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Apply to Colorado College

Every year, Colorado College enrolls an academically accomplished student body that encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and backgrounds. Our holistic evaluation process considers your academic work, writing, letters of recommendation, test scores, extracurricular activities, and your unique talents and personal qualities. Read on to educate yourself on the process.

Preliminary Application

The Preliminary Application is the best way to let us know you're thinking about applying to CC. Based on what you tell us, we will send information to help you through the application process. Take the first step and submit your preliminary application to Colorado College.


Colorado College currently accepts three applications for admission: the Common Application, the Coalition Application, and the QuestBridge application. Each one receives the same holistic review, and there are no inherent advantages in applying with one over the others. Each application should be accompanied by our Supplement--additional essays / word prompts that help us understand why you're interested in us and what you could bring to our campus community. For the Common and Coalition Applications, this supplement is built in. For the QuestBridge Application, students must fill this out separately and on their own (see more information here).

In all cases, please make sure to fill out the forms carefully and completely. If necessary, feel free to list your responses on additional pages or a resume. Double-check that the submission goes through.

We encourage you to highlight significant awards, activities, and personal accomplishments. In our view, it is better to provide too much information than not enough. 

Additional information should be emailed to us at

Supplemental Essays

In addition to the regular essays on the Common Application (or QuestBridge Application), you will need to complete two brief supplemental essays as part of your application to Colorado College. Those questions are:

  • Why do you want to join the Colorado College community, and how do you think you will contribute to it?
  • The Block Plan at Colorado College has a tradition of innovation and flexibility. Please design your own three-and-a-half week course and describe what you would do.


Because strong writing skills are so essential to academic success at CC, we read essays very carefully. You’ll write one major essay and a few complementary essays as part of the supplement to the Common Application. We believe essays are an important indicator of an applicant’s ability to think critically and write clearly and fluidly. The essays are also our chance to get to know you, the applicant, on a more personal level. It is our one chance to hear directly from you. Please take the time to think carefully about what you want us to know about you, and then write your essays in a way that reflects this information. There is nothing inherently better about a funny essay or a serious essay. Please stay true to yourself, write in your own voice, and write about topics that are relevant to you.


We look at your transcript(s) for information about your ability to excel in the classroom and thrive as a scholar on our campus. Your course grades, along with the rigor of your chosen academic program, give us insight into your academic preparedness for Colorado College.

A successful applicant almost always has excelled in a rigorous college preparatory program including honors, AP, or IB courses, if offered. Most students will have completed at least 20 solid academic courses by the time they graduate high school.


Colorado College adopted a flexible testing policy in 2011. We require that applicants submit either the SAT Reasoning Test or ACT test, or elect a third option including three exams of the applicant’s choice chosen from a list of acceptable exams. Review a list of those options here.
We do not use an arbitrary cutoff point, and scores are never the ultimate deciding factor in our process. They do, however, continue to be valued as the only standardized measure among our evaluation criteria. We accept unofficial test scores in the application process. Students should list applicable scores in the testing section of the application. Students who are admitted with unofficial scores must provide official scores before enrolling.

Median test scores of admitted students (preliminary figures for the Class of 2020)

SAT Critical Reading: 670
SAT Math: 660
SAT Writing: 660

SAT Combined (1600 scale): 1340
SAT Combined (2400 scale): 2010
ACT English: 32
ACT Math: 29

ACT Composite: 31

* Please note that we also accept the new SAT(R), but due to the new nature of the test, have no median scores to report as of yet.


We require two teacher/professor recommendations in academic subject areas. Non-academic recommendations such as journalism, math team, or coaches do not count toward this requirement. Select these teachers/professors carefully; they should be people who know you well and can speak specifically about your academic contributions to their class and to the school as a whole. Plan ahead so that your recommenders have ample time to thoughtfully complete the forms and submit them to CC on time. Generally speaking, additional recommendations are not helpful. However, if you feel that your two recommendations cannot give us an accurate picture of who you are, feel free to send in an additional optional recommendation.

