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First-Year Applicants

First-Year Applicant Checklist

Explore the types of aid you may eligible for, including merit-based scholarships offered by St. John’s College.

Before you apply

  • Select your campus: Annapolis or Santa Fe. Though you will apply to a specific campus, accepted students may change campuses before enrolling if there is space available.
  • Select your application: the Common Application, the St. John’s Application, the Coalition Application, or the Discussion-Based Application. The application instructions below are applicable to the Common Application, the St. John’s Application, and the Coalition Application; you can find more information on the different procedure for the Discussion-Based Application. St. John’s has no application fee.
  • Select your deadline: Early Decision 1 (November 1), Early Action (November 15), Early Decision 2 (January 15), Regular Decision (January 15), Rolling Admission-Fall (after February 15), or Rolling Admission-Santa Fe Spring (until January 15)

Required materials for all applicants

  • Application
  • Writing Supplement/Essays
  • Secondary School Report
  • High school transcripts and any college transcripts
  • One counselor recommendation
  • One teacher recommendation

Test Requirements for some applicants

  • For most applicants, test scores are optional.
  • We recommend that applicants who will not earn high school diplomas or are home schooled submit the results of the SAT, ACT, or Classic Learning Test (CLT), or these students may choose an interview instead of submitting testing.
  • Most international students must submit the results of the SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo English Test; international students who are currently educated in English may choose an interview instead of submitting testing.

Optional/Recommended Materials

  • Additional letter of recommendation
  • Interview (strongly recommended; see below)
  • For those applying for need-based financial aid, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required and the CSS Profile is strongly encouraged at the same time you submit your application for admission. If applying Early Decision or Early Action, applicants should submit the CSS Profile at the same time they submit the application for admission and then submit the FAFSA when it becomes available (currently scheduled by the Department of Education for December 2023). If applying Regular Decision or Rolling Admission, applicants should submit the FAFSA and CSS Profile at the same time they submit the application for admission. All applicants, regardless of whether they apply for need-based aid, are eligible to receive merit scholarships and are assessed for merit scholarships on the basis of their application for admission.


Applicants for both St. John’s campuses may apply Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision, or Rolling Admission for the fall. Students also have the option of applying for Rolling Admissions throughout the fall semester for a spring start through the January Freshman Program.

Early Decision 1 November 1 December 1
Early Decision 2 January 15 February 1
Early Action November 15 December 15
Regular Decision January 15 February 15
Rolling Admission (Fall) after February 15 Within 2-3 weeks
Rolling Admission (Spring) until January 1 Within 2–3 weeks

Please also remember our financial aid deadlines.

Admission Requirements

For admission to St. John’s, you should have a solid college-prep background, including two years of algebra, one year of geometry, and two years of a foreign language. Additional work in mathematics and foreign language is advised, as well as two or three years of natural science. We recommend taking the most challenging courses in your high school, whether AP, IB, or honors courses.

Test Scores

St. John’s is test optional for most applicants, meaning we do not require standardized test scores. About 75% of our applicants still submit some form of test score, and they may prove helpful to your application. Some applicants are encouraged or required to submit test scores:

  • Homeschooled students are encouraged to submit SAT, ACT, or CLT scores, but may choose an admissions interview in place of submitting test scores.
  • Students who have not or will not receive a high school diploma are encouraged to submit SAT, ACT, or CLT scores, as well as GED results, if available, but may choose an admission interview in place of submitting SAT, ACT, or CLT scores.
  • International students must submit the results of the SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo English Test. International students who are currently educated in English may choose an interview instead of submitting testing.

College Entrance Examination Board (SAT and TOEFL) School Code:

  • Annapolis—5598
  • Santa Fe—4737

The American College Test (ACT) School Code:

  • Annapolis—1732
  • Santa Fe—2649

Admission Interviews

We are known for having the most personalized admissions process in the country. We care more about essays than test scores (which are optional anyways and have been for forty years). We personally guide every student through the admissions process, offering application essay-writing advice, reading every application, reviewing financial aid with students and families, and making funds available for any student (regardless of means) to visit campus.

We want to take this one step further, though, and do something few colleges do today: have a genuine conversation with each and every applicant. While this conversation with admissions isn’t required for most students at St. John’s, we find it helps most applicants:

  1. Learn about the college and our curriculum so they can decide for themselves whether St. John’s is the right fit for them
  2. Express their interest in the college in a less formal, more comfortable setting than a written application
  3. Overcome barriers to college admission by refusing to reduce students to a single written statement or assessment

You can request a video interview with your counselor, or meet with us while we are traveling near your home.

Homeschooled Applicants

St. John’s welcomes applications from homeschooled students and offer a special guide to assist homeschooled applicants.

Accepting Your Offer

Early Decision acceptances are binding, and students have two weeks after receiving their offer of admission to make their deposit. All Early Action, Regular Decision, and Rolling applicants have until May 1 to make enrollment decisions and deposits. If applying via Rolling Admission after May 1, applicants have two weeks after receiving the offer of admission to make their deposit. Students accepted to the Santa Fe January Freshman Program have until January 1 to make their deposit.

Starting College Early

St. John’s sometimes accepts applicants who have graduated high school early or have chosen to start college without graduating from high school. If you are ready for college, but haven’t taken a traditional path, you are welcome at St. John’s. Read more about starting college early at St. John’s.

Spring Admission

The Santa Fe campus offers a January Freshman Program. Freshmen who enter in January stay on campus the following summer to complete the first year; allowing them to graduate a year earlier than if they had postponed their entrance until the following fall. The January Freshman Program is of particular interest to students who come to St. John’s from other colleges, those who have traveled or worked since graduation from high school, or those who wish to enter St. John’s immediately after the first semester of their senior year of high school.