Frequently Asked Questions
Here, we aim to anticipate your questions about admission to Sarah Lawrence. If, after exploring our best attempts to read your mind, you still have questions, please e-mail us or call the Office of Admission at (800) 888-2858. We’ll be happy to help you further.
How is the application evaluated?
We consider transcripts and essays to be the two most crucial parts of the application. On transcripts, we hope to see at least four academic "solids" (English, math, history, science or foreign language) each semester in the context of a challenging academic curriculum that includes advanced placement or honors courses (if offered at your school). From the essays we are seeking evidence of strong writing and independent thought from applicants who are not afraid to explore a subject in depth. We also carefully consider counselor and teacher recommendations. This is where such important details as your classroom contributions, academic relationships and intellectual appetite emerge.
Beginning with the Fall 2013 application cycle, we will accept SAT and ACT test results from applicants who choose to submit them. The submission of standardized tests is optional. Along with your transcripts, test scores may provide additional evidence of your academic achievements and potential. However, Sarah Lawrence is committed to a holistic review process, and we know that standardized testing may not accurately reflect the potential and contributions of all students. You will not be at a disadvantage should you choose not to submit your scores. If you would like to speak with a member of the Admission staff to learn more about our test-optional policy, please contact us at (800) 888-2858 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
May I submit creative writing or an in-class essay as my analytical paper?
No. This paper must be an academic paper based on research or analysis that provides the admission committee an example of both your academic work and how it has been evaluated. Your teacher's comments should be on the paper.
How long do the essays have to be?
The recommended length for your personal essay and learning essay is approximately 200-500 words each.
What if I have not saved a paper with my teacher's comments on it?
If you have not saved a graded paper, ask your teacher to rewrite your grade and/or comments on a clean copy. If you have been out of high school or college for a number of years, we ask that you write and submit a brief analytical paper.
May I photocopy my paper or do I have to send the original copy?
A photocopy is fine. We are not able to return required application materials.
What if I cannot afford to pay the application fee?
Ask your school counselor if you qualify for an application fee waiver. If none is available, ask her or him to contact the Sarah Lawrence College Office of Admission at (800) 888-2858.
Do I need to audition for your arts programs?
No. Sarah Lawrence does not require auditions as part of the application process. Once enrolled, students at the College may take any course in any subject offered, including the creative and performing arts. Theatre, dance and music programs hold auditions for matriculated students in order to place them in classes at the appropriate level.
Do I need to submit a portfolio for any of your arts programs?
We recognize that many of our applicants have made a substantial commitment to their art, and we hope to learn more about this commitment through your application. Actors, dancers, filmmakers, musicians and visual artists are welcome to submit samples of their work, which will be evaluated by members of the Sarah Lawrence faculty. All materials should be clearly marked with your name, address and medium. If you would like the materials returned, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
May I send teacher recommendations from my creative and performing arts teachers?
The two required recommendations must be from teachers of core academic subjects: English, math, science, foreign language, history (including government and economics), music theory or art history. You may submit additional recommendations from teachers or advisors in the arts or other electives if you feel they will enrich our understanding of your candidacy.
Should I type my application?
Typed or word-processed essays are easier to read; if you are not able to type your essays, please write neatly. It is not necessary to type the informational part of the application, but legibility is important.
My mid-year grades will not be available by the application deadline. May I send them later?
We understand that most students’ mid-year grades will not be available by the application deadline. Please make arrangements to have your mid-year (or first trimester) grades sent by your school as soon as they are available either by using the Mid-Year or First Trimester School Report form or by sending a report card or updated transcript.
Is the interview required?
Personal interviews are not required. However, a large part of our education takes place in one-on-one conversations where students are encouraged to discuss their interests and passions. The interview setting provides students the opportunity to have this kind of conversation with a Sarah Lawrence admission representative as a way of learning more about the College.
How do I arrange a campus visit?
Please browse the Visit with Us section or call the Admission Office at (800) 888-2858 for details.