Admission Review Factors

At Maryland, we value all of your strengths and talents. We know there is more to you than grades and SAT scores. While they are important, we also want to know about your interests and background and what makes you unique.

The University of Maryland admission review process is guided by the principles outlined in the Statement of the Philosophy of Undergraduate Admissions. In keeping with this philosophy, admission review factors have been identified that will allow the Admission Committee to identify those applicants, who as individuals and as a group, will enrich and benefit from the campus learning environment, and thus benefit the entire student body.

The undergraduate admissions process is rigorous and individualized. As the University must make fine distinctions among large numbers of highly qualified applicants, the ability to assess consistently all information presented in the application becomes increasingly important. Therefore, the University employs a holistic review process that engages the expertise of professional educators whose judgments--based upon consideration of each applicant’s credentials measured by all admissions criteria--build an entering class that will best complement the existing student body and meet the University’s mission objectives.

In this context, academic merit is assessed on the basis of each applicant’s achievements and potential in a broad range of academic categories, as influenced by the opportunities and challenges faced by the applicant. These categories include:

  • Educational Performance
  • Potential for College Success
  • Potential to Promote Beneficial Educational Outcomes and to Contribute to Campus and Community Life
  • Students’ Persistence and Commitment to Educational Success.

Each category is assessed by a combination of quantitative and qualitative factors. These factors are flexibly applied, so the listing does not reflect order of importance.

  • High School Achievement
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Grades in Academic Subjects
  • Special Talents or Skills
  • Progression of Performance
  • Community Involvement
  • Breadth of Life Experiences
  • Community Service
  • Geographic Origin
  • Demonstrated Leadership
  • Gender
  • Learning Differences
  • SAT I or ACT Scores
  • Quality of Coursework
  • Work Experience
  • Residency Status
  • Recognition of Special Achievements
  • Race
  • Extenuating Circumstances
  • Ethnicity
  • Socio-Economic Background
  • Family Educational Background
  • Written Expression of Ideas
    (as demonstrated in the essay)
  • Academic Endeavors Outside
    of the Classroom
  • Rank in Class
    (actual or percentile)
  • English as a Second Language /
    Language Spoken at Home














To view a PDF of the above information, please click here.




In addition to test scores and transcripts, we’ll review your letters of recommendation, essay and short-answer responses and activities résumé. Our thorough review process considers more than 26 factors.

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