How to Get Into Case Western: Admissions Stats + Tips
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- How Hard Is It to Get Into Case Western?
- Average Academic Profile of Accepted Case Western Students
- What is Case Western Looking For?
- How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Case Western
Case Western Reserve University is a private university located in Cleveland, Ohio, known for its world-class research.
Case Western has an excellent engineering program, and they offer over 140 dual-degree programs to prepare students for their post-college careers. They provide over 200 student organizations and have an undergraduate population of just over 5,000 students.
Case Western is a highly-ranked school with a competitive admissions process. To be accepted, you must have a solid academic profile and a well-rounded application. In this post, we’ll review the average academic profile of Case Western students, note important factors the admissions committee will consider, share some tips for improving your chances, and more.
How Hard Is It to Get Into Case Western?
Case Western is a competitive school. Last year, out of the 29,084 students who applied, only 8,804 were accepted, giving the school a 30% admissions rate.
While Case Western’s acceptance rate is low, your chances of acceptance may be higher or lower depending on the strength of your academic profile.
To gain an understanding of your chances of acceptance at Case Western, use our free admissions calculator. This tool uses your grades, test scores, extracurriculars, and more to calculate your odds of acceptance at top schools, like Case Western. The tool will also give you tips on how to improve your academic profile.
Average Academic Profile of Accepted Case Western Students
The average high school GPA of the Case Western Class of 2025 is 3.75. The percentage of students with a 4.0 GPA is 7%, and 53% of students had a GPA between 3.75 and 3.99.
The middle 50% SAT scores for admitted Case Western students were 1350-1490. The median 50% for ACT scores is 31-34.
69% of students submitted SAT scores, while 49% of students submitted ACT scores. Case Western does not require students to submit ACT and SAT scores for the Fall 2022 semester, but the admissions committee will consider test scores if offered.
Out of the students accepted to Case Western for the 2020-2021 school year, 70% were in the top ten percent of their high school graduating class, and 95% of students graduated in the top quarter of their class.
What is Case Western Looking For?
Most students applying to Case Western are excelling academically. Although your grades and test scores are essential, it’s also critical to be a well-rounded individual to stand out to the admissions committee.
Case Western says they are looking for students who are “on the path to personal, intellectual and professional success.” This means that your life experiences and interests are just as meaningful as your high school courses and class rank.
How Case Western Evaluates Applications
According to their 2020-2021 Common Data Set, Case Western considers the following factors “very important”:
- Course rigor
- Academic GPA
- Class rank
- Extracurricular activities
These factors are “important”:
- Application essay
- Character/personal qualities
- Race/ethnic status
- Volunteer work
These are “considered”:
- Standardized test scores
- Alumni relation
- Work experience
- Level of applicant’s interest
And these are “not considered”:
- Geographical residence
- State residency
- Religious affiliation
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Case Western
1. Achieve at least a 3.75 GPA while taking the most challenging classes available
Since the average GPA of students accepted to Case Western for the 2020-2021 school year was 3.75, you’ll want to focus on maintaining a GPA that meets or exceeds these requirements to increase your chances of admission.
The reason why it’s crucial to maintain a competitive GPA is a tool called the Academic Index. The Academic Index is used by selective schools, like Case Western, to determine if applicants have enough academic success to move to the next step in the admissions process. If your transcript lacks the necessary academic qualifications, it’s unlikely you will make it past the Academic Index.
While it’s essential to keep your GPA high, it’s also crucial to challenge yourself with rigorous courses. Consider taking AP classes or honors classes to make your transcript extra competitive.
If your GPA is lower, and you’re earlier on in your high school career, check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior in high school, it will be harder to improve your GPA, so the easiest way to increase your Academic Index is to get a higher test score.
2. Aim for a 1490 SAT and 34 ACT
Last year, the middle 50% SAT scores for admitted students at Case Western was 1350-1490, and the middle 50% for ACT scores was 31-34. 69% of students submitted SAT scores, while 49% of students submitted ACT scores.
