adopts a test-optional policy for its admissions process. This policy allows applicants to decide whether they want to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their application.

The decision to implement a test-optional policy stems from Pomona’s commitment to a holistic review process. By offering flexibility in testing requirements, Pomona aims to ensure that all students, regardless of their access to standardized testing opportunities or their performance in such exams, have an equitable chance of being admitted.

Students who feel that their SAT or ACT scores accurately reflect their academic capabilities are encouraged to submit them. However, those who believe that other components of their application better represent their achievements and potential can choose not to include test scores without penalty.

This approach aligns with Pomona’s dedication to inclusivity and diversity, ensuring that every applicant has the opportunity to present themselves in the best light, based on the strengths of their entire application, rather than on standardized test scores alone.

Should I submit my SAT scores to Pomona?

Only about 29% of successful admitted and enrolled students have submitted their SAT scores. This statistic reflects Pomona’s holistic admissions process, where standardized test scores are just one of many components considered.

If your SAT scores are strong and align with or exceed the 75th percentile scores of admitted students, submitting them can enhance your application by demonstrating your readiness for Pomona’s rigorous academic environment.

On the other hand, if your SAT scores are not as high as you’d hoped but other aspects of your application are strong—such as your GPA, essays, extracurricular achievements, and letters of recommendation—you might decide not to submit your scores.

This decision should be based on a thoughtful assessment of your entire application and how your SAT scores complement the narrative you’re presenting to the admissions committee.

Given the relatively low percentage of enrollees submitting SAT scores, it’s clear that many students gain admission to Pomona based on the strength of other application components. This trend underscores the importance of building a comprehensive and compelling application that showcases your unique strengths, experiences, and potential contributions to the Pomona community.

Does Pomona superscore the SAT?

Pomona College officially superscores the SAT for applicants who choose to submit their scores. This policy allows students to send in scores from multiple test dates, and Pomona will consider only the highest section scores across all the dates, combining them to form the highest possible composite score.

Happy young woman reading paper letter at home.

If you’ve taken the SAT more than once, this approach allows you to focus on improving specific sections at a time, without worrying that a lower score on a different section will negatively impact your overall application.

For instance, if you excel in Math on one test date and in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing on another, Pomona will combine these top scores, potentially boosting your composite SAT score.

This policy reflects Pomona’s holistic review process and commitment to considering applicants in the best possible light. It also emphasizes the importance of planning and strategy in your test-taking schedule. Knowing that Pomona superscores can encourage you to retake the SAT to improve specific sections, enhancing your overall academic profile.

However, remember that while SAT scores are an important aspect of your application, Pomona evaluates your academic and personal achievements comprehensively, including your essays, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and demonstrated interest in the college.

Can I get into Pomona with a low SAT score?

Even if your SAT score isn’t as high as you hoped, you can still be a competitive applicant to Pomona College. Pomona’s admissions process is holistic, meaning the committee looks at more than just numbers when evaluating applications.

This approach aligns with Pomona’s GPA and SAT requirements, ensuring that all aspects of your application are considered. If your SAT scores are lower, other parts of your application can help compensate and highlight your strengths in different areas:

  • Academic Achievements: A strong GPA, particularly in challenging courses, can demonstrate your academic capability and readiness for college-level work.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Leadership roles, community service, or involvement in clubs and organizations can show your engagement and initiative outside the classroom.
  • Essays: Well-crafted essays offer a chance to tell your story, share your perspectives, and showcase your personality. They can explain any challenges you’ve faced, including those that might have affected your SAT scores.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Recommendations from teachers or mentors who know you well can provide insight into your character, work ethic, and potential for success in a college environment.
  • Interviews: If available, an interview can be an excellent opportunity to make a personal impression and articulate your interests, experiences, and how you would contribute to the Pomona community.

Pomona values diverse experiences and perspectives, understanding that a low SAT score does not define your potential or limit your ability to succeed in college. By focusing on building a strong overall application, you can present yourself as a well-rounded candidate who brings more to the table than just test scores.

Pomona Admission Process

The admission process at Pomona College is both holistic and comprehensive, designed to evaluate applicants based on a wide range of factors beyond just academic achievements.

This approach ensures that the admissions committee gets a full picture of who you are, your potential to contribute to the Pomona community, and your ability to succeed in its rigorous academic environment.

Within this context, understanding Pomona’s GPA and SAT requirements becomes crucial, as they are among the primary indicators of academic preparedness and potential for success at the college level.

Pomona acceptance rate

Competition for admission to Pomona is intense, with an acceptance rate of just 6.8%. This low acceptance rate underscores the selectivity of the college and the high caliber of students who apply. Each year, Pomona receives applications from many highly qualified students, making the admission process competitive.

View of a man writing on his table.

Given this competitive landscape, it’s important for applicants to fully understand the admission requirements and find ways to stand out in the applicant pool. In a process where many applicants have strong academic credentials, those who can also present a well-rounded and distinctive profile are more likely to catch the attention of the admissions committee.

Other Ways to Boost Your Academic Profile for Pomona

Enhancing your academic profile for your Pomona College application involves more than just focusing on GPA and SAT scores. While understanding Pomona’s GPA and SAT requirements is important, there are additional ways to demonstrate your readiness and fit for Pomona’s rigorous and dynamic academic environment.

Consider these strategies:

  • Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) Exams: Scoring well on AP or IB exams can showcase your mastery of college-level material in specific subjects, even if you’re in a high school that doesn’t offer many AP or IB classes.
  • College Courses: Enrolling in and excelling in college-level courses through a local community college or online can demonstrate your ability to handle more challenging coursework beyond the high school level.
  • Summer Programs: Participating in academic summer programs, especially those focused on your area of interest, can enhance your knowledge and show your initiative to engage deeply with your chosen field.
  • Research Projects: Engaging in research projects, science fairs, or other intellectual pursuits can highlight your analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as your passion for learning.
  • Competitions and Awards: Achievements in academic competitions (such as math, science, or writing contests) or receiving awards for academic excellence can further distinguish your application.
  • Leadership in Academic Clubs: Demonstrating leadership in academic clubs or societies not only shows your involvement and commitment but also your ability to work well with others and lead initiatives.
  • Creative Pursuits: If you have a talent in the arts, showcasing your achievements in music, art, writing, or drama can add another dimension to your academic profile, highlighting your creativity and innovation.

By diversifying your academic and extracurricular profile with these additional elements, you can present a more comprehensive picture of your abilities, interests, and potential contributions to Pomona College.


Understanding Pomona’s GPA and SAT requirements is crucial as these components provide the admissions committee with a quantifiable measure of your academic abilities. However, it’s equally important to remember that Pomona adopts a holistic approach in its admissions process.

This means that while your academic credentials are essential, demonstrating a well-rounded profile that reflects your individual strengths, passions, and potential contributions to Pomona is vital.

In essence, achieving success in your application to Pomona College requires a balance between meeting academic standards and showcasing your diverse talents and achievements. By focusing on both these aspects, you can present yourself as a compelling candidate who not only meets Pomona’s requirements but also enriches the vibrant Pomona community.

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