Education
standardized test. Photo - Getty Images/Jamie Grill standardized test. Photo - Getty Images/Jamie Grill  

Notable schools that don’t require standardized test scores [SLIDESHOW]

More than 800 colleges and universities in the United States (and Puerto Rico and Guam) no longer require SAT or ACT scores for admission for at least some applicants.

The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, commonly known as FairTest, keeps a comprehensive list of such schools.

Policies concerning the usage of standardized tests in admissions vary dramatically from school to school, and it’s not entirely clear how FairTest defines “optional.” Nevertheless, the schools in the slideshow below definitely don’t require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores (or, at least, provide a clear path to admission without them).

According to these 19 schools — which range from decent to undeniably exceptional — U.S. residents who choose not to submit standardized test scores will receive exactly the same admissions consideration as applicants who do submit standardized tests.

Finally, note that many test-optional schools will still ask for test scores once students actually enroll, presumably only for statistical purposes.

Click an image below for larger version.
  • Few campuses look as utterly collegiate as the campus of midsize Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Wake offers a mix of big-school opportunities and small-school ambiance that is hard to match. Photo -  Facebook/Wake Forest Univesity Stores
  • All-female Smith College in Massachusetts is an elite Northeastern school in every sense of the word. Notable alumnae include First Ladies Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush, ultra-feminist Gloria Steinem, "Gone with the Wind" author Margaret Mitchell and Julia Child, star of TV’s "The French Chef" (and a World War II spy). Photo - Facebook/Smith College
  • Sewanee: The University of the South boasts a 10,000-acre campus and buildings modeled after the ones at Oxford. Tradition is big at this sprawling Tennessee redoubt, especially the wearing of academic gowns by both professors and students. Photo - Flickr/Sewanee: Lessons & Carols 2009, 50th Anniversary
  • Bates College in Maine is a small, very pretty bastion of the liberal arts and sciences where generally outdoorsy students partake in rigorous academics and a busy but low-key social scene. Photo - Facebook/Bates College
  • Lutheran-affiliated Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota offers small classes, a fairly unique January term and very tasty campus food. Facebook/Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Stetson University, about 25 miles from Daytona Beach and 35 miles from Orlando, boasts a very pretty campus, a noticeably career-oriented feel and broad set of general education requirements for all majors. Photo - Facebook/Stetson University
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges are two single-sex colleges that share a faculty, a bureaucracy, and a lakefront, frequently snow-covered and highly college-esque campus in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York. Over 40 percent of enrolled students didn’t use standardized test scores in their applications. Photo - Facebook/Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Lawrence University in Wisconsin is a small, rigorous haven of the liberal arts with a justly celebrated conservatory of music. Photo - Facebook/Lawrence University
  • Smallish Furman University in South Carolina offers an immaculate, gorgeous campus and arguably the quintessential liberal arts college experience for preppy Southerners. Photo - Facebook/Furman University
  • Providence College is a Roman Catholic citadel of the liberal arts in Rhode Island's largest city noted for a broad core curriculum that includes four mandatory courses focusing on Western Civilization. Photo - Facebook/Providence College
  • Knox College is a small liberal arts school amid the vast farmlands of rural Illinois where the motto is "Freedom to Flourish." Students take three classes at a time (over three terms each year) and they enjoy a serious degree of academic freedom. Photo - Facebook/Knox College
  • Denison University is a highly residential enclave in rural Ohio that offers an intimate atmosphere, a helpful faculty and a pretty pervasive Greek system. Photo - Facebook/Denison University
  • St. John's College offers the world's foremost great books program in two locations: Annapolis, MD and Santa Fe, NM. The admissions staff notes that, in practice, over 70 percent of undergraduate applicants submit test scores. Photo - Facebook/St Johns College
  • Lewis & Clark College in Portland has offered something called a test-optional portfolio path since 1991, well before the school's most notorious alum Monica Lewinsky was even a twinkle in Bill Clinton's eye. Portfolios must include writing samples and teacher evaluations, among other things. Photo - public domain
  • Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania boasts a highly accessible faculty. Applicants to F&M who don't submit test scores must instead submit two graded creative or analytical writing samples from junior or senior year.  Photo - Facebook/Franklin and Marshall College
  • At Colorado College, where students take a single course for three-and-a-half weeks, applicants can elect to submit three exams (AP tests, SAT subject tests, etc.) from a list of acceptable exams instead of the SAT or ACT. Photo - Facebook/Colorado College
  • George Mason University, a large public school with a main campus in a placid Northern Virginia suburb, is mostly recognized for its applied sciences and economics programs. Students who don’t submit SAT or ACT scores need stellar grades in college-prep courses and strong extracurricular credentials. Photo - Facebook/George Mason University
  • Kansas State University in the world-famous Little Apple (Manhattan, KS) wears its ag school credentials proudly while also offering some 250 total academic programs. Applicants must graduate in the top third of their class or achieve a minimum GPA to avoid submitting test scores. Photo - Facebook/Kansas State University
  • Pitzer College, the quirkiest, most hippie-esque member of the five colleges in California's Claremont Consortium, is test-optional if your academic credentials are absolutely fabulous. Otherwise, you'll probably have to submit scores like the run of humanity. Photo - Facebook/Pitzer College Alumni Association Facebook

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