Freshman Application Process & Criteria

The successful candidate for regular freshman admission has a proven record of achievement in his/her high school courses, scores competitively on the SAT or ACT, and has completed all of the courses required for entrance to a South Carolina public, four-year institution. Not everyone who meets these basic criteria is admitted to Winthrop, and there are special circumstances which warrant the admission of a student who has not met all of the aforementioned criteria. Information on the average statistics for the most recent entering class is provided below.


  • Average High School GPA of enrolled freshmen: 4.06
  • Average SAT of enrolled freshmen: 1096 (excluding the results of the writing examination)
  • Average ACT of enrolled freshmen: 23
  • The middle 50% of enrolled freshmen scored between 1000 and 1190 on the SAT *
  • The middle 50% of enrolled freshmen scored between 20 and 26 on the ACT

Note that the information provided above represents the average statistics for freshmen who enrolled. Winthrop University admits all qualified applicants and offers equal educational opportunities regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion or disability.  Applicants are admitted on the basis of the probability of their success in completing the requirements for graduation. 

Freshman applicants are evaluated on an individual basis by the respective admissions counselor using the following criteria: 

Primary criteria: (will always be considered)

Secondary criteria: (will be considered if submitted)

  • Winthrop is test optional. Students will indicate on their application whether or not they wish to have their standardized test scores considered in the admissions process.  If a student takes the SAT more than once, we will use the highest Critical Reading and highest Mathematics score from all administrations. If a student takes the ACT more than once, we will use the ACT superscore. 
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Essay or personal statement explaining factors (extenuating circumstances) that have affected performance in classes
  • Extracurricular activities, special talents, and/or community service

A completed freshman application will include the following items:

  1. A non-refundable application fee of $50. Online applicants pay the fee to a third-party vendor upon submission of the application.
  2. SAT Reasoning or ACT test scores. Winthrop's SAT code is 5910 and the ACT code is 3884. Note: We recommend that students take the tests by December of their senior year. SAT or ACT tests are not required for applicants whose graduation date is five or more calendar years prior to enrollment.
  3. Unofficial High School Transcript.  Students may upload a copy of their transcript to their Admissions Portal or e-mail a copy to

Additional requirements for applicants who have earned a General Educational Development (GED) Credential. 

Winthrop University requires that all enrolled students have a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) credential. However, this credential is not solely used for evaluation of the application.  

Students who have earned a GED should submit the following documents:

  1. An official copy of the high school transcript mailed directly from the institution to Winthrop University that shows courses completed up to withdrawal.
  2. An official copy of the GED results mailed from the GED Testing Service in the state from which the credential was awarded.

Classification as a resident for tuition payment purposes.

Additionally, please note that classification as a resident for tuition payment purposes is not automatic.  The residency section of the application must be completed in its entirety for all applicants who claim entitlement to South Carolina in-state tuition rates. Applicants who do not complete the residency section will be classified as an out-of-state student until a completed Residency Form is reviewed by staff. Students cannot be considered for state-awarded scholarships until their resident status is classified as resident.