How to Get Into Fordham University: Admissions Stats + Tips
- How Hard Is It to Get Into Fordham University?
- Average Academic Profile of Accepted Fordham University Students
- What is Fordham University Looking For?
- How To Improve Your Chances of Getting Into Fordham University?
- How To Apply To Fordham University
- Learn More About
Fordham University is home to two campuses—one in the Bronx and the other in Manhattan—which provides students access to both the school’s rigorous academics as well as all the opportunities afforded by living in one of the world’s great cities, New York. The combination of academic excellence and incredible location are two of the primary reasons why Fordham University is considered among the most prestigious Jesuit colleges in the country.
How Hard Is It to Get Into Fordham University?
Getting into Fordham University is challenging. Fordham received 46,160 applications for its Class of 2025 and extended admissions offers to 26,925 applicants, which equates to a 58% overall acceptance rate. Although Fordham’s acceptance rate is low, your chances of gaining admissions depend on the strength of your profile.
Collegevine can help you better understand your chances of acceptance at Fordham. Our free admissions calculator uses a variety of factors—like grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities—to estimate your odds of admission and provide tips to improve your profile.
Average Academic Profile of Accepted Fordham University Students
The average high school GPA of Fordham’s Class of 2025 is 3.77.
The middle 50% SAT score of Fordham’s Class of 2025 is 1340-1480 and its middle 50% ACT score is 30-34. Roughly 60% of applicants admitted to Fordham’s Class of 2025 did not submit standardized tests.
The majority of applicants admitted to Fordham’s Class of 2025 graduated near the top of their high school class—48% graduated in the top tenth of their high school and 84% graduated in the top quarter.
What is Fordham University Looking for?
This idea of “more”—magis—is an underpinning of a Jesuit education and is a core quality that Fordham is looking for in applicants. Fordham students push themselves to improve in every aspect of their lives, demanding “more” from themselves and working to improve their surrounding community. Fordham students are participants and actively pursue what they’re passionate about, whether it’s social justice, climate change, or family.
A Jesuit education is founded on the tradition of the cura personalis (the “whole person”), and a belief that a college’s role is not limited to a student’s academic success, but also their mental, physical, and spiritual health, as well as their growth as a member of the community. Consequently, Fordham wants students who are academically talented, but who also possess qualities like perseverance, integrity, and leadership.
How Fordham University Evaluates Applications
According to their 2019-2020 Common Data Set (Fordham has yet to publish its 2020-2021 Common Data Set), Fordham University considers the following factors “very important”:
- Course rigor
These factors are “important”:
- Extracurricular activities
- Volunteer work
- Work experience
These are “considered”:
- Class rank
- Test scores
- First generation
- Geographic location
- Racial/ethnic status
- Applicant interest
And these are “not considered”:
- Geographic location
- Religious affiliation
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Fordham University
1. Achieve at least a 3.77 average GPA while taking the most challenging classes available
GPA is “very important” to Fordham University admissions; the average high school GPA of its Class of 2025 was 3.77 and 48% of them graduated in the top tenth of their high school. To earn admission to Fordham, you’ll need great grades. Top-tier schools like Fordham use a tool known as the Academic Index to distinguish academically qualified applicants from those who are not. For your application to receive serious consideration, it’s critical to meet Fordham’s standard for Academic Index.
If you’re early in your high school career and your GPA is below Fordham’s threshold, there is still time to raise it—check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, however, it’s more difficult to increase your GPA and the easiest way to boost your Academic Index is to get high test scores.
Simply having great grades is not enough to wow Fordham’s admissions officers, you’ll need to earn them in the most challenging coursework available to you (course rigor is also “very important” to Fordham’s admissions process). It’s common for students admitted to highly selective schools like Fordham to have completed between five and 12 AP classes in high school.
2. Write engaging essays
Nearly every applicant to Fordham possesses an excellent academic profile. While establishing your academic bona fides is vital to gaining consideration, essays are the best area to separate yourself from other candidates and a factor Fordham considers “important” to admissions decisions. Fordham requires applicants to complete the essay part of the Common Application and also gives them the opportunity to craft a short (150-word max) response to the following prompt:
At Fordham, we expect students to care for and engage with their communities. Please share a specific instance in which you challenged yourself or stepped out of your comfort zone in order to impact your community (for example, your family, friend group, high school, or town). Or, share a way you hope to do so at Fordham.
