Apply Q&A (Regular Decision)

Find answers to your questions about applying for regular admission as a first-year student here. If you need more information, contact the Admissions Office at 800-GO-CLARK or 800-462-5275 or

How do I apply to Clark?

Visit our how to apply page, which should get you started. If you still have questions, call us at 800-462-5275 or email our office.

When are the application deadlines?

Can I apply as a first-year student for spring admission?

Yes, it’s possible to apply as a first-year student for the spring semester. Just follow the instructions for applying to Clark and make sure to submit your application by Oct. 1.

What is a merit-based scholarship and how do I apply?

Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on your high school academic performance and other factors included in your application. Every student who applies to Clark is automatically considered for most of our merit-based scholarships. The only exception is the Presidential LEEP Scholarship. To apply for need-based financial aid, make sure to submit the FASFA and CSS PROFILE.

Does Clark require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores?

No. Clark is SAT/ACT test-optional. You can decide if you'd like to submit your scores.

Can I submit my application through the mail?

No. Applications must be submitted online through the Common Application.

How will I know when my application is complete?

Once you've started your application, we'll send you an email with information about how to log in to our applicant portal, where you can check on the status of your materials, see what’s missing and receive updates about your application. At peak periods around the deadlines, status updates on the portal are not immediate, so please allow for processing time. If you have questions about the status of your application, you can always call 800-462-5275 or email our office.

How many letters of recommendation does Clark require?

Two: One from your guidance counselor and one from one of your academic subject teachers. If your guidance counselor doesn't write letters of recommendation, contact our office. Letters from music, art or business teachers, or letters from coaches, don’t fulfill the academic subject teacher requirement.

Should I submit additional letters of recommendation if I have them?

You can submit other letters of recommendation if you think they add significant details and information to your application. We’ll accept as many letters as you want to provide, but quality is far more important than quantity.

I’m an artist/musician/filmmaker. Should I include supplemental materials (like artwork, CDs or DVDs) with my application?

While Clark doesn't require such materials from students as part of their applications, we know how important they can be to understanding you as a person, so we'll review them if submitted.

Do I need an admissions interview to apply to Clark?

Clark does not require admissions interviews, and we don't offer formal interviews as part of our application review process. However, we encourage you to sign up for Lunch with a Clarkie as part of a campus visit. This informal conversation matches you with an undergraduate student who can answer your questions and give you an idea of what it’s really like to be a student at Clark. You can schedule Lunch with a Clarkie as part of your regular visit to campus.

Admissions staff are also available to meet with students and families with specific questions. Meetings can be arranged individually by contacting the counselor assigned to your region. During the fall, when our staff is visiting schools around the country, they may also contact you about informal conversation opportunities in your area.

I have been matched with a Clark alumnus/a for a conversation but have not been contacted. Who should I talk to about this?

You can contact the Admissions Office by calling 800-GO-CLARK or 800-462-5275, and we'll look into it for you.

Does your office have to receive my entire application by the deadline? Will you still review my application if some components are late?

We strongly encourage applicants to submit all required materials by the deadline; however, we recognize it may not be possible in some cases. It's most important that we receive your personal part of the application (Common Application, supplement, $60 application fee and essay) by the deadline. Your other credentials may arrive after the deadline.

If your application remains incomplete it will be withdrawn, but only after we have attempted to notify you by email regarding the missing materials. Remember, it’s your responsibility to ensure your application is complete.

When will I find out a decision on my application?

  • First-year applicants for the spring semester: Early to mid-December
  • Early Action and Early Decision applicants: Mid-December
  • First-year regular applicants for fall semester: March

How will I be notified of Clark's decision?

All decisions are released through our applicant portal to your personal account, so you will be able to log in from anywhere to see your decision. You'll receive credentials to sign in to this portal via email when we first receive your application materials.

Can I call your office to find out if I am admitted?

No. We don’t release admission decisions over the phone.

Can I defer my enrollment if I am admitted?

An admitted student who wishes to postpone his or her enrollment for up to a year must submit a request in writing by May 1. A nonrefundable deposit (credited toward first-semester charges) is required. A student who enrolls in a degree-seeking program in the interim may not defer enrollment but must reactivate his or her application and submit official transcripts for review.