Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Application FAQs

We value all our applicants and want to clearly communicate how we make decisions and what you can expect from the Southwestern Admission Team.

Our Mission

Our mission is to treat all applicants fairly and with respect. In all cases, our decisions are reached by multiple individuals reviewing the application and voting in a manner s/he believe is in the best interest of both the student and the University. We take this responsibility seriously and realize we are dealing with the lives and future directions of our applicants.

Application Deadlines

Early Decision (binding): November 1
Early Action (non-binding): December 1
Regular Decision: February 1

Will I receive notifications about my application?

When we receive your application, an email will be sent confirming this action. You must check your personal application portal to make sure we have received all required documents and for all other status updates.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to complete the application. Beyond our reminders, you are encouraged to contact your admission counselor whenever you have questions. 

Do I need to provide any additional information?

In some cases, we will ask for mid-year or mid-term grades (first-semester senior year or mid-point of college semester for transfer students), additional recommendations or a personal interview. When we ask for mid-year grades and/or a personal interview, etc., you must take responsibility for getting the grade report to Southwestern and that the interview is completed.

How will Southwestern handle the new SAT?

Southwestern will accept both versions of the SAT—pre-March 2016 and March 2016 and after—for the next year or two. We will continue to superscore SAT scores, but will not superscore across the old and new exam versions. 

Whom should I contact with questions?

You are assigned to an admission counselor based on your high school or college. Your admission counselor is your “advisor” and “guide,” representing you and your application through the admission, scholarship, and financial aid process.

How important is the individual interview?

Personal interviews for first-year students are encouraged by February 1 of each year. These can occur on or off campus. Individual interviews are offered annually in several Texas cities and a number of locations outside Texas. When a student lives a considerable distance from Southwestern and has not been able to arrange for an interview in person, a phone or skype interview can be requested. In some cases, the lack of a personal interview can result in an admissible candidate being offered admission to the wait list.

Transfer candidates are encouraged to meet with our transfer admission counselor prior to semester of entry to discuss course transferability, housing options, etc. If a face-to-face meeting isn’t possible, questions can be answered over the phone or via Skype.

How are decisions made?

We consider academic performance above all else. Additionally, participation and demonstrated leadership in extracurricular activities; strength and depth of writing samples; SAT and/or ACT scores; cogency and content of recommendations; visit to campus; legacy connections; United Methodist Church membership; and recognition/achievement in national programs.

When will I find out about admission? (First-Year Students)

Early Decision candidates with completed applications by November 1, will receive notification by December 1. Early Decision candidates submitting an application, but not completing until a later date, will be deferred and will receive notification by February 15. The majority of students with completed applications will either be offered admission or denied admission. A few students may be deferred to a later decision date if we believe new information is necessary and potentially helpful. Early Decision is binding and will require submission of a $500 non-refundable deposit by January 1 if the student is offered admission and scholarships/financial aid is deemed appropriate by the family.

Early Action candidates with completed applications by December 1, will receive notification no later than March 1. The majority of students will either be offered admission or denied admission. A few students may be deferred to a later decision date if we believe new information is necessary and potentially helpful. Some students with very strong credentials will be offered admission on a “rolling” basis. 

Brown Scholar and Dixon Scholar candidates must apply by December 1. Applicants will receive admission notification by the deadline requirements and dates listed above. Please refer to current merit scholarship program materials for all award requirements.

Regular Decision candidates with completed applications by February 1, will receive notification by April 1. Some students with very strong credentials will be offered admission on a “rolling” basis. We typically have more qualified applicants than we have available spaces in the entering class. This usually means more applicants are held until late March, at which time we mail our final decisions.

Late Decision candidates, those applying after February 1, are handled on a case-by-case basis and offered admission if space is available.

When will I find out about admission? (Transfer Students)

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis once all required documents have been received. If new or additional information is needed, particularly if we believe new information can be potentially helpful, a final decision may be deferred until the new materials are received. More information on transferring to Southwestern can be found on our Transfer Student webpage.