Are you a first-year student with questions about the application process at Ohio Wesleyan? Check out this list of FAQs. If you still need help, we're just an email or phone call away.

Applying as a U.S. First-Year Student

What are your entrance requirements? At what age can you enroll at OWU?

The Admission Committee has determined that a college preparatory course of study in high school will best prepare students for academic success at OWU.  Minimum requirements include 4 years of English, 3 years of social science, 3 years of math and science, and 2 years of foreign language study (3 years recommended).

Admission to the University is offered on a selective basis. To be considered for admission, candidates must submit an application, official high school or GED transcripts, a personal essay, and a summary of school and community activities. OWU requires that applicants have earned either a diploma from an accredited high school or the GED Certificate prior to enrolling at the University. Students who have been homeschooled should consult with the Office of Admission.

Applicants must be beyond the age of compulsory school attendance in Ohio to be admitted as a regular student. In Ohio, compulsory education laws require children between the ages of 6 and 18 to attend school. The laws make some exceptions, including if the student received a high school diploma before the age of 18. See

Successful candidates for admission typically rank in the top quarter of their high school classes, have earned a minimum B average in their academic course work, and have demonstrated involvement and leadership in school or community organizations. 

Ohio Wesleyan is test optional. It is your decision whether you want to include your standardized test scores with your application. We will consider all student applicants – regardless of test score submission – for both admission to the University and merit scholarships. More about test optional.

What does Early Decision mean?

If you decide that Ohio Wesleyan University is definitely for you, you are encouraged to apply for Early Decision.

Early decision allows you to start your application earlier in the process. As a result, you will receive an admission decision, along with scholarship and financial aid, sooner. Submit all materials by November 15 for Early Decision. You must complete the Early Decision Form and submit it to OWU with your application. 

Early Decision is a binding, early plan. Those accepted under the Early Decision plan must withdraw applications to other colleges and commit to attend OWU, with the caveat that our financial aid package is sufficient to allow you to attend. You may only apply to one college under the Early Decision plan.

The benefits of committing to an early decision include: showing your interest in OWU by applying early; hearing about your admission decision, financial aid, and scholarships earlier than other applicants; receiving priority in the campus housing selection process and signing up for orientation, as long as you pay your deposit by January 15 for Early Decision.

Download Early Decision Form

What does Early Action mean?

If Ohio Wesleyan is one of your top choices, but you have not made a firm decision that you will attend OWU if admitted, the Early Action admission option can be helpful to you. You find out quickly if you have been accepted, but Early Action does not bind you to attending Ohio Wesleyan.

Early Action applications must be received by December 1.  Early Action applicants will be notified of their admission decision by December 15.  If you are not offered admission at that time, your application may be re-evaluated during the regular admission cycle. If you decide to attend OWU, you must pay your nonrefundable deposit by May 1.

If I apply regular admission, when will you let me know whether I've been admitted?

We begin our review of all candidates in late September and will start notifying students, on a rolling basis, by mid-October.  It may take 2-3 weeks for you to receive an admission decision once your application is complete.

Do I have to submit my SAT or ACT test scores to apply?

To put it simply, no, you don't have to submit your test scores to apply. Ohio Wesleyan is test optional. It is your decision whether you want to include your standardized test scores with your application. We will consider all student applicants – regardless of test score submission – for the full range of merit scholarships. More about test optional.

Do you give credit for Advanced Placement (AP) courses?

Yes. A score of four or better is usually required in order to receive credit.  You may earn credit for AP courses in biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, English literature and composition and/or English language and composition, environmental studies, art history and/or studio art, history (European, American, and World), human geography, Latin, mathematics, music history and/or theory, American government and politics and/or comparative government and politics, psychology, statistics, and world languages & cultures.

Need to know more? Please contact your Admission Counselor.

Does Ohio Wesleyan accept transfers from other schools?

Yes. Every year, students from community, private and public colleges, and universities transfer to OWU. Students who transfer to OWU have strong academic records and are in good standing at the college they are leaving. Transfer students are welcome to begin in either the fall or spring semester. For further information, please contact the Transfer Admission Counselor.

Is it possible to defer my admission to Ohio Wesleyan?

Yes, if you plan to defer, submit the $400 non-refundable enrollment deposit and inform your Admission Counselor, in writing, of your intentions no later than July 1. If the Admission Committee approves your plan to defer, the scholarship and/or financial aid award you received will be applicable for the spring semester. If you intend to defer for a full-year, your scholarship will be held for you, but you will need to reapply for need-based financial aid. Students are not permitted to defer for more than one year. Students will not be approved for a deferral if their intention is to enroll as a full-time, degree-seeking student elsewhere.

What is the Charles Thomas Scholarship? How do I apply?

OWU values our community partners that can help us provide access and opportunity to promising students. To that end, we have created the  Charles Thomas Scholarship to celebrate the courage, character, and life of Dr. Charles Thomas, Class of 1905. 

For those selected as Charles Thomas Scholars, Ohio Wesleyan will meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all four years as determined by the FAFSA.

Demonstrated need will be covered through merit and need-based OWU grant, federal loans, and work study. 

Students who have already applied for admission to Ohio Wesleyan AND filed their FAFSA are eligible to apply for the Charles Thomas Scholarship. You may apply for the scholarship by submitting:

  1. Charles Thomas Scholarship Form 
  2. Scholarship Essay (included in the Scholarship Form)
  3. A recommendation letter from your access program or community-based organization advisor. When you submit your Scholarship Form, the advisor you listed will automatically be contacted and will receive details on how to submit the recommendation letter on your behalf.

Students must apply for admission to OWU and submit the Scholarship Form by March 1 to be considered for the Charles Thomas Scholarship. 

Examples of access programs whose participants have received scholarships:

  • College Directions (MD)
  • College Now Greater Cleveland (OH)
  • I Know I Can (OH)
  • Law and Leadership Institute (OH)
  • One Goal (IL)
  • Schuler Scholars (IL)

Are students in the Tuition Remission, Tuition Exchange, or the GLCA Exchange eligible for scholarships?

Students receiving Tuition Remission, Tuition Exchange, or the GLCA Exchange benefits are eligible for University merit scholarships, but receive scholarships in name only. If your Tuition Remission or Exchange status changes, the scholarships you received at the time of admission will be applied.

The Tuition Remission program is available to students whose parents/legal guardians are employed by Ohio Wesleyan University. Tuition Exchange programs are open to children of employees at a participating college or university.