International Apply Q&A (Early Decision and Early Action)

Find answers to your questions about applying for Early Decision and Early Action admission as an international 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.

What makes me an international student?

You're an international student if you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

What's the deadline to be considered for Early Decision and Early Action?

Nov. 1.

What's the difference between Early Decision and Early Action?

  • Early Decision a binding agreement that allows you to apply early to Clark knowing that you'll enroll if you're admitted. Applicants may only apply Early Decision to one school (their first choice).
  • Early Action you'll find out our admission decision early, but you don't need to commit to Clark until May 1.

What are the advantages of applying Early Decision and Early Action?

Early Decision:

  • By applying in this round you're demonstrating to the admissions committee that Clark is your first choice, which can help support your application.
  • You know early in your senior year of high school if you're admitted into your first-choice school. You'll receive your admission decision in December, which allows you to focus on preparing for a successful transition from high school to college.
  • You can meet other admitted students from the United States and abroad at early admissions events throughout the spring.

Early Action:

  • You have options without having to make an early commitment, which gives you the chance to really familiarize yourself with Clark.
  • You'll receive your admission decision in December, as opposed to Regular Decision applicants who receive a decision in March.
  • You'll be invited to our early-admission events and be able to spend more time on campus to determine if Clark is the right fit for you.

How do I apply to Clark for Early Action or Early Decision?

Simply indicate on the Common Application that you want to apply Early Decision or Early Action. As long as you submit your entire application (Common Application, essay, high school transcript, two letters of recommendation and application fee) to Clark by Nov. 1, the Admissions Committee will notify you of a decision by mid-December.

Students who submit their applications and some supplements to Clark by Nov. 1, but don't have all necessary documents in by the deadline, will be reviewed for early admission on a rolling basis (we'll consider your application, but your decision might be delayed). Find information about how to apply and the components you need to submit.

If I apply to Clark's Early Decision and Early Action programs, can I apply to other schools?

Yes, but here are the details:

  • Early Decision — You can apply to other colleges or universities, but you can only apply Early Decision to one institution. If you are accepted Early Decision, you have to withdraw your other applications and commit to Clark.
  • Early Action — You can apply to other colleges or universities; Clark's Early Action plan is non-restrictive. Students who apply Early Action have until May 1 to enroll at Clark.

Do I need to take the TOEFL if English isn't my first language?

We accept the TOEFL, IELTS, SAT and ACT as proof of English proficiency. In some cases, you may be required to sit for an interview as well. Read about our requirements here.

What if I don't score above the minimum required on the TOEFL or IELTS?

If you score below our minimum, we do not recommend that you apply. Read about our full requirements here.

Does Clark require international applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores?

No, we don't require the SAT or ACT. It's up to you to decide if you want to submit your scores.

How many years of transcripts should I submit with my application?

You'll need to submit a minimum of three complete years of educational data in order for Clark to properly evaluate your education. For students in countries like China, which uses a 6-3-3 educational system, we'll need a transcript from your middle school showing results from at least the final/third year (the U.S. equivalent of "9th grade") in addition to the first two years of your three-year secondary school. We can't review an application with only two years of credentials, so make sure we receive all your transcripts before the deadline.

How many letters of recommendation does Clark require?

Two: One from your guidance counselor, or your school's college counselor, and one from one of your academic subject teachers. If your guidance counselor or college counselor doesn't write letters of recommendation, contact our office. We welcome letters from teachers of other subjects, such as music and art, and also letters from coaches and mentors. However, we need at least one letter from a teacher of an academic subject. 

Should I submit non-academic 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 care 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 does not 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 doesn't require admissions interviews, and we don't offer formal interviews as part of our application review process. However, if you're able to visit us, we encourage you to sign up for Lunch with a Clarkie during your time on campus. This informal conversation matches you with an undergraduate student who can answer your questions and give you an idea of what it's 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, our staff may also contact you about informal conversation opportunities in your area.

In most cases, students who attend high school in mainland China are required to sit for an English interview. For details on the process, visit this site.

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 dialing 800-GO-CLARK, 800-462-5275 or emailing admissions, 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, three years of educational data/transcript, $60 application fee and essay) by the deadline. Your other credentials may arrive after the deadline. We'll send you an email when your application is complete. You can also monitor the status of your application online through our applicant portal. You'll receive credentials to sign in to this portal via email when we first receive your application materials.

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.

Does Clark offer financial assistance to international students?

Yes. All international applicants are considered for merit scholarships. To be considered for a need-based award, file the CSS Profile with your application by the admissions deadline. Because our resources are limited, we can't offer admission to international students who require full funding. On average, international students at Clark contribute $25,000 to $30,000 per year toward their education.

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

Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on your 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. To apply for need-based financial aid, make sure to submit the International CSS Profile.

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 have started your application, we'll send you an email with instructions for logging in to our applicant portal, where you'll be able to check the status of your materials, see what's missing and receive updates about your application. You can also call 800-GO-CLARK or email our office.

How can I track the progress of my application?

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 up to two weeks for processing. If you have questions about the status of your application, you can also call 800-GO-CLARK or email our office.

If I am admitted Early Decision, when will my deposit be due?

Your nonrefundable deposit will be due by Jan. 15.

How and when will I find out if I've been accepted?

You'll receive an email when your decision has been posted to your personal account in our applicant portal. From there, you'll be able to log in from anywhere to see your decision. You'll receive credentials to sign in via email when we receive your application materials.

  • First-year applicants for the spring semester will find out in early to mid-December.
  • Early Action and Early Decision applicants will find out in mid-December.
  • First-year regular applicants for fall semester will find out in March.
  • Transfer students will find out in mid- to late-November.

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

No. We don't release admission decisions over the phone, but check our applicant portal for updates.

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.

What if I am not admitted Early Decision or Early Action?

Applicants may be included in the regular admission pool if the Admissions Committee expects that their application will improve given the extra time. In these cases, we welcome any additional information such as senior grades, additional standardized test scores or recommendations.