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Bellarmine won't require ACT, SAT scores for 2021 undergraduate applications

The university will focus on factors like high school grades and leadership experiences when evaluating whether a student is a good fit.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Starting in 2021, you won't need standardized test scores to apply to a Catholic university in Louisville.

Bellarmine University announced the change in a release on Feb. 10. Dr. Michael J. Marshall, Bellarmine’s vice president of enrollment, marketing and communication, said the university believes that standardized tests do not accurately measure the talent and potential of its future students.

“We want prospective students from all walks of life to know that we’re committed to a thoughtful, personalized evaluation of each candidate to understand and appreciate their intrinsic dignity,” Dr. Marshall said.

When high school seniors apply to Bellarmine, they can choose whether to share their SAT or ACT scores. Admissions counselors will focus on other factors like high school grades, recommendations and leadership experiences when evaluating whether a student is a good fit. Bellarmine’s strategic plan, which focuses on affordability, inclusion and diversity in enrollment, helped the school make the decision to go "test-optional."

Homeschooled students, international students and students applying for certain scholarships (like Bellarmine’s Honors Program) may still have to submit test scores. According to the university, the submission of test scores will not affect eligibility for merit-based scholarships.

If a student has questions about the change, they can talk to a Bellarmine admissions counselor before finishing their application. More information is available on the Bellarmine website.

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