First-Year and Transfer Students
Dickinson students have strong academic credentials and enthusiasm for engaging the world. They are not passive learners; they do not rest with simple answers to complex questions. They understand that a quality liberal-arts education is the foundation for a lifetime of productive social engagement.
As a community, Dickinson is committed to recruiting the most socially, ethnically, and economically diverse student body possible. The college has a proud tradition as an educator of first-generation college students. Today, about 11% of Dickinson students are of the first generation in their family to attend college.
Admission to Dickinson is highly selective. Each year, the college receives approximately 5,000 applications for a first-year class of 600 students and about 150 applications for a transfer class of 35 students. The primary credentials for admission to Dickinson are 1) the secondary school academic record; 2) leadership and commitment in extracurricular activities; 3) the official recommendation from the secondary school guidance counselor, college advisor, headmaster or principal plus recommendations from teachers in academic subjects; 4) the application and supplemental forms, including the essay; 5) SAT I or ACT scores, which are optional for admission but required for academic scholarships that are not need-based; and 6) supplemental form and required statement.
The Admissions Office believes that the best predictor for academic success in college is high grades earned in solid academic courses from an accredited secondary school. This record offers the clearest signals of high motivation, good study habits, strong self-discipline and intellectual curiosity. The admissions staff also looks at engagement in outside activities - the talents, interests, and leadership potential you have demonstrated through school and community activities, as well as the student's ability to articulate his/her fit with Dickinson's distinctive character.
Students and Prospective Students with Disabilities
The College's admission process does not seek to assess each applicant's ease of learning in each area of the College's Requirements for the Degree. However, the College has established Requirements for the Degree that each student must meet in order to graduate from Dickinson College. It is therefore incumbent on prospective students to familiarize themselves with the College's Requirements for the Degree when considering whether to apply or enroll at Dickinson.
The College has established Requirements for the Degree in broad categories, including a foreign language requirement. Such requirements have been established only to the extent that they are fundamental to the College's mission. Because they are fundamental to Dickinson's view of a liberal arts education, they will not be waived for any student. Please see the Academic Advising website or contact email@example.com or call 717-245-1080 if you have a question in this area.
After enrollment, it is the student's responsibility to notify the college of any disability and accommodation requests. Documentation must provide a diagnosis and the functional limitations of the disability. Only documentation from a qualified, licensed individual will be accepted. Contact the Coordinator for Disability Services for further information detailing the documentation requirements for specific disabilities.
A campus visit is recommended for all prospective students, especially those with disabilities. Prospective students needing accommodation during a campus visit are encouraged to inform the college of their needs before arriving for their visit. Students with disabilities who wish to schedule an appointment with the Coordinator for Disability Services as part of a campus visit, should do so at least two weeks in advance of their visit.
First-Year Admission Requirements
A completed application form (including supplemental form and required statement), including the secondary school report form to be completed by the guidance counselor, college advisor, headmaster, or principal, as well as one academic teacher recommendation, must be sent to the Office of Admissions by the appropriate deadline. A non-refundable $65 application fee is required at the time the application is submitted.
The minimum requirement for entrance is the satisfactory completion of a secondary school program of at least 16 units, including four units of English, two (preferably three) units of one foreign language, three units of natural science, two units of social science, and three units of college preparatory mathematics. The remaining units should be within these academic areas. Most applicants offer more than the minimal requirements.
Standardized Test Requirements
Submission of results from the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT I) or the American College Test (ACT) is optional for September 2008, but is required for academic scholarship consideration.
SAT II Subject Test scores are not required for admission to Dickinson, although applicants may submit these scores as additional information in support of their application. If students wish to satisfy a prerequisite requirement or place into a higher level course (such as foreign language), they should plan to take a College Board Advanced Placement Test. On the basis of this testing, or in some cases additional testing during orientation, the student will then be placed at the appropriate course level.
