First Year Applicants

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Application Requirements

The admission process at Fairfield University is holistic. Our belief in the importance of a thorough and careful review of all aspects of your application reflects our mission as a Jesuit institution. We seek to educate the whole person, and our admission practices reflect that goal.

Fairfield University recognizes the Common Application as its own application form.

The submission of SAT/ACT test results is optional at Fairfield. Learn more about our Standardized Test Optional Policy and have some of your further questions answered by our Admission FAQs.

If you are applying as a first year student, your application and the following supporting credentials must be submitted by the deadline:

  • Completed Common Application
  • Official secondary school transcript
  • Secondary school report form completed by your college counselor
  • Personal statement (Common Application Essay)
  • $60 application fee or official fee waiver
  • SAT or ACT results (If you choose to submit them). Please note that if you choose not to submit test scores, an admission interview is recommended. Refer to our Standardized Test Optional Policy for more details.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is highly recommended if you have resided in the U.S. for fewer than three years and English is not your native language
  • Interview (optional)

We regard your academic record from high school as the most important part of your application for admission. Although we certainly consider your final grade point average and overall record over four years, we do look deeper, considering your performance during each year in high school. We look for students who have challenged themselves at the appropriate level. Not only are your final grades considered, we look very carefully at the quality of the academic program you have pursued.

In deciding whether or not to submit your standardized test scores, consider your overall academic record. Your decision should be based on whether you believe your scores are an accurate representation of your academic abilities.

While your academic record is clearly a critical element of the entire admission application, we are also interested in the personal qualities, talents and interests that you will bring to our campus community. We want to know about your extra curricular involvement, the quality of your writing as reflected in the personal statement, and the reflections of teachers, counselors, and others who submit recommendations on your behalf.


Fairfield University Merit Scholarships

All admitted students are automatically considered for merit scholarships, regardless of whether they have completed an application for financial aid. Eligibility for a merit scholarship is determined after a thorough review of all aspects of a student's application, including the overall academic record, strength of the academic program and extra-curricular involvement. In keeping with the holistic review of applications, there are no established minimum grades or standardized test scores required for merit scholarship consideration. Over 30% of students are awarded a merit scholarship, and scholarships range from $14,000 to $26,000.

Students who are named Magis Scholars have excelled academically while also making the most of the opportunities presented to them through high school or their community. Magis Scholars are required to participate in certain activities, choosing from a wide array of opportunities that reflect our commitment to the integration of life and learning and the betterment of the community. The scholarship provides an annual grant of $26,000, which is renewable for four years provided students maintain a 3.0 GPA.

Athletic Grants in Aid: Student-athletes are generally recruited by Fairfield University's coaches who identify the candidates on the basis of athletic skill. Prospective students should contact the Athletic Department directly to speak with a coach.

FACHEX & Tuition Exchange: Please visit our Office of Human Resources page for more information and guidelines on these tuition programs for the children of full-time Fairfield University faculty and staff, along with qualifying children from other participating institutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Admission Process

Does Fairfield accept the Common Application?

Fairfield University uses the Common Application as its only application.

What are the application deadlines?

The application deadline for Early Action consideration is November 1, for Early Decision I November 15, and for Early Decision II and Regular Decision January 15.

Does Fairfield University offer Early admission programs?

Yes. Students who consider Fairfield University to be among their top choices for their undergraduate education and who would like to have their application reviewed early may submit their application under our Early Action program. Applicants for Early Action must submit a completed application by November 1.

Students who are certain that Fairfield University is their first choice for a college education, and are willing to commit to attending if admitted, are welcome to apply as an Early Decision Candidate. Once admitted, an Early Decision candidate agrees to withdraw all other college applications and confirm his or her attendance at Fairfield.

What are the criteria for admission?

A competitive applicant has a solid A-/B+ average in a strong college preparatory program which includes some honors and/or advanced placement classes. The middle 50% of admitted students scored between 1240-1370 on the SAT, and between 27 and 31 on the ACT.

Fairfield also seeks to enroll students for whom Fairfield is a good fit. We appreciate when students have taken the time to get to know the campus through visit programs, tours and time with our counseling staff. Students who take an active role in their admission process demonstrate that they have an interest in Fairfield and have taken the necessary steps to decide that we may be the right place to continue their academic journey.

How competitive is admission?

Fairfield University received over 12,600 applications for undergraduate admission for the Class of 2025. The Class of 2025 is more than 1,250 students. 


Test Optional Policy

Why did Fairfield adopt a test optional policy?

