Pomona has always been a place where only ability, promise and character matter. Our commitment to making a Pomona education available to the students most able to benefit from it is a vital part of who we are. Stories abound of Pomona graduates from modest backgrounds who went on to accomplish remarkable things. Stories such as these are an important part of Pomona's past and present. With the continuing generosity of Pomona's scholarship donors, they will remain an essential part of our future.
When Pomona admits a student, it does so solely on the basis of talent and potential. It is only after a student is admitted that his or her financial circumstances are considered by the Financial Aid Office, whose only job is to ensure that every admitted student can afford to attend.
This commitment—along with the generous financial aid that makes it possible—is vital not only as a matter of equity, but also to safeguard a central aspect of a Pomona education: the diversity of our students. That diversity—socioeconomic, racial, geographic, cultural and experiential—is one of the factors that make campus life key to the Pomona experience.
However, this is not an easy commitment to sustain. Today, Pomona is one of a handful of prestigious institutions capable of keeping that promise to its students. Each year, more than half of our students have demonstrated need, ranging from a few thousand dollars to the full cost of attendance. The average scholarship is now more than $36,000 per year. As state and federal aid has plummeted in recent decades, Pomona’s supporters have stepped forward to help make up the difference. Today, more than 90 percent of all aid to Pomona students comes from College sources, with endowed scholarships providing about half. To meet this need, the total amount of student aid provided by Pomona has expanded by more than $1 million in each of the past seven years, and it will almost certainly continue to grow in the years to come.
Created by a gift of $100,000 or more, an endowed scholarship will provide assistance for generations of deserving students over the years. At a 5 percent spending rate, each $100,000 of endowment will provide $5,000 per year in available scholarship funds, an amount that will grow over time.
To strengthen the presence of international students on our campus by recruiting the best and brightest from around the world, Pomona is also seeking endowed scholarships to increase what is now a limited amount of financial aid available to international students. To extend to international students of modest means the same opportunities the College has long afforded to lower-income domestic students will require a significant increase in the amount of permanent endowment support set aside for that purpose.