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Alma College To Begin Test-optional Admissions Policy

Students who apply to Alma typically have more college-ready experiences and talent than a single test score can dictate, including community-service, school leadership, broad talents and academic accomplishments.

Alma College

Beginning with the 2020 incoming class, the submission of SAT or ACT test scores will be optional at Alma College, which joins a growing number of selective colleges and universities around the nation that have added a track for test-optional admissions.

“While the traditional admissions process remains for students who wish to submit standardized test scores, a test-optional pathway also will be available for students who meet certain criteria,” says Amanda Slenski, vice president for admissions. “Offering a test-optional pathway aligns with our admissions processes and with Alma’s identity as a small, close-knit campus community that focuses on each student as an individual. This change provides a pathway to evaluate students on factors that are more relevant to college success.”

McIntyre MallMcIntyre MallStudents who apply to Alma typically have more college-ready experiences and talent than a single test score can dictate, including community-service, school leadership, broad talents and academic accomplishments, says Slenski.

“Moving to test-optional admissions will help us review applicants even more holistically,” she says. “It also provides access for underrepresented minority students who do not have equal cultural representation in the testing process. We are excited about increasing access to students from all backgrounds to an Alma education.”

To be considered for admission without test scores, applicants will need to have an overall high school grade point average of 3.0 or have a core course recalculated GPA (English language arts, math, science, history and social studies) of 2.75 or higher. Test-optional candidates also must complete an admissions interview. Alma’s admissions policies for international and transfer students, both of which already have a test-optional pathway, will not change.

Test-optional applicants will be considered for academic merit-based scholarships based on high school grade point average.

Alma College faculty have supported the move to test-optional admission, which was reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee and approved by a faculty-wide vote.

More than 1,000 colleges and universities have gone test-optional, according to FairTest, the national educational organization that addresses issues related to fairness and accuracy in student test taking and scoring.

Story published on April 17, 2019