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How to Apply

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First-Year Application Process

Thank you for your interest in applying to Berry! We have received an unprecedented volume of applications for the Fall 2021 semester, and we are prioritizing the review and communication of admission decisions for students who applied before the January 15 Regular Decision application deadline. We are still accepting first-year applications and will review them after we review those submitted by the January deadline.

We are also still accepting transfer and dual enrollment applications and will be reviewing those following our standard timeline.

First Step: Pick Your Application

The Berry Application

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The Common Application

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Both applications are free and treated equally in the application process. First-year, transfer, and International students may use either application. Non-degree, auditor, transient, and readmission candidates should use the Berry Application.

New Policy: Standardized Testing is Optional

For students applying to Berry for fall 2021 and beyond, we have adopted a new test optional admission policy: ACT or SAT scores are no longer required as part of the admission process. Why now? Our data indicate that SAT and ACT scores are not the best measures of potential student success. In fact, our holistic review process has always centered on getting to know you as an individual through: your admission application, your academic performance as indicated by your school transcripts, your extra-curricular engagement and a personal essay. These four factors will continue to matter most while helping us fulfill our historical mission to provide access to a world-class education for students from all backgrounds. If you have taken the ACT or SAT, we still encourage you to submit your scores to Berry. Submitted test scores (or a lack of test scores) will not negatively impact your admission and will not be used in awarding merit-based scholarships.

Additional Steps

  1. In addition to your application and essay, we also ask that you submit the following:

    • High School Transcript(s)
    • Personal Essay - Both of our application types require a personal essay. Our advice: instead of trying to impress us with your accomplishments (the rest of your application does that), use your essay as a chance to show us who you are, how you think and what you value. Your academic record tells us what kind of student you are. Your essay tells us what kind of person we’d be inviting to join our community.
  2. The following items are not required (but are more than welcome):

    • SAT and/or ACT results (we will accept a PDF of your score report)
      • Berry’s SAT Code: 5059
      • Berry’s ACT Code: 0798
    • Counselor Recommendation Form
    • Teacher recommendation(s)
    • "Why Berry” essay 
    • Resume (recommended length: 1 or 2 pages)

Application Types

Early Action (EA): This option lets you hear our admission decision before the end of the fall semester and ensures that you are considered for the full range of Berry’s scholarships. Early Action admission offers are non-binding, which means you can be admitted and still choose to go elsewhere (though this would be illogical, in our opinion).

If you plan to apply for aid, we highly, highly, highly (repetition deliberate and heartfelt) recommend that you submit the FAFSA by November 1 so that we have as much time as possible to help you figure out how to make a Berry education affordable for your family.

Regular Decision (RD): Still need some time to figure out where you want to apply? Or maybe you’d like us to consider your first semester grades before we make an admission decision? No problem. Just like the other decision rounds, we (strongly) encourage you to submit your FAFSA by the application deadline to receive full consideration for scholarships and financial aid.


Admission Option Type Application Deadline Notification Date
Early Action Non-binding Nov. 1 Begins Dec. 15
Regular Decision Non-binding Jan. 15 Begins Mar. 1

Spring 2021 Applicants

If you are a first-year student applying to enroll for the Spring 2021 semester, your application and all required materials must be submitted no later than November 15, 2020. Please keep in mind that if you have graduated from high school and taken any college courses (aside from dual enrollment), you must apply as a Transfer student. If you have questions about what type of application you need to submit, please contact Tess Nedvin ( The deadline to pay your deposit for enrollment in the Spring 2021 class is Friday, December 18.

Need more information? Please see frequently asked questions (FAQs)

My application is submitted! What’s next?

Waiting is one of life’s less pleasant occupations. Please know that while you’re sitting mournfully by the mailbox, we’re reviewing your application, reading your essay, taking our time to get to know you and imagining you as a member of this community.

We take this work seriously and do it carefully. Which takes time.

While you wait, keep busy, keep working hard, do good in your community (these are the things that Berry students do every day).

If you just can’t keep Berry off your mind (it’s a challenge, we realize), you are welcome to come see us.

We also welcome you to get to know your admission counselor by calling the office or sending an email. We’re especially interested to hear if you have received an honor, award or recognition since submitting your application.

You might also spend some time on MyBerry. It’s an easy way to check on the status of your application, check on your requirements and learn more about Berry.

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