Financial aid •

April 11, 2023

Cal Poly Pomona financial aid: a complete guide

Learn more about the financial aid, including loans, grants, and scholarship programs available to students at Cal Poly Pomona.

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Cal Poly Pomona is one of the world’s top polytechnic universities. The school was founded in 1938. The school focuses on a mixture of classroom and experiential learning, with the belief that students learn best from doing.

If you're interested in applying to Cal Poly Pomona, but need help figuring out how you'll pay for it, we've got you covered.

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A snapshot look at Cal Poly Pomona 

Cal Poly Pomona is a public polytechnic school located in Pomona, California, roughly 30 miles east of Los Angeles. It’s one of the 2 polytechnic schools in the California State University (CSU) system.

A polytechnic school is one that focuses on vocations and applied sciences. However, Cal Poly Pomona offers a variety of programs in many fields, including those outside of the hard sciences, like Accounting, History, and Hospitality Management.

Founded in 1938, the school originally had a focus on farming and animal husbandry. The school has since expanded to offer 94 different majors and 39 master’s degrees across 9 separate colleges.

Today, the school has a population of nearly 28,000 undergraduates, 1,800 postgraduates, and 1,330 academic staff.

Cal Poly Pomona consistently earns top ranks for science programs such as Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Industrial Engineering. It’s one of the top technical schools in the Western United States and one of the most innovative schools in the country.

Cal Poly Pomona

Ranking: #10 Regional Universities West

Size: 26,598 students

Demographics: 54% male, 47% female

Tuition: $28,891

Acceptance rate: 55%

Average GPA of accepted student: 3.50

Key dates and deadlines (2021)

Application: Not listed

Financial aid deadlines: Not listed

A look at scholarships offered by Cal Poly Pomona 

If you want to attend Cal Poly Pomona, one of the best ways to pay for your education is with a scholarship. The school has a scholarship index that you can use to search for some of the available opportunities.

For scholarships specific to Cal Poly Pomona, you need to keep an eye out for Scholarship Fest, which runs from October 1 through March 2, and awards scholarships for the next academic year. One general application will cover all of the scholarships from different colleges, departments, clubs, and community members at the university, so you don’t have to fill out dozens of applications for each one you might be eligible for.

You can also apply for scholarships that are available to any student in the California State University system. For example, the CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement offers up to $15,000 to excellent students with a minimum 3.0 GPA, demonstrated financial need, and a track record of community service along with personal and academic achievement.

Students are also welcome to apply to scholarships from outside groups, also known as private scholarships. Local and regional businesses, community groups, and even national corporations and brands offer scholarships. If you do some research and look around your community, you might find scholarship opportunities that can help pay your tuition.

For more on which scholarships you can apply for and how we can help, check out our financial aid tips and tricks.

Student loans

Types of Student Loans

If you can’t pay your tuition out of pocket and don’t get enough scholarship money to cover the rest of the bill, student loans can help you cover the rest of the cost of your education. Borrowing money can be a good way to invest in your education and your future, but remember that you’ll have to pay the loans back eventually, with interest.

Cal Poly Pomona has a webpage dedicated to its different loan programs.

Federal Direct Loans are one of the most common types of loans available. You’ll qualify for a federal loan based on the information you include in your FAFSA, which we’ll cover later. 

You can get subsidized loans or unsubsidized loans. The difference is that subsidized loans don’t accrue interest while you’re a student or during your repayment grace period or deferments. Unsubsidized loans accrue interest from the moment you take out the loan.

There are also state loan programs, like the CA Dream Loan program, which can help you pay the cost of attending Cal Poly Pomona.

If state and federal loans don’t cover the full cost of school, you can also apply for private student loans. However, keep in mind that private loans tend to have higher interest rates and don’t offer the same protections that government loans provide.

And before you take any loans, Mos can help you get as much free money for college as possible by helping you apply for financial aid, grants, and scholarships—all in one place.



The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is one of the most important documents you can fill out when applying for scholarships and loans.

When you fill out the FAFSA, you and your parents will have to provide some financial information, including how much money you have saved and how much you make each year. Based on the information you provide, the government determines the amount that your family is expected to pay for college.

The government and many colleges, including Cal Poly Pomona, use this expected family contribution (EFC) to determine your eligibility for need-based aid, including scholarships, grant aid like the Pell Grant program, and access to work-study programs. You’ll also qualify for subsidized and unsubsidized loans based on the information included in your FAFSA.

Student employees can work in many fields during their time at Cal Poly Pomona. The Cal Poly Pomona Foundation employs 1,500 students in food service and other hospitality-related jobs. There are also other on and off-campus work-study opportunities. That means you can find a job related to your academic program and gain valuable experience in your industry.

The FAFSA process starts on October 1 for financial aid awarded in the next academic year. You have until the end of June to submit the FAFSA, but California has a March 2 deadline for many state financial aid programs. Some programs also award aid on a first-come, first-served basis, until the cash runs out. That means it’s in your best interest to fill out and submit the FAFSA as soon as possible.