It’s important to note that Case Western is test-optional for students entering in the fall of 2021, 2022, and 2023. In light of COVID-19 test-optional policies, we recommend taking the test if you can safely.
According to this year’s Common Data Set, we recommend submitting your SAT score to Case Western if it’s a 1350 or above and your ACT score of 31 or above. You can use our free chancing engine to help you determine whether or not you should use your test scores in your application.
To improve your SAT or ACT scores, check out these free CollegeVine resources:
- How to Get a Perfect 1600 Score on the SAT
- How to Get a Perfect 36 Score on the ACT
- More SAT Info and Tips
- More ACT Info and Tips
3. Cultivate at least one or two Tier 1-2 extracurriculars (find your “spike”)
Even though all extracurriculars demonstrate your interests and passions, certain types of extracurriculars can help your application stand out to the admissions committee. And since Case Western considers your extracurriculars as “very important” during the admissions process, you should focus heavily on developing your list of extracurriculars.
At CollegeVine, we’ve created a rating system called the Four Tiers of Extracurriculars to help you understand how each type of extracurricular is evaluated. When you’re applying to competitive schools like Case Western, we recommend becoming involved in a few Tier one and two extracurriculars. Here’s a look at what these types include:
Tier 1 activities include prestigious leadership positions, like being chosen to attend an esteemed summer program or receiving national recognition for academic or athletic achievement.
Tier 2 activities include more common achievements that still demonstrate exceptional leadership, like being your school’s student body president or earning the all-state selection for your school band.
We recommend focusing heavily on a related set of extracurriculars (a highly-developed interest known as a “spike“) rather than participating in several unrelated activities. For example, starting and leading a book club at your school and winning a national essay contest demonstrates that you’re interested in literature and writing.
4. Write engaging essays
Your essays are one of the best ways to stand out and showcase your unique personality during the admissions process. Try to demonstrate your alignment with the school, and also weave in the factors that Case Western considers to be “important” for admission, like your talents and abilities, character qualities, race and ethnic status, and volunteer work you’ve been involved in during high school.
Read our tips for writing the Case Western essays for the 2021-2022 school year!
5. Apply early decision or early action
Case Western has both early decision and early action plans. They also have two phases of early decision admissions. Case Western’s early action plan does not inhibit students from applying to other schools’ early action plans. However, early decision students must be committed to going to Case Western if they are accepted.
Typically, students who apply early decision and early action are more likely to be accepted than students who apply by the regular decision deadline. Generally speaking, early decision students are 10-12% more likely to be accepted than regular decision students, and early action students are 4-6% more likely to be accepted. For a school with an admissions rate of 30%, applying early action or early decision can make a big difference!
However, keep in mind that there are some limitations to applying for the early decision deadline. Read this blog to determine if the early decision plan is right for you.
6. Prepare for your interview
Interviews are optional for Case Western applicants, but they are highly recommended and deemed “important” by the admissions staff. Interviews are also a great way to display your personality and credentials in a one-on-one setting.
Case Western recommends that students do the following during/while preparing for their interview:
- Ask questions that demonstrate your interest in Case Western.
- Anticipate questions the interviewer might ask you. Here is a list of common college interview questions to prepare for.
- Know where you are going when you arrive for your interview.
- Dress professionally but in a way that is comfortable and matches your style.
- Arrive early to fill out paperwork and explore the campus.
- Follow up with the person who interviewed you by sending them a thank you note or email.
7. Request great letters of recommendation
Case Western considers letters of recommendation to be an “important” part of the admissions process. Before you start collecting letters of recommendation, read these tips on how to request an excellent letter of recommendation from a teacher or academic counselor.
How to Apply to Case Western
Early Decision I
Pre-Professional Scholars Program
Early Decision II
Students can apply to Case Western using the Common Application or Coalition Application. You’ll also need the following:
- Official high school transcript
- Transcripts from other universities
- Official SAT or ACT scores (optional)
- $70 application fee
- Optional portfolio
Learn more about Case Western