First-Year Admission


Come here to make contributions that matter.

Our open and collaborative community creates an intimate setting where you'll have the opportunity to think, create and explore alongside leading faculty in their respective fields. Here, you will be given the freedom to explore your passions and are supported throughout the journey to discovering your best path. Let's take this journey together.

Understanding the Application Process


Applying for first-year admission is simple once you understand the process. It's helpful to familiarize yourself with the necessary steps and gather required documents before you initiate the application process.

  1. Choose the application deadline that makes sense for you. Find out what our admissions committee is looking for.
  2. Choose your application method (College of Charleston Application or Common App).
  3. Review your application checklist. Once you submit your application, you'll be able to view your application checklist and track your application file in your College of Charleston Admissions Portal. If you chose the Common App, we'll send you an email after you hit submit, so you can access your College of Charleston Admissions Portal.
  4. Submit your application materials to complete your application file.

** The College of Charleston essay options are the same as the Common Application essay prompts. We also allow you to provide an essay using a topic of your choice

**Students applying for first-year admission can choose to have their application evaluated without SAT or ACT scores.

Important Dates and Deadlines


Be sure to stay up to date on important dates and deadlines in the application process. Your application and all materials must be submitted online, emailed, or postmarked by the below dates.
  • Application Opens August 1

    The application opens.

    View the Parts of the Application webpage for further info.

  • Early Decision 1

    Apply by: November 1
    Receive your decision on: December 1
    Enroll by: January 5

    You must submit your application, signed Early Decision Agreement, all high school transcripts, and, standardized test scores (if applicable) by November 1.

    Early decision is a binding commitment to enroll at the College of Charleston in the following fall, if admitted. If the College of Charleston is your first choice, and you won't use scholarships and financial aid as a primary factor for deciding which school is the best fit for youthen early decision is the best choice for you!

    You may apply to other schools but may only apply to one school through a binding, early-decision process. If you are accepted for early decision, you agree to withdraw all applications from any other colleges to which you applied. And, you must submit a nonrefundable deposit by January 5.

    Students considering a gap-year are not eligible for early decision.

    Early Decision FAQ.

  • Early Action

    Apply by: November 1
    Receive your decision on: December 15

    Early action is non-binding. You will receive your admission decision by December 15. To be considered, your application must be complete by November 1.

    Students who wish to receive first consideration for the Honors College should submit their application by November 1.

    Learn more about the Honors College

  • Early Decision 2

    Apply by: January 15
    Receive your decision on: March 1
    Enroll by: March 15

    You must submit your application, signed Early Decision Agreement, all high school transcripts, and, standardized test scores (if applicable) by January 15.

    Early decision is a binding commitment to enroll at the College of Charleston in the following fall, if admitted. If the College of Charleston is your first choice, and you won't use scholarships and financial aid as a primary factor for deciding which school is the best fit for youthen early decision is the best choice for you!

    You may apply to other schools but may only apply to one school through a binding, early-decision process. If you are accepted for early decision, you agree to withdraw all applications from any other colleges to which you applied. And, you must submit a nonrefundable deposit by January 5.

    Students considering a gap-year are not eligible for early decision.

    Early Decision FAQ.

  • Regular Decision

    Apply by: January 15
    Receive your decision on: March 1

    To receive your decision by March 1, your application must be complete by January 15.

    Notification of admissions decisions for late applications is not guaranteed by March 1.

  • Enrollment and Housing Deposit

    Apply by: May 1

    You must submit your enrollment deposit by May 1. On-campus housing is guaranteed if you've paid your enrollment and housing deposits, and completed your housing application by May 1.

  • Spring Semester

    Apply by: November 1

    For consideration for the spring semester, your application for admission and supplementary materials must be submitted online, emailed or postmarked by November 1.

    For those admitted students seeking housing, an enrollment deposit and housing application should be submitted as soon as possible thereafter. On-campus housing for spring semester is offered if space is available.

    Calendar for Incoming Students for Spring 2023.

Admission Requirements


In a university where originality, innovation and experiential learning matter, we look at more than just test scores in determining admissions. Take a look at what the average first-year student who enrolls at the College looks like to help inform your decision. 

Decision Information


Waiting to receive your admission decision can be stressful. To eliminate any confusion, and keep students and families informed, we've compiled an overview of possible decision outcomes.
  • Accepted

    Accepted students are able to join CougarNation in the fall so long as they take the next steps—from confirming enrollment and financial aid to securing housing and registering for orientation. Acceptance to the College is contingent upon maintaining the high level of academic performance that warranted admission for the duration of the applicant's high school career. The admissions committee will review official final transcripts reflecting any coursework currently in progress. Applicants are encouraged to make lasting memories and enjoy every second of their senior year without sacrificing their standard of academic excellence in order to ensure they are able to take advantage of this opportunity to do something truly extraordinary.

  • Pathway Programs

    iCharleston

    Your decision letter may include an invitation to participate in the iCharleston program.

    Through the iCharleston, select students who do not initially receive an offer of admission have the opportunity to gain guaranteed acceptance to the College by successfully completing a first semester abroad.

    After successfully completing the program, you'll transfer your 15 hours of iCharleston credits and begin the spring semester enrolled at the College of Charleston.

  • Deferred

    Deferred students are early applicants who may very well be eligible for admission once the admissions committee has been able to see the entire pool of applicants or received additional information reflecting a more comprehensive academic profile (e.g. first semester grades, additional test scores, etc.). As long as the Office of Admissions receives adequate information to formulate a more comprehensive academic profile, deferred applicants will be notified of a final decision on or before March 1. Deferred applicants are required to submit Fall semester grades to be considered further for admission. Read the Deferred Student FAQs.

  • Waitlist

    While we would love to admit every applicant to the College of Charleston, we must account for capacity limits in our student housing, course offerings and student services. We know there are applicants that would be successful here, and we'd be pleased to admit them should space become available. For now, these students are offered a place on the waitlist. Once a final admission decision is made, we will release decisions through the College of Charleston admissions portal, and email notifications as well.The College of Charleston will try to provide students with a final admission decision no later than June 15. The College will inform students selected for admission of their status for campus housing and any financial aid award before requiring an enrollment decision. Visit our Waitlist FAQ page for more information.

  • Denied

    Denied applicants may opt to transfer to the College of Charleston in the future. Denied applicants are only eligible to apply to the College of Charleston again as transfer students after completing at least 12 educational college-level credits and earning a cumulative college grade point average of 2.4.

Financial Aid & Additional Info


 

FAFSA

Students interested in federal loans and federal/state grants must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

International Application

The College of Charleston believes that diverse backgrounds, perspectives and experiences are integral parts of a liberal arts education.