Ole Miss Application Essays

Applying to Ole Miss – Freshmen

College Preparatory Curriculum

Admission of entering freshmen is based on the completion of the College Preparatory Curriculum (CPC) specified below with either a specific minimum grade-point average (GPA) or both a specific GPA and minimum standard test score. Students must submit a high school transcript reflecting satisfactory completion of the following high school course requirements. (Provisional admission may be granted after six semesters of high school provided the transcript indicates that courses to complete the CPC are underway; final admission will require a complete transcript.) An equivalent College Preparatory Curriculum from another state may be considered when evaluating non-resident student applications.

Subject Area

Required1 Carnegie Units and Content/Remarks

Recommended2 Carnegie Units and Content/Remarks

English4All must require substantial communication skills (i.e. reading, writing, listening, and speaking). Compensatory Reading and Compensatory Writing may not be included.4All must require substantial communication skills (i.e. reading, writing, listening, and speaking). Compensatory Reading and Compensatory Writing may not be included.
Mathematics3• Algebra I or its equivalent• Math higher than Algebra I (2 units)4• Algebra I or its equivalent• Math higher than Algebra I (3 units)
Science3• Biology I or its equivalent• Science higher than Biology I (2 units)4• Biology I or its equivalent• Science higher than Biology I (3 units)
Social Studies3• U.S. History• World History• U.S. Government (½ unit)
• Economics (½ unit) or Introduction to World Geography (½ unit)
4• U.S. History
• World History
• U.S. Government (½ unit)
• Economics (½ unit)
• Introduction to World Geography (½ unit)
• Mississippi Studies (or state/local government course in any other state)
Arts1Includes any one Carnegie unit (or two ½ units) of visual and performing arts course(s) meeting the requirements for high schoolgraduation.1Includes any one Carnegie unit (or two ½ units) of visual and performing arts course(s) meeting the requirements for high schoolgraduation.
Advanced Electives2• Option 1: Foreign Language I and Foreign Language II• Option 2: Foreign Language I and Advanced World Geography• Option 3: Any combination of English, Mathematics higher than Algebra I, Science higher than Biology I, Advanced Elective category, any AP course, any IB course2• Option 1: Foreign Language I and Foreign Language II• Option 2: Foreign Language I and Advanced World Geography• Option 3: Any combination of English, Mathematics higher than Algebra I, Science higher than Biology I, Advanced Elective category, any AP course, any IB course
Technology½A course that emphasizes the use of technology as a productivity tool. Instruction should include utilizing various forms of technology to create, collaborate, organize, and publish information. The application of technology as a productivity tool, rather than specific hardware and/or software packages should be the focus of the course.A course that emphasizes the use of technology as a productivity tool. Instruction should include utilizing various forms of technology to create, collaborate, organize, and publish information. The application of technology as a productivity tool, rather than specific hardware and/or software packages should be the focus of the course.
Pre-HighSchool UnitsCourses taken prior to high school will be accepted for admission provided the course earns Carnegie credit and the content is the same as the high school course.
SubstitutionsAdvanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses can be substituted for each requirement in the College Preparatory Curriculum.
Course AcceptanceA course may not be used to satisfy more than one requirement.
Total16.519.5

 

The Required and Recommended College Preparatory Curricula (CPC) are approved by the IHL Board of Trustees, and the IHL Office of Academic and Student Affairs maintains a complete list of courses that can be used to satisfy the CPC requirements.

1High school Carnegie units required for regular admission to an IHL institution

2Recommended high school Carnegie units to enhance preparedness for college‐level work

Regular Admission

Regular admission will be granted to the following high school graduates:

Mississippi Residents

  1. All students completing the College Preparatory Curriculum (CPC) with a minimum 3.20 high school GPA on the CPC.
  2. All students completing the CPC with a minimum 2.50 high school GPA on the CPC and a minimum score of 16 on the composite ACT (or 770 on the old SAT critical reading/mathematics or 860 on the new SAT).
  3. All students completing the CPC with a class rank in the top 50 percent and a minimum score of 16 on the composite ACT (or 770 on the old SAT critical reading/mathematics or 860 on the new SAT).
  4. All students completing the CPC with a minimum 2.00 high school GPA on the CPC and a minimum composite score of 18 on the ACT (or 860 on the old SAT critical reading/mathematics or 940 on the new SAT).
  5. All students who meet certification requirements for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). This option is available to all freshman applicants.

In lieu of ACT scores, students may submit equivalent SAT scores. Students scoring below 16 on the ACT (Composite) or the equivalent old SAT/new SAT are encouraged to participate in the Year-Long Academic Support Program during their freshman year.

