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Test Optional FAQs

ACT/SAT/CLT Waived for Applicants through Spring 2023

Why is Cedarville implementing this change?

Current high school seniors have had very few opportunities to take and complete standardized tests (ACT, SAT, CLT) since March 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions and testing cancellations.  As a result, college admissions (nationally) is feeling the impact in several areas: reduced access and opportunities for students, students delaying/avoiding applying to schools with test requirements, and students being placed in hold patterns while they await the opportunity to take and receive test scores. We want to remove these roadblocks for students and their families during this already challenging time.

What does test optional mean?

The SAT, ACT, or CLT scores will supplement a student’s application but will not be required for an admission decision. This means the student can decide whether or not to submit test scores for consideration. Academic transcripts and other components of the admissions application will continue to be holistically reviewed when making an admission decision.

Will Cedarville still look at SAT, ACT or CLT test scores?

Yes. Test optional does not mean test blind. If we have a student’s scores when their file is complete, we will factor the scores into any admission decision. If test scores are received post-acceptance, those scores can assist the student in earning additional merit-based scholarship monies, or in meeting content proficiency for certain majors and courses. While low test scores may hurt a student’s chances of admission to Cedarville, test scores (whenever received) will never negatively impact a student’s financial aid award.

When will Cedarville admit students who do not have a test score?

We will continue to review applicants under the “rolling admissions” criteria, meaning, applicants will be reviewed when their admission file is complete (with or without a test score).

Should an applicant submit a test score?

While not required for admission, it may be advantageous for some students to submit a test score. Submission of scores may afford students:

  • Opportunity to gain admission if high school GPA is low
  • Increased financial aid opportunities
  • Direct entry into majors with test requirements
  • Increased access to external scholarship opportunities

What will be the time frame for test optional admits to receive financial aid awards?

  • Students admitted without a test score will be eligible to receive merit scholarships based on their academic credentials. We will be implementing a new merit-based scholarship awarding structure and anticipate sending merit based awards to admitted students in early October.  
  • Students will not see a reduction in their merit award as a result of submitting a test score.

Will this affect current students’ financial aid?

No. Per our normal practices, financial aid changes for prospective students will not affect current student aid.

Some subject areas require proficiency standards for entering students that have historically been satisfied through standardized test scores. How will proficiency be evaluated for students without test scores?

There are several options and best practices that are being actively considered in consultation with academic leadership and affected departments. We have time to continue reviewing our options and more information will be forthcoming as decisions are made.

Students can be accepted as a nursing, engineering, or pharmacy major without submitting a standardized test. The School of Engineering and Computer Science, however, does require a calculus readiness exam. All Eng/CS students take the Calc. readiness exam which serves as a "proficiency" requirement and often moves students who don't do well on the exam to other majors.

How is this change being communicated to families?

We are actively communicating this change to prospective students and families via email, social media, and the Cedarville website.  Students currently in the admissions process are receiving more individualized communication.

You can learn more about test optional admissions at the following sites: