Frequently Asked Questions

Admission

What are your minimum requirements for GPA and test scores?

We do not have minimum requirements. Admission to Eckerd College is based on past academic performance, aptitude, intellectual potential, character, special talent, leadership, range of interests, emotional maturity, and potential for personal development. Students admitted to Eckerd generally have earned B averages or higher in academic subjects in high school. Most of the freshmen come from the top 20 percent of their high school classes.

The average scores from the most recent incoming class are as follows:

  • GPA: 3.3/4.0 unweighted scale
  • SAT: 1132 (only math and critical reading taken into consideration)
  • ACT: 25

Are high school honors, AP, or IB courses weighed in favor of the grade point average?

Advanced standing classes (AP, IB) are weighted as we view transcripts and GPA. Honors courses do not receive numerical weight, although they are looked upon favorably when considering the challenge of an applicant’s coursework.

Is there a prescribed curriculum you need to complete in high school for admission?

The encouraged curriculum is:

  • At Least Four Years of English
  • At Least Three Years of Math
  • At Least Three Years of Science
  • At Least Three Years of Social Sciences
  • At Least Two Years of Foreign Language

How will the college evaluate or use two or more sets of SAT/ACT scores?

Eckerd will combine scores to create your best possible composite score. We accept either the ACT or the SAT and use the test on which you scored higher.

How will the redesigned SAT scores be used in admission?

Eckerd’s Admission Office considers standardized test scores as one of many criteria in a holistic admission review process. Beginning with fall 2017 applicants, Eckerd will utilize the Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing and Math section scores only. The optional Writing section will not be required and will not be part of first-year or transfer application review.

If an applicant submits scores from both versions of the SAT, we will use the score from the higher test result. We will continue to produce superscores for both the SAT & ACT from multiple administrations of the same version. We will not, however, produce a superscore by combining results of both versions of the SAT.

College Board has provided this SAT Score Converter to show the value of the redesigned SAT score compared to the former SAT.

Is an interview required for admission?

An interview is not required but encouraged for high school seniors who have not yet applied to Eckerd. Interviews for juniors are conducted when there is availability. Phone and regional/off-campus interviews are also available as an alternative for those who are unable to come to campus.

What credentials must be submitted to properly complete an application?

  • Application for admission. Students may apply using the Eckerd Online Application, or the Common App. There is no preference regarding application choice.
  • $40 application fee
  • One counselor or teacher recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • Official test scores
  • Personal essay

How long does it take to process an application and when will the acceptance letter be mailed?

Typically, the process takes between four and six weeks once the application packet is complete and the student is regularly admissible. Files needing committee review may take longer. An additional letter, detailing an admitted student’s merit-based scholarship, is usually sent 1-2 weeks after the initial acceptance letter..

When do you need to have my final decision, and how do I commit to Eckerd?

Once you have made your final decision to attend Eckerd College, you should send a $400 enrollment deposit along with the reservation form that is included with your acceptance letter. The envelope must be postmarked no later than May 1st. This deposit will be credited to your account and deducted from your fees at the time of registration. Deposits are refundable until May 1st. Please note that preferential housing is based on the date of deposit.

Can I take a gap year?

Eckerd College supports students taking a gap year to enrich themselves academically through travel, internships, volunteer work or other interests. Students pursuing a gap year may request a deferral of their enrollment for up to one year. A student who has been accepted for admission must submit a statement in writing which explains their plans during the time of deferral. Requests should be addressed to the Director of Admission and made on or before May 1 for students admitted for Autumn/Fall term or by December 1 for candidates admitted for Winter/Spring term.

To secure a place at Eckerd for the following year and retain an academic scholarship award, a $400 nonredundable enrollment deposit must be paid.

Candidates who defer admission and take more than 12 hours of college coursework during their deferral, or who wish to defer their enrollment for a period greater than one year, will need to re-apply for admission and scholarship.

Does Eckerd accept American Sign Language credits?

Yes. Eckerd accepts American Sign Language (ASL) as an official foreign language during high school curriculum evaluation on your application. But ASL does not fulfill your Eckerd College foreign language credit. Students who enroll are still expected to take a year of foreign language here at Eckerd.

What are the admission requirements for a transfer student?

Eckerd recommends that transfer students have a 2.5/4.0 GPA from the last college attended. Courses earning a C or better can likely be transferred, dependent upon the equivalent course offerings at Eckerd . If the student has earned an AA degree, the high school record will not be considered. Transfer students can get an unofficial estimate of which courses will transfer by viewing the transfer page.

