How to Apply as a First-Year Student

Are you a high school senior? Have you graduated from high school but not enrolled at an institution of higher education? You are a first-year student. This is what you need to know to begin your application journey to the University of Redlands today. Beginning for fall 2021, we are test optional for most applicants. Click on the test optional section below to learn more about what test optional means.

The Common Application for Fall 2021 is available.

Application Deadlines
Early Decision (Binding) November 15
Early Action November 15
Regular Decision January 15

Applications must be submitted through the Common Application. 

Supporting documents may be submitted after the deadline to complete a student's application. However, an application cannot be reviewed until all documents have been received by the Office of Admissions.

Questions? Connect with your admissions counselor, by clicking here.

Applications received after the January 15 Regular Decision deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Application Checklist

- The Common Application, including the personal essay and University of Redlands member questions
- $50 application fee
- Official transcripts from all secondary schools attended
- One letter of recommendation from school/college counselor and/or the Common Application Secondary School Report
- One letter of recommendation from a teacher who can speak to your academic ability
- SAT or ACT Scores - Optional for students applying for fall 2021. To learn more about our test optional policy, please click here

Academic Merit and Talent Scholarships

Merit Scholarships
All students who have completed an application are considered for merit-based scholarships. Ranging in value up to $31,000, merit scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence, leadership, and service.

Talent scholarships
Scholarships are available in the areas of art, creative writing, music, and theatre. Students must plan to pursue an academic major in art, creative writing, and theatre. Students interested in a music scholarship, must either contribute to an ensemble or pursue an academic major or minor. Submissions for consideration must be submitted no later than January 15. For full details and descriptions please visit our scholarship page.

Standardized Testing and Test Optional Policy

University of Redlands adopted a test-optional policy for most applicants beginning with the fall 2021 admission cycle. This means you now have the option to not submit SAT or ACT scores if you do not believe their test scores truly reflect your potential for success in college. Regardless of your decision to submit, all students will be considered for admission and merit scholarships through a holistic review process. 

Should you opt to have your test scores considered, please note the following:

1. We will accept self-reported test scores on the Common Application, however should a student choose to enroll, official scores will need to be submitted prior to the start of their first semester.
2. The writing portion for the SAT or ACT is not required.
3.  We encourage students to submit all scores, as we superscore!  Superscoring means if you took the ACT or SAT two times, we would use the highest scores from each section to create your score.  

For a more in-depth look at our test optional policies, click here.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation - one from a college/school counselor or other school official, and a second from an academic teacher (science, math, English, history, or foreign language) who can talk about an applicants performance in the classroom.

A Counselor Recommendation form may be submitted in addition to the Common Application Secondary School Report.

We are happy to take additional recommendations from coaches, teachers, or other sources.

Johnston Center for Integrative Studies Applicants

Students interested in the Johnston Center must submit applications to the University of Redlands and the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies. Applications can be submitted concurrently, however a student will not be reviewed for the Johnston Center until admitted to the University of Redlands.

Please contact Dulce Garcia at for more information on the Johnston application. Students will be notified of this decision via their application status portal.

The Johnston Center strongly encourages visiting campus to experience the program’s strong living-learning community. Opportunities include overnight stays, classroom visits, and meetings with the Johnston Center Director, Tim Seiber  

School of Music Applicants

An audition is required for admission for those who want to major or minor in Music. For additional information regarding the School of Music and requirements, please contact Brad Andrews, Director of Music Admissions, at (909) 748-8014.

Financial Aid

To be considered for need-based financial aid, submit the FAFSA by March 2. The FAFSA is available at starting October 1.

In order for the admissions office to match your FAFSA with your application, we will need your Social Security Number. Due to the sensitive nature of this information, please include it on your Common Application, or call Student Financial Services at (909) 748-8047 to provide it via phone. Please never email this information.

For more information on financial aid, please visit our Student Financial Services.