Frequently Asked Questions

For more information or answers to other questions, call the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at 800.277.4648, ext. 2802, or 618.374.5181. 

Topics:

Application

Q: What are the academic course requirements to be admitted into Principia? 

A: We recommend a strong college-prep program of 16 solid academic courses in high school, including 4 years of English, 4 years of math (algebra I and II, geometry, plus one additional math course), 3 years of natural science, including some lab work, 2 years of history and social science (including American history), and 2–3 years in the same foreign language as well as 2 years of academic electives (other than music, art, and computer science, unless they are AP courses). 

Q: How is my high school grade point average (GPA) computed by Principia College?

A: Only solid academic subjects are considered in a re-computation of the high school GPA. These subjects are English, math, history, social science, natural science, and foreign language. All Advanced Placement (AP) courses are considered in the computation of the GPA. AP and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses are given one additional grade point; honors courses are given an additional half grade point. In this way, an A earned in AP English will earn 5.0 grade points rather than a 4.0 (4.5 for an A earned in an honors course). Courses in art, music, speech, drama, health, PE, shop, home economics, computer science, and other elective courses are not considered in the computation of the GPA.

Q: How can an admissions counselor help me? 

A: Your admissions counselor will support you throughout the college selection and decision-making process. As fellow Christian Scientists first, the counselors are advocates for you, whether or not Principia College is your final choice. Your counselor knows a great deal about the intricacies of the general college search process and is eager to help you make the decision that best fits your talents and dreams. Staying in touch is just a click away: Admissions Counselors.

Q: What is your admissions process? 

A: Once your application is complete (all components have been received by the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid), the Admissions Committee will review your application. Close attention is paid to your academic record, your commitment to Christian Science, achievement in extracurricular activities, and your readiness to contribute to the Principia College community. In most cases, you will have a decision within two weeks, beginning September 1. 

Financial Aid

Q: What does it cost to attend Principia College?

A: Tuition, room and board, and activity fees for 2015–2016 are approximately $37,000. See the Costs page for a breakdown of annual costs.

Q: Does Principia accept payment from 529 Savings Plans?

A: Yes, currently Principia College is eligible to accept funds from 529 Savings Plans. Named after the federal Internal Revenue Code Section 529 that gave these accounts special tax status, 529 Plans were specifically created for college savings. Principia’s Title IV code is 001744.

Q: When should I apply for financial aid? 

A: Principia College processes financial aid applications on a rolling basis. To learn your award amount as soon as possible, your aid application should be mailed at approximately the same time your admissions application. 

Q: How can I obtain a CSS PROFILE Application?

A: You can register for one at www.collegeboard.org or by calling toll free 800.778.6888. 

Scholarships

Q: Will Principia include the score from the writing section of the SAT or the ACT when determining cumulative or composite scores for scholarship eligibility?

A: Principia does include the writing section score in both tests.

Q: How is my high school grade point average (GPA) computed by Principia College?

A: Only solid academic subjects are considered in a re-computation of the high school GPA. These subjects are English, math, history, social science, natural science, and foreign language. All Advanced Placement (AP) courses are considered in the computation of the GPA. AP and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses are given one additional grade point; honors courses are given an additional half grade point. In this way, an A earned in AP English will earn 5.0 grade points rather than a 4.0 (4.5 for an A earned in an honors course). Courses in art, music, speech, drama, health, PE, shop, home economics, computer science, and other elective courses are not considered in the computation of the GPA.

Q: How does Principia College view AP and IB exams?

A: A student who enters Principia with satisfactory scores on AP (3 or higher), IB (4 or higher in higher level examinations), and/or CLEP exams (scores are evaluated according to American Council on Education standards) in subjects that parallel courses given at Principia may receive college credit with approval of the department chairs concerned. No further examination or fee is required.

Q: Does Principia offer any athletic scholarships? 

A: As an NCAA Division III school, Principia is not allowed to offer athletic scholarships. 

Q. How do I apply for a scholarship?

A. By completing the general application for admission, you will automatically be considered for scholarships. We begin considering applications and awarding academic and alumni scholarships on a rolling basis beginning September 1.

Q: If I am admitted, when do I have to notify Principia of my decision? 

A: While we welcome acceptance notification to Principia College at any time, students begin advising and registration in May, so we encourage you to notify us of your decision as soon as possible.

Admitted Students

Q: When should I arrive on campus?

A: Arrive in time for New Student Orientation or sports camp if you are playing a fall sport. Contact the Admissions Office for information on how to get to campus.

Q: How should I get my stuff to campus?

A: You may ship trunks, packing crates, bikes, and luggage to campus after you are notified of your housing assignment in July. Indicate that you are a new student, as well as the name of your College house on each item you ship. This ensures that all items will be placed in your house prior to your arrival.

This is your pre-arrival shipping address:
Your Name
NEW STUDENT, Your House
1 Maybeck Place
Principia College
Elsah, IL 62028

Q: When do I find out what house I'm in?

A: You should receive an e-mail on July 24 informing you of your housing assignment. 

Q: Can I request a house?

A: Not for freshmen housing. Student Life will consider requests from transfer students going into upper-class housing. Assignments are made based on space availability.

Q: When will I find out who my roommate is?

A: You will find out (and meet) your roommate once you arrive on campus for orientation. You'll change rooms and roommates each semester.

Q: I’m coming for sports camp and my parents are coming for NPO (New Parent Orientation). What sort of schedule will I have during NPO?

A: Please call the Athletic Office at 618.374.5024 regarding the athletic schedules during NPO.

Q: When can I make flight reservations to return home after exams?

A: Find out when your last final exam is scheduled. Exam times are determined by the hour the course meets during the semester. You may leave campus after your finals are completed.

Q: Can I bring my car?

A: You can have a vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle, moped, Goped, motorized scooter, or Segway) on campus if you register it with Campus Security. Bring your driver's license, proof of insurance, and $100 registration fee to Campus Security during New Student Orientation. Yearly registration is required for all student vehicles. 

Q: What should I bring to campus?

A: Check out our packing list for information about what to bring and what to leave at home.

Q: Can I wait to purchase housing necessities until after I arrive on campus?

A: Basic necessities are available at Target, Walmart, and Kmart—all located within 20 minutes of campus. Supplementary items are available through the College Store.

Q: Can I work on campus?

A: Yes. Most students work an average of 5–15 hours per week, though some occasionally petition to work 15–20 hours per week. On-campus jobs range from office receptionists and fitness center attendants to sales associates and library assistants. All student employees are required to work 150 hours in our Dining Services or Facilities Departments during their first year at Principia.  

You must be legally eligible to work in the United States per Department of Homeland Security guidelines. Proof of such eligibility must be provided before your first day of work. Acceptable forms of identification are detailed on the I-9 form, and all must be original documents. A school ID card with a photograph or school report card may be presented in place of a driver’s license. Visit the student employment page for more information.