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First-Year Students - FAQ

BanerIs there an application deadline?
Yes. The deadline varies depending on the type of application.

  • Early Decision Plan - November 15 Deadline
    This is a binding admission commitment for students who know Coe is their first choice. Students will receive an admission decision within two weeks of completing their application.
  • Early Action Plan - December 10 Deadline
    This is a non-binding admission plan. Students will receive an admission decision within two weeks of completing their application.
  • Regular Decision Plan - March 1 Deadline
    This is a non-binding admission plan.

How long does it take to process an application and when will the acceptance letter be mailed?
Typically the process takes between two and three weeks once the application is completed and the student is regularly admissible. Files needing committee review may take longer.

Is an application fee required and if so, how much?
Regular decision paper applications cost $30 after December 10. Early Action applications and online applications never have a processing fee.

What is the average fall enrollment?
The average incoming freshman class (including transfer and international students) is 400 students and the average total enrollment for the college is 1,420.

What credentials must be submitted to properly file an application?
Please send the following materials. Decisions will not be made regarding your application until the Office of Admission has received all of the following:

Does the college require a minimum SAT/ACT for admission?Yes, minimum ACT is 20, SAT is 1030.

Is an interview, recommendation or essay required for admission?
An interview is not required but encouraged. Both a recommendation and an essay are optional for students who meet Coe's minimum academic standards.

Are students required to submit a physical examination prior to admission?
A physical examination is not required before admission, but is required before registration.

Is there a prescribed curriculum that must be completed in high school?
No. The encouraged curriculum is 4 years of English, 3 years of math, 3 years of science, 3 years of social sciences and 2 years of foreign language.

Are high school honors courses weighed in favor of the grade point average and what is the minimum GPA required?
Yes, honors and advanced standing classes (AP & IB) are weighted and the minimum GPA for admission is a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Will the college accept the General Education Diploma (GED)?
Yes, Coe accepts the GED, but the student must show official scores or the certificate.

Will the college honor a home school program or diploma from an unaccredited private high school?
Yes, but the student still needs to meet Coe's general admission guidelines.

How will the college evaluate or use two or more sets of SAT/ACT scores?
Coe will use the highest composite score, regardless of when it was earned. Coe does not combine scores to create a new composite or "super score."

Does the college offer an Early Admission Program (EAP); is there a deadline?
No, Coe does not have a special EAP program or deadline date. However, students who are eligible to graduate early and meet high school requirements are able to apply to Coe.

Is there a waiting list for admission?
No, Coe does not have a waiting list.

What are the transfer admission requirements?
Coe recommends that transfer students have a 2.5/4.0 GPA from the last college attended. If the student has earned an Associates Degree, the high school record will not be considered.

Is admission open for freshmen and transfers at any semester?
Yes, admission is available to all students each semester.

Does the college offer a Post-Secondary Education Option (PSEO)?
Yes, Coe offers the post-secondary enrollment option to eligible high school students. PSEO is limited to one course each term.

Will the College honor either the SAT or ACT?
Coe accepts both the SAT and the ACT.

What is the core curriculum or general education requirements?
The core general education requirements are 10 courses in five categories. Please refer to academic catalog page 14.

How many areas of study and degrees are offered?
Coe offers over 60 areas of study and three types of degrees: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (BM) and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Are internships, cooperatives or study abroad available?
100% of students are guaranteed an internship, research project or off-campus study experience.

Describe Coe's academic calendar.
Coe is on a 4-4-1 academic calendar with fall and spring semesters and an optional May term. Students traditionally take four classes in the fall and spring semesters and one class for a four week period during May term.

Will the college honor AP/IB courses?  What are the minimum scores to receive credit?
Coe accepts AP/IB credit. Students must earn a four or five on AP exams and a five, six or seven on IB exams. All questions about credit should be directed to the academic department.

How many courses are considered a full load?
Four courses are considered a full load (three is considered full-time).

When does an academic major have to be declared?
Academic majors should be declared during the second semester of the sophomore year.

Does the college offer a tutorial service?
Coe offers a tutorial service through the Academic Achievement Program.

Will "D's" transfer in from other colleges?
D's do not transfer.

Is physical education required? If so, can it be waived?
Physical education is not required at Coe.

Are academic scholarships available?
Yes, academic scholarships are available to students and will be awarded at the time of admission.

What are the College's most well-known academic areas?
Coe is well known for the sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, nursing), business, psychology, English and teacher education.

