Adopts Test-optional Admissions Policy

Jan 1, 2020

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image textIn a bold move underscoring Franklin Pierce University’s (FPU) commitment to making higher education more accessible, FPU will join a rapidly growing list of institutions that have dropped standardized test requirements by announcing that the university will no longer require most applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. Beginning with the Spring 2016 enrollment cycle, students may apply without submitting standardized test scores.

The National Center for Fair & Open Testing reports that more than 850 accredited bachelor-degree granting schools do not require all or many applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. In last two years alone, 41 schools have joined that list. Recent additions include: Beloit, Eastern Connecticut, George Washington, Hofstra, Montclair State, Plymouth State, Temple, Virginia Commonwealth, Wesleyan and Western New England University, among others.

"At Franklin Pierce University we are more concerned with who you are as a person," says Franklin Pierce President Andrew H. Card, Jr. "We believe in making higher education accessible to any student who has the desire to work hard and learn. By becoming test-optional, Franklin Pierce has removed a barrier to education that is not indicative of college success."

Franklin Pierce’s own internal research has found what many test-optional colleges have discovered: that high school classroom performance is the best available screening device for applicants and for forecasting academic success in college. FPU’s analyses indicated that High School GPA was a significant predictor of Rindge student grades through the end of their sophomore year and that SAT scores were not a significant predictor of those grades.

"Reducing a student's ability to a number does not align with our holistic admissions process," said Linda Quimby, assistant vice president of enrollment. "This test-optional policy allows us to consider applicants strengths that may be better demonstrated in areas other than through a test score and it better connects our admission criteria with the educational experience we offer students."

Schools that have made standardized tests optional for admissions are widely pleased with the results. Dropping test requirements has led to greater diversity because the focus on test scores deters otherwise qualified minority, low-income, first-generation, female and other students from applying.

Those applying to Franklin Pierce will have the option to include standardized test scores as part of their application. High school coursework and grades will continue to be the most important factors in FPU’s review process, along with a student’s essay, recommendations, involvement in school and community, and personal qualities and character. However, students who do not think their SAT or ACT scores are an accurate reflection of their academic potential can choose not to submit them.

The university’s new admissions policy will include exceptions for student-athletes, who will still be required to submit test scores to the NCAA, and students applying for the Health Sciences to Doctorate in Physical Therapy Pathway Program. Prospective students with questions are encouraged to contact the Franklin Pierce Admissions Office.