Pomona College

May 17, 2011 Contact:  Cynthia Peters               Cynthia.Peters@pomona.edu (909) 621-8515

Seth Allen Named Vice President and Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid at Pomona College


Seth Allen, dean of admission and financial aid at Grinnell College, has been appointed vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid at Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges. Allen will start at Pomona on July 18, 2011.

“Seth Allen is a widely respected leader in the field and brings a deep understanding of best practices in admissions and financial aid to this new role at Pomona College,” says Pomona College President David W. Oxtoby. “Our commitment to remaining a leader in making education accessible to all students, regardless of financial circumstances, will continue as a core principle under his leadership, and I look forward to working closely with him to further strengthen the excellent program we have on our campus.”

With 20 years of experience in college admissions, Allen will be a member of the Pomona College senior leadership team and manage a financial aid budget of $29.3 million and a staff of 26 people in the offices of admissions and financial aid. Pomona is one of a small handful of institutions committed to need-blind admissions and to meeting full, demonstrated financial aid need without requiring loans. For the class entering in fall of 2011, the College received approximately 7,200 applications for approximately 400 spots.

At Grinnell, Allen is the chief enrollment officer responsible for policy development and strategic planning related to admissions, financial aid and enrollment. Among his accomplishments has been a broad increase in the ethnic, economic and international diversity of entering students and an increase in first-generation college students. He also led campus-wide reviews of middle-class college affordability issues and played a key role in elevating Grinnell’s presence in national media.

Allen previously served as dean of admissions at Dickinson College with responsibility for all phases of the admissions cycle, managing a staff of 19. During his eight-year tenure at Dickinson, there were significant increases in applications, average SAT scores and minority and international enrollment.  He began his career in admissions at Johns Hopkins University, where he rose from admissions counselor to director of enrollment planning, research and technology.

On a national level, Allen currently serves on the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Membership Committee and on the College Board’s Midwest Regional Forum Planning Committee (chair 2011-12), Midwest Regional Counsel (chair-elect 2011-12) and as a member of its Guidance and Admission Assembly Council and Recruitment and Admissions Advisory Committee. From 2005-2010, he was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Common Application and served as president from 2008-2009.

Allen earned both his B.A. in economics and an M.S. in Applied Behavioral Sciences from Johns Hopkins University, as well as certificate in change management.

Pomona College, founded in 1887, offers a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. It is known for the close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research. Pomona is the founding member of The Claremont Colleges, a unique consortium of five undergraduate and two graduate institutions.