Information for School Counselors

high school counselor home page

At the College of Charleston, we understand how important high school counselors are during the admissions process. We value your dedication to helping students pursue their dreams. The guidance you provide is key to both their academic and personal success.

If you can’t find the information you are looking for on this page, please contact the office of admissions at 843.953.5670 or contact the admissions counselor assigned to your territory.


Find our freshman application deadlines here

Transcript Submission

  • Whenever possible, please send transcripts to College of Charleston through an electronic format. It’s easier for us to help a student troubleshoot an electronic submission (which we’re happy to do!). It also keeps them from asking your busy staff for multiple copies.
    • SCOIR/Parchment/Naviance upload: College of Charleston (Charleston, S.C.)
    • CommonApp: College of Charleston (Charleston, S.C.)
    • Email: admapplicants@cofc.edu
  • We only need one copy of a transcript – if you choose to send an electronic copy, there is no need to follow up with a mailed copy.

Timing

We're committed to providing students with a timely and accurate status of their application.

  • There is typically a 4-7 business day processing turnaround during most times of year.
  • The week of our application deadlines, we may need 7-10 business days to process new documents.
  • All emails prompting students to submit missing documents are timed as strategically as possible to ensure we don’t panic a student whose documents may still be in processing.

Official vs Unofficial Transcripts & Test Scores

For application review, we accept both unofficial transcripts and SAT/ACT scores (from students) AND official transcripts and SAT/ACT scores sent directly from the high school and testing agencies.

  • We do not have a preference, but self-reported/unofficial documents can greatly expedite the application review process at the busiest times of year.
  • Once enrolled:
    • Final high school transcripts (verifying graduation and all senior year work taken) must be sent directly by the high school to College of Charleston. Ideally this is received before a student’s summer orientation session but no later than the student’s first week of classes, otherwise a registration hold will be placed.
    • SAT/ACT scores (if the student applied using test scores) must be sent directly by the testing agency. Our SAT code is 5113 and our ACT code is 3846. Official scores are due no later than the student’s first week of classes, otherwise a registration hold will be placed.
    • If a student has taken dual-enrollment courses while in high school, their college transcript must be issued directly by the college/university. They must provide it in addition to the high school transcript, regardless of whether or not the college grades are on the high school transcript. Ideally this is received before a student’s summer orientation session but no later than the student’s first week of classes, otherwise a registration hold will be placed.
    • The College awards credit for Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), selected Cambridge International Exams (A Level and AS Level) and many College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) exams, based on the student’s scores. Scores must be sent directly by the testing agency. For more information, including score-to-credit guide, visit the Credit By Exam webpage.

To note: 

  • CommonApp applicants who attend schools where documents are uploaded through a CommonApp connection (MaiaLearning, Naviance, etc.) won’t have their documents released to College of Charleston until the student submits the application.
    • This prevents sensitive student information (like recommendations and transcripts) from being released to schools where the student hasn’t applied. For example, even if you upload the transcript in September, if the student applies in October their status will not show the received transcript immediately. Their transcript will be processed based on their application submit date, not your upload date.
  • If you send documents via a CommonApp connection (MaiaLearning, Naviance, etc.) but the student doesn’t apply through the CommonApp, we will never receive their materials.
    • CommonApp will not release documents to us for students who haven’t submitted our College of Charleston CommonApp, for privacy purposes. You will need to send documents via an alternate method (email, Parchment, SCOIR, mail, etc.).
  • If you submit your school’s transcripts through SCOIR, Parchment or by sending them directly to the College via admprocessing@cofc.edu or by mail, they will be added to the student’s application even before the student submits their application. We retain all documents for 1 year after receipt.

The College of Charleston is Test Score Optional for admissions purposes through Fall 2023. Students who apply Test Score Optional for freshman admission do not submit SAT/ACT scores as a part of their application for admission and we will not consider any prior SAT/ACT scores they may have on file.

If a student would like us to consider any past or current scores, they should NOT apply Test Score Optional and/or email their admissions counselor to change their application type. They can submit unofficial or official SAT/ACT scores for admission.

Scholarship award amounts and eligibility criteria vary widely. Visit the Office of Financial Aid webpage for more information.

For more information on cost of attendance, go to Tuition and Fees.

Applicants to the College of Charleston will be considered for admission from a holistic application review process with high importance given to the student's grades (A/B average), high school courses taken (Honors, AP, IB, Dual Enrollment, etc.) and SAT/ACT test scores (if submitted).

For South Carolina residents, the South Carolina Uniform Grading Scale (SCUGS) GPA is used for application review. All South Carolina applicants are required to have a SCUGS GPA for application and scholarship review.

For out-of-state students, we typically use the weighted GPA provided on the student’s transcript. We calculate new weighted GPAs for about 5% of our applicant pool. Some examples of when we may calculate a new weighted GPA for a student include:

  • no GPA provided on transcript,
  • GPA on transcript is not cumulative (grades 9-11),
  • alternative grading scales (5.0, 12 point scale, narrative grading, etc.),
  • international transcripts.

If the quality points assigned to a higher-level course exceed 5.3, we will use the unweighted GPA provided on the transcript or calculate a new GPA as needed.

Visit the What We Look For webpage for more details.

