How to Apply for Admission and Scholarships

Principia College accepts the Common Application (Common App).  For your convenience, there is no application fee. By completing the application for admission, students will automatically be considered for all scholarships. The information contained in the student’s application file will be used to match the student with the appropriate scholarship(s). This process will occur on a rolling basis as funds are available. No additional scholarship application is needed.

Submit all application items electronically as early as possible, beginning in the fall, to apply for the following year. Application deadlines for domestic students are as follows:

Fall Semester March 1 priority deadline for those applying for admission, scholarship, and financial aid. The online application will be available September 1, at which time the rolling admissions process will begin.
Spring Semester December 15 for those applying for admission, scholarship, and financial aid.

For international application deadlines, please see below.

For the most current information about the scholarship program, please visit

If you are applying for financial aid, the deadline is March 1 for complete applications, including current tax returns. For further information about financial aid, visit

Spring semester admissions applicants who also plan to apply for financial aid must contact the Financial Aid Office regarding the deadline for submitting financial aid applications.

If you have additional questions about admissions or scholarships, contact your admissions counselor or contact the Office of Admissions:

Principia College
Office of Admissions
One Maybeck Place
Elsah, IL 62028
Admissions phone: 800.277.4648, ext. 2802
Admissions phone: 618.374.5181

Fax: 618.374.4000

First-Time Freshmen

The following items, constituting a complete application for a first-time freshman, must be received by the Office of Admissions before the application can be considered by the Admissions Committee:

  • Online application (Common App)
  • Two Christian Science references
  • One academic reference
  • Guidance counselor reference (not applicable to transfers and most international students)
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • High school transcript, including courses in progress

Once we've received your completed application (including references), your materials will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Reviewing your application may take up to two weeks.

Once admitted, a deposit (an acknowledgment of acceptance) of US $100 must be paid by May 1 to reserve space in the new student class. 

Transfer Students

We welcome applications from students enrolled at other colleges who wish to transfer to Principia College. Please see Principia’s residency requirement which may affect transfers.

To apply as a transfer student, follow the general admissions plan outlined above. (Note: Transfer students do not need to submit a guidance counselor reference). You must also arrange to have an official final high school transcript and official college transcripts representing all previous college work sent to the Office of Admissions, including a listing of college courses in progress.

In addition, if you have previously taken the SAT or ACT, your scores must be forwarded to Principia. If you have not previously taken either test, please arrange to take one if you have not completed a full year of college with above average grades. Only the Office of Admissions may grant exceptions.

Courses taken at other fully accredited colleges and universities are accepted for credit provided they parallel courses available at Principia and were completed with a grade of C– or higher. Students may consult with the Registrar’s Office to determine what transfer work would be accepted. (See Academic and Non-Academic Credit Rules.)

International Students

Principia College welcomes qualified applicants from all countries. Two programs are available for international students: the regular degree program leading to a B.A. or B.S. degree, and the one-year enrichment program designed for non-degree seeking students. International students must be 18 years of age or older prior to enrolling at Principia College. Canadian citizens and Permanent Lawful Residents follow the same application procedures as U.S. citizens. If applying for financial aid from Principia, international applicants who already hold a college or university degree are eligible only for the enrichment program. Students enrolled in the one-year enrichment program are not eligible to play varsity (competitive) sports at Principia per NCAA Division III regulations. All international applicants must have completed secondary school and have earned a diploma or certificate of completion, which makes them eligible for admission to higher or advanced education in their home country.

The application deadline for international students is February 1. Principia College must receive the application for admission, application for financial aid (if applicable), SAT or ACT exam scores and TOEFL scores (if applicable), prior to this application deadline. For further details about either program or to request an international application for admission, write to:

Principia College
International Admissions Counselor
One Maybeck Place
Elsah, IL 62028

Telephone: 618.374.5179
Fax: 618.374.4000

Non-Traditional Students

Principia welcomes students of any age provided admission requirements have been fulfilled. In order to ensure that Principia can best meet the needs of non-traditional students (students who are married, single parents, or 25 or older), we require that non-traditional students living in the U.S. visit Principia during the academic year prior to an admissions decision. Such issues as employment, financial aid, schooling for children, and housing needs can be discussed in person with appropriate officials at that time.

Returning Students

If a student has been away from Principia for two semesters or more, for any reason, a new application is required. The following items constitute a complete application:

  • Online application (Common App)
  • Two new Christian Science references
  • Academic reference (if student has attended a college or university within the last six months)
  • Work reference (if student has not attended a college or university within the last six months)
  • Transcripts from all colleges and/or universities attended since last enrolled at Principia

If a student is returning from any suspension, an application including all of the listed elements for returning students is required and additional requirements for admission may be necessary.