Xavier adopts a test-optional admissions policy

Prospective students are no longer required to submit their SAT/ACT scores

Xavier officially became a test-optional university on Aug. 1, meaning prospective students can decide if they want Xavier to consider their SAT or ACT scores as part of their application. With this decision, Xavier joins 11 other Jesuit schools and becomes one of more than 1,000 schools nationally recognized as test-optional.  

Even though Xavier will now be recognized as a test-optional school, its approach to reviewing applications holistically will not change.

“Some students may feel that their test scores provide an accurate picture of their abilities and choose to include them, while other students may feel more confident in other pieces of the application and choose to exclude test scores,” Dean of Admissions Lauren Parcell said.

Parcell also mentioned the importance of considering all applicants equally and said choosing whether or not to submit an ACT or SAT will not determine a student’s acceptance or deferral.

“Each piece of the application is fully considered, including high school grades, difficulty level of coursework, essay, recommendations from teachers and counselors, leadership, activity outside the classroom, etc.,” she said. “The test score has always been just one piece.”

Parcell added that the policy “removes a barrier and allows good students to let their abilities shine in other ways.”

Students like sophomore music education major Emily VonHandorf think the change could inspire confidence in prospective students. “It would definitely make me feel better if I was an incoming student, especially if I was not a good test taker,” she said.

“If I did not have a good test score, it is reassuring to know that would not be affected in my application,” VonHandorf said.

While some schools still stress the importance of standardized tests, there is a growing movement to place less emphasis on standardized tests.

According to the College Board website, being test-optional allows for increased access to higher education and more diverse campuses.

Duncan Webb, a junior mathematics major, brought up the point that taking a standardized test is not free. “This policy is beneficial to students who cannot afford to pay to take the ACT or SAT more than once,” Webb said.

Although this information was not widely publicized until Tuesday, the policy has been in effect since Aug. 1, when applications opened for the fall of 2020.

Parcell admitted that even though the test-optional conversation has been growing nationally for many years, it has only come to Xavier very recently.

With this decision, Xavier also becomes one of the first schools in the Cincinnati area to be test-optional.

However, Parcell pointed out that there are exceptions to the test-optional policy. Prospective nursing majors are among those who will still need to submit their test scores.

Any potential applicants should consult the Office of Admission’s website for more information.

By Alex Budzynski | Campus News Editor

Photo courtesy of Needpix.com