The short answer essay is optional, but if you’re very interested in Fordham, you should plan on crafting a response. It’s an excellent opportunity to show how you fit at Fordham and how the college will benefit from admitting you. It also demonstrates your interest in the school—something Fordham “considers” when making admissions decisions. For help creating a compelling essay, check out our article, “How to Write the Fordham University Essays 2021-2022.”
3. Cultivate a strong extracurricular profile.
A Fordham education is built on nurturing the “whole person,” cura personalis, and extracurricular activities are the best way to show the university who you are outside of the classroom. Fordham views extracurriculars as “important” to admissions. It also highly values character, talent, volunteer work, and work experience, all of which are also “important” to admissions.
Not all extracurriculars are created equal and competitive applicants typically have a highly developed interest known as a “spike” along with one or two impressive extracurriculars (among a portfolio of several other activities). For example, an applicant who founded an organization or movement to fight against racism is a stronger candidate than one who took part in a Black Lives Matter march. Similarly, an applicant with an interest in STEM who won a National Science Foundation fellowship is more impressive than an applicant who was a member of their high school robotics club.
The four tiers of extracurriculars provide a good guide to understanding how colleges value your activities outside of the classroom and how they affect your odds of acceptance.
4. Get a really great recommendation
Recommendations are “important” to Fordham admissions. The university requires you to submit one recommendation, from either a teacher or counselor, but will accept additional recommendations. The person writing your recommendation should speak to your academics, but also provide a view of you as a member of your school community.
Because the recommendation plays a considerable role in Fordham admissions and distinguishing yourself from other applicants, it’s important to receive a persuasive one. The nine rules for requesting letters of recommendation from teachers provide a good guide to the process and cover everything from who to ask, when to ask, and what you need to do to get a great recommendation.
5. Aim for a 1480 SAT and 34 ACT
The middle 50% SAT/ACT scores of Fordham’s Class of 2025 are 1340-1480/30-34. The university only “considers” test scores and only about 40% of applicants admitted to Fordham’s Class of 2025 submit standardized test scores—however, a strong performance on the SAT or ACT is an excellent way to demonstrate that you’re academically qualified for Fordham. The closer you score to the high end of the middle 50% range, the better your odds of admission.
Fordham is test-optional for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 admission cycles and applicants are not penalized if they do not submit an SAT or ACT score. CollegeVine generally recommends submitting test scores if they’re within the middle 50% range of accepted students. You can get recommendations on whether or not you should apply test-optional using our free chancing engine.
Fordham superscores both the SAT and ACT and taking one of the exams two to three times is a proven strategy to maximize your overall score. To improve your SAT/ACT score, 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
6. Apply Early Action/Early Decision
Fordham University has three admissions processes: Early Decision (ED), Early Action (EA), and Regular Decision (RD). Applying ED can significantly improve your odds of admission. For example, the 52% ED acceptance rate of Fordham’s Class of 2024 was quite a bit higher than its 46% overall acceptance rate.
Applying Early Decision at Fordham is not without its drawbacks. Most notably, applying ED is binding, and when you apply through it, you’re committing to attend Fordham if accepted, which makes it best suited to applicants who are positive that Fordham is where they want to attend college.
Early Action is a good alternative if you’re not prepared to commit to Fordham. It demonstrates your interest—which the college considers—but doesn’t tie you to the school if accepted.
How to Apply to Fordham University
Fordham University accepts the Common Application. Other requirements include:
- High school transcript
- Letter of recommendation
- SAT/ACT scores (optional)
- Fordham writing supplement (optional)
Learn more about Fordham University
Interested in learning more about Fordham? Check out these other informative articles:
- What is Fordham University Known for?
- What Does it Really Cost to Attend Fordham University?
- All 27 Jesuit Colleges: Which is Right for You?
- The 10 Most Underrated Colleges for Business/Economics in the U.S.
- 22 Top Colleges Without Greek Life
Want to know your chances at Fordham? Calculate your chances for free right now.