Evaluations, Notifications, Acceptance, & Policies

- Frequently Asked Questions -

General Rolling Admissions Process and Early Decision Option

The Office of Admissions offers two options for you to apply to our law school. If you select to apply under our General Rolling Admissions Process you may submit your application starting September 1 through the priority deadline of March 1. The Committee on Admissions reviews these files on a rolling basis. Decisions are made on a weekly basis late October through May. Not all applicants who applied early in the regular process will receive the first decisions. If your academic record places you towards the middle of our applicant pool, our admissions committee may hold your file to compare it with more of our applicants.

If you select to apply under our binding Early Decision Option which offers you the option to apply for either the December (must take LSAT by October) or January (must take LSAT by December) decision deadlines. To review the requirements and decision timeline for the Early Decision Option please click here.

Evaluation & Notification

Your file is complete when we receive your complete application, personal statement, CAS report, and at least one letter of recommendation. Files are reviewed as they are completed, beginning in October and continuing into May.

Beyond the LSAT and undergraduate cumulative grade point average, the admissions committee will evaluate your transcript and consider factors such as a marked improvement in grades, degree of difficulty of your major, employment during college, activities that indicate proven leadership ability or community service, graduate education, work experience, and other measures of professional achievement and personal and intellectual maturity.

We shall notify you in writing of a final decision on your application as soon as it is made.


Upon acceptance for admission, you will need to submit a tuition deposit of $900.00 by April 15th or by your deposit deadline . If you receive a merit scholarship, your deposit is due by the designated deadline in your scholarship award letter . Your seat deposit must be made within the specified time, or you will forfeit your place in the entering class. The deposit is credited against fall semester tuition charges. We will enclose complete instructions with your admission letter.

Seat Deposit Partial Refund Policy
A partial seat deposit refund is available to non-matriculating candidates who meet the following requirements:
1. You were not offered admission through our Early Decision Option.
2. You were not offered admission off the waiting list.
3. You were not a transfer or visitor candidate.
4. You did not defer your admission from a previous year and were not granted a deferment for this year.
5. You were not a Public Interest/Public Service Scholarship recipient.
6. You have submitted the Not Attending Notifcation Form via the web www.wcl.american.edu/admiss/not_attending/form.cfm
7. If the Admissions Office receives this form no later than June 30, 2017 5:00pm EDT, a $450.00 refund is available.  Please note failure to submit this form electronically by the June 30, 2017 5:00pm EDT deadline will result in a forfeiture of all deposit funds.

You will also need to submit an official transcript from the college or university where you earned an undergraduate degree. This transcript must be sent directly to us from the issuing schools and must show the date the degree was awarded. During the summer, we will send preregistration materials to those of you who have provisionally reserved a place in the entering class by payment of the tuition deposits. Return of these materials by the due date is a precondition of registration in the entering class. We will assume that you have withdrawn if we do not receive your preregistration materials by the due date.

Deferment Policy

If you are accepted for admission to the law school and cannot matriculate in the entering class, you may
request a deferment of your admission to the following year. Each request is reviewed on its individual
merits and deferments are not automatically granted.

Deferment Request Requirements
1. Deferments are NOT granted to applicants accepted Early Decision or from the waiting list.
2. Requests for deferment are considered only after submitting a deposit by the deadline & before orientation.
3. Must be sent via email to your assigned Admissions Counselor.
4. Must specify the reasons for seeking the deferment.
5. Deferments are only granted for one year.
6. Scholarships and/or grants cannot be retained but deferred candidates will be re-evaluated for scholarships
in the spring of their deferred year and can reapply for grants by submitting the grant application by March
1st of their deferred year.
7. Granted deferments are final and your seat in the current entering year class will be forfeited.
8. If your deferment request is denied you will still have the option to enroll in the fall semester of the year
you initially applied.

If Deferment is Approved
1. You will be required to sign a binding agreement certifying: You will not apply to, attend or hold a deferment at another law school. Violations of the aforementioned terms will result in the deferment being summarily revoked.
2. You will be required to pay a second seat deposit of $900 on April 15 of your deferred year. Both deposits
will be credited towards your first-year tuition, but if for any reason you are unable to enroll with the class to
which you were granted a deferment, neither deposit is refundable.
3. An Intent to Enroll form will be sent in December and must be returned with the $70.00 fee by the
4. Current admissions materials/information will be sent once the fee and Intent to Enroll form is received.

Please click here to review a PDF copy of the deferment policy. If you have questions regarding the policy, please contact the Admissions Office at 202-274-4101 or wcladmit@wcl.american.edu.

Waiting List Information

Unfortunately, due to the size of our application pool and limited class size we are unable to offer admission to all applicants who impress the Committee on Admissions. Although each year is different, historically the Washington College of Law admits a number of candidates from the waiting list during the late spring and throughout the summer. The waiting list is not ranked and selected candidates are contacted via email and/or telephone. If an applicant is offered a place on the waiting list and wishes to remain in consideration, he/she must submit the Waiting List Reply Form. Please click here for further details on our Waiting List Requirements.

Full-Time Students Beginning in the Part-Time Division

After careful consideration of an applicant's file, the Committee on Admissions will sometimes accept into the part-time program applicants who have applied to enter as full-time students. This decision is reached after a thorough review of the academic transcripts, LSAT score(s), and other material included for consideration. Another factor that plays a significant role is a view of our applicant pool as a whole. The part-time program allows applicants to begin law school carrying a lighter course load for the first year. Transferring into the full-time program after completion of the first year in academic good standing (C average or better) is accomplished with a request to the dean of students. Law school can be completed in three years by attending two summer sessions. Required second-year course work will be completed in the evening when a transfer of divisions is granted.

Consumer Information

For information regarding the admissions profile for the entering class; tuition and fees; enrollment data; bar passage rate; employment outcomes; and more, please view this Consumer Information web page.