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Freshman Application Guidelines

Freshmen applicants who meet the following criteria will receive direct admission to Radford University*:

  • Submission of high school transcript. An unofficial copy may be used for admission review; however, an official copy is required prior to enrollment. 
  • 3.3 cumulative GPA
  • Passing grade in Algebra II

*Nursing applicants must also have passing grade in either Biology and Chemistry OR Anatomy & Physiology.

*Music and Dance majors must have a successful audition in their respective program to be admitted to their major.

  • 85% acceptance rate in 2023

  • Rolling Admission starts in November

 1. Complete Radford's application or list Radford on the Common App.

Information to keep in mind as you complete your application: 

  • Radford University is a test-optional school and does not require standardized test scores (ACT or SAT) to be submitted as a part of the application. If scores are submitted, the review of those scores will not adversely effect the admissions decision.
  • As part of your application, we invite you to include an optional essay to tell us more about yourself. 
  • There is no fee to submit your application.

2. Submit a copy of your high school transcript (or transcripts if you have attended multiple high schools).

You may choose to submit an unofficial copy through the Highlander Portal; however, an official copy is required when you enroll. We accept official electronic transcripts sent directly from the issuing institution through Parchment, Clearinghouse, CommonApp, Scribbles and Scoir. Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Dual Enrollment information is evaluated for enrolling students and not needed at time of application.

3. Check the status of your application using your Highlander Portal to ensure all materials are received. Once a decision is made, you’ll see it here first! 

The Admissions staff automatically reviews all freshman applicants for merit-based aid through our Highlander Distinction Program.  Highlander Distinction awards are renewable up to four years as long as renewal criteria is met. Admitted freshman may choose to apply for Foundation Scholarships as well. 

We strongly encourage all students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at This is how we determine federal and state grants, loans and work study programs for which you may be eligible. 

Is financial aid available?

Yes! Financial assistance includes grants and loans as well as work study and fellowship opportunities. Approximately 95% of Radford University undergraduate students who apply for financial aid receive some form of financial assistance. Our priority FAFSA deadline is March 1; however, we will continue to award aid after this date as we are able. Visit the Financial Aid website for more information.

How can I visit Radford University?

We offer tours daily Monday-Friday and many Saturdays. In addition to our in person tours, we offer a virtual tour that you can participate in from the comfort of your own home. To schedule your in person tour or walk through our virtual tour, check out our visit page.

When and how will I find out if I've been accepted?

We will release decisions for fall applicants beginning November 15. After this date, decisions will be reviewed on a rolling basis and applicants can expect a decision typically 2-3 weeks after their application is complete. 

Admission notifications are posted in our Highlander Portal and sent through postal mail. If your address has changed since you applied or you need us to resend instructions on how to activate your applicant portal, please contact us at to update your information. 

I'm a veteran, is there anything I need to know about applying?

The university Registrar's Office provides information for all Veteran benefits, including Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefits. We encourage prospective students to contact the Registrar's Office for information about the application of benefits. Please note: All Active Duty Service Members (including Guard and Reserve) must contact their Education Service Officer (ESO) or Education Counselor within their branch of service prior to enrolling in any college or university.

What's the deadline to apply? When is the best time to apply?

Fall entry

We recommend freshmen applicants complete our free application during the fall semester of their senior year. This will ensure the student is the most competitive for admission, scholarships and financial aid. 

We will continue to accept and review Freshmen applications through July 1 as space allows. Domestic students who are considering admission after the posted deadlines should email Sarah Tate, Interim Director of Admissions, at International students who are considering admission after the posted deadlines should email Ismael Betancourt Velez, Chief Global Officer, at

Spring entry

Freshmen and Transfer applications are reviewed for Spring entry through December 1 as space allows.  Domestic students who are considering admission after the posted deadlines should email Sarah Tate, Interim Director of Admissions, at International students who are considering admission after the posted deadlines should email Ismael Betancourt Velez, Chief Global Officer, at

Does Radford have an Honors College?

Yes! Radford University offers an Honors College that students are invited to apply for based upon meeting certain criteria. You are automatically reviewed upon applying to Radford University. If you meet the admissions criteria, you will receive a follow-up email with application instructions. Learn more about the Honors College.

In addition to the Honors College, we offer several other optional academic programs that students can apply for such as Research Rookies and Living-Learning Programs.

Are there any program-specific admissions requirements?

Several of our performing arts majors- such as music and dance-require an audition in order to be accepted into the major.

Medical Laboratory Science requires faculty review of admission applications in addition to review by the admissions committee. Any additional documents required will be added to the application checklist in your Highlander Portal.  

Other academic programs do not require an additional application before enrolling but do require certain prerequisite classes and an application later on in your education at Radford. 

How do I check my application status?

After submitting your application to Radford University, you will receive an email within three business days that includes instructions on how to activate your Highlander Portal in order to check your application status, update your information, or submit documents.

If it has been more than three business days and you have not received this email, please contact us at or 540-831-5371

What do I need to submit when I apply?

In addition to the application, freshman applicants should submit:

  • High school transcript

Radford University does not require test scores for admission or merit-based scholarship consideration. You do not need an SAT or ACT to be considered for admission and will not be at a disadvantage if you choose not to submit test scores.

How do I apply for scholarships?

Freshman applicants are automatically reviewed for our merit-based scholarships through our Highlander Distinction Program. Students do not need to submit any additional information beyond what is required for their admissions application. Review for the Highlander Distinction Program is done year-round. Notification of a Highlander Distinction scholarship will be included in your admissions acceptance letter. 

In addition, Radford University offers Foundation Scholarships that incoming students are eligible to apply for after being accepted to Radford University.

I have been admitted, what do I do now?

Learn more about what is waiting for you at Radford University!  Our admitted students page is the perfect place to get started. Here, you can find more info about how to confirm your enrollment as well as opportunities to connect with campus and other incoming students.

I have been admitted and I plan to attend, how do I confirm my enrollment?

Due to FAFSA and VASA complication, will will continue to work with families through July for Fall 2024 enrollment.

Confirm your enrollment by completing the Enrollment Confirmation Form and paying a $200 deposit in your Highlander Portal.

New freshmen and transfer students who are unable to pay the enrollment deposit may request to waive the required enrollment deposit by completing a Waiver Request form. The Office of Admissions will review each waiver request and respond within three business days.