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Admissions Calendar and Deadlines

Application Materials
Financial Aid

Admitted Students
Fall Early Decision Nov. 15 Nov. 15 Dec. 15 Jan. 15
Winter Early Decision Jan. 15 Jan. 15 Feb. 15 March 1
Regular Decision Jan. 15* Jan. 15 April 1 May 1
QuestBridge late Sept.
Transfer March 31* March 31 May 15 June 1

Rounds of Admission 

Early Decision: Those who decide that Carleton is their first choice college are encouraged to apply under the Early Decision program.  Students who apply through Early Decision are required to collect a signature from a guardian and school counselor indicating their collective understanding that, if offered admission, the student will attend Carleton.  While waiting to hear back about Early Decision to Carleton, students may submit Regular Decision applications to other colleges.  Those students offered admission through the Early Decision round will be expected to withdraw all other pending applications and enroll at Carleton. Early Decision candidates are reviewed in two different rounds (fall and winter), but whenever the student applies, the criteria for selection are identical.

Regular Decision: Students who apply through Regular Decision will receive notification from the College by April 1 of their senior year.  Those offered admission will have until May 1 to make the $300 deposit to secure their spots in the class.   The initial $300 payment will not be refunded except in case of illness which makes it impossible for a student to enter the College at the time for which he or she has been accepted.

QuestBridge: We are a College Partner with QuestBridge, a nationwide program that supports talented, high-achieving, low-income students.  We accept QuestBridge applications through the National Scholar Match process as well as through Early Decision and Regular Decision.  As such, the deadlines vary depending on which round of admission a student pursues.  Students interested in QuestBridge should be sure to become familiar with the QuestBridge application process

Transfer Students: Carleton accepts a number of transfer students for each fall term.  The required application materials are similar, but not identical, to those for first-year applicants.  To qualify for the Carleton degree, students must spend at least two years in residence at Carleton, including the senior year. 

Application Logistics 

Application Status, Decision Notification, and Enrollment: After a student has applied, she will be given access to the applicant status page.  On this page, the applicant can track our receipt of documents.  The admissions committee will post admissions decisions on this portal no later than the dates posted above.  The admissions committee will also put all admissions decisions in the mail, intended to arrive by the dates posted above.  Admitted students who live outside of the US will receive decisions via courier service (FedEx, DHL, etc.).  Admitted students can confirm their enrollment through the applicant status page, or by mailing the enrollment agreement and a check.

Enrollment Deposit: The $300 enrollment deposit consists of two parts:  $250 is used to confirm your enrollment and is returned to you upon graduation, and $50 is a lifetime transcript fee.  The enrollment deposit is not applied toward your fall term balance. 

Applying for Financial Aid: We require the FAFSA and CSS Profile. See our Financial Aid Information for Prospective Students for more information.

Late Applicants: Applications may be submitted late, but priority will be given to those applying on or before the deadline.  Students who submit late applications must recognize they are applying on a space-if-available basis. In some years, the College is able to offer admission to late applicants; in other years, the first-year student class may be filled and students to whom we would like to offer admission must be placed on a waiting list to see if vacancies occur in late spring or early summer. 

Early Admission: Students may be admitted to Carleton without completion of a fourth year of secondary school. It is expected that such candidates will present unusually strong academic credentials, display a high degree of maturity and have the enthusiastic support of their secondary schools.

Gap Years: Accepted students who wish to defer college for a year (take a gap year) following completion of secondary school can request to be considered for this opportunity by submitting this Gap Year Request Form. Please describe your specific plans for the interim year and the perceived benefits of the plan. Such requests should be made by May 1 if at all possible. Students must confirm their plans for the year by June 1. The Dean of Admissions may choose to review late requests on a case-by-case basis. Students granted deferment may neither apply to nor enroll at another degree-granting college/university program.