Is there an SAT or ACT requirement? 

Yes. Applicants must score at least a 20 composite on the ACT, or a 1030 on the SAT.

What kind of grades do students have to earn in high school?

We prefer students who have taken the college preparatory course of study, earned at least a 3.0 grade point average, and who rank in the top 50% of the class.  We prefer students who have earned above average grades in high school English. Please see . The focus of the College toward college prep is geared primarily toward English, math, science, and history/social studies.

My student’s ACT is below 20? Will he be denied?

Students who score below 20 are not automatically denied. Although we consider all academic information and reference letters when assessing academic fit, applicants are strongly encouraged to present at least a 20 composite score. The average score for entering freshman is consistently 22 or higher.

My student has a learning or physical disability; what do we do?

See the section on Students with Disabilities.

How do students get credit for courses taken for college credit during high school?

Students must send an official transcript from the college which gave the credit for the course.  The high school transcript is not sufficient.  Students may hand-carry the transcript to the registrar; however, it must be in the properly sealed envelope and state clearly that it is not a student copy. Sometimes the Registrar’s office will not have received information regarding dual enrollment or other transfer courses before the schedule is made.  Make sure to notify the registrar so the courses scheduled will not be repeat courses. Students who wish to have dual credit composition courses considered for transfer must pass the College's proficiency exam.

Does the College accept Advanced Placement or CLEP credits?

See Advanced Placement / CLEP credit policy.

Do you accept transfer students?

Yes, we consider and accept transfer students. 

Is it difficult to be admitted?

Statistically, yes. However, those who have outstanding credentials and meet our admissions requirements, and complete the admissions process while there are vacancies, may not find it difficult. Candidates who are not as academically competitive, who do not demonstrate as much financial need as others, and/or who complete the admissions process late may find it difficult to be admitted.

How many applications do you receive each year, and how many students do you admit?

Each year we receive at least 4,000 applications; we admit approximately 400 students for the fall term.

Is there an application deadline?

We have an initial target date by which students complete the admissions process. December 31 is our initial consideration date. Meeting this date does not guarantee admission. It demonstrates how serious an applicant is about attending C of O.  Students who complete the admissions process after this date will be considered, as space is available. We continue to admit until all vacancies are filled.

Is the admissions process different for out of state students?

No, it is not different for out-of-state students. But, keep in mind, the College was founded to primarily serve students from the Ozarks. As space is available, the College considers students from outside the Ozarks region.

What about international students?

We accept a small number of international students each year.

How do candidates get instructions and forms that are required for the application process?

After we receive an application, we will send applicants an email which contains login instructions to obtain a list of documents and instructions necessary to complete the application process. 

When will I know if I am admitted?

The admission process outlined for you in the instructions, provided when you began the admissions process, must be complete before the admissions committee can review your file.  After your process is complete, students should expect to receive a decision in the mail within six weeks. Decisions may take longer in some cases.

I’m afraid I won’t show financial need; what are my chances for admission?

We do not stipulate odds for admission.  However, we can tell you that if you believe you will not demonstrate financial need, you should complete your admissions process in advance of the priority consideration date.  Positions for non-need students fill very early.

What are my student’s chances of being admitted?

We do not stipulate odds for admission. For students who do not demonstrate as much financial need, it is more difficult to gain admission. For students who are not as academically competitive, it is more difficult to gain admission. The College has space for approximately 400 new freshmen each fall; we typically have at least 4,000 applications for these positions. Students who are serious about gaining admission should complete the admissions process by or before the initial consideration date of December 31, for the following academic year.

When should my student apply for admission?

Students should apply the beginning of their senior year. We recommend students submit the high school transcript and ACT scores at this time (and all other information required for the process). We utilize this information to schedule interviews with candidates.

What do you consider when selecting the 10% non-need category?

There are approximately 40 positions available in the non-need category. We consider level of financial need, excellent academics and ACT scores, leadership, and service.

Is it true there is a waiting list for admission?

Yes, there is an annual waiting list. After all spaces are filled for the academic year, academically eligible students are placed on a waiting list. The waiting list is maintained for both fall and spring semesters. After the spring semester begins, the waiting list is purged. Candidates may reapply for admission if they so choose. Click here for more information on the waiting list.

