The process of reviewing applicants for admission for John Carroll is not decided by any one factor. It is not based just on a test score or a certain grade point average. We have many qualified students that apply. We consider all of the credentials that you submit that make you a unique applicant to our University. At JCU, we are looking for well-rounded people who challenge themselves both in and out of the classroom and are ready to share their time, talents, and experiences with others.

“Holistic” Review

In many U.S. admission programs (especially private universities), you will hear the phrase “holistic review” often. This simply means that admission to the university is based on a large number of factors and that all of the materials you submit (grades earned, the curriculum you have taken, testing results, your writing ability, your activities and interests, letters of support) impact our decision to offer admission. We try to find students that we know will succeed academically and socially at John Carroll.Our faculty teaches courses that are very discussion-based and interactive, and requires you to form opinions and share experiences. We look for evidence of those abilities in each applicant.

Testing and grades clearly help us determine your success but many other factors are considered: the major/field of study you are considering or your outside interests and activities. We want to make sure you will add to the life of our campus, join organizations, and be a productive member of our campus community. This is typically called your “fit” to campus, like a hand in a glove, to make sure you will enjoy success in and out of the classroom.


Our Review Process

Below is a brief overview of the actual review process so that you can understand what happens when we review a student’s application.

1. First Review: Your enrollment manager (EM) is the first person to review an application once all the application materials have been received. S/he will review your coursework and school system noting any unique things about your academic background. We look especially for special circumstances and experiences such as:

  • Has the student taken coursework taught in English? If so, for how many years?
  • Does the school system that the student attends follow an American system?
  • What tests has the student taken?
  • Does the student’s level of writing meet the level that JCU faculty expect in freshman courses?
  • What unique activities or background does the student have that will be great additions to our campus community?

Note: These are just some of the questions we consider in making an admission decision. When considering the above questions, please consider your own background. If there are any circumstances that you want us to know, please communicate them in your admission application or directly to your enrollment manager before we review your application.

2. Recommended Decision: Based on all the above factors and materials submitted by the student, your EM will make a Recommended Decision. This decision will simply be to recommend an offer of admission or to recommend not accepting the student application at this time and listing the reasons why.

3. Admission Committee Review: Each student file is then forwarded to our Admission Committee. Each application is reviewed by a committee of other admission staff who will either agree with the recommendation from the EM or may see other factors in the application and have a different recommendation. If the committee agrees with the EM’s recommendation, then that decision stands. If the committee disagrees with the EM’s recommendation, then the file will be forwarded to the Vice President for Enrollment for final consideration. The Vice President will consider all evaluations and factors, consult with the Committee or EM as needed, and determine the final decision for the student application.

Steps 1-3 could take as little as 48 hours or as long as a few weeks of deliberation. We have the obligation to ensure that each applicant is ready to succeed here and we may consult various times on a specific applicant in our review process. Each applicant deserves this level of review and thoughtfulness because this is how we treat our admitted students after they arrive on campus.

4. Final Decision communicated to Student: For international students, your official admission decision will be communicated via e-mail notification from your EM.

Congratulations! If accepted, a more-detailed Acceptance Packet will accompany your official admission decision and help guide you through your transition to the U.S. and John Carroll.

For an overview of the steps you must take before you come to the U.S. and begin your studies, check out what you should do after You’ve Been Accepted

There are lots of details and questions that will arise for you in choosing John Carroll and preparing to begin studies in the United States. We are here to make sure your needs are met and that you experience a smooth journey and a “soft landing” in Cleveland, Ohio, as a new member of the John Carroll community.