50-50 Highlights: Test Optional Colleges

Erasing a mistake on a test representing test optional collegesStudents everywhere who struggle with standardized tests appreciate the increasing number of test optional colleges. However, it’s important to understand that there isn’t any one definition of “test optional.” Furthermore, just because a college states that it’s test optional for admissions doesn’t mean that tests aren’t required for scholarships or course placement. So be sure to check out the colleges for their specific requirements.

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Different Types of Test Optional

Of the 441 50-50 schools, at least 102 are some version of test optional. This is an increase from 91 last year. According to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), 26 report that the SAT/ACT is “neither required nor recommended, 34 are “considered by not required” and 42 as listed as “recommended.” Some of the “recommended” schools still require tests as part of their scholarship process while other don’t.

What Kind of Schools are Test Optional?

Last year there were 9 test optional schools in the Doctoral/Research Universities category. This year there are 11 including University of Arizona, Temple University, and Montclair State University. The largest category of test optional schools was Liberal Arts Colleges with 43 followed by Masters level with 39. The majority of the colleges are private. Only 17 public 50-50 colleges are test optional according to IPEDS.

New York has the most with 14 schools, followed by Pennsylvania with 12 and Massachusetts with 11 each. A total of 22 states do not have any test optional 50-50 colleges.

Remember, test optional isn’t an option for those looking for athletic scholarships.

The following table lists all 50-50 schools that do not list testing as “required.” This includes some fairly specialized institutions including health, art/design, and maritime schools. As usual, the four-year graduation rate is used for private colleges, the five-year rate for public institutions.

50-50 Test Optional Colleges

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