What is the percentage of graduates that gain admission to graduate schools?
50% of graduates go on to graduate school, medical school or law school within three years of graduation.

How many credits does it take to graduate? How long, on average, does it take to accumulate these credits?
Coe requires 32 credits to graduate. Students typically complete all 32 credits in four years. You may graduate without ever taking a May Term class.

What major agencies accredit the college?
Coe is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the American Chemical Society, the National Association of Schools of Music, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Committee for the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and the Iowa Department of Education.

What is the student-faculty ratio?

How many full-time faculty are employed and how many hold a doctorate or terminal degree?
Coe employs 97 full-time faculty and 95% of them hold a terminal degree.

Does Coe have an honors program? What are the requirements to be in Coe's honors program?
Coe has a honors program that students can apply for during their first year. Admission is based on first semester Coe GPA, recommendations from professors, a review of First-Year Seminar work, the high school transcript and ACT or SAT test scores.

What is the definition of a Liberal Arts education?
Liberal Arts education is defined as general areas of study--philosophy, mathematics, literature, art history, economics, languages, and so on--rather than in applied or specialized fields. A liberal arts education is not intended to train you for a specific job, though it does prepare you for the world of work by providing you with an invaluable set of employable skills, including the ability to think for yourself, the skills to communicate effectively and the capacity for lifelong learning.

What academic areas of study are the largest?
The Business Administration, Education, Psychology (in that order) departments graduate the most students.

May freshmen have cars on campus?
Yes, however space is limited and it is on a first come-first served basis. A parking permit costs $120 per year.

Do national fraternities and sororities exist at Coe?
Yes, there are four national fraternities and five national sororities on Coe's campus.

Are students required to purchase a meal plan?
Yes, all students living in residence halls must purchase a Coe board plan. Board plans are optional for students living in the campus apartments and Kohawk Village.

What is Coe Cash?
Coe cash is included in both the standard and basic meal plans. Coe cash is tracked on your student ID Card and is used for a wide variety of reasons including:

  • Purchasing additional meals in the dining hall
  • Purchasing guest meals when a friend or family member visits
  • Making purchases in Charlie’s (on campus coffee shop and grill)
  • Making purchases in the convenience store

What campus organizations emphasize religious activities?
There are a number of organizations and groups available to students. Please contact the Office of the College Chaplain for more information.

Is there a health facility on campus?
Coe employs a full-time advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) to provide medical services. The student is responsible for all health costs beyond those provided by the ARNP and is expected to carry medical insurance.

What music groups exist (i.e. marching band, choir, ensembles)?
Music groups at Coe include:

  • Women's Chorale
  • Concert Choir (Co-ed)
  • Jazz Band
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Drum Line
  • Concert Band
  • Crimson & Gold
  • Musical Theatre Production
  • Musical Theatre Pit Orchestra

Does the college sponsor a drama or theater club?
Yes, it's called Off-Stage Players.

How long are the holiday and term breaks?
Fall break occurs in October for two days, Thanksgiving break lasts for one week, the break between fall and spring semester is about three weeks and spring break is the second week in March.

What are current expenses for tuition, room, board, and fees?


The total cost of tuition, room, meals, and fees for 2018-2019 is $53,530; the average financial aid package awarded to incoming first-year students in the fall of 2017 was over $40,100.

2018-2019 Comprehensive Fees







Student Fees:




Does out-of-state tuition apply?
No, Coe is a private institution.

Are jobs available on the college campus?
Yes, many students have jobs on campus through our federal work-study program.

How much are books on average per year?
$600-$1,000 per year.

How do I apply for financial aid?
Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for need-based financial aid.

What scholarship may be available for my situation?
Merit-based scholarships are awarded to eligible students at the time of admission. Select students are eligible to receive or compete for additional scholarships. Click here for more information. Filing the FAFSA will make any federal need-based grants, work study or loans also available to students who qualify.

Will the college bill me for tuition and fees?  When are fees due?
Yes.  All billing statements are available on generally around the middle of July. Payment plans consist of paying your bill monthly over 10 months, per semester or a one-time payment in the fall.

Will the college take a credit card?
Yes. The College is prepared to accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit cards for tuition payments.

How much is the enrollment fee and when is it due?
The $300 enrollment fee is due by May 1. Preferential housing is considered based on the date the enrollment fee was submitted. The College accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit cards for the enrollment fee.