Subject test scores submitted prior to the evaluation of a person's application may support the application in cases where strong achievement potential is suggested, but in no case will these test results adversely affect the final decision on the application.
International Student Admission
Dickinson College encourages applications from international students who are successful in their secondary school and whose English language is of sufficient quality to demonstrate an ability to succeed in our highly selective environment. Please see the international admissions site for test score requirements. International students for whom Dickinson College is first choice are allowed to apply under an Early Decision plan.
Dickinson College has a limited international student financial aid budget to assist international students who wish to study as four-year degree candidates. Prospective international students whose families can cover part but not all of the full costs of attending Dickinson will be eligible to compete for these limited funds. Students applying for financial aid must submit the College Board International Student Financial Aid Application. Competition for these funds is high and SATs are not optional for international students who apply for financial aid. International students are also eligible and will be considered for our John Dickinson and Benjamin Rush scholarships.
Advanced Placement Program A student who achieves a score of 4 or 5 on a College Board Advanced Placement Test will be granted credit for college work in the appropriate department and will receive placement at the discretion of the department. A student who achieves a score of 3 on the Advanced Placement Test may receive, at the discretion of the appropriate department, credit and/or placement.
Students who obtain grades of A or B on a British System Advanced Level ("A-level") exam will be granted credit for college work in the appropriate department and will receive placement at the discretion of the department. Syllabi and course materials should be submitted to the Registrar's Office.
Students who obtain a coefficient of 4 or higher and a grade/score of 12 or higher on courses in pursuit of a French Baccalaureate degree will be granted up to 8 course credits for college work in the appropriate department and will receive placement at the discretion of the department.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Course Credit Students will be granted general college credit for higher-level IB courses in which they achieve grades of 5 or better. Students who have achieved a grade of 5 or higher on standard level IB courses will receive placement or credit in the appropriate departments at the discretion of the departments. Syllabi and course materials should be submitted to the Registrar's Office.
Other Credit Contact the Registrar's Office regarding the transferability of completed or proposed college credit. Syllabi and course materials should be submitted to the Registrar's Office. College-level course work (other than A.P.) taken while in high school will be evaluated according to the following criteria: (1) must be listed on an official transcript of an accredited institution; (2) must be a minimum of 3 credit hours; (3) must indicate a grade of C or better (2.0 on a 4.0 scale); (4) must have liberal arts content; (5) must be offered in a setting which allows for interaction between student and instructor (i.e., no credit will be awarded for correspondence, on-line or one-way video courses).
Courses taken at a college or university located outside of the United States must be evaluated by WES (World Education Services). WES is an international academic credit evaluation agency. Dickinson College requires the Comprehensive Course by Course evaluation. WES will require an official, translated transcript.
Credit granted in accordance with the above statements of policy will satisfy the corresponding graduation or distribution requirements. In addition, such course credit will normally satisfy a prerequisite requirement in that department for advanced work. The repetition of a course previously received as a credit in transfer or as a placement credit will result in the loss of credit for that course.
Interview & Information Session
A visit to the campus for an interview, group information session, Forum, or tour is helpful to prospective students in gaining a clearer understanding of life and study at Dickinson.
Evaluative Interviews are useful tools for determining a student's "fit" with the college. Interviews should be scheduled in advance of a planned visit and prior to the application program deadline by which you are applying. We encourage you to bring an unofficial transcript and activities resume to the meeting. Interviews last approximately 30 minutes, and may be scheduled by contacting the Office of Admissions.
Group Information Sessions are conducted by admissions staff members and provide an excellent opportunity to learn about the college's distinctive mission and programs, faculty and student experiences, and the admission, scholarship and financial aid processes.
Tours of the campus are available during the week and on selected Saturdays in the fall and spring.
Appointments can be scheduled by calling the Office of Admissions at 717-245-1231 or 800-644-1773 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early Decision Plan
The college actively encourages early decision applications from students for whom Dickinson is clearly their first-choice college.
