Sweet Briar College welcomes applications for admission from students of varied backgrounds, talents, interests, and experience who want to pursue an education in the liberal arts and sciences. The Admissions Committee selects applicants who present evidence of a strong academic foundation, scholastic ability and motivation, and strength of character.
Prospective students are encouraged to visit the College for interviews and campus tours at any time during the year. While the College is in session, class visitation, appointments with faculty members and coaches, tours of campus, and an overnight stay in a residence hall with a current student may be arranged. The Admissions Office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday throughout the year and on Saturday mornings (by appointment) from opening week in September until Commencement in May.
Special open house weekends for prospective students are held several times during the year. For information about visiting campus, contact the Admissions Office at (434) 381-6142, toll free (800) 381-6142, or via email, [email protected]. A listing of Open House dates is available online.
In addition, Admission Counselors will visit high schools and attend college fair programs around the country and young women interested in Sweet Briar may make arrangements through their high school guidance office or college counselor to talk with a Sweet Briar representative in her area. Opportunities to meet alumnae of the College can also be arranged by contacting the Admissions Office.
Admission to the First-Year Class
Sweet Briar seeks talented women who are motivated, enthusiastic about learning, and want to take an active part in their education. The Admissions Committee looks for qualities such as independent thinking, ethical principles, assertiveness, initiative, and an appreciation of diversity. Requirements normally include a minimum of 4 units in English, 3 in mathematics, 3 in social studies, 2 sequential years in a foreign language, and 3 units in science, as well as additional units in these subjects to total 16. Most candidates have 20 such academic units. Special attention is given to the difficulty of the applicant’s curriculum (including the number of Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses), her performance in her academic courses, and the school attended; scores on the SAT I or on the ACT are required. An interview at the College is strongly encouraged but not required.
A suggested curriculum is provided to aid candidates for admission to Sweet Briar and other selective colleges.
The Admissions Office is glad to advise prospective students about their high school or community college programs, especially if they have questions about course choices.
Sweet Briar College accepts the General Education Diploma (GED) in lieu of a high school diploma for first-year, transfer, and Turning Point students who have met the course requirements for admission. Individuals with a GED are urged to contact the Admissions Office early in their application process.
The Admissions Committee begins to evaluate completed applications for admission as early as September, and letters of acceptance are mailed on a rolling basis as applications become complete and decisions are made. The College maintains an application deadline of February 1, and to receive the fullest consideration applications should be submitted by the application deadline. All offers of admission are contingent upon the candidate successfully graduating from high school (or achieving the GED), and students who have paid an enrollment deposit are required to submit a final high school transcript that includes a date of graduation.
Sweet Briar College adheres to the National Candidates’ Reply Date Agreement, which allows students until May 1 to indicate their intention to enroll.
PSAT:10th or 11th Grade (Fall)
SAT I or ACT:11th Grade (Spring)12th Grade (Fall)
Suggested College Preparatory Curriculum for High School Students
Mathematics: Algebra I/ Geometry (Students who can take Algebra I in the 8th grade are encouraged to proceed through to Calculus in the 12th grade)
Science: Earth Science, Introduction to Physical Science or Biology
Social Studies: Geography or World History
Mathematics: Geometry/Algebra II
Science: Biology or Chemistry
Social Studies: World History
Mathematics: Algebra II, Pre-Calculus
Science: Chemistry or Biology II
Social Studies: U.S. History
Mathematics: Pre-Calculus, Trigonometry, Functions, Analytical Geometry, or Calculus
Science: Physics or Chemistry II
Social Studies: Government or European History
Note: Students are encouraged to opt for Advanced Placement, Honors, or International Baccalaureate courses where appropriate.
Application for admission should be made on an application form supplied by Sweet Briar College and accompanied by the non-refundable application fee. The College also accepts the Common Application (paper or online) or the online application.
The following credentials are required:
a) Application form, including a required application essay.
b) School records. Official transcripts of all academic work completed to date. Sweet Briar College accepts the General Education Diploma (GED) in lieu of a high school diploma for first-year, transfer, and Turning Point adult students. Individuals with a GED are encouraged to contact the Admissions Office early in their application process.
c) A recommendation of character and academic promise from the high school college counselor, including information about the candidate’s interests, attitudes, and activities as a member of the school community.
d) A recommendation from a teacher in an academic subject taken during or after 11th grade.
e) SAT I or ACT standardized test results. All applicants for the first-year class must take the SAT I or the ACT before an application can be evaluated. Sweet Briar requires that students contact the appropriate testing agency and have official scores submitted directly to the College. Sweet Briar’s SAT CEEB code is 5634, and the ACT code is 4406.
Students who are accepted to Sweet Briar must reply to the College by May 1. An enrollment deposit of $500 is required at that time for those who intend to matriculate at Sweet Briar.
Homeschooled students applying for admission to Sweet Briar should submit the application for admission with all required credentials. A campus visit and interview with an admission counselor is recommended.
Sweet Briar welcomes applications from qualified students who wish to enter with advanced standing from other colleges or universities. Candidates should fulfill the requirements for admission to the first-year class, including the SAT I or the ACT, and it is recommended that they have completed at least one full year of successful college work. In addition to the application form, students wishing to apply for admission as a transfer student should present the following credentials:
a) An official transcript of secondary school records. Sweet Briar College accepts the General Education Diploma (GED) in lieu of a high school diploma (see Other Admissions below).
b) An official transcript of record from each college attended.
c) An official copy of all standardized test scores taken in the high school years.
d) A catalog showing descriptions of the courses taken in college.
e) A recommendation from the Dean or other official of the college on a form to be supplied by Sweet Briar.
f) A recommendation from an academic professor who has taught the candidate.
g) A statement explaining why the applicant wishes to transfer, and why the applicant is interested in Sweet Briar.
