Test-Optional Colleges

For students with low SAT scores or low ACT scores, submitting your official scores with your college applications isn’t always a reassuring measure. Plus, you (and your mom) know in your heart that an SAT or ACT score is in no way a summation of your entire intellect, creativity, or even potential. And guess what? A big selection of great colleges know it as well.

Below is a list of colleges and universities that are test-optional. That means that you’re not required to submit your ACT or SAT scores if you think they might actually negatively affect the rest of your application. That said, if you have good scores, it’s probably a good idea to submit them. Make sure you read all the directions on each individual college application because they will all have different criteria. So talk to you guidance counselor before you make a final decision.

Why are certain schools open to looking past the ACT or SAT? Well, some just don’t see the relevance. For example, an art or technical school might not see the SAT or ACT as a proper measurement for whether you’d succeed in their programs. Other schools understand that the exams give an unfair advantage to students from schools or families who can afford steep test prep sessions and the opportunity to take the exams multiple times until they reach their desired grades. And some schools simply understand the an exam is not the measure of a person.

So if you’re not completely happy with your score, or if you haven’t taken either exam and simply need to get your applications in before the deadline, take a look at these test-optional colleges and see if you’re a match!

Test-Optional Colleges and Universities:

American University
Arizona State University at Tempe
Arkansas State University
Austin Peay State University
Bard College
Bates College
Bennington College
Bowdoin College
California State University at Bakersfield, Chico, Dominguez Hills, East Bay, Fresno, Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Monteray Bay, Northridge, Sacramento, San Bernadino, San Marcos, and Stanislaus
College of the Atlantic
College of the Holy Cross
Connecticut College
Denison University
DePaul University
Dickinson College
Drew University
East Tennessee State University
Eastern Kentucky University
Fairfield University
Franklin and Marshall College
Furman University
Juniata College
Kansas State University (score required for out-of-state applicants)
King’s College
Knox College

Lake Forest College
Lawrence University
Lewis & Clark College
Loyola College in Maryland
Marist College
Middle Tennessee State University
Middlebury College (SATII’s required if SAT not submitted)
Minnesota State University
Mount Holyoke College
Muhlenberg College
Nazareth College
New School (certain programs require tests)
Northern Arizona University
Ohio State University at ATI Wooster, Marion, Newark (scores required for out-of-state applicants)
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater
Pitzer College
Providence College
Robert Morris University
Rollins College
St. John’s College Annapolis and Santa Fe
Sarah Lawrence College
Sewanee: The University of the South
Smith College
South Dakota State University
Stetson University
Stonehill College
Susquehanna University
Union College
University of Alaska at Anchorage, Fairbanks and Southeast
University of Arizona
University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, Little Rock, Monticello and Pine Bluff
University of Idaho
University of Kansas
University of Maine at Augusta, Farmington,  Ft. Kent and Presque Isle
University of Minnesota at Crookston, Duluth and Morris
University of Mississippi
University of Montana at Missoula and Western
University of Nebraska at Kearney and Lincoln
University of Nevada at Las Vegas and Reno
University of Texas at Arlington, Brownsville, Dallas, El Paso, Pan American, San Antonio and Tyler
Ursinus College
Wake Forrest University
Washington College
Washington and Jefferson College
Western Kentucky University
Wheaton College (MA)
Wittenberg University
Whitworth University
Worcester Polytech Institute (WPI)

This list is just a sampling of the 800+ four-year colleges that are test-optional. You can see the rest of the list on the FairTest website.