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Sweet Briar College Application Essay

One of the best things about students at Sweet Briar is that there is no “typical Sweet Briar student.” We value diversity and all sorts of personalities and talents. Sweet Briar women are smart, witty, curious and driven. No matter your abilities, when you graduate you’ll leave as self-directed and independent — a strong leader for your community and our world. You will become known for your confidence, courage and grit. You’ll be viewed as a woman of consequence.

For admission we review applications holistically, meaning we consider more than just grades and test scores. We evaluate your:

  • High school courses taken and their academic levels (AP/IB/DE, honors, accelerated, etc.);
  • Academic performance;
  • SAT/ACT test scores;
  • Secondary School Report and recommendations;
  • Extracurricular activities and community service; and
  • College essay.

Class of 2021*


  • 23 States
  • The Republic of China


  • 15% legacies
  • 24% identified as a minority
  • 18% first-generation college students
  • 31% student-athletes


  • Average GPA: 3.34
  • SAT: Math 510, Verbal 561, Combined 1071
  • ACT: 23.6

*Pre-census data. Official data will be updated in November.
**Scores represent the averages of the Class of 2021. They are not minimum requirements.

Admissions Blog: If you’re a junior in high school, do these 5 things now

March 9, 2018

Your junior year of high school is an important time in your college search. Here are five tips from the admissions staff at Sweet Briar College to help you get organized and prepare for the adventure that lies ahead.

Admissions Blog: How to get the most out of Sweet Briar’s riding program

March 2, 2018

Whether you choose to ride or not, horses are quintessential to the Sweet Briar experience. The friendly animals and serene setting make the barn nearly impossible to resist, which explains why nearly 30 percent of students are involved with the riding center.

Admissions Blog: I might have been an engineer

February 23, 2018

When I was in high school, I was a girl who was good at math. I soared through AP calculus, I scored higher on the math section than the verbal section of the SAT, and I was even on the math team (although not the only female, proudly).

Admissions Blog: Building bridges to South Korea

February 16, 2018

One of my favorite things about being an admissions counselor is getting to travel to new places and talk about Sweet Briar. I was ecstatic when I was given the opportunity to travel to South Korea to attend the American International Education Foundation Spring 2018 Education Fair.

Admissions Blog: “I’m a minority student. Why should I come to Sweet Briar?”

February 9, 2018

Having found a home at Sweet Briar, sophomore DaZané Cole and first-year Ajhani Oxendine have a million answers to the question we often hear at college fairs.

Admissions Blog: My day at the United Nations

February 2, 2018

In September, I attended a United Nations panel discussion on youth innovation. It was an experience I will never forget.

Admissions Blog: Why I’m glad I’m attending a women’s college

January 26, 2018

When looking for a college, I wanted a place that felt like home. I wanted a place where I would not get lost in a sea of students, and where my professors would notice if I skipped class.

Admissions Blog: Top 5 campus resources at Sweet Briar

January 19, 2018

There are many perks to attending a small liberal arts college. Here’s a big one: endless resources. I have never felt like I couldn’t ask for help when I had a question, or an assignment I just couldn’t seem to wrap my head around.

Admissions Blog: 5 things to know about applying to Sweet Briar

January 12, 2018

We love reading applications. They are a rare window into understanding who you are.

Admissions Blog: Why I transferred to Sweet Briar from a large school

January 5, 2018

For many of our students, Sweet Briar was love at first sight — and not just because of our stunning campus. They immediately knew that our tight-knit community, small classes and dedicated professors would be just the right fit.

Admissions Blog: How women become leaders at Sweet Briar

December 22, 2017

Imagine a place where every student leadership position is filled by a woman. A place where women are encouraged to work hard — in the classroom, in the library and laboratory, on the playing field, in the board room, and every place in between.

Admissions Blog: 5 reasons Sweet Briar made the top of my list

December 15, 2017

I toured about 25 colleges before my senior year even started, and then applied to 16 schools. Sweet Briar blew all the others out of the water. Here are five of the categories I used to assess each school.

Admissions Blog: My home away from home — Studying at Sweet Briar as an international student

December 8, 2017

Wanting to leave home and travel 8,000 miles for college cannot be a spontaneous decision. There was a lot that went into it for me. Would I get to study what I want? Would I be able to make friends?

Admissions Blog: 5 things you can do right now to be ready for college

December 1, 2017

Your senior year of high school might feel a little frantic. But there are things you can do now to set yourself up for success — and peace of mind — before you get to college.

Admissions Blog: Top 10 things I wish someone had told me about applying to college

November 17, 2017

Applying to college can be stressful, and there are so many things to think about. And then, there’s the stuff you shouldn’t sweat — like what everybody else wants you to do. Here’s what I wish I had known when I was a high school senior.

Admissions Blog: How to write an amazing admissions essay

November 10, 2017

When I was a senior in high school, I was obsessed with getting into all the colleges to which I applied (16). As a result, I wrote college essays constantly and stressed myself out more than was ever required.

Admissions Blog: My life in 3-D

November 3, 2017

Forty-two applications later I figured there must be at least one company that wants to hire me. I was looking to work as an engineer in the 3-D printing industry over the summer.

Admissions Blog: My 5 favorite campus tour spots

October 26, 2017

Over the course of my time as an admissions ambassador, I have given many tours, but every tour is always a little different because I base it on the visiting students and their interests.

Admissions Blog: What it’s like to be a student-athlete at Sweet Briar

October 20, 2017

Becoming a Sweet Briar woman is life-changing in and of itself, but becoming a student-athlete here takes that experience to a whole new level.

Admissions Blog: Top five highlights of my summer in Oxford

October 13, 2017

This past summer, I attended the Virginia Program at Oxford (VPO) at St. Anne’s College in the University of Oxford. It was six weeks of Shakespeare, tutorials and traveling.

Admissions Blog: How to make sure you’re getting all the financial aid you need

October 5, 2017

Financial aid comes in many shapes and forms, and it can come from several sources: federal, state, foundations, the community, or the College itself. All of them help you meet your college expenses.

Admissions Blog: My 5 favorite Sweet Briar traditions

September 28, 2017

Sweet Briar’s traditions are the heart and soul of the campus. They connect us to the school’s vibrant history and build community.

Admissions Blog: 100 ways (okay, maybe 10) to bond with your professors

September 21, 2017

Let’s face it. At most universities, you are a number. You are one person seated among dozens — or even hundreds — of students in every class you take.

Admissions Blog: Why the liberal arts? Let’s start with what it really means

September 15, 2017

Among the trademarks of a Sweet Briar woman are her wide-ranging interests. This is what a liberal arts college looks like.

Admissions Blog: Why an open house is a great way to explore Sweet Briar

September 8, 2017

So you’re looking at Sweet Briar and you’re excited to come to campus and visit — or you’re not completely sold and still have some questions.

Admissions Blog: 11 questions with Dean Allen

September 1, 2017

Bill Allen is a numbers cruncher and strategic thinker. But there’s a lot you may not know about Sweet Briar’s dean of admissions and financial aid.