Centre adopts test-optional admission

Published 9:52 am Thursday, November 16, 2023


What started as a pandemic-era adjustment is now a permanent policy at Centre College as students going forward will have the option of including standardized test scores on their applications — or not.

With the permanent adoption of test-optional admissions, Centre joins a growing number of colleges nationwide offering students the flexibility to choose whether to include standardized test scores in their college applications.

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“Centre is a national leader in college access and opportunity and this is part of our commitment to removing barriers for talented students who might not otherwise pursue a national liberal arts and sciences education, including those who may be the first in their family to attend college.” said Chad Spencer, vice president for enrollment management. “We want to empower students to highlight their talents, creativity, community engagement and lived experiences, and we review each application holistically, looking at the whole person.”

The College’s test-optional policy was initially adopted in Fall 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic as many students were unable to take either the SAT or the ACT.

“Since that time, Centre’s Office of Admission has found that giving students flexibility when it comes to including test scores has not impacted their overall applications or success at the College,” said Spencer. “We continue to enroll highly qualified, dynamic students capable of succeeding in the classroom and beyond while also contributing to our campus community.”

Students will still have the option of submitting test scores, if they want to do so. In the most recent entering class, 44% of enrolling students applied without scores.

“We know there are many reasons why a an outstanding, capable, high-achieving student might struggle on a high-stakes standardized test,” said Spencer. “The test-optional approach allows students to wow us with share their academic excellence, life experiences and work ethic without concern over a test result. We’ve seen how it levels the playing field for the best and brightest to earn their spot at Centre.”