In recognition of challenges associated with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Centre College will join the ranks of institutions that are test optional, for at least the next three admission cycles.
Other schools that have made a similar move recently include Amherst, Williams, Pomona, Davidson and Rhodes colleges, among others.
This means that for the 2021, 2022 and 2023 admission cycles, Centre will not require all applicants for admission to submit ACT or SAT scores. Instead, applicants may decide whether to submit standardized test scores for consideration in the College’s holistic, student-centered review process.
Those who choose a test-optional process will be given full and fair consideration for admission and most scholarship awards.
According to Bob Nesmith, Centre’s dean of admission and financial aid, the College’s Enrollment Management Committee has had an ongoing conversation about the possibility of going test optional.
“Our committee was already actively considering test optional admission policies,” he said. “Events in the world simply moved our timeline forward.”
Specifically, public health measures have meant that all ACT and SAT test dates for March, April and May have been cancelled, including some free state and school-based administrations.
As such, current high school juniors find their testing plans disrupted in ways that could impact their college applications.
Nesmith is confident Centre will be able to make fair, effective admission decisions for test-optional candidates.
“Our evaluation process is personal, thorough and human,” he said.
“We already use test scores with sensitivity and within context, and low test scores alone have almost never disqualified otherwise compelling applicants,” he added.
“Having an official policy that better reflects our actual practice makes good sense, and we hope it will encourage well-qualified students to apply.”
A full list of test-optional colleges can be found HERE.
by Michael Strysick
April 10, 2020