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Colleges / Carleton College

Carleton College

Northfield, MN 4-Year Private
Acceptance Rate17%

Carleton College Admissions

Carleton College is very difficult to get into. The college admitted 17% of all applicants in 2022. Last year, 8,583 students applied to Carleton College and 1,427 were admitted.

Reach out to Carleton College's admissions department for more information on applying.

Students who apply to Carleton College for fall semester should receive an admissions decision no later than March 31.

Carleton College Admissions Stats at a Glance

Here is an overiew of some of Carleton College's admissions stats.

Carleton College 2023 Admissions Statistics
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 75%
Mean SAT Score 1490
Admissions Test Policy Test Optional
Applicants Who Submit SATs 36%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 28%
Waitlist Yes

Carleton College Application Deadlines

These are the application deadlines for Carleton College.

Application Type Offered Application Deadline Notification Deadline
Early Decision I Yes November 15 December 15
Early Decision II Yes January 15 February 15
Early Action No – –
Regular Decision Yes 1 15 March 31

Considering Applying Early to Carleton College?

Carleton College offers early decision but not early action. Early decision is binding, which means you must attend if you are admitted, while early action allows you to apply early without committing.

πŸ—“οΈ Early Decision I applications are due by November 15 EDI applicants should receive a decision by December 15.

πŸ—“οΈ Early Decision II applications are due January 15. ED II Applicants will recieve their decision before February 15.

The early decision acceptance rate at Carleton College is 23%, compared to an overall acceptance rate of 17%. Last year, Carleton College admitted 266 of the 1161 students who applied early decision.

Some students apply early to college to boost their chances of being offering admission. When you apply early, your application is considered before all the regular decision applicants apply. Applying early may increase your chance of admission, since it shows your interest in a school.

➑️ Find a list of some selective colleges that accept significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

More on Carleton College Admissions

How To Get Into Carleton College

It is very difficult to get into Carleton College. Carleton College evaluates applicants carefully based on multiple criteria to decide who to admit, and who to deny or waitlist.

In 2022, Carleton College accepted 17% of students, about 1,427 from the 8,583 applicants.

Schools that are very difficult to get into, like Carleton College, accept fewer than 60% of all applicants. At least 50% of all admitted students have GPAs in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1230 on the SAT and over 26 on the ACT.

Transferring to Carleton College

It is extremely difficult to be admitted as a transfer student.

For Students Waitlisted to Carleton College

Carleton College has not reported data for waitlisted and admitted students.

What's Most Important for Getting Into Carleton College?

Colleges consider a range of factors when deciding who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college determines which factors are they consider most important in the admissions process. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and apply to colleges that prioritize the areas where you're strong.

Admissions Factors at Carleton College

What does Carleton College consider during the admissions process? Take a look at the list below to see which factors are most important during the admissions process.

Admissions Factor Level
Character/Personal Qualities Very Important
Class Rank Very Important
Application Essay Very Important
Extracurricular Activities Very Important
Recommendation(s) Very Important
Talent/Ability Very Important
Academic GPA Very Important
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Geographical Residence Considered
Interview Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Standardized Test Scores Considered
Volunteer Work Considered
Work Experience Considered
First Generation Considered

Make sure to check with Carleton College for more information on admission factors.

Carleton College 2022-2023 Application Requirements

To apply to Carleton College, all applicants must submit the following items. Make sure to check in with Carleton College's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Interview – √ – –
Letter(s) of Recommendation 2 – – –
Written Essay or Personal Statement √ – – –
Other Requirements √ – – Common Application Supplement
Transcript of High School Record √ – – –

GPA and Testing

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into Carleton College?

Carleton College has not provided an information about GPAs of accepted students. Any questions regarding applicant expectations should be addressed directly with the school.

Out of all students that were admitted, 32% submitted a class rank. At Carleton College 75% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school, 94% were in the top 25% and 99% were in the top 50%.

