The Long Answer

It’s important to know that, as an admissions office, we begin by considering Lawrence, who we are, and what kinds of people thrive here. (This, by the way, is true of every admissions office at every institution.) When we read applications, staying true to ourselves as a university and being honest about what we want and need in our student body is the framework for our decisions.

Then we look at our applicants—at you. And in that look, we consider a lot of things.

Life in the classroom

Yes, your academic performance is going to be paramount in our decision, but we know that every academic history has a story. Is your GPA a cumulative 3.0 because you had a slow start in high school, but you’ve been taking advanced courses and getting B’s or better every term since freshman year? Is your GPA a 4.0 because you’ve only taken standard courses and withdrawn from anything where you weren’t getting an A? We are interested in the stories as much as the letter grades that go with them.

Life outside the classroom

How do you spend your time? How much time do you devote to your activities? Are you committed to something you’ve been doing for years, or are you the type of person who likes to try new things all the time? Are you someone who isn’t involved in organizations per se, but you are an artist, a reader, a filmmaker, a kayaker, a runner? (All of these, by the way, are quite all right with us.)

Who are you?

We consider your background. Who are you as a person? Some of that comes from the Common Application itself, some of that comes from the essays, some of that comes from the recommendations of your teachers, school counselors, or a community-based organization. Some of that comes from interactions we have with you, be it in an interview setting or correspondences through other means.

You are more than a test score

ACT or SAT test scores are not required for admission or scholarship consideration. You will tell us of your choice when you submit your application for admission. If you would like us to consider your test scores, you can self-report your scores or have them sent electronically via the testing organization. 

Applicants who choose to submit their test scores will have those scores considered as part of our admission and scholarship review. If you believe that your scores complement your application and further demonstrate that you are prepared for Lawrence, then you may choose to submit them. We will accept self-reported scores of either test (we have no preference between the two) and will superscore your results from multiple exam dates, should you choose to submit them.

If you elect not to submit ACT or SAT test scores, you will still receive full admission and scholarship consideration. Lawrence is test-optional because we know that there are inherent flaws in trying to sum up your potential by taking a single exam. If you believe your performance in high school is strong enough to stand on its own, then we do not need your scores. 

If you are unsure whether to submit test scores, you should consult your school (or college) counselor and are welcome to contact your Lawrence admissions counselor. For your reference, our incoming student profile can also be found here.

International students are required to submit proof of English proficiency. See requirements for International Admission.

Behold the power of the interview

The interview is one of the most effective ways for us to determine if you'd make a good Lawrentian. And by "us" we mean the admissions office and you. Interviews are a two-way street; a friendly one-on-one conversation. 

We consider our impressions of you and the information you share with us face-to-face (or in a Green Interview over the phone or Skype) that may not fit in the application, but is still important. Meanwhile, you will also get to determine whether Lawrence fits well with your interests, talents, and aspirations.

Our interviews are a relaxed and casual way for us to get to know each other. Register here to request an interview. We look forward to connecting with you!

47 words

In addition to the Common Application's Personal Statement, applicants to Lawrence University are required to compose an answer—47 words (give or take a few)—to the question ‘Why Lawrence?’ It could be a short story, a brief discourse about why you're interested in Lawrence, a haiku, anything.

This supplemental essay is simply your way of showing your connection to Lawrence’s community, be it your love of our world-renowned conservatory or that quirky tour guide who told you you’d grow a third hand if you touched the Fox River (yes, someone really submitted that).

CBO Partners

Lawrence University has established strong relationships around the country with community-based organizations that focus on college access and success by working with historically underserved populations. Here are just some of the CBOs we are proud to call our partners (and friends):