A new policy will allow prospective Spring Hill College students to apply without standardized test scores giving current students mixed feelings about the policy.
Spring Hill’s new test-optional policy was announced on Aug. 8. According to Spring Hill Colleges’ official website, the new policy gives prospective students the option to submit standardized test scores or supply additional materials in place of their test scores. Despite the absence of traditional test scores, students who choose not to provide standardized test scores will be considered for financial aid and scholarships. These students will be evaluated on academics, extracurriculars, and service. Prospective students may submit items such as personal recommendation letters and writing samples.
Students like Evann Campbell, senior, are supportive of this new policy. “I think it’s fair. Some students just don’t test well,” said Campbell. The average ACT score among SHC students is between 22 and 27. Campbell explained that she took the ACT three times before she was finally happy with her score. “The stress and workload was unbearable,” Campbell said. Campbell maintained a 4.0 GPA in high school, but was unable to perform well on standardized tests. Campbell feels that students are put under immense pressure at an early age to do well on these tests.
Other students including Amelia Nolan, junior, have some concerns about the new test-optional policy. “I worked hard to ensure I had the best possible score I could get. I studied for months in advance. I bought prep books and went to classes, as well.” Nolan feels that students choosing not to submit standardized test scores should not receive the same amount of aid and scholarships as those who do. “If I work hard to make a 31 on the ACT, someone who makes a 19 shouldn’t get the same amount of aid as I do,” said Nolan. Nolan took the ACT eight times. She first tested in the seventh grade.
Admissions counselor Theresa Bertini is excited about the new policy. “Being a Jesuit school, we value being able to help students of every background. Not every student has the privilege of getting a tutor, which statistically raises scores,” stated Bertini.
Inside Higher Ed reported that universities and colleges like Depauw, are no longer requiring standardized test scores for admission. According to a survey done by Inside Higher Ed, colleges that have dropped standardized test requirements have reported higher minority applicants without a decrease in graduation rates.
Despite reactions from students, the test-optional policy is here to stay. The policy will begin with the Fall 2020 class. According to an official article published by Spring Hill College, President Joseph E. Lee II stated that a full evaluation of a student’s high school record, both in and out of the classroom, is the best indicator of future academic success.
Unfortunately international, nursing, athletes, and students who were homeschooled will not be able to apply without a standardized test score. Test scores will also be needed for scheduling.