The application deadline for fall entrance is July 1 and for spring entrance is November 1. An interview and campus visit are strongly encouraged. Admission decisions are made for transfer applicants on a rolling basis and notification of the admission decision is sent to the applicant shortly after all credentials are complete.
Students who transfer to Sweet Briar from colleges accredited by their regional associations will receive tentative credit for courses in which a grade of “C-” or better has been obtained and which satisfy the aims of liberal arts courses as interpreted at Sweet Briar College. Not more than 60 credit hours from another institution will be allowed toward the 120 credit hours required for the Sweet Briar degree. Courses offered to satisfy general education requirements must conform in content to courses given at Sweet Briar.
Neither academic credit nor placement are awarded for the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), experiential learning, or Armed Services experience.
Sweet Briar is committed to the recruitment of international students who are interested in obtaining the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the United States.
International students are required to submit the following credentials:
a) A completed Sweet Briar College application or the Common Application, including the required application essay.
b) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score results, SAT I or ACT standardized test score results, or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores.
c) Official copies of high school (or equivalent) transcripts.
d) Recommendations from two school officials (at least one from a teacher) that attest to the student’s ability and readiness to be successful in an American college.
e) International Student Financial Aid Application.
For the International Student application, as well as for information about course offerings and fees, contact the Admissions Office via email, [email protected] or on the website.
After a student has been accepted to the College, advanced-standing credit will be determined through an evaluation coordinated through the Registrar’s Office. There is a fee for this service.
Please note that Sweet Briar College does not offer need-based financial aid to international students. A limited number of academic scholarships are available to qualified first-year students
I-20 forms will not be mailed until a student’s International Student Financial Aid Application information has been verified.
Appealing an Admission Decision
Students who wish to appeal an admission decision made by the Admissions Committee may do so by submitting to the Dean of Admissions a written letter of appeal that includes additional documentation not available at the time of the original decision (updated grades, new standardized test score results, additional recommendations, etc.). The Dean of Admissions will work with the Admissions Committee to review the validity of the appeal and to review the original admission decision with the new information. The student will be notified of all decisions made by the Admissions Committee.
Sweet Briar values the enhanced educational experience that living on campus provides for students to live and learn together.
The College also recognizes that not all students can or desire to live on campus. Students who choose to enroll at Sweet Briar and have a home address within the following areas may live off-campus and still participate fully in the College as non-residential students: Albemarle County, Amherst County, Appomattox County, Bedford City, Bedford County, Buckingham County, Buena Vista City, Campbell County, Charlottesville City, Lexington City, Lynchburg City, Nelson County, and Rockbridge County.
Students with a home address outside of the above-listed areas who wish to enroll at Sweet Briar and be a non-residential student are encouraged to contact the Admissions Office (434.381.6142) or the Office of Co-Curricular Life (434.381.6134) for more information.
Students who turn 23 years of age prior to the semester of their enrollment are permitted to reside off campus upon approval of a written request to the Dean of Student Life
Early Admission — Candidates who wish to graduate early from secondary school will be considered for admission as long as they have completed the minimum course requirements for admission to the first-year class. They should present evidence of unusual academic performance and maturity, and must interview with an admission counselor.
Part-time Students — Part-time students are welcomed at Sweet Briar. The fee for a course taken for academic credit, and for which the College will provide a record and grade report, will be based on the tuition charge to full-time students. For information on course offerings and fees, contact the Registrar’s Office.
The Turning Point Program — Sweet Briar is committed to helping women of nontraditional college age begin or continue their college educations. The Turning Point Program is a flexible, non-residential program established for the mature returning student. Women who are at least 23 years of age or who have been out of formal education for at least four years are eligible for admission. A student may elect to enroll in the program either full- or part-time. Credits previously earned at an accredited institution may be transferred. For an application, as well as for information on fees, scholarships, and financial aid, contact the Admissions Office.
Fifth-Year Plan — Any alumna of Sweet Briar is eligible to enroll for a fifth year of study at the undergraduate level. Some alumnae use this opportunity to take additional course work to help prepare for graduate or professional study. Alumnae who wish to pursue this opportunity may contact the Financial Aid Office to determine if they are eligible for any aid. The student may live on campus if housing is available and will be charged the standard rate for room and board. Applications may be obtained from the Office of the Dean. This offer does not apply to the graduate programs.
Students with Disabilities
Sweet Briar College complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act and accepts students with documented disabilities who can successfully pursue the College’s academic program. Sweet Briar recognizes its responsibility to provide individuals with disabilities with equivalent access while maintaining the standards that are essential to the academic program. Reasonable accommodations are assessed and made on an individual basis.
Admission to Sweet Briar College is based on the requirements outlined in this catalog. Sweet Briar does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the admissions process. If an applicant believes that an accommodated admission review is warranted, the applicant must initiate the process (by law, the Admissions Office can not address a disability unless the applicant is self identified). The applicant must submit a written request for an accommodated admissions review to the Dean of Admissions and enclose with that request the appropriate documentation. The request will be evaluated by the Dean of the College or other college official as appropriate, who will forward a recommendation to the Dean of Admissions for inclusion in the admissions review process.
Alumnae Admissions Representatives
Many Sweet Briar alumnae across the country, who serve as Alumnae Admissions Representatives (AARs), stand ready to answer any questions prospective students may have about the College. In addition, AARs are trained to conduct interviews in their local area if students are unable to arrange a visit to the campus.