Test Optional Admissions

What does it mean to be test optional?

Nazareth University was a leader in the movement to provide flexibility to students regarding the use of standardized tests in their admission decision. Since then, some of the nation’s most competitive and well-respected institutions have gone in this direction based on the following understanding:

  • In combination with the student’s high school transcript, writing samples, recommendations, and other application requirements, SAT and ACT scores are helpful in better understanding the student’s preparedness.
  • However, it is also known that SAT and ACT scores are highly connected to factors that are non-academic, such as socioeconomic status, high school resources, and other factors that can create inequity in college admissions. 
  • The best predictor of college success is the student’s high school performance, indicated by grades and rigor of coursework.

As a result, the decision whether to include SAT or ACT scores in the application portfolio is up to the student. We feel confident that through our individual review of admission files, we can determine preparedness in both scenarios.

When filling out the Common Application, you will see a question related to the use of your SAT or ACT scores. Please identify your preference on whether test scores should be included in your application for admission, and we will review the file accordingly. In some situations, we may request an interview if additional input is needed to make a decision.

The only exception:

If you have any questions on how this policy may impact your application, please contact Undergraduate Admissions, 585-389-2860 or admissions@naz.edu.

Test Options FAQ

Q: If I decide to not use my test scores, am I at a disadvantage for admission?

A: No, your application will be reviewed on the merits of your high school performance, essay, and recommendations.

Q: Are scholarships tied to SAT or ACT scores?

A: In certain situations, we will use a test score as an input for certain scholarship programs. If a student is on the bubble for a certain scholarship and has exceptional test scores, the scores can sometimes help in awarding the scholarship.

Q: How do I change my mind from my original selection on the Common App?

A: If you want to change your response from the Common App question about test scores, please use the First-Year Admissions Application Change Request Form online. If an admissions decision has been made, we cannot go back and review the file.

Q: How do you assess academic preparedness without test scores? 

A: We use the high school transcript, with support from your recommendations.