Fairfield University already uses a holistic review process in the evaluation of our prospective students, looking at all aspects of a student's record in making our admission assessment. This process reflects our educational mission as a Jesuit institution. We believe strongly in the education of the whole person and look for signs of academic and community engagement, factors not well measured by test scores.

Based on our research, we know that a student's academic record in high school - including the strength of curriculum and the student's performance in that curriculum - provides the best information about his/her potential success at Fairfield.

How will Fairfield evaluate applicants who do not send their scores?

Our application review process for students who do not submit scores and those who do submit scores will be very similar. We review all applications holistically. The most important aspect of any application is the student's academic record over four years in high school. We look carefully at the quality of the academic program the student has pursued, as well as their performance throughout high school. We also consider all of the subjective aspects of a student's application, including the personal statement, recommendations from teachers and counselors, and the student's interests and extra curricular activities.

Is the application process any different for students who choose not to submit their scores?

Students who have chosen not to submit their scores must indicate on the Fairfield University Supplement to the Common Application that they have chosen that option. All students are encouraged to schedule an interview with us, but this is especially recommended for students who have chosen not to submit their scores.

How will I know whether to submit my scores?

Students should reflect on their standardized test scores and their overall academic performance in high school. If a student feels that the scores are an accurate reflection of his/her academic ability and potential and would like them to be considered by the admission committee, the scores should be included. If a student does not feel the scores accurately reflect his/her ability and potential, the scores do not need to be submitted.

Is there any disadvantage in not submitting test scores?

No. Students who do not submit their test scores will have the same opportunities for admission as those who do.

Are there any exceptions to this policy?

Yes. Students who have been homeschooled during high school are still required to submit their SAT or ACT results. International students whose English is not their native language must submit the results of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).

When does this policy take effect?

This policy took effect beginning with first year students who applied for the fall of 2010, and for transfer students who applied for admission for the spring of 2010.

Can I be considered for a merit scholarship if I do not submit test scores?

Yes. All applicants, regardless of whether or not they have submitted SAT or ACT results, will be eligible for merit scholarship consideration.


Financial Aid Process

What Financial Aid forms are required?

Please visit the Office of Financial Aid's applications and deadlines page.

Does Fairfield University offer merit scholarships?

All admitted students are automatically considered for merit scholarships, regardless of whether they have completed an application for financial aid. To find out more about this scholarship opportunity please visit our scholarships page.

What percentage of students receive financial aid?

Approximately 90% of students receive some type of financial assistance at Fairfield University.


AP and College Credits

Advanced Placement:

Fairfield University will award 3 or 4 credit hours for each AP course taken by a student, provided that the student has taken the Advanced Placement Test prepared by the CEEB program and obtained a test score of 4 or 5.   A maximum of 15 AP credits will be awarded.  Official score reports should be sent to the Office of Academic Support and Retention.

Higher Level International Baccalaureate Courses:

Fairfield University recognizes the advanced nature of Higher Level International Baccalaureate courses and will award 3 or 4 credit hours provided a grade of 6 or 7 is achieved.  A maximum of 15 IB credits will be awarded. Official score reports should be sent to the Office of Academic Support and Retention.

Courses Taken for College Credit while in High School:

For students who pursue college courses while in high school, upon receipt of an official college transcript, the course work will be evaluated by the appropriate academic administrator in consultation with the respective curriculum area, provided the following criteria are met:

  • The course(s) must have been completed in a college environment and must have been taught by a college professor
  • The course(s)/credits were not used to satisfy high school graduation requirements
  • A final grade of “C” or better was earned.

College/school officials will determine the appropriateness of the transfer credit for the student’s program and decide whether it has met Fairfield’s curriculum standards.  A maximum of 15 credits of approved coursework will be awarded transfer credit. The grades will not be transferred.
College level courses will be evaluated upon receipt of the following documentation:

  • An official letter from the high school principal or school counselor stating that the course was taught on the college/university campus, by a member of the college/university faculty, and with regularly matriculated undergraduates at that college/university
  • An official transcript from the college/university
  • A course description and/or course syllabus
  • High school profile outlining all high school graduation requirements

It is the discretion of college/school officials to determine if AP, IB, or transfer credit may be used to exempt students from specific University courses or requirements.  Official score reports, transcripts, and related documentation should be sent to the Office of Academic Support and Retention.


General Questions

Is housing guaranteed?

Housing is guaranteed for four years to all incoming freshmen. Approximately 80% of all students live on campus in a traditional residence hall, suite-style residence hall, an apartment or townhouse.

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