Students may apply for early decision admission and financial aid by November 15 (round 1) or January 15 (round 2). Decisions for completed applications will be sent in mid-December and mid-February respectively.
Early decision is a service to realistic candidates because:
1. Due to the small size of the applicant pool, candidates are evaluated based on their own merits rather than in competition with other applicants.
2. The candidates learn early in their college planning if they have been admitted to the college of their choice.
3. Applicants not accepted may be reconsidered on an equal basis with regular applicants for admission and may ultimately be accepted for admission. However, the review committee reserves the right to inform a student that he or she is not admissible if it is determined that additional information from the senior year would not affect a final decision.
4. Accepted early decision candidates who file the PROFILE financial aid application by the admission deadline are guaranteed financial aid in the amount of their need as computed by Dickinson College. Standard financial aid packages, including grant, loan, and job components, are awarded. Occasionally a parent loan is included to help meet need.
In addition to fulfilling the regular requirements for admission, early decision candidates must submit the Early Decision Agreement Form which is enclosed with the application packet.
The obligation of the accepted early decision candidate to Dickinson is to withdraw all other college applications and to submit the non-refundable $500 enrollment deposit, which is applied to the first semester tuition charges, by the deadline specified in the acceptance letter.
Early decision candidates seeking financial assistance should correspond directly with either the Office of Admissions or the Office of Financial Aid.
The Early Action Plan
Early Action provides a non-binding early response to the application for admission. Notice that the deadline for filing both applications for admission and financial aid (PROFILE) is December 1. Candidates will be notified of the college's decision by late January and must respond to this offer by May 1.
A student who plans to leave secondary school prior to graduation, often a year in advance, is considered to be an early admission candidate. Such students usually have performed very well academically and have exhausted the highest level course offerings of their schools.
Applications for early admission are reviewed on an individual basis, taking into consideration maturity and readiness to participate in a residential college as well as academic ability. An early admission applicant is required to have a personal interview by the deadline by which he/she is applying and must have the written recommendation and approval of the secondary school counselor.
Some accepted students may wish to defer the start of their college experience until they have pursued an alternate activity for a year or two. A written request which explains why the student wishes to defer admission and also which describes the alternate activity is required. Normally, experiences which enhance a student's educational background such as overseas travel, work, or study are approved. All deferral requests are reviewed by the Dean of Admissions on an individual basis. In order to reserve a place in the class for the following year, a student request for deferral must be accompanied by a non-refundable $500 enrollment deposit.
Dickinson College, along with a select number of colleges in the United States, is a member of the Common Application. A student who completes the Common Application may submit that form to any participating college. Dickinson uses the Common Application as our own application. An electronic version of the Common Application which can be downloaded, printed and mailed, or submitted electronically, is available at the Common Application web site (www.commonapp.org). Students must also submit a completed Supplemental Form and Required Statement. The form can also be downloaded from the admissions web site.
In order to assure his or her enrollment at Dickinson College, an accepted candidate is required to submit a signed enrollment form and non-refundable $500 enrollment deposit by the appropriate deadline. The enrollment deposit is applied automatically toward the first semester tuition charges.
Transfer Admission Requirements
Dickinson College welcomes qualified applicants with previous academic work at other accredited college-level institutions. An applicant normally will be considered for transfer admission if the person has been enrolled elsewhere as a degree candidate for the equivalent of at least two semesters prior to the term of desired enrollment at Dickinson. As a matter of definition, a candidate will be considered for transfer admission if he or she IS ENROLLED OR HAS BEEN enrolled at another institution as a full-time, degree-seeking student. Dickinson has formal transfer articulation agreements with several community colleges. Contact the Office of Admissions for more details at 800-644-1773.
The primary factors in the admission of transfers, in addition to those required of first-year applicants, are the college transcript, the reasons for transfer, and evidence of good academic and non-academic standing (as indicated by the Dean's Report Form or similar official statement), and one recommendation from a professor.