GPAs of Admitted Students

At Carleton College, student GPAs fall in the following ranges.

GPA Percent of Students
4.0 GPA –
3.75 and 3.99 –
3.50 and 3.74 –
3.25 and 3.49 –
3.00 and 3.24 –
2.50 and 2.9 –
2.00 and 2.49 –

This chart depicts the percentage of all enrolled, degree-seeking, first-time, first year (freshmen) students who had high school grade point average within the given ranges.

Note: Some schools choose not release this information. If you have any questions regarding missing numbers, be sure to reach out to Carleton College directly.

About GPAs

Your high school grade point average (GPA) is a number that highlights your high school academic performance. A weighted GPA or an unweighted GPA are the two possible GPA scores considered by colleges.

An unweighted GPA is an average of your scores from each class on a four-point scale. Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0. A weighted GPA considers your average grade and the difficulty of your classes. A weighted GPA boosts your average by adding extra points for honors or Advanced Placement courses.

Standardized Test Scores

Carleton College is a test optional school. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2022, 36% of Carleton College's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 28% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What is a Good SAT Score for Carleton College?

To be competitive with other Carleton College applicants, you should aim to score between 1430 and 1540 (or higher!) on the SAT. At Carleton College 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1540 and 25% of scored lower than 1430, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.The mean composite SAT score for a Carleton College student is 1490.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of Carleton College students scored 780 or higher and 75% of students scored 710 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of Carleton College students scored 770 or higher, and 75% scored a 710 or higher.

To be most competitive at Carleton College, you should strive to earn between 32 and 35 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 35 means you fall in the 75th percentile for Carleton College's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 35, and three out of four students scored lower than 35 on the ACT.

A 32 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for Carleton College students. Only one out of every four students scored below 32.

More Information on Transferring to Carleton College

For transfer students, it is extremely difficult to get admitted to Carleton College.

For transfer students wishing to start in the fall, the deadline to apply is March 31. Applicants should hear back by May 15.

Transfer students can enroll in Carleton College during the following terms:

β€’ Fall Term

β€’ Winter Term

β€’ Spring Term

β€’ Winter Term

β€’ Summer Term

Carleton College Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to Carleton College?

βœ… Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to Carleton College.

Does Carleton College accept transfer credits?

βœ… Carleton College accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Does Carleton College accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

βœ… Carleton College accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to Carleton College?

❌ No, Carleton College is test optional, so it's up to you if you want to submit test scores or not. If you have higher than average scores, you probably want to include them. If your scores are average or below average, you it might make sense to leave them out of your application.

What is Carleton College's acceptance rate?

βœ… The acceptance rate for Carleton College is 17%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at Carleton College?

βœ… Carleton College's early decision acceptance rate was 23% in 2021.

Want To Learn More About Carleton College?

Choose one of the options below to find out more about about Carleton College:


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

See what others are saying about Carleton College in the College Confidential forums

Explore other colleges in Minnesota or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Carleton College Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty

Very Selective


How hard is it to get into Carleton College? Carleton College is a very selective institution. The Carleton College acceptance rate is 17%. This means that the institution accepts 16 out of every 100 applicants.


Carleton College Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 15

Transfer Applications are Due

Mar 31

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Carleton College is Jan 15.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Carleton College is Mar 31.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

Carleton College SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1430 - 1540


Math SAT Range

720 - 780


Reading SAT Range

710 - 770

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1540 and Above


1430 to 1540


1430 and Less


SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for Carleton College students is 1490. Applicants with SAT scores of 1540 and above have a good chance of being admitted to Carleton College, while applicants with SAT scores between 1430 to 1540 have an average chance of admittance, and prospective students with an SAT score below 1430 have a low chance of being offered a spot at Carleton College.

Carleton College GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)

Not available

Data Source: IPEDs and Peterson's Databases Β© 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment


Campus Setting

Small Town

Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 15
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