Bucknell University has announced a five-year pilot test-optional admissions policy beginning with the entering freshman class of 2020.
Bucknell's new policy will allow most applicants the choice of whether or not to submit standardized test scores at the time of application. As a result, other application elements will receive greater focus within a holistic review, including grades in academic classes, rigor of curriculum, fit with intended major, extracurricular involvements and achievements, and more.
Students still required to submit standardized test scores at the time of application include recruited varsity athletes, international applicants and homeschooled students.
Most colleges offering a test optional approach will yet require test scores from matriculating students in order to support institutional research on the relationship between test scores and college success. Happily, the option to include or exclude SAT or ACT scores at the time of application could widen opportunity for students who shine in other areas that better reflect their strengths.
Bowdoin now joins the growing group of over 1000 test optional colleges, according to FairTest.org, The National Center for Fair and Open Testing.
Freas Hall is home to Bucknell University's Office of Admissions. Photo by Chris Shipley