All about applying

We look forward to receiving your application. The following items must be submitted to complete your Principia College application:

*Note: For information about scholarships, please visit our scholarships page. If applying for the Founders' Scholarship, a separate application must be completed and submitted with your application for admission.

Once you have submitted your online application and references, we recommend checking with those who wrote your references to confirm they have been sent. Your admissions counselor will be in touch with you as well to ensure the application process goes smoothly. 

Once the Admissions Office has a completed application from you, including all of your references, your application materials will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Reviewing your application may take up to two weeks. Once a decision has been made, you will be notified by Admissions whether or not you have been admitted.

Application Items

Online application

Applying to Principia College is free—no application fee is required. Simply fill out the online application using a log-in and password that you create, and work on the application at your own pace. If you are unable to access the Internet to complete this step, please consult your admissions counselor.

High School Transcript

Contact your high school guidance counselor to request that an official copy of your transcript be sent to Principia College. All transcripts should be sent directly from your high school to the Admissions Office (see address below). For evaluation purposes, an unofficial copy either faxed or mailed to the Admissions Office is sufficient until the official copy is received.

All high school transcripts are evaluated to determine a Principia College GPA, which is used for admission and scholarship decisions. This GPA is based on core academic subjects and is weighted for AP, IB, and honors classes.

SAT Reasoning Test/ACT Test scores

All applicants are required to take the SAT Reasoning or ACT exam and submit an official copy of their scores. ACT test-takers are required to take the writing section of the exam. We use test scores in order to consider prospects in a consistent manner, but we recognize that examinations do not reflect students' entire abilities.

The Admissions Committee recommends that students take the SAT or ACT exam in their junior year and again in their senior year. Under certain circumstances, the Committee can use an unofficial copy of test scores while an official copy is being sent directly from the testing service.

Learn More About References

The Admissions Office prefers that your references fill out the online forms, which you can easily e-mail to them by sending the appropriate links. References can also print out the forms and either send them to our office via regular mail or fax them using the information below:

Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
Principia College
Elsah, IL 62028

Fax: 618.374.4000

Meet our admissions counselors.

Chelsea Kendrick, a 2010 grad, was accepted at the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, and Principia, among others. Here’s what she says about her decision:

“I had already sent my reservation deposit to Penn when I decided to switch to Principia. I’ve never regretted my choice. In fact, I’ve been grateful nearly every day for my decision!

“At Principia I found a unique combination of character and academic development that didn’t exist at the other schools I’d looked into. Principia alone offered me the chance to develop spiritually, athletically, and professionally, as well as academically. And the academic opportunities were abundant: I conducted on-the-ground research in Vietnam, presented at a professional conference in Puerto Rico, evaluated public policy for county officials, and co-directed one of the only student-run conferences in the country. I couldn’t have asked for a richer experience!”