At St. Edward’s, we want to demystify the college application process and make it as straightforward and transparent as possible. We all benefit from clear guidelines and communication.

Our holistic review process means we read each application individually, with an eye toward what you can contribute to our community. We're happy to share our admission criteria. Here’s what we’re looking for, and why:

High-School Curriculum

We want to see students who took challenging high-school curriculum that includes advanced classes in math, science and foreign language. If your school offers Honors, AP, IB or dual-credit courses, we encourage you to take some of these classes to help you prepare for the rigor of academics at St. Edward’s.


In assessing your grades, we want to see demonstrated academic success and improvement (if necessary) throughout high school.

Learn More

Want to know more about our admission process or discuss your specific situation? We welcome your questions. Contact your admission counselor.


We look for a thoughtful, well-composed essay because students at St. Edward’s do a lot of writing.


We look for evidence that you’ve been involved in your community, whether that means in school clubs, sports, service, work or family activities.

Test Optional

We have become test optional, so you don’t need to submit an SAT or ACT score — here’s why.

If your record is a little weaker in one area, we will seek your areas of strength. We think this flexibility is representative of our whole-person approach to education. We are looking for factors that will make students successful in college, not reasons to turn students away.

Although Ivy League and flagship state schools get a lot of attention for their competitive admissions, the process at many colleges — including St. Edward’s — is more personalized. Movies about college often depict a somber admission committee gathered around a heavy oak table, debating whether to admit Student A or Student B. But the real-life process at St. Edward’s looks different. Instead of asking, “Should we admit Student A or Student B?” we ask ourselves these questions:

  • Is this student prepared for our challenging curriculum?
  • How will they contribute to our community?
  • What can St. Edward’s offer this person to help them grow and transform?

We value your hard work in high school, and we value a thoughtful, professional application and essay. These show us you’re ready for college. But we don’t believe the admission process should create more pressure than necessary.

At St. Edward’s, our Holy Cross values guide us to meet people where they are. We want to help you through the application process and answer your questions. And we want to help you find the major, mentors, friends and college experiences that will help you become the best version of yourself.

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