How to Get Into Spelman College: Acceptance Rate + Tips

Atlanta skyline
November 23, 2023
7 min read


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 9/28/23

Read on to learn more about how to get into Spelman College, an established institution with a rich history of revolution and empowerment. 

Atlanta, GA skyline

Source: Spelman College

Spelman College had humble beginnings. It started as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary in the basement of a church in the late 1800s. In a time when women, especially of African descent, were denied education, Atlanta Baptist was revolutionary. 

Since then, it has become a respected, accredited, historically Black global leader in women’s education. It aims to empower women to engage the world’s many cultures and inspire a commitment to positive social change.

If this school has piqued your interest, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about Spelman College!

Spelman College Acceptance Rate

Spelman College has an acceptance rate of 28%. Their acceptance rate has varied throughout the years, but it remains one of the most selective women’s colleges in the U.S.

Here is a record of Spelman’s acceptance rates for the past five years: 

Year Acceptance rate
2018-19 39%
2019-20 39%
2020-21 53%

Source: Spelman College

The Spelman College early acceptance rate is 51%, which gives you a strong chance of admission. However, they’re more selective with their transfer students, as the Spelman College transfer acceptance rate is 22%. 

The Spelman College out-of-state acceptance rate is unavailable, but in the most recent academic year, roughly 73% of their American student body were out-of-state students. 

Spelman College Yield Rate

The Spelman College yield rate is 15%. The yield rate is also known as the enrollment rate and depicts the number of students who accepted their admission to a certain college.

Spelman College Admission Requirements 

Getting into Spelman requires a solid application. Students should aim for SAT scores of 1203 or higher or ACT scores of 27 or higher to be considered competitive. Additionally, achieving a GPA of 3.3 or higher will place you in the ranks of previous successful applicants.

Spelman College GPA Requirements

The first score to consider is the Spelman GPA requirements. It’s important that applicants have good grades to be considered for admission at Spelman. 

Minimum GPA Required for Spelman College

Spelman does not have minimum GPA requirements, so students do not need certain grades to be eligible for enrollment. 

However, according to their class profile, students should aim for a weighted GPA of 3.9 to fall within the competitive range of successful applicants. This equates to an unweighted GPA of about 3.3, which is relatively low compared to other colleges. 

Spelman College Average GPA

In previous years, Spelman College has held an average GPA of about 3.8. However, if you want to be among the top applicants to Spelman, you should aim for a 4.0 GPA

Here are the average GPAs of Spelman’s incoming students for the past five years: 

Year Average GPA
2018-19 3.73
2019-20 3.76
2020-21 3.65
2021-22 3.75
2022-23 3.89

Source: Spelman College

Spelman College SAT Requirements

Student solving math problem in notebook

Spelman College has suspended the SAT/ACT standardized testing requirement for first-time applicants for the upcoming admission cycle. Students who do not have access to these tests or believe they inaccurately reflect their potential will not be disadvantaged for not submitting scores.

However, students are encouraged to highlight other impressive aspects of their application if they choose not to submit standardized test scores. These aspects include extracurriculars, awards, social justice involvement, or other noteworthy activities.

Students with access to these tests who would like to use them to strengthen their applications can still submit their scores. These scores will be included in their applications' holistic review and will be super-scored. 

If you do choose to take the SAT, you should aim for an SAT score of around 1203.

Spelman College Average SAT Scores

It’s helpful to know average scores so that you can have a ballpark range of what to aim for on the SAT. Here are the Spelman College SAT scores of applicants from the past five years:

Year Average SAT Score
2018-10 1156
2019-20 1160
2020-21 1133
2021-22 1147
2022-23 1193

Spelman College ACT Requirements

Spelman’s ACT test requirements fall under the same policy as the SAT. However, you may still submit your ACT scores if you would like. If you do, you should aim for an ACT score of around 27.

Spelman College Average ACT Scores

In the table below, you’ll find the average ACT scores of Spelman applicants from the past five years: 

Year Average ACT score
2018-19 24
2019-20 24
2020-21 23
2021-22 23
2022-23 25

High School Transcripts

Spelman will use your high school transcripts to assess your academic performance and gain more insight into the courses you pursued, how rigorous your curriculum was, and how many AP or IB courses you took.

Students should pursue as many advanced courses as possible without compromising their grades. The successful completion of these courses will demonstrate better college preparation.

Letters of Recommendation

Notebook and pen

Students must also submit two letters of recommendation as part of their application. Recommendation letters are important as they provide an unbiased and trustworthy reflection of your skills, abilities, and characteristics. 