For more on applying for FAFSA, including important dates and how to make sure your application is successful, learn about Mos, where we can help you find additional scholarships and grants you’re eligible for.

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Cal Poly Pomona financial aid FAQs 

Below, you’ll find some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about financial aid at Cal Poly Pomona.

Does Cal Poly Pomona prioritize in-state students for aid?

Cal Poly Pomona is part of the California State University system. It does not necessarily prioritize students from California when it comes to providing scholarships, loans, and other forms of financial aid. However, there are some programs that are only available to students from California. 

For example, California Dream Loans are only available to students who attended a high school, adult school, or community college in California for at least 3 years. Some CSU scholarships are similarly only available to students from California.

What is Cal Poly Pomona’s cost of attendance?

Cal Poly Pomona publishes the cost of attendance (COA) for its undergraduate program. It provides a figure for in-state students, another for out-of-state students, and one for those eligible under the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) Program.

Cost Of Attendance At Cal Poly Pomona

California residents can expect to pay $20,206 to $28,016 depending on whether they live with their family, on campus, or off campus. $7,438 of that cost is tuition.

Out-of-state students can expect to spend between $32,086 and $39,896 depending on their living situation, with $19,318 of that amount going toward tuition.

Participants in the WUE Program pay between $23,078 and $30,888, with tuition making up $10,310.

Keep in mind that the cost of attendance will affect how much need-based aid you may receive. If you’re taking out a student loan, you also cannot borrow more than your college’s cost of attendance minus other aid received.

Can part-time students receive aid?

Yes, Cal Poly Pomona offers financial aid to students who are only attending the school part-time. To be eligible, you must be enrolled at the school at least half-time (at least six 6 per semester. 12 is considered full time).

Is there aid for international students?

Yes, Cal Poly Pomona offers resources to international students who need financial aid to attend college. These resources include nearly 300 scholarships worth thousands of dollars and assistance with finding aid opportunities from outside organizations.

Can graduate students receive aid?

Yes, graduate students at Cal Poly Pomona can receive financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, and fellowships.

When do undergraduate students receive aid?

Cal Poly Pomona starts disbursing financial aid 10 days before the start of classes each semester. For the 2022–2023 school year, aid will be released on August 15th, 2022, and January 12th, 2023.

What is the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation?

Cal Poly Pomona Foundation

The Cal Poly Pomona Foundation is the largest employer of on-campus students. This non-profit provides dining services, operates the Bronco Bookstore, and runs the University Village and Kellogg West Conference Center & Hotel.

It provides work experience and training to about 1,500 students each year, and it also helps those students afford their education expenses.

Can students at Cal Poly Pomona receive federal grants?

Yes, Cal Poly Pomona’s eligible students can receive federal grants based on the information they provided in their FAFSA. For example, the Pell Grant can award them as much as $6,895, and the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant can award them $600.

There are also state grant programs, like the Cal Grant, and grants offered directly by Cal Poly Pomona, such as the State University Grant.

What is the average student debt for Cal Poly Pomona students?

The median college debt for students who completed their degree at Cal Poly Pomona was $16,500. Those who did not graduate had an average debt of $8,633.

Of borrowers with private student loans, the average private loan balance at graduation was $22,396.

How do athletics scholarships work?

Cal Poly Pomona offers scholarships to certain student-athletes. The athletic scholarship program complies with NCAA regulations. For example, scholarship athletes must meet certain academic requirements in order to retain their scholarship. Athletic scholarships are offered as annual awards that renew based on continued student eligibility.

Universities like Cal Poly Pomona that you might be interested in 

If you’re not sure that Cal Poly Pomona is right for you, these other, similar schools might fit the bill.

Universities Similar to Cal Poly Pomona

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

The other polytechnic university that’s part of the California State University system, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo might be a good choice for students who want a polytechnic education without having to move east of Los Angeles.

The school is located about halfway between Los Angeles and San Jose and offers 65 different bachelor’s degrees and 39 master’s degrees. Cal Poly SLO has one of the largest campuses in the United States and an enrollment of more than 22,000 students.

Popular programs at Cal Poly SLO include Agricultural Sciences, Architecture, and Sports Management.

California State Universities (CSUs)

If you want to attend a state school but not one of the polytechnic universities, there are 21 other California State University Schools that you can choose from. This includes campuses in cities like San Jose, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Long Beach, and Los Angeles.

The CSU system has nearly 500,000 students pursuing degrees in dozens of different subjects.

Some of the best programs in the CSU system include Business and Engineering.

University of California (UC) System

The University of California (UC) system has a number of campuses located in the state of California, including campuses in Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz.

If you want to attend a public state school, this is another alternative to Cal Poly Pomona and the CSU system.

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Cal Poly Pomona is a unique school that offers students an opportunity to learn by doing. Its cost of attendance is pretty reasonable for both in-state and out-of-state students, but the financial aid options available can make the school even cheaper if you’re able to qualify for them.

If you’re looking for the best way to pay for a college education, Mos can help. With Mos, you can get help negotiating for more financial aid and applying for hundreds of scholarships and grants with ease.

To get started, check out Mos.

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