Students applying for the Fall 2021 semester or later will no longer be required to submit standardized test scores (ACT or SAT) as part of their application to St. Thomas.
Instead, students will choose whether or not to include their scores. If they do not, they will apply “test optional” and their scores will not be considered in our admission and primary merit scholarship review processes.
See our FAQs below to learn more about what this means for your application.
Frequently Asked Questions
Standardized tests aren’t bad. They just don’t tell the full story.
Tests like ACT and SAT aren’t always representative of a student’s ability. In fact, scores are often more correlated to a student’s household income than their academic success in college. There is also sufficient evidence that the inherent bias in standardized testing acts as a barrier that discourages many talented students from applying to schools where they could have thrived.
Adopting this test-optional policy will allow us to more comprehensively evaluate a student’s unique abilities, talents and potential contributions to our community and help make our admissions process more equitable and accessible.
Improving access to higher education was the very reason that Fr. John Ireland founded this university 135 years ago. Why stop now?
We expect that the majority of our students will choose to submit their standardized test scores. If you’re satisfied with your scores and think they properly reflect your academic achievements, we encourage you to include them in your application.
If you don’t think these scores paint an accurate picture of your abilities and potential, consider applying test optional.
Reviewing the academic profile of freshmen entering fall of 2019 might help inform your decision.
If you'd like additional guidance about the best option for you, contact your admissions counselor.
You will make the decision about applying with or without a test when you are filling out your application for admission to St. Thomas. We ask this question on both the St. Thomas application and the supplemental questions of the Common App.
If you choose the option to apply without a standardized test, test scores will not be considered as part of the admission or merit scholarship review process (even if submitted or previously sent to St. Thomas).
If you change your mind and wish to have your test scores reviewed with your application, please contact your admissions counselor.
We believe high school GPA is a strong predictor of success in college, so we’re going to take a long look at your high school transcript – evaluating the strength of your high school courses and your performance in them.
But context is important, so we’ll also factor in your extracurricular activities, volunteer service and any other information about yourself or your circumstances that you wish to provide. While submitting an essay and letters of recommendation with your application is optional, we strongly recommend that you provide both so we can get a clearer picture of who you are and why you'd make a great Tommie.
If you choose to include your test scores, they will be considered as well. But you won’t be penalized in any way for not submitting them.
If you’re admitted to St. Thomas, you will be considered for merit-based scholarships no matter if you submitted your test scores or not. When determining the amount awarded, we’ll look at the same factors we considered when we evaluated your application for admission – primarily your academic performance in high school.
Standardized test scores will be factored into your scholarship calculation if you choose to submit them. But you will be at no disadvantage for scholarship funding if you choose to apply without test scores.
Note: Test scores may be required for specific competitive scholarship programs.
After an admission decision is made and you’ve chosen to become a Tommie, we may ask you to submit official ACT or SAT score results (if you’ve taken a standardized test). We may use these scores for placement purposes (to determine the courses you will take at St. Thomas in math or English) or for analysis of our incoming class. Sending scores for this reason after admission will never impact your admission decision or merit scholarship amount.
Note: While not needed for admission, scores may be required for specific competitive scholarship programs.
The simple answer is no. We will review your academic credentials at the time you are admitted and use that information to determine your merit-based scholarship. We will not make changes to the merit scholarship for new information like a test score or higher grade point average.
If you intend to apply with a standardized test, we recommend that you provide your highest test score with your application.
Looking for more information?
Use the tool below to contact your personal admissions counselor and get your questions answered.