Tufts University Acceptance Rate & Admissions Requirements

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Tufts University, located just outside of Boston in the town of Medford, MA, is a thriving example of all the things a great mid-sized school can offer. With an undergraduate enrollment of 5,541, it provides mostly-small class sizes (70% of classes have fewer than 20 students) while still providing extensive graduate offerings such as the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and the highly ranked School of Medicine. Its suburban setting means students enjoy a 150-acre campus within a stone’s throw of Boston, and many take advantage of the extensive Boston public transportation system.


Students who are interested in Tufts tend to be drawn by its strong academics. It is not known for its athletic teams (though the men’s soccer team did just win the NCAA Division III championship) or for any wild parties (though there probably are some). Instead, it is known for the caliber of its coursework and the students who complete it. Tufts prides itself particularly on attracting students who are dedicated to changing the world in a positive way, whether it’s through environmental studies, social activism, or other avenues.


Want to learn what Tufts University will actually cost you based on your income? And how long your application to the school should take? Here’s what every student considering Tufts University needs to know.


If you’re interested in becoming a Tufts Jumbo, don’t miss this post!


Applying to Tufts: A Quick Review


Tufts University accepts the Common Application, the Coalition Application, and the QuestBridge Application. There is no preference for one application over the other, so you should submit whichever you feel is the best fit for you.


First-year applicants to Tufts choose from Early Decision I, Early Decision II, and Regular Decision. The deadline for ED I is November 1st, while the deadline for both ED II and Regular Decision is January 1st. If you’re having trouble choosing amongst the options, be sure to check out our post Early Decision vs. Early Action vs. Restrictive Early Action.


To complete your application to Tufts, you’ll also need to submit:


  • Tufts writing supplement
  • Official high school transcript
  • Counselor letter of recommendation
  • One teacher letter of recommendation from a teacher in a junior or senior year major academic course (math, natural science, social science, English, or a foreign language)
  • Official SAT or ACT scores (the writing sections are not required)
  • Art Portfolio (Required only for applicants to the BFA or Combined Degree BFA + BA/BS programs at the SMFA at Tufts. More information available here.)
  • $75 nonrefundable application fee or fee waiver


Tufts does not require SAT Subject Tests. These scores may be submitted, but Tufts is careful to note that “sending them will not increase a student’s likelihood of admission.”


Tufts does offer optional alumni interviews, conducted by members of the Tufts Admissions Network or a member of their senior interviewer team. These are either offered locally or via Skype. Tufts does not offer on-campus interviews or interviews with any members of the admissions team. Students interested in an interview may request one through the Application Checklist on the Tufts Status Page, after submitting the application.


The Acceptance Rate at Tufts is 14.6%


There’s no doubt that admissions to Tufts are competitive, and they are getting increasingly so. In 2016, it accepted 16% of applicants. In 2018, just 14.6% were accepted. Tufts’ acceptance rate places it on par with other selective schools like Colorado College (15%), and Georgetown University (14.5%)


Tufts received 21,501 total applications for spots in the class of 2022. Of these, 3,143 were ultimately accepted. 1,543 ended up enrolling as first-year students for the 2018-2019 school year.


So, How Does One Get Into Tufts?


Strong applicants to Tufts start with a stellar academic record, but their accolades certainly don’t stop there. Typical admits also boast impressive extracurriculars and shine through essays and recommendations.


Test scores from the ACT or SAT are required of applicants to Tufts, and they typically don’t fail to impress. 75% of last year’s admits submitting SAT scores had composite scores of 1410 or higher. 75% of admits submitting ACT scores had scores of 32 or higher.


Tufts does not provide information about class rank or GPAs for admitted students, but it’s safe to assume that these are on par with other, similarly selective colleges. This means that most admits will rank within the top 10% of their graduating class and have the corresponding GPA to prove it.


Tufts also boasts an impressive yield rate. This means that it garners a larger than average percentage of accepted students into its incoming class. For example, at Colorado College where the acceptance rate is similar, 42% of accepted students claimed a spot in the incoming class. At Tufts though, nearly 50% of admitted students ended up enrolling. How does Tufts secure such a high yield rate? This is a signature component of their admissions process: Tufts wants to accept students who will ultimately enroll. We’ll discuss this more in the section below about how you can make your Tufts application stand out.

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How To Make Your Tufts Application Stand Out


Consider Early Decision. If your heart is set on Tufts, there is no better choice for you than applying Early Decision, and the earlier you submit, the better. Approximately half of its incoming classes are composed of ED applicants, and the acceptance rate for ED applicants is comfortably over 30%. To read more about ED at Tufts, check out their article The early bird applicant: Trends in early admissions at Tufts.


Express Interest. One way that Tufts protects its high yield rate is by carefully considering how likely each applicant is to ultimately attend Tufts. If you have great test scores, a near-perfect GPA, and stellar recommendations, you might think you’re a shoo-in, but the Tufts admissions committee may worry that you have your sights set on the Ivy League or other more selective schools. To increase your chances, you need to express your specific interest in Tufts. You can do this through your essay and your interview, and by attending information sessions with admissions representatives.


Tufts offers this specific advice about expressing your interest:


If you can visit campus, meet us if we visit your high school or come say hello at a college fair, we will appreciate the fact that you are making the effort to get to know Tufts and assess whether it is a good fit for you. If you write fabulous, specific responses to our supplemental questions (particularly “Why Tufts?”) based on research you did online, we notice, and it helps. So when thinking about showing demonstrated interest, please be purposeful.


Shine on Your Essay. Tufts places a lot of emphasis on the essay portions of your application. This includes both the regular Common App essays, and the additional Tufts writing supplement. You should give these the appropriate amount of care and attention. Be creative, be yourself, and be especially thorough during your editing process. In addition, use your essay as a chance to show exactly why you really want to attend Tufts. Because the essay is weighed so carefully, Tufts provides specific tips and examples of successful essays on their page Past Essays that Mattered.


What If You Get Rejected?


We know, it’s a huge disappointment to get rejected from a college you wanted to attend. In fact, it even stinks to get rejected from a college you’re not sure you wanted to attend. But rest assured, you’re not alone and you still have plenty of options left.


Tufts does accept transfer students, but transfer admissions are still even more selective, with an acceptance rate of about 10%. So, you shouldn’t rely on getting in as a transfer. Instead, you should enroll at a school you’ll know you’ll be happy at, and if you still really want to transfer a year or two later, you can consider it an option at that point.


You can find more information about applying to transfer to Tufts on their page Applying to Tufts as a Transfer Applicant. Here, you’ll notice that many of the application requirements are the same, but that Tufts also specifically requests specific information about your college courses and grades. In addition, the admissions committee reminds transfer applicants that they “are looking for students to articulate their maturity and growth since entering college in their applications. Accordingly, if you are reapplying to Tufts, we expect a fresh set of essays that reflect who you are now.” In other words, don’t apply to transfer using the same essays that you applied with the first time around.


Your best bet after a rejection from Tufts is usually to set your sights elsewhere. This can be a tough pill to swallow, but remember, it’s not where you go to college that matters, but what you do with your time there. For our advice on adjusting to life at a college that wasn’t your first choice, read our post Envisioning a New Future: Preparing for Life at Your Second-Choice (or Third, or Fourth) School.



For more information on applying to Tufts and other colleges, check out these posts:

The Ultimate Guide to Applying to Tufts

A User’s Guide to the Common App

Does Demonstrated Interest Matter?

How College Applications Are Evaluated


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Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.