Teacher Recommendation 

Note that one of your recommendation letters must come from a teacher. The recommendation written by your teacher should highlight your key academic skills that will contribute to your success in college! 

The Activities Section

Spelman College exclusively uses the Common Application for the admissions process. As part of this application, students must complete the Activities section that asks them to list the most meaningful extracurriculars, jobs, or volunteer positions they pursued in high school.

While you can write about up to ten activities, students typically write about six on average.

Application Fee

To apply to Spelman, you’ll need to pay a $40 online application fee. However, this fee may be waived if you can provide a valid application fee waiver. 

College Transcript (If Applicable)

If you have attended college or university previously, you will need to submit your college transcript along with your high school transcripts. See our section on transfer student requirements for more information. 

Proof of English Proficiency (International Students) 

International applicants are described as anyone who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If you are an international student who is a non-native English speaker, Spelman requires you to submit your official TOEFL score along with the rest of your application. 

Transfer Student Requirements

Transfer students are required to submit the following materials to apply to Spelman: 

  • Completed application through the Common App
  • $40 application fee
  • Official transcripts from every post-secondary school attended
  • Two recommendations from post-secondary instructors/deans
  • Official high school transcript

Transfer students should also note that their application dates differ from those for incoming students. Take note of these dates: 

  • Application deadline: April 1
  • Decision notification: May 1
  • Confirm decision: June 1

Spelman College Essays with Examples

Another part of the Common Application is the personal statement. Students will be given seven prompts and must respond to one. Each of the Spelman College essay prompts focuses on a different aspect of your personality and qualities. 

Here are the seven prompts you’ll have to choose from to write your personal essay:

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Use your supplemental essay to share what’s most important to you and key details missing from the rest of your application. To give you some inspiration, we’ll look at a few example essays. 

Here is a sample essay responding to a prompt similar to Prompt #2: 

“In the summer of [YEAR], my sister was graduating college. My family and I drove to [CITY] to give our unconditional love and support and to celebrate. We ate dinner at a beautiful restaurant together and shared an amazing cake the day before. Unfortunately, it became the most tumultuous time in my life.
The 8 hour drive back was brutal on my workaholic dad; he neglected his health to keep a bright future for me and my sister. A few days after coming home, my dad went to the doctor with aggravating chest pain.
Soon after, the doctor dropped the news: my dad suffered a heart attack. I was [AGE], the youngest in my family, and refused to believe that my dad’s life could be cut short. Around this time, I was irresponsible and jaded; uncomfortable being empathetic, and always wishing problems to go away. 
The news weighed heavily on my shoulders. As I studied my dad’s condition, I soon realized and understood the great lengths he had worked to provide me a better future. Ultimately, I knew I had to change to be better for myself and for my dad. 
Post procedures, my dad returned home. Consequently, I was more empathetic, open to being vulnerable, and affectionate towards family which I had previously been too afraid to express. I would regularly hug my family members, didn’t hesitate to speak up if I was feeling scared or frustrated, listened to my dad more attentively, and I smiled more. Over the summer, I took care of my dad: I paid attention to his sodium intake, made sure he drank enough water, started doing his laundry, and slept in his room in case anything happened. There was nothing else that mattered more to me. 
I’m proud to say I can be vulnerable and act on my insecurities. I became an amicable, self-aware, and social person gaining respect and friendship amongst teachers and peers. Throughout college, I make sure to spend time with my family by cooking dinner for them once a week, sending them silly texts of cute animals, or just giving them a call. My transition to becoming more open has ultimately led to my career path as an [JOB TITLE] - creating better lives for marginalized communities. Understanding what other people go through and being susceptible will allow me to properly achieve my goals and assist those in need. 
It’s [YEAR], and my dad is in the best shape of his life. I show my gratitude by accompanying him during his checkups and scolding him for trying to eat poorly.”

This essay effectively describes a difficult situation that the student found themselves in and how they overcame it. The student isn’t afraid to talk about their shortcomings and the areas in which they needed to improve. Through this essay, they demonstrate growth, change, and a willingness to learn. 

