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Admission Test Optional Policy and FAQs

As part of a growing national trend, Bridgewater State University is now allowing prospective First-Year applicants for the Fall of 2017 to choose whether or not to submit standardized test scores (SAT/ACT) to be considered in the admission process.

Regardless of whether or not scores are submitted, the high school transcript remains the most important factor in the admission process.  Even before becoming test optional, a strong high school record would trump low SAT/ACT scores allowing us to admit what we determined to be qualified students.

So why go test optional?

Our concern has always been that students who perceive they scored poorly on the SAT/ACT (or avoided even taking it for the fear of doing poorly) may not apply to BSU thus not allowing us the opportunity to give them the opportunity to be considered for admission.  Our hope is that making the SAT/ACT optional, though we encourage students to submit test scores if taken, will eliminate this stigma.

FAQs

When?
The "No Test Option" is available to new first-year students applying for the Fall 2017 term

Why?
It may be beneficial for some students. Standardized test scores are useful, but they are just one indicator of a student’s ability and potential for college success.  The outcome of one test shouldn’t disqualify a great student from studying at BSU.  Though we recommend most students submit scores, some may decide not to.

Will the "No Test Option" make it easier or harder to qualify for admission?
This will vary from student to student.  Choose the option that best reflects you and your abilities. If you aren’t sure, we recommend you submit your scores.  Only 10% of the admitted class may fall into the “no test option” category so you may be better off submitting your scores.

Applicants who scored a 950 or higher on the old SAT (prior to March 2016-Math and Critical Reading combined score) or 1030 or higher on the new SAT (March 2016 and later-Math and Evidenced Based Reading and Writing combined score) or 20 or higher on the ACT are good candidates to submit test scores as part of the application process.

We recommend that applicants applying under the “No Test Option” have a minimum high school GPA of 3.00 and evidence of academic success throughout high school.

If I have a documented learning disability should I select the "No Test Option"?
Actually, no.  Students who apply and submit an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) are automatically exempt from the SAT/ACT requirement so will not be part of the “No Test Option” admission process.

Are you lowering your standards?
Not at all.  We want to enroll students that are prepared to succeed at BSU, and this option is in line with that philosophy.

How do I participate in the “No Test Option”?
Just choose the “No Test Option” on your application. You will need to submit a personal statement (essay) in its place and a recommendation from your high school guidance counselor.

Can I participate in the “No Test Option” if I sent my SAT/ACT scores to BSU?
Yes. You can still select the “No Test Option” when you submit the application. If you do so, your test scores will not factor into our decision.
Once a decision has been made on your application, we will request that you submit your scores, if taken, for statistical considerations.

Can I be considered for merit scholarships without submitting standardized test scores?
No. If you wish to be considered for merit aid/scholarships, you will need to submit SAT and/or ACT scores.

Can anyone select the “No Test Option”?
Most new First-Year applicants can, but test scores are required for all home schooled students and those that come from a high school that uses narratives rather than grades.

Can ESL students participate in the “No Test Option”?
Yes, however, students must take the TOEFL exam to demonstrate English proficiency.

How will you review my application?
Whether a student chooses to send scores or not, our decision process will be similar.  We focus on academic achievement, rigor of high school coursework, and what we know about your personal qualities. We will make a decision based on your whole application.