Admission Evaluation Criteria

Admissions to Gettysburg is highly competitive. Gettysburg College students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and secondary school programs. The College encourages applications from students of differing ethnic, religious, racial, economic, and geographic backgrounds who have demonstrated a capacity for academic achievement, responsiveness to intellectual challenge, eagerness to contribute their special talents to the College community, and an awareness of social responsibility. Such persons give promise of possessing the ability and the motivation that will enable them to profit from the outstanding opportunities that Gettysburg College offers.

Since admission is highly selective, the admission staff carefully considers each application. Its decisions are based on four categories of evidence described below.

Evidence of high academic achievement as indicated by the secondary school record—Gettysburg College considers grades in academic courses, quality and distribution of subjects, and rank in class (when available) as highly significant parts of the applicant's credentials. Participation in accelerated, enriched, honors, International Baccalaureate and advanced placement courses is highly desirable. The College regards superior facility in the use of the English language and an understanding of fundamental mathematical processes as essential to a successful college experience.

Standardized test Scores—Students should submit the SAT of the College Board or the test results of the American College Testing (ACT) program; the highest section scores of both the ACT and SAT will be considered in the admissions process. Strong applicants who believe that standardized tests do not represent their academic achievement can choose to apply testing-optional by choosing this option on the Gettysburg College Member Screen of the Common Application.

Evidence of personal qualities—There is high interest in individuals of character who will contribute in positive ways to the College community and beyond. In estimating such qualities, the admissions staff relies on what students say about themselves in essays and interviews, and the confidential statements from secondary school principals, headmasters, teachers, and guidance counselors. Essentially, any evidence of in-depth involvement in secondary school activities, community activities including work and/or participation in community service is favorably considered in the admission process.

Student InterestDemonstrated interest can be a deciding factor in an admissions decision. Interest may be demonstrated through an official campus visit, attendance at a virtual event, a meeting with an admissions officer at a student’s high school or correspondence with the admissions office. An admission interview is strongly recommended as is a campus visit.