Application Checklist

You control the timing of when you receive your admission decision and scholarship award based on when you apply to McDaniel.

First Year Students

Early Action November 1 November 24 December 5
Early Action December 1 December 22 December 22
Winter Early Decision January 15 February 1
Honors Program and Honors Scholarship Consideration January 2 January 27 March 10
Regular Decision January 15 February 8 February 8
Regular Decision February 15* March 7 March 7

*Online submissions are due February 15; paper submissions should be postmarked by February 17.

We consider any student who has not graduated from high school to be a first-year college student. Choose from five deadlines for submitting an application and complete credentials, guaranteeing an admission decision and a scholarship decision within two or three weeks of the date you select. All applicants may also complete the Net Price Calculator to receive an estimate of the financial aid possibilities available to you. Best of all, there is no obligation to deposit before May 1. If you know McDaniel is your top choice, you can deposit promptly and enjoy the rest of your senior year, or take all the time you need to make a good decision by May 1.

Pick the deadline that works best for you, and be sure that you notify the Admissions Office of your deadline choice. Look for a confirmation email once you have submitted your application asking you to verify the deadline you are requesting (or to provide one if you haven't already).

A completed application for first year students includes:

The Common Application or The McDaniel Application

A personal essay. Please write an essay (250 words minimum, 750 maximum) on one of the options listed below, and attach it to your application before submission. This personal essay helps us become acquainted with you as a person and student, apart from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will also demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts and express yourself.

  • Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Your official high school transcript. Please include all grades through junior year at minimum and your senior year schedule. Senior grades will be requested if needed.

Application fee of $50 (nonrefundable). We do offer application fee waivers for students who either qualify for a College Board fee waiver or who visit campus prior to submitting an application. If you qualify for either, please select "Mailed Fee Waiver" on your Common Application. We cannot process your application without the fee or fee waiver.

Secondary School Report form and two letters of recommendation from academic sources

SAT or ACT scores. The SAT school code is 5898 and the ACT school code is 1756. McDaniel College continues to take the highest critical reading and highest math scores from multiple test dates on the SAT or your highest composite score from any ACT date. We want standardized testing to work for you, not against you, and therefore will consider all scores or only scores which you feel comfortable sending. We will not use the writing score on the SAT or ACT as part of our admissions evaluation. Scores will be considered official if they are sent by the high school guidance office or testing service.

You may be eligible for our SAT Optional program if you:

  • Report a high-school rank on your official high-school transcript and are in the top 10 percent of your class
  • Come from a school that does not report rank, and have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale in college preparatory coursework

All application materials may be submitted online or by regular mail—choose the option you prefer. You can submit them in any order. Once we receive all your credentials, we will include your application for review at the next available deadline. We will only review your application in one round of admission and scholarship consideration, so the deadline you choose should reflect the final credentials you intend to submit for scholarship purposes. For example, if you have additional standardized test-taking planned and you want your latest scores to be considered, or you believe your senior fall semester grades should be a critical part of your record, you should wait to apply until a deadline that follows receipt of these materials. If you have specific questions, or a special circumstance you’d like to discuss, we suggest you contact the Admissions Office by phone and speak directly to your admissions counselor.