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Information for High School Students

Admission to SUNY ESF is competitive, but our admissions process is a personal one. Your interests, abilities and goals are important to us in providing the best information and guidance we can as you explore your college options.

High School Student Admission Links

Honoring Free Expression

At ESF, we support the right of students to stand up for what they believe. Civic discourse and public engagement are essential to our academic mission. Therefore, admissions decisions are not affected by students' participation in peaceful, meaningful protest associated with matters of public interest, or by any disciplinary action that is associated with such protest.

High School seniors may apply for admission under one of the three pathways available: Early Decision (enrollment commitment required if admitted), Regular Freshman or Guaranteed Transfer. The level of the applicant’s interest in ESF and the quality of their academic performance in high school will determine which pathway is most appropriate. Admissions staff members can assist applicants in selecting their admission pathway.

Successful first-year applicants should present strong high school academic credentials. A college preparatory curriculum is expected. Three units each of college preparatory mathematics and science are required, four years are highly recommended. Art, architectural or technical drawing courses are highly recommended for applicants to Landscape Architecture. Advanced coursework at the honors or college level is highly recommended. In addition, first-year applicants are encouraged to participate in either an Open House program or a College Information Session to improve their understanding of the College and its academic programs

The application process begins with submission of either the SUNY Application and Supplement or The Common Application. Required credentials include official high school transcripts (including 12th-year first-quarter grades), results of either the SAT I or ACT, and ESF essay question response. While academic recommendations are not required, they will be considered in the review of the application if submitted. SUNY ESF requires students to submit scores of either SAT I or ACT (or both). The highest scores for each section from all test dates will be considered. SUNY ESF will accept SAT I or ACT scores posted on your official high school transcript. However, if your high school does not include SAT I or ACT scores on your transcript, you must request official scores be sent directly from the testing agency..

Students completing college level course work prior to high school graduation are considered as first-year applicants.

High school students may apply for either Early Decision or Regular First-Year Admission consideration for first-year entry or Guaranteed Transfer admission for future entry as a sophomore or junior. Please review the information on each pathway outlined below to decide which one is right for you. Click on the "Apply" link above to begin the application process.

Early Decision Admission

Outstanding high school seniors, who have selected SUNY ESF as their first-choice institution may apply for Early Decision admission and, if admitted, will commit to enroll at SUNY ESF. Early Decision students may apply to other institutions under Regular consideration, and if admitted to SUNY ESF, must withdraw their other applications and commit to enroll at SUNY ESF no later than March 15. Early Decision candidates must have a completed application on file by December 1.

Early Decision applicants who wish to apply for Financial Aid from SUNY ESF must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and any supporting information requested by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by February 1. Please refer to the Financial Aid web site for more information on financial support.

You should review the information on Early Decision to determine if this admission plan is right for you. Please refer to information below regarding additional application processes available for high school students.

Click on the "Apply" link above to begin the application process.

Regular First-Year Admission

Most high school students apply to SUNY ESF under Regular First-Year Admission. Once required credentials are received, the Admissions Committee begins review of the application. Therefore, it is important to forward all your credentials soon after you have filed your application. The recommended application filing date for Regular First-Year Admission is as outlined above, February 1. Notifications are released beginning around March 1 and students must reply with their intention to enroll by May 1.

Please pay close attention to application codes and deadlines for Regular First-Year admission.

Click on the "Apply" link above to begin the application process.

Guaranteed Transfer

The College recognizes that some students wish to spend a portion of their first two years of college at another institution, and will transfer to SUNY ESF in either their sophomore or junior year. And, high school applicants who are not academically prepared for first-year entry may benefit by attending another college in preparation for future transfer to SUNY ESF.

To facilitate this process and reduce difficulties associated with transferring, SUNY ESF has established the Guaranteed Transfer (GT) option and has formalized transfer articulation relationships with a number of colleges in New York and surrounding states. Through our agreements with these Cooperative Colleges we have developed transfer articulation guidelines listing equivalent courses for SUNY ESF lower division degree requirements and have identified academic advisors at each campus to assist students in course selection and scheduling. SUNY ESF Admissions staff members, who also provide academic advising to students preparing to transfer, make regular visits to the Cooperative College campuses.

