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John Carroll University will continue to be test-optional for fall 2024 applicants. Visit our test-optional FAQ page for more details

Applying to John Carroll University is easy and free! There is no application fee.

John Carroll is an exclusive member of The Common Application, meaning the Common Application is the only application for admission we accept.

Applying to JCU Graphic

For fall 2024 admission, please follow these application steps:

  1. Submit the Common Application online. This becomes available on August 1 of the year before you intend to enroll. See the essay questions below.
  2. Make sure your high school guidance office submits to us your transcript as well as a Common Application School Report and Common Application Counselor Recommendation.
  3. Additional recommendations, including a Common Application Teacher Evaluation, are optional.
  4. Students wishing to submit test scores from either the American College Testing Program (ACT) or the College Board (SAT I) can have their results sent directly to John Carroll from the testing agencies, our university code for the ACT is 3282, and for the SAT is 1342.

November 15
Early Action (non-restrictive) and Priority Scholarship Consideration deadline; decisions released by the third week of December.

November 16 to February 1
Rolling admission decisions released every 7-10 days.

Applications received after February 1 may be subject to review on a space-available basis depending on volume of applications for the incoming freshman class.


Admission Requirements

When looking at your application, we want to know you. Our staff engages in a holistic review process, meaning we review everything that is submitted as part of your application so that we get a well-rounded view of you and your accomplishments. We want to be confident that JCU is a place where you can succeed academically and contribute to our campus. In addition to your high school record and ACT/SAT test scores (if submitted), we carefully consider your extracurricular involvement, essay, and letter(s) of recommendation.

We also want to attract students of diverse economic, racial, and religious backgrounds to John Carroll, to maintain wide geographic representation in each class, and to actively seek significant talents of all kinds.

In order to enroll at John Carroll University, you must have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent. Upon enrollment, a final high school transcript is required to confirm your graduation from high school.

Have a unique situation or circumstance? Please be sure to tell us about it either in person, with a staff member, or in writing as a part of your application.

The following high school curriculum is recommended:

  • English: Minimum of four units; four units recommended
  • Math (College Preparatory): Minimum of three units; four units recommended
  • Science (with labs preferred): Minimum of two units; three units recommended
  • Social Studies: Minimum of two units; four units recommended
  • Foreign Language: Minimum of two units; three units recommended
  • Academic Electives: Minimum of three units; three units recommended
  • Total Units: Minimum of 16; 21 recommended

Whether you have taken Advanced Placement (AP) coursework, courses in an International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, or you have already completed some college courses while in high school, please visit our credit evaluation page to see how this credit will be evaluated.

There is one required essay as part of the application process for John Carroll University. As part of The Common Application, you will be able to upload your essay. The prompt directly from The Common Application is as follows:

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don’t feel obligated to do so. (The application won’t accept a response shorter than 250 words.)


Essay Prompts 

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Scholarship Opportunities

Find more information about our merit scholarships and additional scholarship opportunities by visiting our scholarships page

Title IX Policy

As required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as well as the affiliated federal regulations in 34 CFR Part 106, John Carroll University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in any educational program or activity. This extends to the University's admission decisions for any educational program or activity. The University's full policy is available for review at

Questions regarding the University's compliance with Title IX should be referred to: Eric T. Butler, J.D. Title IX Coordinator John Carroll University Administration Building, Room 127 1 John Carroll Blvd. University Heights, OH 44118 (216) 397-1559 Additional questions and concerns regarding the University's compliance with Title IX also may be referred to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights by contacting: Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Department of Education Building 400 Maryland Ave, SW Washington, DC 20202 1-800-421-3481 

Home-Schooled Students

Since some students in home-school programs do not follow a traditional high school curriculum, we ask that all home-school students provide us, during the application process, with complete and detailed documentation of their high school coursework and evaluations of progress from an approved home-school evaluator or supervisor.

Verification of high school graduation must be submitted prior to enrollment at John Carroll, and can be presented through any of the following forms:

  • A diploma from a home-school agency governed by a State Board of Education;
  • A letter from a local school district verifying graduation; or
  • A copy of the Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED) transcript.

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