Each admissions cycle, we release a variety of admission decisions beyond Admit/Deny:

First Year Impact: Each year, the Office of Admissions welcomes approximately 200-300 first year students as First Year Impact students. Students are chosen for this program based on their admissions application. Typically First Year Impact students show great potential for success at CofC but could benefit from this unique plan designed to provide intentional support and personal connections coordinated by the Center for Academic Performance and Persistence. This is an admissions decision and not a program students apply for.

Deferral: Often, the admissions committee needs to assess the entire applicant pool or receive additional information reflecting a more comprehensive academic profile. Therefore, we will defer a small pool of Early Action and Early Decision applicants into our Regular Notification round. Students should read over the information in their decision letter and send more information as it becomes available (e.g. first semester grades, additional test scores if applicable, etc.).

Charleston Bridge: This is our one-semester residential bridge program for select South Carolina students through our partnership with Trident Technical College. Once students complete the requirements of the Charleston Bridge Program during the fall semester, they will have a seamless transfer pathway to the College of Charleston the spring semester. This is an admissions decision and not a program students apply for.

iCharleston: iCharleston is a one-semester international bridge program for out of state students. Once students complete the requirements of the iCharleston Program during the fall semester, they will have a seamless transfer pathway (and guaranteed on-campus housing) to the College of Charleston for spring semester. This is an admissions decision and not a program students apply for. iCharleston is not available for non-US citizens. 

Wait List: When we aren’t able to offer every qualified student admission, we place some students on a waitlist. If student is offered a spot on the waitlist, they should follow the instructions from their decision letter and communicate with their admissions counselor. 

Admissions counselors are the first point of contact for all prospective students and school counselors. Counselors are assigned territories, so it’s important to locate the counselor assigned to your area.

Pre-College Programs

Multicultural Overnight Visit Experience (M.O.V.E.): M.O.V.E. is a residential, one-night visit experience that serves students of color/first generation high school juniors and seniors. This program is offered several times throughout the year. There is no fee to participate but space is limited.

Minority Male Initiative (MMI): MMI strives to empower, support and assist young men of color in creating a strong foundation of success that you can build upon in the years to come. Students who participate in initiatives tend to achieve higher grades, be more academically and socially integrated into campus and graduate at higher rates.

Junior Project: Junior Project is a week-long, residential, college preparatory program serving multicultural/first generation, rising high school juniors. Participants are chosen based on an application process.

Senior Project: Senior Project is a week-long, residential, college preparatory program serving multicultural/first generation, rising high school seniors. Participants are chosen based on an application process.

Transition to College Programs

Speedy Consolidated and Transition Program (SPECTRA): SPECTRA provides an academic and transition experience for recent African American, Latinx/Hispanic, Asian and Native/Ingenious American (AALANA) high school graduates who have been accepted to the College of Charleston and are enrolling for the fall semester.

South Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation (SCAMP): is an academic four-year enrichment program at the College of Charleston for under-represented minorities planning to major in a STEM field.

South Carolina State Scholarships

For South Carolina students,state scholarships will be awarded based on official test scores only.

Students are still eligible to apply Test Score Optional and receive state scholarships. In this case, the scores would not be used for application review but will be used for awarding state scholarships.

South Carolina High School Coursework

Required and recommended high school coursework for admission is based on an applicant taking a rigorous curriculum. These requirements are also in compliance with the SC Commission on Higher Education entry into SC four-year colleges/universities.

Top 10%

The Cougar Advantage program gives students in South Carolina who rank in the top ten percent of their class guaranteed admission. In addition, some students may qualify to receive assistance to help cover cost of tuition if they meet additional eligibility requirements.

At the College of Charleston, we strongly believe that diverse backgrounds, perspectives and experiences are integral parts of a liberal arts education. We attract international students from all over the world, and offer a lively mix of cultural exchange both in and out of the classroom.

The College of Charleston requires proof of English language proficiency. Students must submit one of the following six exam scores directly to College of Charleston:

  • Duolingo English Test
  • iBT TOEFL
  • IELTS
  • iTEP Academic Plus
  • SAT
  • ACT

Native English speakers should email international@cofc.edu to determine if they qualify for an English proficiency waiver.

For more detailed information about the application process for international students, visit the International Admissions webpage.

The Transfer Resource Center is your one-stop-shop for all things transfer. Here, you’ll find information about transfer credits (and Transferology), meeting with a pre-transfer advisor, how transfer students can get involved on campus and more!

To learn about our transfer application requirements, instructions and what we look for, please visit the transfer student admissions page.

Contact the transfer admissions counselor.

If you'd like to be added to our counselor database, please complete the counselor information card.

School counselors can register for access to our school counselor portal by emailing the admissions counselor for their area. The portal is an easy way for you to review your students' status. Once you've joined the portal, you can use the access portal link to enjoy the benefits.  

Counselor Information Card     Access Portal

The College of Charleston welcomes you to visit campus and join one of our daily campus tours. Please email specialtour@cofc.edu with your contact information and preferred date/time to request a tour. One of our staff will help coordinate your visit. The Office of Admissions typically hosts two to four campus tours per day, depending on the time of year. Campus tours include a one-hour guided tour led by our Charleston 40 student tour guides with an opportunity to meet with an admissions counselor.

If you are looking to bring a group to campus, we are happy to accommodate. Group tours are limited to Tuesday through Thursday and availability can vary depending on the time of year. Please complete the Group Tour Request form as early as possible.