31 Top Schools that will accept students that got a low SAT or ACT score that look at other criteria

Do you have any students that knock the ball out of the park in every way but one? They have a great GPA, are involved in many extracurricular activities and are near the top of the class but for some reason they freeze up on tests and have not been able to get their SAT or ACT score up to where it needs to be? Many students have trouble on standardized tests and for some reason they freeze up on test day and don’t perform as they should. While Harvard and Yale might be out there are many top schools that use other criteria to evaluate and accept students. Getting a lower score on their SAT and/or ACT won’t automatically eliminate them from consideration.

Money magazine recently published a list of 31 top schools that use other evaluation criteria when evaluating students. Here is the list of schools:

Name City State Rank Limits
Texas A & M University College Station TX 13 Only applicants in top 10% of their high school class
Earlham College Richmond IN 28
Washington State University Pullman WA 37 Only top 10% or a GPA of at least 3.5
Bowdoin College Brunswick ME 43
The University of Texas Austin TX 50
University of Delaware Newark DE 54 In-state only
Bates College Lewiston ME 61
College of the Holy Cross Worcester MA 65
Wesleyan University Middletown CT 68
Siena College Loudonville NY 72 Some programs
Gustavus Adolphus College Saint Peter MN 74
Muhlenberg College Allentown PA 87
The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson TX 91 Top 10%
Wake Forest University Winston-Salem NC 92
St Lawrence University Canton NY 95
Union College Schenectady NY 98
McDaniel College Westminster MD 100 Only top 10% or GPA of at least 3.5
California State University-Fresno Fresno CA 106 Only for GPA of at least 3.4
Lawrence University Appleton WI 114
Gettysburg College Gettysburg PA 114
Providence College Providence RI 134
Stonehill College Easton MA 136
Denison University Granville OH 140
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester MA 142
Mount Holyoke College South Hadley MA 146
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona Pomona CA 149 Only for GPAs of at least 3.125
Loyola University Maryland Baltimore MD 160
Franklin and Marshall College Lancaster PA 165
The University of Montana-Western Dillon MT 172 Only for students in the top half of their class or with a GPA of at least 2.5
Hobart and William Smith Colleges Geneva NY 175
Mills College Oakland CA 175
Money says before your students apply to one of these “test optional colleges they should check with the school and answer these six questions:

1. Will you qualify for a “test-optional” application? Most require applicants who don’t have grades – such as home-schooled students – to provide test scores. And some, such as Arizona State University, only provide the no-test option to students with grades or a class rank above a certain cutoff.

2. Will you still have to take tests and submit scores? Some “test-optional” schools such as Bowdoin won’t look at test scores while deciding whom to admit, but then require those they do admit to submit scores, presumably for class placement uses.

3. Will you have to do anything extra? Many test-optional colleges require extra essays, or recommendations, or submissions of graded papers in lieu of scores. Temple University, for example, requires applicants who don’t submit test scores to complete some short online essays.

4. What admission factors replace the scores? Many schools, such as Providence College and Bowdoin, say they look very carefully at the difficulty of courses the student took in high school. They are looking for students who took the hardest possible courses available to them — not those who took easy courses to score an A. “Taking more difficult classes and taking on more work tells you about the applicant’s disposition toward learning,” explains E. Whitney Soule, Bowdoin’s dean of admissions.

5. Do you really have a chance if you don’t submit scores? Many colleges will accept applications without scores, but end up rejecting a disproportionate number of those applications, says Stone. But she says others, such as George Washington University, have released admissions data for applicants who haven’t submitted scores that shows they are treating both kinds of applicants equally.

6. Will the lack of test scores affect financial aid? Some colleges, such as Western Oregon University, are “test optional” for admissions — but still award at least some “merit” aid based on test scores, notes Stone.

Here is a link to Money’s story – http://time.com/money/4604917/test-optional-best-colleges/