How to Get Into Wake Forest University: Admission Guide

Happy student accepted into Wake Forest University
April 26, 2024
10 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/26/24

Wake Forest University consistently ranks as one of the best universities in the nation. Read on to learn more about this esteemed school.

Built in 1834, Wake Forest University is one of the oldest higher education institutions in North Carolina! With the motto Pro Humanitate, which translates to “For Humanity,” Wake Forest University is dedicated to using its students' and faculty’s knowledge, talents, and compassion to better the lives of others. 

If this human-centered mission aligns with your own values, this guide will go into further detail about how to maximize your chances of acceptance!

Wake Forest Acceptance Rate: 20.6%

Wake Forest’s acceptance rate sits at around 20.6%, making it a selective university. Out of 17,496 applicants, only 3,601 were offered admission. 

Here’s a closer look at this school’s acceptance rate over the last few years:

Year Number of Applicants Number of Accepted Students Acceptance Rate
2022- 2023 17,496 3,601 20.6%
2021 15,156 3,816 25.2%
2020 11,595 3,825 32%
2019 12,559 3,717 29.6%

Wake Forest University Early Decision Acceptance Rate: 30.6%

Eager students may consider applying for Early Decision to increase their chances of getting into Wake Forest. In the most recently reported data, the early decision acceptance rate was 34.5%. 

While Wake Forest no longer releases data on their Early Decision admission info, from the data we do have, it seems to stay around 30–40%:

Year Number of Applicants Number of Accepted Students Acceptance Rate
2020 2,241 773 34.5%
2019 2,047 626 30.6%
2018 1939 795 41%

How Hard Is It To Get Into Wake Forest University?

Getting into Wake Forest University is challenging. With an acceptance rate of only 20.6%, only 2 out of every 10 applicants are offered admission to this school. To maximize your chances of acceptance, prioritize showcasing your academic rigor.

Wake Forest University Admissions Statistics

To position yourself as an attractive applicant, keep these stats in mind:

Wake Forest Average GPA: 3.91

According to recent class data, the average GPA of admitted Wake Forest students was 3.91. Aim for a GPA as close to 4.0 as possible to be considered competitive! 

Wake Forest Average SAT Score: 1445

While Wake Forest University allows for a test-optional admissions process, applicants who do submit test scores often showcase high performance. The average SAT score for the incoming class of 2023 was 1445, reflecting a range from 1380 to 1510.

Wake Forest Average ACT Score: 32

To optimize their chances of acceptance, students who choose to submit ACT scores should target a score of 32 or above. This aligns with the average ACT score of admitted applicants for 2023, with a range spanning from 31 to 34. 

What Is Wake Forest University Looking For In Applicants?

Admissions officers at Wake Forest University place a high emphasis on students’ academic profiles. The rigor of your courses, your GPA, and your class rank are considered very important in the admissions process. Aside from academics, your essay and personal qualities are also considered very important. 

Here’s a closer look at how Wake Forest University evaluates applications:

Academic Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Rigor of secondary school record
Class rank X
Academic GPA X
Standardized test scores Considered, if submitted
Application essay X
Recommendation(s) X

Non-academic Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Interview X
Extracurricular activities X
Talent/ability X
Character/personal qualities X
First generation X
Alumni/ae relation X
Geographical residence X
State residency X
Religious affiliation/commitment X
Racial/ethnicl status X
Volunteer work X
Work experience X
Level of applicant’s interest X

Wake Forest Admissions Requirements

To increase your chances of getting into Wake Forest, aim for a 4.0 GPA and SAT/ACT scores in the 75th percentile. This would be around a 1510 on the SAT and a 34 on the ACT. You can also make your application stand out by taking high-level AP or IB courses to demonstrate academic excellence!

Yet, it's important to recognize that your scores and grades represent only a fraction of your application. Below is a comprehensive list detailing all the materials you need to submit to apply to Wake Forest:

  • High school transcripts (4 units in English, 3 in mathematics, 2 in history and social sciences, 2 in foreign language, and 1 in the natural sciences)
  • SAT/ACT scores (optional)
  • Secondary school report
  • Teacher recommendation form
  • Early Decision agreement (if applicable)
  • Mid-year school report 
  • Dean’s statement
  • English proficiency test (international students only)
  • A personal essay (250–650 words)
  • Supplemental essays (optional)

Wake Forest University Application Deadlines

Students can apply by the Wake Forest application deadline through the Common Application, Wake Forest’s online portal, or through Coalition. Regardless of the portal you use, here are some important dates to keep in mind: 

Deadline Application Step
August 1, 2023 Applications open
November 15, 2023 Early decision I and early action applications due
Rolling basis Early decision I applicants receive decision notifications
January 1, 2024 Early decision II and regular decision applications due
January 15, 2024 Early action applicants receive decision notifications
February 15, 2024 Early II applicants receive decision notifications
April 1, 2024 Regular applicants receive decision notifications

Wake Forest Regular Decision Deadline

The regular decision deadline to apply to Wake Forest is January 1, 2024. However, considering this school enrolls students on a rolling basis, it’s best to apply as early as possible. 

