Undergraduate Admissions

Early Decision Application: Questions and Answers

Applying to Clark

Find answers to your admissions questions here. If you need more information, please contact the Admissions Office at 1(800) GO-CLARK or (800) 462-5275 or admissions@clarku.edu.

What is the deadline to be considered for Early Decision?
November 1.
What is the difference between Early Decision and Early Action?
Early Action is a non-binding application round in which applicants receive their decision in mid-December, but have until May 1 to decide to enroll at Clark. Early Decision is a binding agreement that allows students to apply early to their first choice school knowing that if they are admitted they will enroll. It is only possible to apply to one institution under the Early Decision round. Clark offers Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Decision.
What are the advantages of applying Early Decision?
As an Early Decision applicant, you will benefit from knowing early in your senior year whether you have been admitted into your first choice school. If your application is complete on November 1, you will receive your admission decision in December. This additional time allows you to focus on preparing for a successful transition from high school to college knowing that you have a clear plan in place. Additionally, you will have opportunities to meet other admitted students at early admissions events throughout the spring.
How do I apply Early Decision?
Simply indicate on the Common Application that you want to apply Early Decision. As long as you submit your entire application (Common Application, essay, high school transcript, two letters of recommendation and application fee) to Clark by November 1, the Admissions Committee will notify you of a decision by mid-December. Students who submit their application to Clark by November 1 but do not have all necessary documents in by the deadline will be reviewed for early admission on a rolling basis.
If I apply to Clark's Early Decision program, can I apply to other schools?
Yes, you can apply to other colleges or universities; however, you can only apply Early Decision to one institution. If you are accepted Early Decision, you must withdraw any other applications and commit to enrolling at Clark.
If I apply to Clark's Early Decision program, how do I find out about need-based financial aid?
Early estimates of need-based financial aid will be released at the time of decision if an ED student has submitted the CSS Profile by November 1. Merit aid is also awarded with the decision. Students who apply Early Decision and who are interested in being considered for need-based financial aid will need to fill out both the FASFA and the CSS PROFILE by the priority deadline of February 1. The financial aid office will process your application and send you a financial aid award letter by April 1. The process for awarding both need-based aid and merit scholarships is the same for Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Decision.
Am I eligible for merit-based scholarships if I apply Early Decision?
Yes. If your academic profile makes you eligible for a merit-based scholarship, you will be awarded the scholarship at the time of admission.
If I am admitted Early Decision, when will my deposit be due?
Students who are admitted Early Decision must submit their nonrefundable deposit by January 15.
What if I am not admitted Early Decision?
In a small number of cases, applicants may be deferred to the regular admission pool if the Admissions Committee expects that their application will improve given the extra time. We welcome any additional information such as senior grades, additional standardized test scores or recommendations in these cases.
How do I apply to Clark?
Find information about how to apply and the components you need to submit.
How much is the application fee?
Clark's application fee is $60.


What is 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, not on your family's financial situation. Every student who applies to Clark for admission is automatically considered for most of our merit-based scholarships. Scholarships that require an additional application are explained on the Application Supplement. Read more about our merit-based scholarships. 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, starting for students applying for the fall of 2013 Clark has adopted a SAT/ACT test-optional policy. It will be up to the applicants to decide if they would like to submit these scores.
Is it better to submit my application online or through the mail?
All 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 will send you an email with information about how to log in to our applicant portal, where you will be able to check on the status of your materials, see what is missing and receive updates about your application. However, if you are concerned, you can always call 800-GO-CLARK (793-7431) or email our office.


How many letters of recommendation does Clark require?
Clark requires two letters of recommendation: one from your guidance counselor and one from an academic teacher. If your guidance counselor does not write letters of recommendation, please contact our office so that we can discuss with you how to handle this. Also, remember that your teacher recommendation should come from someone who has taught you in an academic subject. Letters from music, art, or business teachers, or letters from coaches, do not fulfill this requirement.
Should I submit additional letters of recommendation if I have them?
You should feel free to submit other letters of recommendation if you think they add some significant information to your application. We will accept as many letters as you care to provide, but it is important to remember that this is one category where quality is much more important than quantity.
I am 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 application, we will review them if you choose to submit them. It is important to remember that Clark is a liberal arts college—we do not require musical or artistic talent for admission and you are not required to submit a portfolio or have an audition; however we will certainly consider these talents as part of your overall profile as an applicant.
Does Clark offer alumni interviews? Can I speak with a Clark alumnus/a?
Yes, we do offer regional interviews, conducted by a Clark alumnus or alumna, for students who have submitted their application or who specfically request an interview and have not completed an on-campus conversation.
I have been matched with a Clark alumnus/a for a conversation but have never been contacted, whom should I talk to about this?
You can contact the Office of Admission by calling (800) GO-CLARK or (800) 462-5275, and we will look into it for you.
How can I tell when a representative from Clark will be in my area?
You can see when we are coming to your area either by checking on the college-fair listing, or by contacting your counselor directly. We attend college fairs and travel mostly in the spring (April) and fall (September and October).
Do I have to have an admissions interview to apply to Clark?
Clark does not require admissions interviews. However, we do encourage students to take part in a Clark Conversation if they are interested. This informal conversation matches you with an undergraduate student who will answer your questions and give you their perspective about Clark. You can schedule a conversation as part of your regular visit to campus. Additionally, we offer off-campus interviews either during the fall when we are traveling or during the winter, the latter being conducted by a Clark alumni in your area.
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 that in some cases this may not be possible. It is most important that we receive your personal part of the application (Common Application, $60 application fee, and essay) by the deadline. Your other credentials may arrive after the deadline. We will notify you by email when your application is complete. You can always monitor the status of your application online through our applicant portal. You will be given credentials to sign in to this portal via email when we first receive your application materials.
Students who are applying for the Early Decision deadline must submit their entire application by November 1 in order to ensure that they receive their decision by mid-December. Students who submit components of their application after November 1 will still be considered for Early Decision, but we cannot guarantee when they will receive their decision. The CSS Profile must also be submitted by November 1 if students wish to receive an estimate of their financial aid when admission decisions are released in mid-December.
When will I find out a decision on my application?
Admissions decisions for first-year Early Decision and Early Action applications are released in mid-December. Admissions decisions for first-year Regular Decision applicants for the fall semester are released in March. If you are a first-year applicant for the spring semester, you should expect to receive a decision by early to mid-December. All decisions are released online through our applicant portal to your personal account.
Can I call your office to find out if I am admitted?
We do not release admission decisions over the phone.