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Test Optional Colleges 2017-2018

September 20, 2017, Posted In Standardized Testing

The following is an in-depth look at some of the top colleges and universities that either don’t require applicants to submit SAT/ACT scores or have flexible policies. Each school has a different approach, so we encourage you to do your research before submitting (or omitting) your standardized test scores! All numerical data are sourced from the specified U.S. News and World Report ranking list.

Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY)

– Ranking: #46 – National Liberal Arts Colleges
– Undergrads: 1,995
– SAT range: 1160 – 1470
– ACT range: N/A

Test optional: “We do not require SAT/ACT scores, but if you submit your scores we will consider them in making our admission decision.” source

Bates College (Lewiston, ME)

– Ranking: #23 – National Liberal Arts Colleges
– Undergrads: 1,780
– SAT range: 1190 – 1420
– ACT range: 28 – 32

Test optional (with exceptions): “Bates has been a national leader in the test-optional movement for three decades. In October 1984, the faculty voted to make standardized testing, such as the SAT,  SAT Subject Tests, and the ACT, optional for all students applying to Bates. If English is neither the native language nor the primary language of secondary school instruction, then results of an English-proficiency test like the TOEFL or IELTS is required.” source

Brandeis University (Waltham, MA)

– Ranking: #34 – National Universities
– Undergrads: 3,608
– SAT range: 1250 – 1470
– ACT range: 29 – 32

Test optional (with exceptions): “Brandeis has a test-optional policy and no longer requires citizens and permanent residents of the US or Canada to submit SAT or ACT scores.” source

Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME)

– Ranking: #3 – National Liberal Arts Colleges
– Undergrads: 1,806
– SAT range: 1375 – 1535
– ACT range: 31 – 34

Test optional (with exceptions): “Bowdoin does not require most applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores for the purposes of admission. Home-schooled applicants and candidates applying from secondary schools that provide written evaluations rather than grades are required to submit either the ACT test results OR the SAT test results as well as two or more SAT Subject Tests. SAT Subject Tests should include Math Level 1 or Math Level 2 and a science.” source

Bryant University (Smithfield, RI)

– Ranking: #10 – Northeast Universities
– Undergrads: 3,462
– SAT range: 1090 – 1250
– ACT range: 21 – 27

Test flexible: “If you feel your SAT or ACT scores aren’t an accurate reflection of your abilities, then you can choose not to submit them. Instead, you’ll answer three short essay questions on your application.” source

Colby College (Waterville, ME)

– Ranking: #12 – National Liberal Arts Colleges
– Undergrads: 1,879
– SAT range: 1270 – 1430
– ACT range: 29 – 32

Test flexible: “In order for us to make an admission decision, you’ll need to provide us with standardized test results for either the SAT, ACT, or two SAT Subject Tests.” source

Colorado College (Colorado Springs, CO)

– Ranking: #23 – National Liberal Arts Colleges
– Undergrads: 2,101
– SAT range: 1250 – 1420
– ACT range: 28 – 32

Test flexible: “On the Common Application, the student may select SAT, ACT, or Flexible Testing. If the student selects Flexible Testing, the Admission Committee is on alert to look for a variety of tests and select the ones most advantageous to the student. The options to fulfill testing are: 1. The SAT (old or new), or 2. The ACT, or 3. Three exams (ACT, SAT, AP, IB, TOEFL) of your choice, which must include one quantitative test, one verbal/writing test, and a third test of your choice.” source

Connecticut College (New London, CT)

– Ranking: #46 – National Liberal Arts Colleges
– Undergrads: 1,865
– SAT range: 1220 – 1400
– ACT range: 28 – 31

Test optional: “Connecticut College is test optional and therefore does not require applicants to submit test scores for review.” source

Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA)

– Ranking: #51 – National Liberal Arts Colleges
– Undergrads: 2,420
– SAT range: 1190 – 1380
– ACT range: 27 – 30

Test optional (with exceptions): “At Dickinson, submitting SAT1 or ACT scores is optional for admission. Test score submission is required for international students applying for admission.” source

Emerson College (Boston, MA)

– Ranking: #7 – Northeast Universities
– Undergrads: 3,790
– SAT range: 1100 – 1310
– ACT range: 25 – 29

Test flexible: “Emerson College is allowing students to submit an application as a Test Optional candidate. Students who choose not to submit standardized test scores will be required to submit one of the following alternative evaluative components: 1. A contemplative essay responding to a topic related to communication and the arts. 2. A creative sample or portfolio that relates specifically to their chosen major.” source

George Washington University (Washington, DC)

– Ranking: #56 – National Universities
– Undergrads: 11,504
– SAT range: 1190 – 1390
– ACT range: 27 – 31

Test optional (with exceptions): “SAT/ACT scores are an optional credential and as an applicant you can decide if you want to submit your scores to GW as part of your application. If you are part of one of the following groups you are still required to submit SAT/ACT scores: 1. Applicants to the accelerated seven-year B.A./M.D. program 2. Applicants who are homeschooled 3. Applicants who attended secondary schools that provide only narrative evaluations rather than some form of grading scale 4. Recruited NCAA Division I athletes.” source

Hamilton College (Clinton, NY)

– Ranking: #18 – National Liberal Arts Colleges
– Undergrads: 1,879
– SAT range: 1300 – 1470
– ACT range: 31 – 33

Test flexible: “The following tests meet our standardized test requirements: The SAT (Essay optional for redesigned SAT); OR The ACT (Writing Section optional); OR Three individual exams of your choice, selected from SAT sections (including Essay test from redesigned SAT), SAT subject tests, ACT writing, AP scores or IB final exams. One must be a verbal or writing/essay test, one must be a quantitative test, and the third is your choice.” source