Wake Forest Early Decision and Early Action Deadline

Wake Forest offers two Early Decision applications: the Early Decision I deadline is November 15, 2023, and the Early Decision II deadline is January 1, 2024. Wake Forest also offers an early action application to first-generation college students that’s due November 15, 2023.

students in classroom

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into Wake Forest University

Here are some ways to ensure your application stands out:

Take Your Time, But Stay on Track

According to Wakeforest, the best applications “reflect thoughtfulness and thoroughness.” It's crucial to convey that your application was meticulously crafted with time and care, paying attention to details such as grammar and punctuation. However, it's equally important to avoid procrastination. 

Adhere to a realistic timeline that allows for ample effort while ensuring timely submission.

Use Your Essay to Show Your True Self

Above all else, your essay should be authentic and portray your unique self. While Wake Forest expects your essay to be at least two paragraphs long and have proper grammar, they aren’t searching for a specific response. There is no “right” answer so focus on sharing what’s most meaningful to you.

Participate in Meaningful Volunteer Experience

One way to prove your alignment with Wake Forest’s motto and commitment to service is to gain significant volunteer experience throughout high school. You don’t have to participate in a new activity each year, but you should dedicate your time to at least one volunteer organization for a few months or years. 

Choose an organization you feel passionate about and share more about it during your interview. Show your enthusiasm for service and talk about the major contributions you have made to the organization. Mention how you plan on continuing your service work at Wake Forest as well!

Wake Forest Essay Prompts 

As stated, Wake Forest has several essay prompts prospective students can respond to on their application:

  • “Why have you decided to apply to Wake Forest? Share with us anything that has made you interested in our institution.” (150 words)
  • “List five books you’ve read that intrigued you (title and author).”  
  • “Tell us what piques your intellectual curiosity or has helped you understand the world’s complexity. This can include a work you’ve read, a project you’ve completed for a class, and even co-curricular activities in which you have been involved.” (150 words)
  • “Dr. Maya Angelou, renowned author, poet, civil-rights activist, and former Wake Forest University Reynolds Professor of American Studies, inspired others to celebrate their identities and to honor each person’s dignity. Choose one of Dr. Angelou’s powerful quotes. How does this quote relate to your lived experience or reflect how you plan to contribute to the Wake Forest community?” (300 words)
  • “Give us your Top Ten list (theme chosen by applicant).”

Wake Forest University Interview

female student doing virtual interview

Prospective students are also given the option to complete a virtual interview with the admissions committee or submit a video interview. The virtual interview will take 25 minutes to complete and will be used to assess your academics and intellectual curiosity.

To prepare for the interview, the committee suggests you brainstorm aspects of your life you want them to know about. Think about what you’re most proud of, what interests you the most, and what you’re looking forward to in the future. 

Alternatively, students may submit video interviews answering one of the following prompts:

  • “If you could solve one problem happening in the world, what would it be, and why?
  • Pro Humanitate is our university motto. What does this motto mean to you, and how would you put it into action as a student at Wake Forest?
  • Share something important to you or about you that isn’t already part of your application.”

Your response should be around two to three minutes long and must be sent within five days of your application submission. The committee urges you not to memorize your answer to your chosen prompt but to instead pretend you’re sharing ideas with your class. Your answer should come naturally and should not sound like a speech.

You can also apply for Wake Forest merit scholarships, university scholarships, and even some outside scholarships. 

FAQs: Getting Into Wake Forest University

Below, you’ll find the answers to common questions about how to get into Wake Forest University.

1. How Hard Is It to Get Into Wake Forest University?

Wake Forest University is competitive, with an acceptance rate of 20.6%. Students must still maintain high GPAs to meet the committee’s expectations. They’re also encouraged to pursue the most challenging courses their school offers to prove their academic merit.

2. How Do I Increase My Chances of Getting Into Wake Forest?

To increase your chances of admission to Wake Forest, you should give the committee as much information about you as possible! Ensure they have a comprehensive picture of who you are, your academic abilities, what you value, and what you hope to contribute to their school. 

To do this, you should participate in any optional application materials, like essays or interviews. You should also prove you’re as committed to the motto Pro Humanitate as Wake Forest is!

3. What GPA Do You Need to Get Into Wake Forest?

There is no specific required GPA for Wake Forest. However, students should maintain GPAs as close to 4.0 as possible to maximize their chances of getting in.

4. What Is Wake Forest Looking for in a Student?

Wake Forest looks for students who demonstrate intellectual curiosity, academic excellence, strong writing skills, and a commitment to others.

5. How Much Does Wake Forest Tuition Cost?

Wake Forest’s tuition and fees cost around $64,758 a year. However, including other expenses, it costs just over $87,622 to attend Wake Forest. 

6. Where Is Wake Forest University Located?

Wake Forest University is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

7. How Does Wake Forest Notify You of Acceptance? 

You will receive an email from Wake Forest on the decision date with the details of your acceptance! 

Final Thoughts

“Dear old Wake Forest, Thine is a noble name; Thine is a glorious fame, Constant and true.” So begins this university's 1892 Alma Mater, which proves its long history of nobility, success, and integrity that has only grown over time! 

Now that you’ve learned how to get into Wake Forest, you can get started on your application! To be part of this esteemed university’s promising future, ensure you submit a stellar application following the tips shared in this guide!

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