Should we wait until we have everything completed before we send in the admissions requirements?

Send paperwork in as you complete it; this demonstrates that you are actively working on your admissions process. You may fax documents, but always follow with original copies.  Applicants should send in admissions materials on an ongoing basis. If they wait until they have all materials gathered before making contact, it could be perceived that their interest level is low. Remember, we contact students regarding interviews after receipt of high school transcripts and ACT scores; waiting to send this information in could result in a late interview appointment. We book interview slots quickly!

Does it help to have an alumni reference?

Not necessarily. While we appreciate hearing from our alumni with regard to prospective students, the content of the reference information typically carries more weight. We prefer that references come from personnel that are familiar with candidates’ high school academic experiences or work experiences, and alumni may not always be familiar with candidates in these areas. If they are, we welcome their references. Alumni may have insight into an applicant’s character, and this information is appreciated in reference format.

When may I schedule an interview?

Admissions personnel will email eligible candidates to schedule the interview after they have submitted required documents. 

How should I prepare for the interview?

Basically, just be yourself and come prepared to talk about your life experiences; we really want to know who you are! Familiarize yourself with the College’s behavioral expectations and general policies, all available on our website in the College Catalog and Student Handbook. It is recommended that applicants dress professionally for the interview. As with any type of formal interview with any organization, applicants should familiarize themselves with organizational expectations and present themselves in accordance.

Does working at C of O pay for all the Tuition Assurance?

No. Of the actual Tuition Assurance, the work provided by the student pays about a quarter of this cost.  The College guarantees to meet the remainder of the cost that state or federal grants do not cover, by providing a scholarship to each student. Room and board is a separate cost.

Can only needy kids attend C of O?

The mission of the college is to serve academically-able students from the Ozarks region who demonstrate financial need. The college requires that 90% of the students demonstrate financial need.  Each year this requirement is waived for ten-percent of the entering students. It is more difficult, however, for non-need students to be admitted.

What do work hours pay for?

Students work 15 hours per week, and two 40-hour work-weeks during the academic year. These hours are applied to the Tuition Assurance which is $19,800 annually for the 2022-23 academic year. These work hours account for $6,720 of the Tuition Assurance, with state and federal grants (if students qualify), and a scholarship from the College covering the remainder. If students participate in the summer work program, these hours are applied toward room and board charges for the upcoming academic year. Students work one of two options: Twelve weeks at 40-hours per week, or six weeks at 40 hours per week. Under the first option, room and board is covered for the entire upcoming academic year, and under the second option only one semester is covered. Information about the Summer Work Education Scholarship is available on the C of O scholarships page, and information about the work program in general and summer work is available at work education

How do you determine financial need?

The College utilizes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine an applicant’s level of financial need. Many variables are considered on the FAFSA, including parent income, student income, family size, and number attending college. Extenuating circumstances are considered if the College is informed about them.

How do I submit my FAFSA?

We encourage you to submit the FAFSA online; instructions for doing so are provided upon application for admission, or online at How to Apply for Aid - New Student.

How do I apply for financial aid and scholarships?

When you apply for admission, you are applying for a scholarship. Full-time students are awarded a Tuition Assurance scholarship.  If you are admitted you may apply for a book scholarship online. Once you enroll, you may complete a general scholarship application (available on the scholarships page) for various scholarships that are available throughout the year.

What is the income cutoff for showing financial need?

The maximum amount of income allowed for an applicant to show need varies because each family has different circumstances; the FAFSA takes income, number in the family attending college, investments and other items into consideration when determining financial need.  We provide a conservative estimate of approximate income figures in the college catalog.

Can married students attend C of O? 

Yes. However, we do not have married student housing. Married students are responsible for finding off-campus housing.

How do students hear about C of O?

Many students hear about us from friends or relatives. The Admissions office also has representatives who travel to high schools in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Illinois. Many find C of O through research on the Internet and through national publicity.

Is it true that there is a dress code on campus?

The College has high standards for student conduct and appearance. All student behavioral and dress expectations are addressed in the Student Handbook.