SAT/ACT/CLT Waived for Fall 2021 and Fall 2022 Applicants

Beginning with students who apply for Fall 2021 admission, Calvin will no longer require students to submit standardized test scores when applying for undergraduate admission.

We know that you are more than your test scores. Our experience at Calvin, as backed up by extensive research, has shown that academic achievement in the classroom is a stronger indicator of student success. With our test-optional approach, we hope students who view standardized tests as a barrier to college will have increased access to a Calvin education.

What does it mean to apply as test optional?

Simply put, test optional means that students do not need to provide standardized test scores in order to be considered for admission to Calvin University. Students may choose not to include their SAT, ACT, or CLT test score(s) when they apply for admission. Their application file will still be reviewed for an admissions decision.

How do I apply as test optional?

A new test optional question is included on both the Common Application and the Calvin Application. Simply check “Yes” or “No.”

How will Calvin review my application without test scores?

Calvin has always used a holistic review process when reviewing applications for admission. Our admissions team will consider your academic achievement, unique talents, leadership and service activities, and any other information you choose to submit in your application. We look for students who demonstrate they want to be involved in a welcoming diverse campus community and who value faith, discovery, and community.

Will applying as test optional affect my eligibility for scholarships?

You are eligible to receive the same academic scholarships whether you apply as test optional or submit your test scores (SAT, ACT, or CLT).

Certain named (donor) scholarships require a test score in order to qualify. Many named (donor) scholarships do not require a test score.

There are also some outside agencies that require test scores. Two examples include the following:

  • In order to automatically qualify for the Federal TEACH Grant, you may want to submit your test score(s). However, this can be done at a later date.
  • Michigan residents need to take the SAT when offered in order to be eligible for the Michigan Tuition Grant or Michigan Competitive Scholarship.

Who can apply as test optional?

  • Domestic first-year applicants who are applying to Calvin for the first time and who have never formally matriculated at another college or university are eligible to apply as test optional.
  • International first-year applicants whose first language is English are eligible to take advantage of the test-optional policy. However, if English is not your first language or you are attending a school where English is not the primary language of instruction, you will be required to submit the results of your Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Test System (IELTS), or Duolingo as evidence of English proficiency.

If you take the SAT and earn a score of 500 or higher on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section (EBRW), your English proficiency admission requirement will be waived.

Should I apply as test optional?

If you feel that your test scores are an accurate portrayal of your academic ability, feel free to include your test scores in your application. If you feel that your academic ability is better demonstrated with your academic history in high school than with your test scores, you should consider applying as test optional.

Are any of Calvin’s programs exempt from the test-optional policy?

  • Early Nursing Admission (ENA): When you apply to Calvin and indicate an interest in nursing, we will evaluate your standardized test scores (ACT or SAT) for early admission to the nursing program. Your ACT score must be equal to or greater than 24 or your SAT equal to or greater than 1190 to receive early admission. If you don’t meet these requirements now, you can also apply to the nursing program during your sophomore year at Calvin.
  • Early Admission into the SPAUD BA-MA Program: When you apply to Calvin and indicate an interest in SPAUD, we will evaluate your standardized test scores (ACT or SAT) for early admission to the SPAUD BA-MA program. Your ACT score must be equal to or greater than 28 or your SAT equal to or greater than 1320 to receive early admission. If you don’t meet these requirements now, you can also apply to the SPAUD BA-MA program during your junior year at Calvin.

Can I change my mind about applying as test optional?

Upon application to Calvin as test optional, students agree to have their application reviewed for an admissions decision without scores. This means that after gaining admission you may not submit test scores in order to be considered for admission to a specific program (i.e., early admission to Nursing or Speech Pathology) or to be considered for a scholarship.