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Admission Process

Admission review is not just about comparing the test scores and grades presented by applicants. Our holistic review of your application considers all aspects of your background and finds students for whom Christopher Newport is the right fit.

Overall academic record

We expect to see a record of academic success and consider factors such as the context of your school, the difficulty level in your courses and trends in your grades. We consider the varying academic environments at different schools, as well as your extracurricular involvement.

Cumulative GPA

We use the cumulative GPA provided by your high school. If your school does not use a 4.0 scale, we recalculate your GPA based on a 4.0 scale. The middle 50 percent high school GPA range for our freshman class is 3.5–4.0 (4.0 scale).

Class rank

We only consider class rank if it is provided by your high school.

Rigor of course curriculum

We look for completion of the Advanced Studies Diploma for Virginia public schools or demonstrated success in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, dual enrollment, honors or similarly advanced work in a college preparatory curriculum.

Grade trends

Are your grades consistent year to year? Did you have a rocky start in ninth grade? Have your grades improved each year? Or are they on a downward slope? If there is a glaring inconsistency in your grades, we encourage you to give an explanation in the additional information section on the Common Application.


If you submit both the ACT and SAT, we will consider the highest equivalent score when making an admission decision. Your SAT will be based on “super scoring” your highest Critical Reading and Math sub scores (for test dates prior to March 2016) or Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math (new SAT) sub scores.

We consider an applicant’s highest ACT composite score. For enrolling students last year, the middle 50 percent range on the old SAT was 1080–1240. An equivalent range on the new SAT would be 1150–1310. The ACT composite middle 50 percent range was 23–27.


Students who achieve at least a 3.5 GPA in a rigorous college-prep curriculum, or who rank in the top 10 percent of their graduating class, may apply as test-optional.

Additional factors

We also seek students with demonstrated leadership ability, a commitment to service and pride in their communities, exemplary talents, and diverse life experiences. Recommendations, essays and interviews allow the admission committee to recognize these personal qualities.

  • Essay: An essay or personal statement is required by the Common Application. It should be approximately 250-500 words but no longer than 650 words. Two additional short-answer essays are required for scholarship consideration for the President’s Leadership and Honors Programs.
  • Recommendations (strongly encouraged): Send 1-3 recommendations, preferably from your school counselor and core-subject teachers.
  • Personal interview (strongly encouraged): An interview is a great opportunity to distinguish yourself as an applicant and demonstrate your interest in Christopher Newport. Interviews are available to seniors June–March and last about 30 minutes. Interviews are required for President's Leadership Program and Honors Program scholarship consideration.

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