Previous academic work which has been satisfactorily completed with a grade of C or better (2.0 or above on a 4.0 scale) in a program of study that reasonably parallels the curriculum of Dickinson College will be evaluated for credit. See Other Credit section above for transfer credit criteria. Normally, the course requirement for graduation (32 courses) will be reduced proportionately for every academic year of full-time study at other accredited institutions. Part-time course work, summer study, and unusual circumstances will be evaluated on an individual basis.
Final determination of credit and the satisfaction of distribution and language requirements will be made by the Registrar. Among the academic regulations applicable to all students and of particular note to transfer applicants is the graduation requirement that at least 16 courses be taken on campus, the last 12 of which must be taken while the student is matriculated with an approved major field of concentration. The residency requirement may have implications for those transfer students wishing to study abroad. Please contact admissions with specific questions regarding study abroad opportunities for transfers.
Dickinson College offers a Phi Theta Kappa merit scholarship, valued at $15,000 per year for two years to one or two incoming students transferring from a community college. In order to be considered for this scholarship, the transfer student must be an active member of Phi Theta Kappa, have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours, and have 3.5 GPA. The Transfer Admissions Committee selects recipients for this scholarship based upon the completed transfer application.
Dickinson Admission Volunteer Society
The Dickinson Admission Volunteer Society is composed of alumni, parents, students, faculty and staff representing the college both on and off campus. Members are important sources of information for prospective students, parents, and high schools in their home areas, serving as both recruiters and advocates in the admission process. Volunteers are also charged with identifying new talent for future classes of Dickinsonians.
Please feel free to contact the Dickinson Admission Volunteer Society email@example.com or the Office of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-245-1231, or 800-644-1773 for details.
Dickinson Guest Student Program
Dickinson College welcomes qualified applicants who wish to study on a full-time, non-degree status for either one or two successive terms "in absentia" from their present colleges. This program is specifically designed for those students who wish to participate in the high-quality academic and co-curricular life of a small college community.
Application deadlines are December 1 for spring term admission consideration and August 1 for fall term admission consideration. Applicants are notified of the admission decisions on their applications on a rolling basis as the applications become complete. A non-refundable $500 deposit is required from accepted applicants and is applied toward the first semester tuition charges.
Under special circumstances, qualified guest students may study on a part-time basis for a semester or a year. These students are placed in regular Dickinson courses on a space available basis.
For further details regarding the Guest Student Program, please write to the Registrar. International students should direct Guest Student Program questions to the Office of Global Education.
Part-Time Students Working Toward a Degree
Dickinson College is a traditional, residential liberal arts college and all students working toward a degree are expected to study full time. In cases where an adult student wishes to pursue a degree, part time permission may be granted by the Registrar. All prospective students applying to Dickinson for a degree program must do so through the Office of Admissions at email@example.com, 717-245-1231, or 800-644-1773. Tuition per course will be pro-rated at the full-time tuition charge for those granted part-time status, whether initially admitted into a degree program or admitted conditionally for a maximum of four courses. Students who are admitted and who enroll in at least two courses per semester may be eligible for federal financial aid. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-245-1308, TTY: 717-245-1134 or Fax: 717-245-1972.
Adult students wishing to pursue courses at the college for personal enrichment, and who do not want these courses to count toward a degree at Dickinson College, may apply for permission to take a course on a space available basis and register through the Office of Continuing Education. Courses may be taken for credit or non-credit (audit). Continuing Education students do have access to the library but do not have access to the Athletic Center and may not participate in student organizations. Contact the Office of Continuing Education at email@example.com or 717-245-1315.
High School Enrichment Program
Upon the recommendation of their guidance counselors, promising high school students may elect to enroll in up to two courses per semester at Dickinson on a space available basis. Information and assistance is provided by calling the Registrar at 717-245-1315.