Take a look at another example essay responding to a similar prompt to Prompt #1: 

“I am French and a proud member of the French community - for lack of a better term. This community is difficult to name definitively, because there is actually surprisingly little community between us in a traditional sense other than a loose global affiliation of people from France who all seem to share a common contempt for American cheese, an enthusiasm for our soccer team, and a powerful love of the French language.  
I have had the pleasure of meeting other French people in a plethora of contexts: in Marrakech on a camel-riding tour,  at an Italian restaurant in Connecticut, at an airport terminal in Miami, and on a tour of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.  The common trait of all these interactions is an automatic connection formed upon our common heritage.  At the Italian restaurant, I spoke with our French waiter about his life for 20 minutes while my American family members waited to order.  Of course, all of these exchanges are in French, because all displaced Frenchmen and women share an eagerness to speak our language. Accordingly, growing up French in a half American family, my role in this atypical cross-section of a community has typically been that of the translator, ensuring communication flowed seamlessly, mellifluously, between parties.  
The transience of our community is what I love most; wherever I may be, I can find souvenirs of my grandparents’ French town, [TOWN NAME], where I spent every summer growing up.  Though there is a greater diversity of race, ideology, and geographical location amongst the French than many other cultures, our bond remains equally strong because of the pride we take in our words.  French is the official language of 39 countries, tied only with English. In all of these countries, and anywhere else that French is spoken, I am at home.”

This student’s passion and love for their culture shines through their words. It’s clear that being French is a significant part of their identity, and they do a great job of describing how their background has helped them engage with other cultures. This demonstrates empathy and openness, which are great qualities for college applications.

In your essay, remember to be genuine and write about what you truly care about. College admissions officers look for authenticity and passion in supplemental essays.

Spelman College Tuition and Fees

The total cost of attending Spelman as an incoming student, including tuition, fees, and room and board, is $46,351. There are also other charges that may apply to you, including a matriculation fee of $55 and an orientation fee of $220. 

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Spelman offers a variety of financial aid options, including loans, scholarships, and need-based aid. You will need to fill out a FAFSA form and various other financial aid forms in order to apply. 

Spelman College Application Deadlines

It’s important that you are aware of each Spelman College application deadline so that your application process can go smoothly. To avoid any delays or disruptions, mark these dates on your calendar:

Application Type Application Deadline Decision Notification Confirm Decision
Early decision November 1 December 31 January 31
Early action November 1 December 31 May 1
Regular decision February 1 April 1 May 1

Source: Spelman College

Students deciding between early decision and early action should know the former is binding and is, therefore, best for students who are certain Spelman is their first choice.

It’s also important to pay attention to the Spelman College decision date, as you will need to accept your admission to Spelman by then. Otherwise, you may lose your spot at the college. 

Tips for Getting Into Spelman College

After learning more about how to get into Spelman College, including important admission details like the high Spelman acceptance rate, GPA requirements, and other application materials, you may be wondering if there’s anything you can do to make your application stand out!

Follow these two tips to submit a stellar Spelman application:

Pursue Meaningful Community Service

Spelman has a dedication to social change. They were one of the first colleges to offer education to Black women and made revolutionary strides in America’s educational history. 

As such, they search for students with similar commitments to change and the community. Pursue extensive community service opportunities throughout high school to prove you possess these traits. 

Write an Interesting Personal Statement

Your personal statement should portray you as a dynamic, talented, and passionate student. Choose the prompt you respond to carefully and reflect on your most important experiences. Use your statement to prove your interest in Spelman and that you have something of value to contribute to their school.

FAQs: Spelman College Admissions

We’ve discussed the major admission details you should know about Spelman to decide if it's the right fit for you. For any remaining inquiries about Spelman College, read on to find your answers.

1. What GPA Do You Need To Get Into Spelman College?

Students should aim for a GPA of around 3.3 to maximize their chances of admission to Spelman College.

2. How Hard Is It To Get Into Spelman University?

Spelman College has an acceptance rate of 28%, meaning it isn’t too difficult to get into. It has a relatively low competitive GPA median, making it accessible to a wider range of students.

3. What Major Is Spelman Best Known For?

Spelman College’s most popular majors include Psychology, Biology, and Political Science, but it is well known for all of its liberal arts majors. 

4. Can I Get Into Spelman With a 3.0 GPA?

While Spelman’s competitive GPA median is closer to 3.2, you’ll likely still be able to get into this college with a 3.0 GPA. Ensure you demonstrate your academic potential through other parts of your application to increase your chances of admission.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to get into Spelman College, you’re ready to get started on your application! 

Spelman produces intellectual, creative, and ethical leaders striving to make a difference. If you’re hoping to join a supportive community that can help you develop into this kind of leader, consider adding Spelman to your list of top colleges!

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