Test Optional Policy

High school students applying for admission to Sacred Heart University for the Fall of 2010 or later are not required to submit standardized test scores within their applications for admission to the University.* Students who wish to submit their standardized test scores for consideration are welcome to do so. To gain further clarity on SHU’s test-optional policy, please take the time to review the frequently asked questions listed below, and feel free to contact us with any additional questions. 

Q.  Why did Sacred Heart University choose to adopt a test-optional admissions policy?
A.  For the past three years, the Sacred Heart University administration has researched, discussed, and debated test-optional admissions practices. The Admissions Committee has always placed more emphasis on a student’s achievements in the classroom and community than on standardized tests, which recent studies have shown are not always valid predictors of a student’s grade point average during the first year of college. The decision to allow students the option of submitting standardized test scores within the undergraduate admissions application process gives students the autonomy to decide what information they believe best represents their qualifications for admission to the University. In so doing, it does not discriminate against students from underserved populations who have historically not performed as well on standardized tests despite their outstanding achievements in high school and potential for success in college.  As a Catholic university that lives by its mission of deepening human understanding through diversity and celebrating the unique talents of each student, the decision to adopt a test-optional admissions policy is consistent with the philosophy of life and teaching at the University. 

Q. If I do not submit my SAT/ACT scores, how will Sacred Heart evaluate my application for admission?
A. The Admissions Committee conducts a holistic review of each student’s application, regardless of whether the applicant submits standardized test scores.  Students’ academic and extracurricular achievements, recommendation letters, and admissions essays will be evaluated as will all other supplemental items provided by applicants such as resumes, interviews, and portfolios. As always, the Admissions Committee invites students to submit additional information in support of their applications, and reserves the right to request additional information from any applicant that would provide further evidence as to the applicant’s qualifications for admission to the University. There are no additional requirements for applicants who elect not to submit their standardized test scores. An interview with a member of our admissions team is highly recommended for all students, and required for Early Decision students.

Q. How will I know whether I should submit my scores? 
A. Students should carefully consider whether their SAT/ACT scores reflect their overall academic performance in high school as well as their ability to perform well academically in college. If a student believes that his/her standardized test scores reflect his/her academic achievements and potential and would like the scores to be considered by the Admissions Committee, then a student may wish to submit them. If a student believes that his/her standardized scores are not indicative of his/her academic achievements and potential and do not support his/her candidacy for admission, then a student may wish to withhold the scores. 

Q. If I do not submit my SAT/ACT scores, can I still receive scholarship money? 
A.  Yes. All merit and need-based scholarship programs are available to applicants regardless of whether they submit standardized test scores.

Q. Will any applicants still be required to submit standardized test scores?*
Yes. Home schooled students are still required to submit SAT or ACT scores. International students with a native language other than English are still required to submit their TOEFL scores as part of their admissions application. Although not required as part of the admissions application, the University recommends that prospective student-athletes who wish to become members of any of our 32 Division I athletic teams submit their SAT/ACT scores during the admissions process, since the NCAA mandates the submission of standardized test scores in order to grant student-athlete eligibility at the Division I level.

Q. How do I apply?
Sacred Heart University is a member of the Common Application.

For additional questions regarding SHU’s test-optional admissions policy or any other inquiry, please contact your Undergraduate Admissions Counselor.