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Domestic Applicant: Frequently Asked Questions
- How would you describe Soka?
- How can I get an application?
- How can I get a catalog?
- Who can attend Soka?
- I plan on applying to Soka for admission. How will you evaluate my application? Will you use only grades and test scores?
- Does Soka have application deadlines and an Early Action process?
- What are the demographic data on Soka's student body?
- I thought I would apply for Early Action, but I just couldn't get all of my recommendations (or other parts of the application) completed by October 15th. Do I need to start over for Regular Admission or can I just complete the already started application?
- I applied for Early Action and was not accepted. If my application was not denied and was rolled over to Regular Admission, can I make additions or changes to my application at that time?
- Where can I find the Soka University college code for SAT and ACT?
- If I took the SAT Before, do I still need to take the SAT 1 Reasoning Test?
- Is there a fee waiver available for the application?
- Does Soka accept prior college course work or transfer credit?
Soka University of America is a 4-year, private, non-profit liberal arts college located in Southern California. Soka is located about halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. It is founded on the Buddhist principles of peace, human rights and respect for the dignity of life and is open to top students of all nationalities and beliefs. It offers:
- 9:1 student/faculty ratio with an average class size of 16
- Eastern and Western perspectives taught across the non-sectarian curriculum
- Every student studies a foreign language
- Every student participates in a semester of study abroad in the junior year
There are three ways to apply for admission:
- Through The Common Application.
- Apply online through this web page, using the Soka Online Application.
- Download a PDF version of the Paper Application which you can view and print out using Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Soka's catalog is available online or you may contact Soka and request one.
Soka is open to highly motivated students of all nationalities and beliefs who have excelled in a range of academic courses. Soka carefully considers a number of criteria for admission without a rigid emphasis on any one factor.
In addition to academic excellence, Soka values students' commitment, service, active leadership, and the ability to interact well with others.
Soka uses admission processes similar to those at other institutions and acts through its Admission Committee to review student applications and make selections for each entering class. The Admission Committee evaluates an applicant's ability to excel in the classroom and to develop as a thoughtful scholar. Therefore, applicants are evaluated on the following:
- High school record for grades 9 - 11
- Extracurricular activities, leadership and special talents
- Essays (two)
- Academic Recommendations (two)
- Scores from SAT I Test or ACT(with associated writing exam)
You must have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent prior to entering Soka. You should also have completed a college preparatory program. Applicants who graduate from high schools outside of the United States or its territories should have completed a high school program that qualifies them for college and university entrance in the United States. Fluency in English, with strong reading and writing skills, is essential.
Although all successful Soka applicants will have excellent academic records, good grades and strong test scores are not enough by themselves for an applicant to be accepted. The committee also reviews an applicant's extracurricular interests, activities, and talents. There is no ideal extracurricular profile for a Soka applicant. However, the committee strongly considers the variety of extracurricular activities in which the applicant has been recognized and, especially, has demonstrated leadership.
The Admission Committee examines an applicant's performance on either the SAT I or ACT test, required of all applicants. SAT II tests are not required. Soka does not employ an SAT score numerical cut-off below which a student will not be accepted. An applicant's primary language is considered during review of SAT scores. The committee carefully reads an applicant's personal essays. The essays serve as an important indicator of an applicant's ability to think critically and creatively. The essays are also an extremely important avenue for the Admission Committee to discover something personal about the applicant and about his or her reasons for choosing Soka. The essay provides applicants the opportunity to show the committee who they are beyond their grades and test scores. Finally, applicants must submit recommendations from two faculty members who know them and their work. One recommendation can come from the applicant's guidance counselor, principal, or headmaster, as appropriate. The recommendation is most helpful when the writer knows the applicant well. In summary, Soka seeks students who demonstrate the real potential to live the mission of Soka in their lives after graduation.
Our current student body totals approximately 400 students. About 50% are from over 40 other countries, including Argentina, Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Canada, China, Denmark, Fiji, France, Germany,Ghana, Great Britain,Hungary, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela and Zambia.
The statistics also show students with strong academic achievement:
Average Entering Academic Scores
|Average Entering Academic Scores|
The US students who entered in 2009 were 6% African American, 25% Latino/Hispanic, 39% Asian/Asian American, 25% Caucasian and 5% Not Indicated.
I thought I would apply for Early Action, but I just couldn't get all of my recommendations (or other parts of the application) completed by October 15th. Do I need to start over for Regular Admission or can I just complete the already started application?
No, you do not need to start over. We realize that it takes a lot of effort to get all of these materials to Soka University. If you have a "partial file" at Soka after the Early Action deadline of October 15th, we will keep it open so that you may complete it during the Regular Admission process. Soka's admission process requires the application, an essay, two recommendation letters, transcripts from all schools attended, your SAT/ACT scores (sent in by the testing agency) and an application fee. If you missed the Early Action period, please don't be discouraged. We accept the majority of our class during the Regular Admission period and both groups are evaluated in exactly the same manner.
I applied for Early Action and was not accepted. If my application was not denied and was rolled over to Regular Admission, can I make additions or changes to my application at that time?
Yes, you can make the following additions to your application: (1) You may add new SAT or ACT scores taken since the Early Action deadline; (2) You may send Soka official school grades/transcripts for any coursework taken during the fall if you wish, although it is not required. You may not send another essay or submit new letters of recommendation or make other changes except for the test scores and grades.
The code is printed on your application form under Admission Applications Procedures. The SAT code is 4066. With the Soka college code, the testing agency can send results directly to Soka. Soka's ACT code is 0467. (It is important that you request that your scores be sent to us directly from the appropriate agency and not rely on your school or counselor to send them for you.) SUA does not require the SAT II-SAT Subject Test.
Yes, all applicants now need to take the new SAT 1 Reasoning Test even if they have already taken a previous SAT 1 test. Applicants with prior college experience are also required to take the new SAT 1 Reasoning Test or the ACT with its associated writing test, regardless of how many college credits they may have earned. (It is important that you request that your scores be sent to us directly from the appropriate agency and not rely on your school or counselor to send them for you).
Yes, we accept fee waivers for our Application. Your High School Counselor can send us a fee waiver from College Board or NACAC. The fee waiver must be mailed (we do not accept faxed, scanned, or emailed documents). Once we have received the fee waiver we will notify you via email, instructions on how to proceed with completing your application. All fee waivers must be submitted and received by us no later than October 15, 2013 for Early Action and January 15, 2014 for Regular Admission (All other required admission documents are due by this date as well). It is your responsibility to check your email for the instructions on how to proceed with your application by the deadline. Any questions regarding fee waivers can be directed to Jennifer Serna, 949-480-4136.
If you are currently attending a college or university you may still apply, however all admitted students enter as first-year students. Soka does not accept college credits in place of required course work needed to graduate because of its unique interdisciplinary curriculum. However, applicants with completed college coursework must still submit college transcripts, as the courses they have taken may be considered during the evaluation process for admission.