Undergraduate Admissions

Earlham seeks students who are academically prepared, intellectually curious and who possess a variety of special talents and interests. We also look for students who are comfortable in their own skin and embrace differences. Admission to Earlham College is selective, and we expect our students to demonstrate superior academic performance and preparation, as well as an excellent record of extracurricular involvement. In our holistic application review process, our admissions team looks at your individual grades, your cumulative GPA, your ACT and/or SAT scores (if submitted*), your recommendation letter, your leadership experience and the depth and uniqueness of your application essay.

*Earlham has a test-optional policy, which means applicants are not required to submit any standardized test scores. Learn more about our test-optional admissions policy.

Academic preparation

Although Earlham does not have specific entrance requirements, most successful applicants have completed a minimum of:

  • 4 credits of English, such as literature, grammar or composition
  • 3 credits of mathematics, such as algebra, geometry, pre-calculus or calculus
  • 2 credits of social sciences, such as government, economics, sociology, history or similar topics
  • 2 credits of sciences, such as biology, chemistry or physics
  • 2 credits of world languages, including a second language that is not your native language
  • Studio or performing arts, experience in the area of studio or performing arts is very desirable

Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and/or Advance College Project (ACP) courses help us gauge if you are ready for the rigorous Earlham curriculum but is not a requirement. Though we understand that not every school offers these programs, if we see that you’re taking Advanced or Honors courses or any courses that are at the highest level that the school offers, we take that into consideration when reviewing your application.

Grades in academic classes

Earlham takes your cumulative GPA into consideration when reviewing your application, but keep in mind that it is not the only thing we consider.

Application essay

This is a part of your application. Your essay should be an original piece of writing that demonstrates your thinking process and writing style and should be reviewed/proofread by someone else before you submit it.

Other decision-making factors

At Earlham, we take a holistic approach to our applicants, looking beyond the classroom when reviewing applications. When provided, we take into consideration leadership experience, extracurricular involvement, community service and work experience.

Important Deadlines

FAFSA deadlines

  • Application available: January 1 or earlier
  • Application deadline: Priority deadline is March 1. Deadline to ensure that financial aid will be awarded before the first bill issues is June 1. Final deadline is May 1.

Early action deadlines

  • Early action 1 applications due: Nov. 1
  • Early action 2 applications due: Dec. 1

Regular decision deadlines

  • Deadline extended