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Spalding adopts ‘test-optional’ undergraduate admissions policy; ACT, SAT scores no longer required

Spalding University has announced that it has changed its undergraduate admissions policy by making it optional instead of required for students to include ACT and SAT test scores when they apply.

The change, which was approved this month by Spalding’s Undergraduate Admissions Committee, makes Spalding the first four-year nonprofit university in Louisville to adopt a test-optional policy for undergraduate admissions and is in line with a trend in higher education.

Beginning immediately with applications for the fall 2020 first-year class, students with at least a 3.00 cumulative high school grade-point average may choose not to submit an ACT or SAT score when they apply to Spalding.

The university believes the test-optional policy expands student access to higher education and is consistent with its social-justice mission. Spalding values students’ entire profile and recognizes future academic achievement is not solely predicated by a single test score.

Scholarly research has shown that other factors, like a student’s motivation, high school GPA and having the appropriate support are also strong predictors of academic success in college.

“As a diverse community of learners, Spalding is proud to be the first institution of its kind in Louisville to adopt a test-optional undergraduate admissions policy, and we are excited to provide students interested in attending Spalding with an additional means to show they have the qualifications to succeed in college,” the faculty members of the Undergraduate Admissions Committee said in a joint statement.

“We have to assume there have been some students without high ACT and SAT scores who have been reluctant to apply because they know (those scores are) a barrier, and they don’t even bother with the process. Otherwise, they are capable students who we would like to see apply.

“A test-optional application eliminates that barrier and empowers many students with good grades to know that regardless of a standardized test score, they can still attend college and thrive when they get there.”

Furthermore, Spalding’s test-optional policy is intended to remove college admissions barriers for students whose ACT or SAT scores may not be as high because they lacked the resources or support necessary to prepare for the tests or to take the tests multiple times.

“Often we are putting the students who don’t have those resources at a concerted disadvantage,” said Dr. Matthew Elder, Spalding Director of Undergraduate Admissions.

Students still have the option of submitting ACT or SAT scores when they apply to Spalding, which grants automatic admission to high school students who have a 2.5 or higher cumulative GPA along with an ACT score of at least 20 or an SAT score of at least 950.

Spalding also uses test scores for the consideration of its merit-based scholarships, though test-optional students are also eligible for merit scholarships.

“Spalding strives every day to meet the needs of the times in finding ways to make college affordable and accessible to good students who are eager to learn and make a positive change in the world,” President Tori Murden McClure said. “With its decision to implement this new admissions policy, Spalding’s Undergraduate Admissions Committee is helping our university carry out its mission.”

Visit spalding.edu/admissions for more information.

From Spalding University

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