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The Review Process

The Review Process

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Your completed application to Providence College is the best representation of who you are and what makes you a great candidate for admission. The admission review process at Providence College is holistic and includes:

Evaluation of the High School Transcript

The high school transcript is the most important piece of the academic review process at Providence College. With each high school transcript, our admission counselors will take a close look at a student's curriculum, context of high school environment, grades achieved, and class rank (if available and if provided).​

Generally speaking, students who are most competitive for admission to Providence College have taken 4 years of the 5 core subject areas: 

  • English
  • Math
  • Science
  • History/social science
  • Foreign language

Our most competitive candidates have also taken on appropriately challenging Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or other advanced-level courses offered to them in their high school environments.​

The grades that a student has achieved during high school are considered hand-in-hand with that student's curriculum. It is important to note that the Office of Admission completes a recalculation process of each student's grade point average in order to consider applicants from different high schools fairly. Only the grades achieved in core academic subjects - plus Religion courses where applicable and electives taken at the Honors, AP, or IB level - will be included in the recalculated grade point average.

Context of a student's high school environment is another important factor that the committee on admission considers during the evaluation of each candidate's application. The initial review of all application files is conducted by geographic region, which helps each member of the counseling staff to understand the academic environment, opportunities for advanced coursework, and other special programs that may be available within a specific high school.

Class rank will be considered during the review process if it is provided by a student's high school. However, many high schools do not report class rank during the college application process. Students will not be penalized in the admission review if their high school does not provide class rank information.

Activities, Involvement, and Leadership​


The application review process at Providence College is holistic, and one of the important factors our admission staff will consider is your resume of co-curricular activities. We are proud of PC’s active and vibrant campus community, and seek to invite new students who have demonstrated strong involvement beyond the classroom.

When the admission committee reviews your co-curricular activities, it is important to remember that we are much more interested in the quality of your involvement rather than the quantity. Instead of looking for the student with the longest list of activities during high school, we are more interested in commitment and dedication to activities, and leadership roles that a student has held. Two or three activities that a student has been committed to and taken on a leadership role in will have a more significant impact on the admission committee than a lengthy list of activities that a student has only shown “surface-level” involvement with.

Remember, too, that the activities you write about in your application need not be limited to your high school environment. Involvement with a community organization, church group, or part-time job represents a significant amount of time after school for many students, and we encourage you to share these experiences with us on your application as well. If you have held a part-time job, please share with us the amount of time you have worked each week, and whether you worked during the school year or the summer (or both!). This information about your involvement beyond your high school campus helps the admission committee to develop a more complete picture of who you are on the personal level as we complete the review of your application.

​​The College Essay and Additional Writing Samples

Common Application Essay

The Common Application requires all applicants to complete one essay. The essay is an important piece of your college application as it allows you to reveal something meaningful outside of the academic realm to the committee on admission. The Common Application provides five broad essay prompts for you to choose from.

At Providence College, the admission staff uses the college essay in two ways: to learn more about you on the personal level and to get a sense of your writing ability. From your essay, we hope to gain an understanding of what issues are important to you and the things you are passionate about. In the strongest essays we receive each year, we also receive a glimpse of the student's personality, and have a better understanding of the student's personal fit to the Providence College community.

As a liberal arts institution, a student's ability to express himself or herself in writing is important to the committee on admission. Remember that spelling and grammar "count," and you should work to make sure that your essay is well-written and well-presented. 

Optional Providence College Essay
Found under the "Additional Questions" section of the Providence College Member Page (within the Common Application), the Optional Providence College essay provides applicants with the opportunity to speak to their specific interest in PC. While completing this statement is optional, we encourage all students to take advantage of the opportunity to explain why they see Providence College as an appropriate match and fit.

The Optional Providence College Essay prompts for the Class of 2021 are: 

“We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject, for both have labored in the search for truth, and both have helped us in finding it.” -St. Thomas Aquinas, Dominican Philosopher

Providence College students have always engaged in lively intellectual debates through disputatio - the art of disputed questions. At Providence, there is often not one correct answer, but rather many answers that come together to form one truth. In a divided society filled with strong opinions, how do you work to ensure all viewpoints are considered and the ultimate truth is discovered?

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As Providence College educates future scholars and leaders, it continuously strives to form a community that reflects the rich diversity of the human family. Please highlight a specific example throughout your time in high school that has strengthened and promoted the flourishing of all.

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Over the past 100 years, Providence College has undergone extensive changes while remaining consistently true to our founding ideals. As we enter our second century, how will you help continue the College’s momentum and what impact will you have on the next chapter in our history?  

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation play an important role in our holistic application review process at Providence College. For freshman applicants, we require 2 letters of recommendation from: 

  • One from a school counselor or college advisor
  • One from a teacher in an academic discipline

The recommendation from the school counselor provides helpful context of the student's four-year high school career, ideally bringing to light things about the student that may not be apparent from simply looking at the high school transcript. Counselors are often able to provide useful context for the student's academic performance, and explain any special circumstances (i.e. schedule conflicts, personal situations, or medical issues) that may have arisen during the high school career. The counselor recommendation also helps us to understand where the student stands in relation to his or her high school classmates, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Students may select any academic teacher that they have had in the classroom during high school to submit their teacher recommendation. Generally, the committee on admission prefers a recommendation from an English teacher or from a teacher in a content area relevant to the applicant's intended major. 

Applicants may send an additional letter of recommendation from someone other than a teacher who knows the applicant well outside of the classroom. Each year, we receive helpful letters of recommendation from coaches, advisors, mentors, and managers at students' places of employment. We welcome these recommendations as they help the committee on admission to learn more about who a student is beyond the classroom.


Readmission and Reinstatement

Any student who voluntarily withdraws from the college must apply for readmission through the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Application deadlines are April 15 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester.

Students who have received a leave of absence status from the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies are exempt from this requirement; however, leave of absence students must notify the Office of the Dean of their intention to return by December 1 for the spring semester and by June 15 for the fall semester.

A student who is dismissed for academic reasons may appeal to the Committee on Academic Status for readmission to the college as outlined in the Academic Information section of the College Bulletin. ​

Early Graduation from High School
​​

Students who are graduating from high school before the traditional four years of attendance are required to have an interview with the Office of Admission. Interviews should be arranged directly with the admission counselor responsible for your high school​.​ Interviews can be conducted in person on our campus or through a video platform, such as Skype.