Skip To Content

News Releases

Spelman College Breaks Admissions Application Record Share a Spelman College Press Release


Jazmyn Burton 
Spelman College

Spelman College Breaks Admissions Records

ATLANTA (March 26, 2021) – Disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the swift move from in-person learning to virtual education did not deter students from completing college applications.

This year, Spelman College received more than 11,000 applications for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. The number represents the highest application pool in the College’s 140-year history, and a 20 percent increase over last year.

“The increased interest in Spelman is a testament to the College’s reputation of graduating Black women with a competitive edge who rise to leadership roles across industries and impact positive change in their communities,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “Our admissions team has done an excellent job of sharing our stellar outcomes with prospective students from across the nation. We are excited that these bright young minds are seizing the opportunity to experience our unique liberal arts education by applying to Spelman.”

Spelman’s unique history has placed the College on an upward application trajectory since 2014, and there is a sense of urgency around supporting HBCUs that is resonating with prospective students, said Chelsea Holley, interim director of admissions.

“From founding inaugural Black student organizations at their high schools to advocating for voters’ rights in the 2020 presidential election, this applicant pool has been civically engaged, committed to leadership and dedicated to the very mission of Spelman College,” said Holley.

The overall academic profile of applicants to Spelman remained consistent over previous years, with an average GPA of a 3.8 and an average SAT score of 1203 for those that chose to have their scores reviewed. The College also saw a four percent  increase in applications from Georgia natives.

While the rise in interest from students follows a national trend of selective institutions receiving a record number of applications, Spelman’s historic impact and designation by U.S. News & World Report as the No.1 HBCU in the nation - as well as No. 57 in liberal arts and No. 4 and  10, respectively, for social mobility and innovation for small liberal arts colleges -  also contributed to this year’s milestone.

“Students are drawn to Spelman because of its strong programs and its legacy of producing inspirational leaders. The story of Spelman is one that invokes pride, belonging and historical significance,” said Holley. “We have been intentional about sharing the rich tradition and legacy of Spelman, while also highlighting our ability to produce the next generation of leaders in a tech-forward society. We have consistently evolved and managed to remain a pace setter in the education and professional development of women of African descent.”

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 54 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 19 for undergraduate teaching, No. 4 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 14th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and partnerships have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Starbucks Group President and COO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit


Spelman College Events CalendarEvents
Spelman College Academic CalendarAcademic

Contact Us

News Center