Admissions Policies

Guidance for Admitted Students

Enrollment Deposit
A $300 matriculation fee is required to secure your enrollment to the college or the conservatory. The fee is refundable upon graduation. If you are enrolling in the Double Degree Program, only one matriculation fee is required. If the matriculation fee presents a financial hardship, please contact us at

Course Changes
Oberlin considers the level of rigor in an applicant's courseload, including senior year classes, when extending an offer of admission. It is always best to consult with your admissions counselor prior to making any changes to the curriculum specified in your application. 

Oberlin's offer of admission is based on the expectation that you will successfully complete high school while maintaining the level of academic performance demonstrated in your application. A significant drop in grades may lead Oberlin to rescind its offer of admission.

AP & IB Tests
Applicants are not required to take AP or IB tests at the conclusion of their AP or IB classes. However, the tests are required if you wish to apply credit for these courses towards your Oberlin degree.

Credit for AP/IB Classes and/or College-Level Classes
Incoming first-year students may receive credit towards their Oberlin degree for up to five courses/20 credits, provided their prior coursework meets Oberlin’s academic requirements. The amount of credits transfer students may bring in depends on the coursework they have completed at their previous institution. Complete details may be found in the Guide to Transfer of Credit Policies and Procedures section of Oberlin's Course Catalog.

Gap Years
Enrolling students may request to have their matriculation deferred for one academic year, often referred to as a gap year. This allows students the time to pursue non-academic opportunities through internships, volunteer work, enrichment programs, or other interests. To be considered for a gap year, you must submit your request by June 1. Details may be found on the Gap Year Requests page.

Rescinding An Offer of Admission
Our offer of admission is based on the expectation that you will successfully complete high school while maintaining the level of academic rigor and performance demonstrated in your application as well as the high level of personal conduct that were the basis of our decision to admit you. Although it is rare, should a student fail to meet this expectation, Oberlin reserves the right to rescind its offer of admission.

Financial Aid

Oberlin's policy is to meet 100 percent of every student's demonstrated financial need.

If you are admitted to Oberlin, the details of your financial aid award will be uploaded to your applicant portal at the time of decision release, as well as included in the postal mailing you will receive. If there are no changes to your family's financial situation during your time at Oberlin, you can expect to receive the same level of aid in subsequent years, including any merit aid awards.

If your family's situation has changed since you submitted your application for financial aid, or if you feel that there are factors that were not considered in determining your financial need, you may initiate a need-based financial aid award appeal by contacting the Office of Financial Aid.

Please note that changes to financial aid awards are rare.

Guidance for Waitlisted Applicants

Students who have been placed on the waitlist are students that Oberlin would very much like to enroll, should additional space become available in the class. The waitlist is not ranked in any way. Waitlist evaluation will begin in May.

While you are waiting to hear, you should enroll at a college that has offered you admission by May 1. This is to ensure that you have a solid plan for next year, regardless of what happens with Oberlin's waitlist. Should you be offered admission to Oberlin, you will simply inform the college to which you've enrolled of this development (this is common practice during the annual period of waitlist activity).

It’s fine to keep in touch with us to let us know that Oberlin remains your top choice, as well as to send updates on any new academic or personal accomplishments of which you would like us to be aware.

If you are offered a spot off the waitlist, it will not be binding. You will be able to make your decision after reviewing our offer of admission and your financial aid package.

Appeals and Reapplying

All admissions decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

Students may reapply to Oberlin in subsequent years, either as a first-year student (if taking a gap year) or as a transfer student (if enrolling at a different institution).