Admitted Class of 2020 Most Diverse in Pomona’s History

On Mar. 18, Pomona College announced its regular decision admission results for the Class of 2020. The statistics are record-breaking: only 9.1 percent of students were accepted, the lowest acceptance rate ever. 52.3 percent of domestic admitted students are people of color, the most that Pomona has accepted to date.

Another 11.1 percent of admitted students are international. 16.8 percent are first-generation students. Admitted transfer students number 20, with 10 from community colleges. Students hail from 48 states and 44 countries and possess 42 nationalities.

The median SAT scores are 730 in Critical Reading and Math and 740 in Writing, while the median ACT score is 32.

In an article announcing these results on Pomona College’s website, Seth Allen, the vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid, said, “I’m in awe of the diverse backgrounds, talents and academic abilities of the new members of the Class of 2020, and I look forward to welcoming them to the Pomona community.”

Over a third of the class was already accepted through Early Decision. The regular decision cohort will constitute the remaining two-thirds of the Class of 2020.

Several current students expressed surprise at the low admission rate.

Michelle Chan PO ‘17 said, “I’m really, really, really sad that a friend from high school didn’t get in! But I know it was very tough, well, the toughest it’s ever been to be admitted.”

Other students reacted to the increase in admitted students of color.

Aurora Silva PO ‘16 expressed concerns about the support for students from marginalized communities once they arrive at Pomona.

“While I’m really excited about the freshman class as well as the number of transfers, it’s just something that really troubles me because my time as a transfer student, as a woman of color, as someone who is low-income, first-gen, and someone who identifies as disabled, the resources available for the students is not—I don’t want to say 'up to par' because the quality of the resources are good, but it’s just not enough for students,” she said. “It’s one thing to get into Pomona College, but it’s another to be successful at Pomona.”

She added that those who need resources are often too exhausted to create those resources themselves, which is why the administration must recognize that support for marginalized students has to extend beyond the admissions process.

Chan said, “It’s been said that there’s been a particular interest in admitting students with humanities and arts interests and there’s been more non-STEM students admitted than STEM-interested students in past years, which I think will be really interesting.”

With Pomona President David Oxtoby preparing to leave in 2017, the new first year class will be entering in a transition period of sorts.

“I think that in light of President Oxtoby stepping down next year and the transition period that the college is going through, it’ll be really important to keep the incoming freshman class really in touch with all the other classes, and in touch with the administration and the students and the faculty,” Anthony Bald PO ’17 said.

The Class of 2020’s Facebook page has already been extremely active with prospective students interacting with each other, Early Decision admits, and current students. Some admitted students will be able to meet each other during the Admitted Students Days on Apr. 11 and Apr. 18.

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