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Colleges / Ringling College of Art and Design

RCAD Admissions

If you want to apply to RCAD, the application fee costs $70.

Application fees can add up, but some schools do have free applications and students with financial need may qualify for for an application fee waiver.

RCAD Admissions Stats at a Glance

RCAD 2021 Admissions Statistics
Mean Unweighted GPA 3.4
Admissions Test Policy Not optional and are not even considered
Waitlist Yes

Applying Early to RCAD?

Ringling College of Art and Design does not offer early decision but does offer early action.

Mark your calendar!

The Early Action deadline is November 1, which is coming up fast! RCAD will release EA admissions decisions no later than December 15.

Some students apply to college early because they believe it will help their chances. Early deadlines may increase the chance of being admitted, since applying early shows your are very interested in a school, and your application is being considered before all the regular decision applicants apply.

See a list of some selective colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

How To Get Into Ringling College of Art and Design

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

In 2021, RCAD accepted 69% of students, around 1,658 of the 2,420 students who applied.

Schools that are moderately difficult to get into, like RCAD, accept fewer than 85% of all applicants. At least 75% of all admitted students have GPAs in the top 50% of their high school class and scored over 1010 on the SAT or over 18 on the ACT.

Transfer student admissions is moderately difficult.

RCAD has not reported data for waitlisted and admitted students.

What Does RCAD Look For in an Applicant?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college decides 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 stand out.

Admissions Factors at RCAD

Admissions Factor Level
Academic GPA Very Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Character/Personal Qualities Not Considered
Geographical Residence Not Considered
Class Rank Not Considered
Work Experience Considered
Extracurricular Activities Considered
Level of Applicant's Interest Considered
Application Essay Important
First Generation Not Considered
Interview Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Not Considered
Recommendation(s) Very Important
Religious Affiliation/Commitment Not Considered
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
State Residency Not Considered
Talent/Ability Very Important
Standardized Test Scores Not Considered
Volunteer Work Considered

RCAD Application Requirements

To apply, all applicants to RCAD must submit the following items. Double check with RCAD's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Minimum High School GPA (On 4.0 Scale) 2.0
Other Requirements portfolio, resume
Letter(s) of Recommendation 2
Transcript of High School Record

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into RCAD?

Students admitted to RCAD have an average unweighted GPA of 3.4.

Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0.

At Ringling College of Art and Design, student GPAs fall in the following ranges
3.75 and 3.99 20.3%
3.50 and 3.74 23.3%
3.25 and 3.49 17.9%
3.00 and 3.24 14.9%
2.50 and 2.9 11.4%
2.00 and 2.49 4.7%

RCAD doesn't consider ACT or SAT scores as part of the admissions process.

RCAD does not have a test optional admissions policy. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

Transferring to Ringling College of Art and Design

For transfer students, it is moderately difficult to get admitted to RCAD. Transfer applications are processed on a on a rolling basis as they are received.

Transfer students can enroll in RCAD during the following terms: - Fall Term - Spring Term

RCAD Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to RCAD?

Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to RCAD.

Does RCAD accept transfer credits?

RCAD accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions. RCAD accepts:

  • CLEP subject tests

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

RCAD accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits and Advanced Placement (AP) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to RCAD?

RCAD is not test optional. Test scores will not be considered during the admissions process, even if you submit them.

What is RCAD's acceptance rate?

RCAD's acceptance rate is 69%.

Want To Learn More About RCAD?

Click below to find out more about the admissions requirements and deadlines, student life, academics, majors and more.


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

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RCAD Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty

Somewhat Selective


How hard is it to get into RCAD? RCAD is a somewhat selective institution. The RCAD acceptance rate is 69%. This means that the institution accepts 68 out of every 100 applicants.



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RCAD Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Continuous processing

Transfer Applications are Due

Continuous processing

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to RCAD is Continuous processing.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to RCAD is Continuous processing.

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



ACT Range

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Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)


GPA Needed to Get Accepted

At RCAD, the average unweighted high-school GPA for admitted students is 3.41. This is the average, which means that some applicants submit GPAs lower than this and some applicants submit GPAs above this level. If your GPA falls below the average, strong test scores or other qualifications may help you make you a more competitive applicant.

© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

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