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Test Optional

Choosing Test Optional at SCU

At Santa Clara University, we review applications holistically, meaning that we will review your application individually, taking into account your academic credentials as well as your personal qualities. Santa Clara University has adopted a two-year “test optional” policy for first-year students. Scores on the SAT or ACT are not required for students applying to Santa Clara University for the Fall 2021 and Fall 2022 terms. As a test-optional university, students still have the option to submit any standardized test score results they’ve received. A student who chooses not to submit standardized test scores will be at no disadvantage in our admission or merit scholarship review processes.

Where does an applicant select having scores reviewed or not?

On the Common Application Supplement Questions for SCU, the following question will be required of all first year applicants: Do you want your test scores considered?

Changing Your Testing Choice

Applicants have the option to select if they would like to have standardized testing scores considered as part of the application review process. 

If an applicant selects to have their test scores considered when they submitted their Common Application and Supplement Questions to Santa Clara, please know a change cannot be made after the deadline for the admission track selected (ED I, EA, ED II, RD). This policy is in place to honor and ensure the choice of an applicant at the time of application as we cannot unsee what we have seen in our review process. 

If an applicant selects not to have their test scores considered when they submitted their Common Application and Supplemental Questions to Santa Clara, please know a change can be made to include your scores no later than one week after the deadline for the admission track selected (ED I, EA, ED II, RD). 

Can an applicant who is deferred or waitlisted change their testing choice?

An application with a deferred or waitlist decision will have the opportunity to submit supplemental information. Test scores, like an updated transcript, letter of interest or additional letters of recommendations may be supplemental information shared. It will not be required or expected to submit test scores.

SAT or ACT test scores (Writing section not required)

Applicants may either submit self-reported test scores or send official scores directly from the testing agency. Test scores are not necessary to have your application reviewed.

Testing Deadlines

Students have the option to take the SAT or ACT. Students who choose to take these exams must adhere to the deadlines of the Collegeboard and ACT.

In order to be considered, tests must be taken by the appropriate application deadline:

  Early Action & Early Decision I Regular Decision & Early Decision II
Common Application & Supplement Deadline November 1 January 7
Last Accepted SAT Test Date October December
Last Accepted ACT Test Date September* December

 *We cannot ensure October ACT test results will reach our office in time for Early Action and Early Decision I review.

Reporting Test Scores

Applicants may either submit self-reported test scores or send official scores directly from the testing agency. Again, standardized test scores are not necessary to have your application reviewed.

We accept the following options to complete the test scores requirement by the application deadline:

  • Self-report your scores in the Self-Reported Test Score form in the Application Status Portal
  • Send your official test scores from the testing agency

If you receive updated test results after submitting the Self-Reported Test Scores form, you can self-report these newer scores by filling out the form again.

If you are offered admission to Santa Clara University and choose to enroll, official test scores that match your self-reported scores will need to be received by your deposit deadline. In order for test scores to be considered official, they must be sent directly from College Board or ACT. Santa Clara University reserves the right to revoke admission if an applicant’s self-reported scores do not match their official score report.

For enrolling students who are selected not to have test scores considered in the admission review process, SCU will ask for official scores after matriculation if scores are available. The scores will be used for assessment of the test optional program.

Superscoring

Students who choose to submit their test scores have the option to submit multiple scores. SCU is interested in your best achievement, so sending us multiple tests, if available, allows us to see subsections regardless of test date or test type (ACT/SAT).