Required Admissions Documents for Applicants: 

  1. Completed application
  2. Six-semester transcript
  3. Official standardized test scores (ACT or SAT)
  4. Senior course schedule

Nonresidents of Mississippi (High School Class of 2018)

Regular admission for Nonresidents of Mississippi will be granted to students who have either a minimum composite score of 22 on the ACT (or 1020 on the old SAT critical reading/mathematics or 1100 on the new SAT evidence-based reading and writing/mathematics) OR a 2.75 core GPA in addition to one of the following:

1. All students completing the CPC with a minimum 3.20 high school GPA on the CPC.

2. All students completing the CPC with a minimum 2.50 high school GPA on the CPC and a minimum composite score of 16 on the ACT (or 770 on the old SAT critical reading/mathematics or 860 on the new SAT evidence-based reading and writing/mathematics.)

3. All students completing the CPC with a minimum 2.00 high school GPA on the CPC and a minimum composite score of 18 on the ACT (or 860 on the old SAT critical reading/mathematics or 940 on the new SAT evidence-based reading and writing/mathematics.)

4. NCAA Division 1 standards for student athletics who are “full qualifiers” or “academic redshirts” are accepted as equivalent to the admission standards established by the IHL Board of Trustees.

Nonresident applicants who do not meet the above criteria are still encouraged to apply and will have the opportunity to provide additional information to support their applications through the Nonresident Admissions Application Supplement.

In addition to grades and test scores, the University Admissions Committee may consider a variety of factors to assess a nonresident applicant’s potential for success at UM and to make an admissions decision. The factors considered may include, but are not limited to, rigor of high school courses, diversity of background and experiences, school and community activities, work experience, and special life circumstances. In making an admissions decision, the Admissions Committee may review an application for evidence of excellence in academics, the arts, athletics, leadership, service, citizenship and character.

Admissions decisions are influenced by the institution’s ability to provide an outstanding UM experience. Accordingly, all applicants should submit required materials well in advance of the term for which they intend to enroll. Non-residents of Mississippi applying for first-year admission for the summer or fall terms are encouraged to submit all application materials no later than April 1.

Nonresidents will be notified of their admissions status once all application materials are received (including the Non-Resident Admissions Application Supplement) and according to the following schedule:

* October 1 – will be notified by November 1
* November 1 – will be notified by December 1
* December 1 – will be notified by January 7
* January 1 – will be notified by February 1
* February 1 – will be notified by March 1
* March 1 – will be notified by April 1
* April 1 – will be notified by May 1
* May 1 – will be notified by June 1
* June 1 – will be notified by July 1
* July 1 – will be notified by Aug 1

Minimum Test Scores

Students whose ACT subtest score in reading and/or English is less than 17 (or old SAT verbal score is less than 400 or less than 23 on the new SAT) are required to enroll in an appropriate developmental course during the first semester of enrollment and to remain in the course until receiving a passing grade or until passing the placement exam administered by the Department of Developmental Studies. Additionally, students whose ACT subtest score in mathematics is less than 19 (or old SAT mathematics score is less than 450 or less than 490 on the new SAT) are required to enroll in an appropriate developmental course during the first semester of enrollment and to remain in the course until receiving a passing grade or until passing the placement exam administered by the Department of Developmental Studies. Students with ACT subtest scores of 17, 18, or 19 are encouraged to enroll in developmental courses. Those students who enroll in two or more developmental courses also are required to complete two semesters of Developmental Support Lab (see below). Enrollment in developmental courses is limited to students with subtest scores below 20 except with permission of the department. Developmental courses completed at other postsecondary institutions before enrolling at The University of Mississippi may be considered to meet developmental requirements.

Other Admission Criteria

Residents of Mississippi who apply and do not meet the admission requirements stated above may enter the comprehensive screening process (counseling and testing) held on campus and at other designated locations prior to the beginning of the first summer session. The comprehensive screening process will consider student interests, special skills, experiences, and other noncognitive factors. After counseling, students will take a computer-based examination (Accuplacer) to assist the University in the admission decision. Students who pass the Accuplacer will be admitted for the fall term and will be encouraged to participate in the Developmental Support Lab during the first two semesters of enrollment.

