November 18 2015
Beginning with the freshman class of 2016, Elmira College will make college entrance examinations optional for admission. Elmira College joins more than 195 “top tier” schools, and more than 900 colleges and universities nationwide, that have already made the move to a test-optional policy.
Students can now decide if they want their standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT, to be considered with their application for admission. In the past, these test scores were a requirement.
“Adopting a test-optional admission policy does not mean Elmira College is relaxing its admission standards. Quite the contrary,” said Christopher R. Coons, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Elmira College.
Research on SAT and its effect on first-year success at Elmira College showed students’ high school grade point averages were better predictors than standardized tests of that first-year success.
“By deemphasizing standardized tests, Elmira College hopes to attract and enroll more academically-capable students,” Coons said. “Through a test-optional policy, we can truly implement a holistic admission approach and focus on each applicant's academic performance throughout secondary school, including the demand of the curriculum, letters of recommendation, personal essay, and leadership/character qualities.”
Test-optional candidates will be evaluated based on the rigor of the high school curriculum, GPA, class rank (if available), letters of recommendation, and extracurricular activities. An on-campus interview is highly recommended and may be required as part of the application review process. Students who feel the ACT or SAT scores accurately reflects their academic abilities may still submit the test scores.