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March 12, 2020

Avila University Admissions Goes “Test-Optional”

The University Suspends Standardized Test Scores for Fall 2020 Applicants

Avila University will join a growing number of colleges that do not require prospective students to submit an ACT or SAT score. President Ron Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA announced the change after a meeting of Avila’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday.

 “This suspension of standardized testing fits within Avila’s mission to lower barriers to higher education while inspiring students to reach their goals,” Slepitza said. “There’s overwhelming evidence that standardized test scores do not fully reflect a student’s potential and grit.”

For a number of years, Avila University has weighted its admissions requirement away from standardized test scores and toward grade point average, extracurricular activities, and the difficulty of the classes taken in high school. According to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, more than 1,080 accredited colleges and universities in the U.S. are now “test-optional.”

Alexandra Adams, Ph.D., vice president for enrollment management, said the trend caused Avila to look into the research. Working with the university’s faculty assembly, they found that for whatever reason, the university was missing quality, college-ready students who didn’t perform well on standardized college admission exams.

 “There are a lot of students who simply do not do well on standardized tests,” Adams said.  “The ACT and SAT, are just one consideration. They are not always the best reflection of how a student will succeed in the classroom or after graduation.”

The change at Avila starts with undergraduate students applying for the Fall, 2020 term. Prospective students can decide for themselves whether to include an ACT score in their admission materials.

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