Admission of Visiting Students

A student who regularly attends another recognized institution and who plans to return to that institution may be admitted to the university as a visiting student. The applicant must comply with the general requirements for admission and, in lieu of transcripts of credits, may submit a letter or certificate of good standing from an official of the institution that the student regularly attends. A student admitted to the summer session as a visiting student may elect to enroll in the university’s next regular session. The student can qualify by submitting transcripts of credits from the other institutions attended and by meeting the requirements applicable to transfer students. If the student has attended The University of Mississippi previously, he or she must be re-admissible.

Admission of Students Who Are Not Graduates of Regionally Accredited High Schools

Applicants who are home-schooled or who have not successfully completed high school must submit standard test scores (ACT composite minimum of 18 or old SAT combined minimum of 860 or 940 new SAT) and successfully complete the Accuplacer (see “Other Admission Criteria” above). Home-schooled students must present summaries of their educational experiences, which may include portfolios and transcripts. Students who are not high school graduates must present qualifying GED scores or, in some cases, may qualify as undergraduate special students (see below). Applicants who have not graduated from a regionally accredited high school and were not home-schooled must submit qualifying scores on the General Education Development Test (GED) and any transcripts reflecting academic performance in high school. Home-schooled students must present portfolios summarizing his or her homeschool education as well as standard test scores (ACT composite minimum of 18 or old SAT combined minimum of 860 or 940 new SAT). Applicants may be required, at the discretion of the admitting IHL institution, to appear for an on-campus interview.

Admission of Undergraduate Special Students

A student who is at least 21 years of age, has been out of school for at least three years, and cannot present an acceptable high school record may be admitted to the university for such courses as he or she may be prepared to enter. This category is reserved for those who have had delays or interruption of the traditional sequence of educational pursuits. A person admitted as a special student is admitted with the same retention standards as degree-seeking students. Special students must have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA on 12 hours of course work to become degree-seeking students. After meeting this requirement, the special student may become a regularly enrolled student and the work completed while in the special status may be applied toward a degree. Failure to meet the stated requirements will result in academic suspension. While in special student status, a student may not register for more than 12 hours in a semester or summer session and will not qualify for financial aid programs.

Admission of Unclassified Students

Applicants who have already received the baccalaureate degree may enroll in the university if they desire to take courses for personal or professional improvement at the 400 level or below; or are pursuing a second undergraduate degree. Generally, students pursuing a second undergraduate degree will not be permitted to take graduate courses, but under certain circumstances, with the approval of the appropriate academic dean, they may enroll as unclassified students in 500-level courses.

Earning College Credit in High School

In the summer before the senior year in high school, students may earn University credit by attending enrichment programs such as PACE (Promoting Academic and Creative Excellence) and the Summer Institutes in Art and in Music, if the following criteria are met:

Completion of at least 15 college preparatory courses with a minimum 3.2 GPA on those courses, recommendation by the applicant’s high school principal or guidance counselor, and successful application to PACE or to the Summer Institute.

Summer enrichment programs are administered by the Division of Outreach & Continuing Education.

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Prior to applying to the Honors College, students need to apply for admission to the University of Mississippi. The online application to the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College for Fall 2018 entering freshmen is part of the Special Programs & Scholarship Application for the University of Mississippi, which becomes available July 1 or after you have applied for admission to the University (whichever is later).

Through the Special Programs & Scholarship Application, you will also be able to apply for financial aid and other programs on campus. The Honors College Early-Action deadline is November 1 (applicants will be informed of our decision by December 20).  Our regular deadline is 11:59 PM (CST) January 5, 2018. We will accept recommendation letters through January 19th for all regular deadline submissions. Students applying by the regular deadline will be notified by the first week of March.  All admitted students have until May 1 to accept or decline the offer of admission.

The Special Programs & Scholarship Application must be completed in the order that the tabs appear. The Honors College portion of the Special Programs application includes the following information:

1. Academics: GPA, rank, etc.

2. Recommenders: the names and email addresses of two teachers and a counselor

3. Your Resume

4. A personal statement describing your educational aspirations and future career goals

5. The general essay: Discuss an important event in your life that changed or impacted you significantly. Explain how and why.  (No more than 700 words.  Your essay will be evaluated on a combination of style, grammar, imagination, and substance.)

6. Pick one person in history or fiction to converse with for an hour.  Who would it be and what would you talk about?  (Please note that your essay must be between 500 and 700 words. Your essay will be evaluated on a combination of style, grammar, imagination, and substance.)

**Please note that the Honors College admissions committee will have access to both your scholarship application essay AND the essay you submit for the Honors College application. We advise you to not use the same essay for both prompts.**

If you have any questions or problems with the application process, please call 662-915-7294 or email honors@olemiss.edu.

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