Question: I am extremely interested in the program of Bryn Mawr College and plan to apply for the class of 2016. Do I need to submit the TOEFL scores by the ED deadline?
First of all, I think you must mean the Class of 2017, right? (The class of 2016 has already been admitted, and Bryn Mawr will soon be evaluating applications for the Class of 2017.)
Bryn Mawr does require the TOEFL (or, alternatively, the IELTS) from international students, if their first language isn’t English. If, however, you have spent four years in a high school where the principal language of instruction is English, you can have that requirement waived, regardless of the language you speak at home.
If you want to apply to Bryn Mawr via the binding Early Decision plan, then all application materials should reach the admission office by the deadline (November 15th for the first round of ED and January 1st for the second).
BUT … if you will get your TOEFL score shortly after the deadline, it is likely that Bryn Mawr will allow you to submit it somewhat late. You should check with the office of admission right away to confirm this.
You can find the admission officer who represents applicants from your country here: http://www.brynmawr.edu/admissions/regional/officers/index.html
Contact her (email is best) and explain your situation. Tell her the date of your TOEFL and when Bryn Mawr should expect your score. She may give you the okay to apply ED even if your TOEFL won’t arrive by the deadline.
If you haven’t already made contact with your area rep, it is worthwhile to do so. Thus, by writing to her with your TOEFL question, you will accomplish this as well. Keep in mind, however, that although admission reps welcome critical questions from prospective students, they are also very busy. So once you’ve made your initial contact, you should limit your messages to those that are truly essential. The TOEFL question is definitely one of those “essential” ones, but use your best judgment as other questions pop up, and check the Bryn Mawr Web site first, before you rush to write to your rep every time you’re confused. (The U.S. admission process can be so confusing, that this could happen every day! 😉 )