Will my son or daughter be considered a Florida Resident if...

Will my son or daughter be considered a Florida Resident if:

  • We own a house in Florida?
  • His/her grandparents live in Florida?
  • We are moving to Florida after our son/daughter graduate?
  • Our son/daughter lives in Florida for one year at Eckerd?

The short answer to these questions is, unfortunately, no. Many parents/students from outside of the state of Florida wish to claim residency in the state in order to gain tuition benefits, or to gain access to federal or state scholarship/grant programs available to Florida residents. In the case of Eckerd there are no tuition benefits for Florida residents. Our total costs are the same for all students, regardless of state/country of residence.

There are a few federal programs open to Florida residents including the Florida Resident Access Grant, and The Bright Future’s Scholarship. Each of these programs is intended for students who either graduate from a Florida High School, and/or the legal guardian with whom which the student resides for the majority of the year has lived in Florida consecutively for at least nine months prior to enrollment with the College. There are additional guidelines to each of these programs, as well. If you think you may qualify, please feel free to contact your counselor.

Academic

Describe Eckerd's 4-1-4 academic calendar.

Eckerd College follows a modified 4-1-4 calendar. The fall and spring semesters each consist of one short term and one 14-week term which is followed by an examination period. Ordinarily, a full-time student will enroll for four courses each 14-week term.

The three-week Autumn Term for freshmen occurs in August, before the beginning of the fall semester, while the Winter Term (January) occurs at the beginning of the spring semester. During these shorter terms, you will enroll for no more than one academic project at a time. This format provides for independent investigation of a topic in a concentrated manner.

What is the average class size and student-to-faculty ratio?

The average class size is 19 students, while our student/faculty ratio is 13:1.

How many areas of study and degrees are offered?

  • 39 majors, 46 minors, and the option to design your own major
  • 2 types of degrees:
    • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree
    • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree

How many classes does it take to graduate?

The satisfactory completion of a minimum of 32 courses plus an Autumn Term course in the freshman year and a Winter Term project in each subsequent year are required to graduate. For information regarding transfer student graduation requirements, major-specific coursework and general education requirements, please view our course catalog.

Does Eckerd have an honors program?

Yes.  The Honors Program at Eckerd College is offered to admitted students based on their achievements in high school. The Honors Program is designed to provide enhanced opportunities for independent study, research, collaboration, service-learning, and coursework. Students do not apply separately for the honors program, they are considered based on their original application for admission.

Can my son/daughter be considered for additional scholarship if his/her grades improve after the first semester/year of attending Eckerd?

Eckerd College provides the best scholarship possible upon acceptance. The admission office does not offer any specific scholarships for students in subsequent years of enrollment. However, a student can always continue to pursue outside scholarship opportunities.

When will my son/daughter choose his/her courses?

  • First-Time College Students: will choose their first course (the Autumn Term course) online during the summer before arrival. The Admission Office will send out detailed instructions to all students everyone (via their new student email address). During the Autumn Term, first year students will work with their faculty mentor to select future fall term courses.
  • Transfer Students: will choose their classes through the use of EC Web, our Registrar’s Office, and their Admission Counselor prior to arrival to campus. We will contact each student via email to set up phone meeting times to discuss and choose courses for the fall. Upon arrival to campus, all transfer students will complete an orientation, and are required to meet with their assigned faculty Mentor to discuss the course selections and make any necessary or wanted changes.

What support services are available for students with learning differences?

For students with documented learning differences, typical accommodations include: extended test time, distraction-free testing areas, peer note-takers, and ADA-compliant housing. Please contact the office of Accessible Education Services for more information.
727-864-8248

Additional resources include: faculty mentors, faculty office hours, the Eckerd Writing Center, the Rahall Oral Communications Center, academic coaching program, workshops to enhance academic success, the Residence Life staff, the Student Affairs staff, Career Services Office, math lab tutors, and volunteer tutors in many subjects.

How can I view my child's grades?

Students must give their parents access to view their grades due to privacy standards. Students can request access for their parents by calling the registrar.

Life at Eckerd

Does Eckerd have a religious affiliation? Are student required to take religion classes?

Eckerd College is affiliated by covenant with the Presbyterian Church, although all religions are represented on campus. While there is no required religion-based coursework, interested students may take classes available through the Religious Studies major.

The Center for Spiritual Life aims to provide for the spiritual needs of all its campus community. We offer non-denominational Protestant services on Sundays and Catholic Mass weekly. Eckerd is home to Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, an Orthodox Students’ Group, Catholics Students’ Group, and Hillel.

