Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Application Process

Our application process abounds with options… much like what you’ll experience as a student here.

Choose Early Decision if you are sure that Franklin & Marshall is the best fit, or the Standardized Test Option if you would prefer that we not use your Standardized Test Scores in the decision making process. We encourage you to apply online to ensure your application is processed quickly and correctly. The Common App is now live. If you submit your application by Oct. 15th, F&M will waive the application fee! 

As a reminder, to qualify for the fee waiver, we only need the student portion of the Common Application at this time. Your transcript, recommendations and any additional materials can follow later. 

When it comes down to it, picking the college that you will attend is your choice.

But first, you have to apply.

How to apply

Applying Early Decision

Do you already know that you want to be a Diplomat? If you want to live in our college houses, collaborate with our faculty, explore the history and vibrancy of the city of Lancaster, engage in research and travel opportunities, and be immersed in a community of diverse, high-achieving peers, then we encourage you to apply Early Decision to Franklin & Marshall College. Imagine how exciting it would be to know by the winter that F&M will be your future home!

There are two deadlines for applying Early Decision: November 15 and January 15 of your senior year. To apply Early Decision to Franklin & Marshall, applicants should fill out the Early Decision Form.  Students who apply Early Decision I or II will be notified of the College’s decision by December 15 and February 15, respectively.

Of course, F&M realizes that some families would like to have a sense of their financial aid eligibility as they enter into the Early Decision commitment. As such, we are pleased to offer families the opportunity to receive an early estimate of the need-based financial aid for which they might qualify. With this estimate in hand you can then decide as a family to proceed with Early Decision.

To discuss your interest in applying Early Decision or to learn more about the Early Decision Financial Aid Estimate, please reach out to your Regional Dean in the Office of Admission.

Standardized Test Option

Students who do not believe their standardized test scores reflect their academic ability are able to submit two graded writing samples to Franklin & Marshall in lieu of standardized test scores.

Students choosing the Standardized Test Option will be required to submit two recent (junior or senior year) graded writing samples (creative or analytical), preferably from a Humanities or social science course. The samples should include teachers’ comments, grades, and a description of the assignment.

Students may request that their high school delete their scores from their transcript. All transcripts for students choosing this option will be examined prior to their inclusion in the application folders, and any scores that are included will be deleted before applications are reviewed by the Admission Committee.

All materials, in electronic format with teacher comments (ex. PDF,  Word) should be uploaded to the portal by selecting the SAT Option Writing Samples from the drop down menu.  All materials in paper format should be sent to the Admission Office by FAX (717-291-4389) or mail (Office of Admission, PO Box 3003, Lancaster, PA 17604).

International applicants (1st year and transfer) are required to take the SAT I or ACT.

Testing directions for international students can be found here.

Transfer applicants using the Standardized Test Option must submit two samples from college-level coursework. Samples written in high school, jointly-written papers, and ungraded assignments will not be considered.

Additional Materials

Applicants are encouraged to submit additional materials to supplement their application.  Supplemental material might include musical performances, writing samples, or artwork. Please upload these supplementary materials to your web portal page after your application submission, following the instructions provided on that page.

Common Application Writing Option

In addition to the Common Application Essay, Franklin and Marshall also offers applicants the opportunity to respond to two prompts and provide the admission committee with further insight into the the students’ goals, character, and potential to contribute to the F&M community.

Be creative and have fun. Use your responses as an opportunity for us to get to know you.

Prompt 1:On September 27, 1777 Lancaster served as the nation's capital for a single day. If you could do anything or be anyone for one single day, what would you do? (150 word limit).

Prompt 2:Why F&M? (100 word limit)

**Please note, responses to the Franklin and Marshall writing supplements are optional and located under “Other Information” on the Common Application.

For additional tips on writing a successful college essay, check out our July Dip Tip. .