First-Year Students

Our mission at Stetson University is to provide an excellent education in a creative community where learning and values meet, to foster in students the qualities of mind and heart that will prepare them to reach their full potential as informed citizens of local communities and the world. Stetson University seeks students who dare to be significant, are hardworking, open-minded, caring, and serious about learning. Students who will thrive in the classroom, add diversity, and bring vibrancy to the University, where impassioned teaching and engaged and rigorous learning are the hallmarks of the Stetson experience.

Stetson University centers her academic and campus life programs on a rigorous examination of values that support meaningful lives. We seek academically talented individuals with leadership potential and records of personal growth and community service. We review each application individually and holistically, taking into consideration qualities of academic preparation (which includes both rigor of course work and grades and the quality of the learning environment), extracurricular activities, leadership potential, potential for adding a unique perspective, individual talents and character, recommendations, and with the exception of test score optional candidates, ACT or SAT test scores.

Stetson University values academic achievement, commitment to personal values, leadership, character, talent, and initiative above standardized testing. Therefore, submitting standardized test results for admission consideration is optional. Score optional consideration is an alternative for students who believe that their test scores do not adequately reflect their level of academic achievement and/or predict their potential.

However, if test scores are a good reflection of ability, they should be submitted and they will be considered along with the other application items. In most instances, students will choose the traditional method, which includes submission of standardized (SAT or ACT) test scores. Once enrolled, SAT and ACT test scores will need to be evaluated to ensure that first-year students are placed in the appropriate classes during their first year. Stetson codes are as follows: SAT Code #5630 and ACT Code #0756.

Stetson University Office of Admission operates on a rolling admission, so it is best to apply as early as possible. The university offers priority application dates for the fall term on November 1, January 15, and March 1. To preserve the faculty-student ratio, classes are limited. The university reserves the right to close the class earlier than dates specified if enrollment goals are met before those dates. Applications should be submitted early in the first semester of the high school senior year. To obtain an application, please visit the Stetson University website at; call 800-688-0101; or e-mail Use of the Common Application ( is also encouraged.

Application Process

First-year applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application and $50.00 non-refundable application fee;
  2. Official secondary school transcript;
  3. A writing sample;
  4. Letter(s) of recommendation from a school counselor or teacher;
  5. SAT or ACT scores (unless choosing the score optional process)

Optional additional submissions provide opportunities to strengthen the application for admission.

Students may submit any or all of the following:

  1. Additional recommendations
  2. Portfolio of materials representative of student achievements

Music students must also satisfactorily complete an audition.

First-Year Admission Requirements

Admission to the University is competitive. Stetson seeks students with the potential to contribute to and benefit from the University’s diverse range of academic and co-curricular programs. Admission decisions are based upon the following:

  1. Academic record, including course selection, grade point average and quality of the learning environment;
  2. Standardized testing, if submitted;
  3. Applicant’s writing sample: essay/short answer questions/graded paper, if submitted;
  4. Demonstrated leadership potential; co-curricular and service-related activities; and the potential to contribute a unique perspective to the University community.

The Academic Record

To be considered for admission, applicants must satisfactorily complete a college preparatory program in high school. Because high school programs and grading systems vary widely, the secondary school program cannot be rigidly prescribed. However, the Admissions Committee is most interested in the student with solid academic achievement in five or more college preparatory courses each of the four years of high school.
Minimum preparation must include the following:

  1. Four years of English;
  2. At least three years of math, including Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II;
  3. Three years of natural science;
  4. Two years of social science; and
  5. Two consecutive years of a foreign language (American Sign Language is recognized as a foreign language).

Suitable college preparatory electives will complete the applicant’s program. A grade point average of greater than 3.0 is typical for students accepted to Stetson.

Early Entry

Occasionally, high school students are interested in attending Stetson as full-time students prior to their high school graduation. Such students may be considered for admission if their secondary school work is exemplary, standardized tests show great academic potential, and an interview with the Director of Admission indicates that the student is mature and able to handle the academic as well as social challenges of college. Such students must submit the same materials required of all first-year student applications. NOTE: It is important for Early Entry candidates to be aware that students who enter college without a high school diploma or GED are ineligible for all state and federal financial assistance.

Enrollment Deposit

Accepted students who plan to attend Stetson are required to make an enrollment deposit to indicate an intention to enroll. The non-refundable deposit is $500 all students. Students with less than 22.5 units (or 90 credits) are required to live on campus unless they meet criteria of the exemption policy. These criteria are listed on the Residential Living and Learning website.

The enrollment deposit is due by May 1 and is not refundable.  Candidates who are accepted after May 1 and plan to attend Stetson are expected to pay the enrollment deposit within two weeks after acceptance. Applicants are encouraged to pay the deposit after acceptance in order to have access to the housing application and other enrollment forms.