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How to apply

At Earlham College, we believe that students have the right to weigh all of their college options and decide on enrolling when they have all the information they need to make an informed choice. This information includes an acceptance decision and a financial aid package, including any merit scholarships awarded. We encourage students to fully explore all the features and benefits of our academic, co-curricular, student life, career and graduate school advising and housing options.

Applying as an undergraduate student

Are you inspired by the idea of changing the world? Do you want a college experience that will support you in advocating for yourself and others? Are you a self-starter who wants to be surrounded by other students like you—and unlike you?

Earlham could be the place for you. For good.

We invite you to apply through the Common Application or the Earlham College application.

Early action deadlines

  • Early action 1: Nov. 1, 2021
  • Early action 2: Dec. 1, 2021

Regular decision deadlines

  • Application due: March 1, 2022

Applying as an international student

International students are admitted in both the spring and fall semesters. In addition to a regular academic adviser, a special adviser works closely with international students on matters of immigration issues, cultural adaptation and practical concerns.

Learn more about Earlham’s international application.

Early action deadlines

  • Early action 1: Nov. 1, 2021
  • Early action 2: Dec. 1, 2021

Regular decision deadlines

  • Application due: March 1, 2022

Applying as a transfer student

Earlham welcomes applications from students who have successfully completed courses while enrolled at another post-secondary institution. Most transfer candidates are admitted for the fall semester, but transfer students may also begin their studies at Earlham in the spring semester. Transfer students must spend a minimum of four semesters at Earlham in order to receive an Earlham degree.

Learn more about Earlham’s transfer application.

Fall semester deadlines

  • Application due: June 1

Spring semester deadlines

  • Application due: Dec. 15

Applying as a graduate student

Female grad student talking with student

Graduate programs in education

What makes our M.A.T. and M.Ed. programs unique?  A grounding in Quaker practices, our cohort model and individualized study options make Earlham an excellent choice for curious and passionate educators.

ESR professor speaking with student

Earlham School of Religion

Rooted in the Quaker tradition of contemplation that inspires action, Earlham School of Religion prepares theologically diverse students for a complex world. The curriculum unites spiritual formation, academic study, social engagement and vital ministry.

Key terms to know

Applying to college can be like learning a brand new language and you are bound to come across unfamiliar terms. This glossary can help you make sense of all the information you’re sorting through during the application process.

The ACT is a standardized college admissions test in the U.S. that features four main sections: English, math, reading and science — as well as an optional essay section. At Earlham, we are test-optional, so this is not a requirement for your admission but helps us determine placement and merit scholarships.

An admissions counselor will assist you with getting all of your required paperwork submitted in order to be considered for admission. They are also available to answer any questions you might have throughout the admissions process.

Connect with a counselor.

An agreement between Earlham College and other institutions which allows for a seamless transition for transfer students. It spells out which programs and majors are applicable to the agreement and what courses count for degree credit along with the grades you need to earn to get credit.

A measurement of how your academic achievement compares with that of other students in your grade. This number is usually determined by using a weighted GPA that takes into account both your grades and the difficulty of the courses you’ve taken.

This is a part of your application. Your essay should be an original piece of writing that demonstrates your thinking process and writing style.

College credits are measured by how much time a student spends studying and learning a particular subject or class. College credits can be earned by taking Advanced Placement courses, International Baccalaureate courses or Dual Enrollment.

College credits can be transferred and credited toward overall graduation credit requirements.

For AP and IB courses, you must obtain a certain score to receive college credit, which can be found in our enrollment policies.

Earlham accepts applications through our Earlham Application or through the Common Application. The latter is a standard application form accepted by all colleges that are members of the Common Application association. You can fill out this application once and submit it to any one — or several — of the nearly 700 colleges that accept it. Go to the Common Application.

Permission from Earlham College to postpone your enrollment for up to one year after you have been accepted.

Students apply by an earlier deadline to receive a non-binding acceptance decision in advance of the College’s regular decision notification date. The advantage of an early action application at Earlham is the potential to be nominated for Scholarship Day, an event in which admitted students can compete for scholarships ranging from $1,500 to full tuition.

See Scholarship Day categories.

Money awarded or loaned to you to help pay for college. Financial aid can come directly from Earlham, through federal and state government loans, grants and scholarships.

Learn more about financial aid at Earlham.

A grade point average (GPA) is determined by adding all accumulated final grades and dividing by the number of credits taken.

A weighted grade point average is calculated using a system that assigns a higher point value to grades in more difficult classes. For example, some high schools assign the value of 5.0 (instead of the standard 4.0) for an A earned in an AP class.


Placement tests are tests that measure your academic strengths and allow you to be placed in courses that are both suited for your level and rigorous enough to help you grow. These tests cover reading, writing, math and sometimes other subjects.

Students entering Earlham College as first years will take the QANS placement test, administered by the Quantitative Reasoning Center.

Additionally, incoming first-year Earlham students will also need to submit a language placement test during new student orientation.

The office or department that registers students, along with keeping permanent records and maintaining your student file.

The College Board’s standardized college admission test. It features three main sections: math, reading and writing, which includes a written essay.

The SAT also has subject tests. These are hour-long, content-based college admission tests that allow you to showcase achievement in specific subject areas: English, history, math, science and languages. Some colleges use Subject Tests to place students into the appropriate courses as well as in admission decisions. Based on your performance on the test(s), you could potentially fulfill basic requirements or earn credit for introductory-level courses. At Earlham, we are test-optional, so this is not a requirement for your admission but helps us determine placement and merit scholarships.

The official record of your course work at a school or college. Your high school transcript is required for admission to Earlham College.

A college student who is working toward an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

The list of applicants who may be admitted to Earlham if space becomes available. If previously accepted students don’t enroll at Earlham and there are empty spots, those spots are filled with students who are on the waiting list.

Need more help?

Applying for college can be complex and raise a lot of questions. Our experienced admissions team is here to help walk you through the application process, whether you have a quick question or special circumstances.

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