Under this option, students may apply for admission during their senior year of high school for transfer to SUNY ESF for a future entry date. On the SUNY Application or The Common Application you will use the upcoming fall semester of entry. Then, send an e-mail to esfinfo@esf.edu indicating your interest in being considered for admission under Guaranteed Transfer and your expected future semester of entry. Successful applicants for this option must present a strong high school academic background including at least three years each of college preparatory mathematics and science. The recommended application filing date for Guarantee Transfer is February 1.

Students admitted through the GT program must satisfactorily complete coursework equivalent to the requirements for their intended program of study with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.80 (A=4.000). Courses completed with less than a ‘C’ grade will not transfer for credit and may impact the student’s status under the Guarantee Transfer option. GT students are encouraged to enroll at one of the Cooperative Colleges with which ESF has transfer agreements. However, they may attend a college that is not a member of the Cooperative College group and should consult the SUNY ESF Admissions Office for proper course scheduling and advising.

Click on the "Apply" link above to begin the application process. Please pay close attention to application codes and deadlines for Guaranteed Transfer.

Educational Opportunity Program

The State University of New York's Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) provides access, academic support, and financial aid to students who show promise for mastering college-level work, but who may otherwise not be admitted. Offered to full-time students who are New York State residents, EOP accepts students who qualify, academically and economically, for the program. Complete the EOP section on the SUNY Application or The Common Application to apply for EOP. More information about this program can be found at the SUNY EOP web site.

  • Note: You cannot apply for both EOP and Early Decision.

College Credit Earned in High School or by Examination

College level course work equivalent to the SUNY ESF program of study requirements can be transferred to the College, but grades and grade points cannot be transferred. Credit will be awarded only for those courses completed with a grade of "C" or higher. SUNY ESF will grant appropriate college credit based on test scores achieved through participation in the College Entrance Examination Board's Advanced Placement (AP) program, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program for which the student has achieved the approved examination score. Learn more:

Early Admission of High School Juniors

High school students who will complete graduation requirements (or equivalent) prior to the graduation of their class may apply for Early Admission. The application process and criteria for Regular First-Year consideration apply to Early Admission candidates. Early Admission candidates are also required to submit mid-year grades for their junior year and meet with the Director of Admissions, to assess their maturity and preparedness for college life, before their application will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Alternative online meeting options may be available.

Sophomore Admission to Associate Degree Programs at The Ranger School for High School Seniors

High school seniors who will complete the first year course requirements through college coursework taken in high school may apply for sophomore entry to the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree programs offered at The Ranger School campus in Wanakena, NY. The application process and criteria for Regular First-Year consideration apply to AAS sophomore entry candidates. Additionally they must have completed the majority of the first year requirements for the AAS program, including English, science and math requirements, with a cumulative grade point average of 2.80 or higher on a 4.00 scale and no course grades less than 'C'. Sophomore entry candidates are also required to submit mid-year grades, including official transcripts for all college level work, for their senior year. Additionally, they must meet with the Director of The Ranger School at the Wanakena campus or the Director of Admissions at the Syracuse campus to assess their maturity and preparedness for college experience and life at The Ranger School before their application will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Alternative online meeting options may be available.

Deferred Admission

Students accepted to SUNY ESF who wish to defer their enrollment for one or two semesters beyond their original entry date must make this request in writing directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Those students will receive written notification if their request has been approved.


Students who have changed their educational plan, and wish to return to the College, may apply for readmission by contacting the Office of Student Affairs (Student Support) to file the appropriate paperwork. Readmission applies to those students returning from a leave of absence (medical or military), change in educational plan, or academic and/or disciplinary dismissal Readmission is NOT facilitated by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Students who have questions regarding the Readmission process can contact Student Support to obtain information or to schedule an appointment with the Senior Counselor.

Application Deadlines

Spring 2018

  • All Applicants:
    November 1, 2017

Fall 2018

  • Early Decision First-Year:
    December 1, 2017
  • Regular First-Year:
    February 1, 2018*
  • Guaranteed Transfer:
    February 1, 2018
  • Transfer:
    March 1, 2018*

*Applications received after this date will be considered on a space available basis.

Application Codes

SAT: 2530
ACT: 2948
TOEFL DI: 2530
FAFSA: 002851
NYS TAP: 0950