Are freshman allowed to have cars on campus?

Yes. About 50% of freshman have a car on campus. Public transportation does make frequent stops on Eckerd’s campus. Campus shuttles also take students to Wal-Mart for any other necessities three times a week. Students will register their vehicles with campus safety and pay an annual fee of $110.00 for a parking permit.

Where will my son/daughter go during the event of a hurricane or other emergency situations?

Eckerd College has implemented an Emergency Management Team to manage the necessary procedures to insure the safety of our community. Please use the following links for details on how Eckerd College manages our community in times of crisis: Hurricane Guide for Students & Campus Safety

Is there a health facility on campus? Will be notified if our child goes to the health center?

Yes. The Health Center on campus is supervised by a physician and staffed by registered nurses experienced in college health. Referral for more serious evaluation and treatment is made to nearby physicians and medical specialists. Two full-service hospitals, with state-of-the-art emergency services, are within 10 minutes of the college campus.

Parents are not notified of student health service visits nor can they request that information. Student health records are required by law to be confidential due to privacy standards. Eckerd will notify the family only if a student is in an emergency situation.

What is the Eckerd College mentoring program?

Throughout a student’s career at Eckerd, each student has the continuing support and counsel of a faculty mentor who is specially trained to help each student plan an academic program, to help with career planning and with the student’s personal growth. A freshman entering Eckerd chooses a mentor from a descriptive list of mentors who lead Autumn Term projects. The student continues with that mentor throughout the freshman year in at least one course, Western Heritage in a Global Context, and student and mentor work together to plan the academic program for the first year.

Upon completing the freshman year, each student may choose a new mentor who is a specialist in the student’s area of academic interest. Each student and mentor will continue to plan the academic program, including independent and directed studies, internships, off-campus programs, work experience, career planning, study abroad, and other learning opportunities Eckerd offers. The mentor/student relationship goes beyond education and career advice; this one-on-one relationship is very important to the Eckerd experience and often alumni continue to stay in touch with their mentors for years after graduation.

What are the storage options for students' materials during summer break?

During the summer, students must remove personal items from the residence halls. Since we have such a large number of out-of-state students, many choose to rent a storage unit to share with fellow students and store larger items. Eckerd students get a discounted price from some nearby storage facilities.

How soon would you suggest we start planning for graduation? Any other suggestions?

Parents typically make their plans early in the student’s senior year since popular hotels near campus (on St. Pete Beach) often book quickly. Families wishing to make reservations for a post-graduation lunch at local restaurants should do so within a few months of graduation, especially if it is a large party.

Parents should arrive early on the morning of Commencement because parking is limited. Eckerd’s graduation is unique because it takes place on their private South Beach. This means that you should dress accordingly. Designate a meeting place after the ceremony, as there are many people in attendance and it will be easier to find your student if you have a pre-determined location to meet.

What are the dining options on campus?

Dining at Eckerd College is provided by Bon Appétit, a national leader in fresh, natural, made from scratch meals. There are five food service options on campus: the cafeteria, Triton’s Pub, the CEC café, a late night pizza truck (stationary), and two mobile food carts. There is also a new coffee shop available to students inside the Center for Molecular Life Sciences. The food options at each location vary on a daily basis. Students choose from four meal plan tiers prior to the school year, based upon how many meals they foresee consuming.

How can parents/family members get involved with Eckerd?

The Office of Student and Family Relations sends news and information to parents regularly and the Parent Council sends a newsletter to families once each semester. Upcoming events and ways to get involved are highlighted in these communications. The Office of Admission also utilizes parents through Eckerd Connect, a program implemented in order to use parents and alumni to inform prospective students and families about their personal Eckerd experience. Parents are encouraged to attend regional events, share information about Eckerd with local high schools, and share internship and employment information with Career Services. For more information on how to get involved, visit the Parent Council page.

What is Reflective Service Learning at Eckerd?

Beginning with the class of 2017, students complete the Reflective Service-Learning program as part of the General Education experience at Eckerd. Prior to senior year, students participate in one or more approved RSL experiences, one of which must be academic. The combination of experiences must amount to a minimum of 40 hours.

Qualifying Reflective Service-Learning experiences:

Academic

  • RSL course
  • RSL Winter Term
  • RSL independent study

Co-curricular

  • Spring break service trip
  • Individual service experience

Students complete reflective exercises associated with each service-learning experience in order to build a service-learning portfolio, which is housed online in Triton Track. A summative reflection is submitted during the senior capstone course and reviewed by the professor.