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Test Optional Policy

Policy Overview

Due to at home test options not being offered by College Board and the capacity for in-person examinations being severely limited due to COVID-19, Shippensburg University will be test optional for undergraduate students applying for Spring and Fall 2021. In making this policy change for the upcoming semesters, we hope to allow students with lack of access to test to have an opportunity to attend SU without a disadvantage to them in the admissions process.

First-year applicants are not required to submit their test scores (SAT or ACT) for admissions review, except for exemptions below. When submitting the application for admission, applicants will indicate if they want test scores used in review of their application. If a student states they do not want test scores considered, Ship will not review them as part of the admissions process even if we’ve received test scores for the student.

Deciding whether to share your test scores

Not sure whether to share your SAT or ACT score? You might be surprised to learn that standardized test scores are not a leading predictor of college success. A student’s curriculum and high school GPA are the best indicators of whether or not a student will succeed at Ship. Historically, standardized test results have been just one part of the review process.

Some students do well in the classroom but not on standardized tests. If you have good grades in challenging classes but your standardized test scores don’t reflect that, you might want to withhold them. On the other hand, if you believe your scores reflect your ability, submit them.

Still unsure? Please contact your admission counselor to talk it over. Or, if you’ve decided what you want to do, apply now.

How to apply

You will need to select one of two options on your application to Ship:

  • “I will be submitting SAT and/or ACT test scores to Shippensburg University and want them used during the review of my application for admission.
  • “I do not want Shippensburg University to use my SAT and/or ACT test score(s) during the review of my application for admission (even if I have scores sent to Ship).

If you choose to submit without test scores, your application will be reviewed when your high school transcript has been received. If you choose to submit scores, your application will be reviewed once your test scores and transcripts have been received. Due to the changing landscape of testing, students will be allowed to adjust their options as needed to best suit their needs.


Exemptions to the test optional policy

  • Applicants who are applying for Software/Mechanical/Computer/Civil/Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Elementary Education, Allied Health, Biology, and Exercise Science w/ Allied Health Pre-Professional Concentration/ Pre-Athletic Training Concentration
  • Applicants who are homeschooled
  • Applicants who attend non-graded schools are required to submit official ACT or SAT scores
  • International applicants who are non-native English speakers must submit an acceptable score on either the IELTS, TOEFL, or Duolingo. International students can also submit SAT/ACT scores.