Ithaca College (Ithaca, NY)

– Ranking: #8 – Northeast Universities
– Undergrads: 6,221
– SAT range: 1100 – 1270
– ACT range: 24 – 29

Test optional: “You may send us your standardized test scores if you like, but you don’t have to.” source

Marist College (Poughkeepsie, NY)

– Ranking: #9 – Northeast Universities
– Undergrads: 5,616
– SAT range: 1050 – 1250
– ACT range: 23 – 28

Test optional (with exceptions): “By making the submission of ACT/SAT scores optional, Marist is reaffirming its commitment to a holistic approach to application review. International students whose native language is not English are required to submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). In addition, students applying for our HEOP program, and/or students that have been homeschooled at any time in their high school career, are required to submit their SAT or ACT results.” source

Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT)

– Ranking: #6 – National Liberal Arts Colleges
– Undergrads: 2,532
– SAT range: 1270 – 1500
– ACT range: 29 – 33

Test flexible: “Middlebury College requires applicants to submit standardized testing, but there is some flexibility in our testing policy. Students must submit either the SAT I, the ACT, or three SAT II Subject Tests in different academic disciplines (Math I and Math II, for example, do not qualify as two distinct Subject Tests).” source

New York University (New York, NY)

– Ranking: #30 – National Universities
– Undergrads: 26,135
– SAT range: 1250 – 1470
– ACT range: 29 – 32

Test flexible: “To be eligible for admission, you must submit one of the following: SAT (essay test not required), ACT (writing test not required), Three SAT Subject Test scores, Three AP exam scores, International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, Three IB higher-level exam scores if not an IB Diploma candidate, Nationally accredited exam that shows you completed your secondary education.” source

Quinnipiac University (Hamden, CT)

– Ranking: #13 – Northeast Universities
– Undergrads: 7,099
– SAT range: 990 – 1180
– ACT range: 22 – 27

Test optional (with exceptions): “While Quinnipiac is not completely ‘test optional,’ we hope you’ll share your SAT and/or ACT scores with us. If you are applying to the School of Health Sciences or School of Nursing, we require that you submit your official scores from the College Board or the ACT. For all other majors, we will not hold your file ‘incomplete’ if we don’t receive scores.” source

Roger Williams University (Bristol, RI)

– Ranking: #37 – Northeast Universities
– Undergrads: 4,902
– SAT range: 1030 – 1200
– ACT range: 23 – 27

Test optional: “If you feel that your SAT and/or ACT scores accurately reflect your academic achievements and potential, you may wish to submit your scores. Conversely, if you feel that your transcript and other involvements and achievements are a better reflection of your ability and potential, and that your test scores detract from that, you may choose not to submit them.” source

Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, CT)

– Ranking: #41 – Northeast Universities
– Undergrads: 5,428
– SAT range: 950 – 1250
– ACT range: 21 – 28

Test optional: “High school students applying for admission to Sacred Heart University are not required to submit standardized test scores within their applications for admission to the University.” source

Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, NY)

– Ranking: #41 – National Liberal Arts Colleges
– Undergrads: 2,680
– SAT range: 1110 – 1343
– ACT range: 26 – 30

Test optional (with exceptions): “Skidmore College is test-optional. The College will, however, continue to require standardized testing (SAT or ACT) for the following populations of applicants: international students other than those who have attended an English language-based school for at least three years, homeschooled students, and students attending secondary schools offering written evaluations without accompanying grades.” source

Trinity College (Hartford, CT)

– Ranking: #44 – National Liberal Arts Colleges
– Undergrads: 2,259
– SAT range: 1150 – 1340
– ACT range: 27 – 30

Test optional: “As of fall 2015, Trinity College does not require the SAT or ACT for all students applying for Admission.” source

Union College (Schenectady, NY)

– Ranking: #36 – National Liberal Arts Colleges
– Undergrads: 2,203
– SAT range: 1240 – 1400
– ACT range: 29 – 32

Test optional (with exceptions): “Testing is optional for all students (except for those applying to the combined law or medical programs, and for those who are homeschooled).” source

University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)

– Ranking: #34 – National Universities
– Undergrads: 6,386
– SAT range: 1240 – 1470
– ACT range: 29 – 33

Test flexible: “A wide variety of test results can fulfill Rochester’s testing requirement, including SAT Reasoning exams, the ACT, two or more results from SAT Subject exams, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, GCE, SE, AS- and A-level exams (in UK and Commonwealth countries), Gao Kao (China), and results from many other national secondary exams.” source

Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC)

– Ranking: #27 – National Universities
– Undergrads: 4,955
– SAT range: 1200 – 1410
– ACT range: 27 – 33

Test optional: “It’s simple. If you think your scores are an accurate representation of your ability, feel free to submit them. If you feel they are not, don’t. You won’t be penalized.” source

Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT)

– Ranking: #21 – National Liberal Arts Colleges
– Undergrads: 2,971
– SAT range: 1250 – 1470
– ACT range: 29 – 33

Test optional (with exceptions): “Wesleyan will not require applicants from U.S. and Canadian schools to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of an application for admission. Applicants for whom English is not the first language are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English by submitting either TOEFL or IELTS results.” source

Wheaton College (Norton, MA)

– Ranking: #63 – Liberal Arts Colleges
– Undergrads: 2,456
– SAT range: 1100 – 1330
– ACT range: 25 – 30

Test optional (with exceptions): “The submission of standardized test results is optional for all candidates. The Admission Committee, however, encourages students whose first language is not English to submit their SAT or ACT scores along with the required English proficiency testing (IELTS, TOEFL).” source

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