Extracurricular Interests

While there is no ideal extracurricular profile for a Colorado College applicant, we appreciate students who have cultivated non-academic pursuits that complement their classroom achievements. Generally speaking, we are looking for sustained commitment to a few interests (possibly achieving leadership positions within those activities) rather than sporadic participation in various pursuits each year. We also take into consideration exceptional accomplishment.


Colorado College offers interviews as part of the evaluation process. These interviews are not required, but can help us get a feel for each applicant on a more personal level. Rarely will an interview be a deciding factor in an admission decision, but it may give us some context in which to view the application. Interviews are conducted by alumni volunteers, student fellows and admission staff. Students may not interview more than one time. 

We offer interviews on-campus and off-campus. Interviews can occur either before or after submitting an admission application. Students living on the Front Range in Colorado are strongly encouraged to visit campus and have an interview; students outside of the area can check our travel plans to see if interviews are being offered in your area. Deadlines for requesting an off-campus interview are: 

First-Year Applicants Request by
Early Decision 1 November 1
Early Action November 1
Early Decision 2 January 5
Regular Action January 5
Transfer Applicants Request by
Spring October 1
Fall February 15

Wondering what the interview will be like? Visit our Interview Tips page for some ideas on how to prepare. 

Arts Supplement

We invite students interested in the arts to submit an optional art supplement in visual art, music, dance, theater, creative writing or film.  Art supplements will be included in a student’s application for consideration as part of our holistic review process.

Submitting an Art Supplement:

Art supplements must be submitted via Slideroom, the Common Application’s art supplement platform.   If you are applying to CC with the Common Application, please indicate that you will be submitting an art supplement under ‘Questions.’ The Common App will then populate an art supplement ‘Portfolio’ tab with a link to CC’s Slideroom portal.  If you are submitting an application through QuestBridge, simply go to and log in to submit your art supplement.

There is a $5 Slideroom fee to submit an art supplement.

Department  Instructions:

Music: Solo performances are preferred.  Please submit 10-15 minutes of material that demonstrate your musicality, intonation, phrasing and repertoire.

Film or Video:  Video submissions can be a complete piece, an excerpt from a longer piece, or a selection from multiple pieces; however, Colorado College strongly encourages students to select one piece they feel best represents their work. Limit submission length to 10 minutes total. Clearly state what role(s) you played in the production (director, camera, editing, writing, etc.)

Art:  Please note the title, date, medium and dimensions of each work. Artwork submitted on CD's will not be reviewed.

Dance:  Please submit a variety of work you have done in class, on stage, and as a choreographer if applicable.  Clearly identify yourself in the piece.  Students are encouraged to add a short ‘vlog’ introducing yourself and your work.

Theater: Theater submissions may come in the form of monologues (in contrasting styles if possible) or brief clips of performances.  Limit submission to 5-10 minutes.


Art Supplement deadlines match the CC application deadlines. Students will be able to submit art supplements starting August 1, 2016.


We have three rounds--early decision, early action, and regular action. Early decision (both in November and January) is a binding method of application--if you are admitted, you have already committed to attend. Early action allows you to apply early but ponder your decision all the way to the May 1 deadline. Regular action is our final round, but the most difficult round in which to compete and be accepted. We recommend you choose one of the early rounds if you are sincerely interested in Colorado College. Our deadlines for application are: 

  Common Application Decision Released Candidate Reply
First-Year Applicants      
Early Decision 1 Nov 10 mid-December Jan 12
Early Action Nov 10  late December May 1
Early Decision 2 Jan 15 Mid-February  TBD
Regular Action Jan 15 Late March May 1
Transfer Applicants      
Fall Admission March 1 Late April
Spring Admission Oct 15 (update: Oct 28)  Early December

If you are applying for financial aid, the deadline to submit your application, the FAFSA and CSS forms is the same as the deadline for the round you've chosen.