SJU Announces Test-Optional Policy for Undergraduate Admissions

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

PHILADELPHIA (July 9, 2013) - Saint Joseph’s University is implementing test-optional undergraduate admission, effective for fall 2014 applicants. Test-optional admission means that the University will not require applicants to submit a standardized test score (SAT/ACT) in order to be considered for admission if he/she does not believe they are an accurate indicator of their academic ability and potential for future academic success.

In implementing test-optional admission, Saint Joseph’s University joins a number of regional and national liberal arts institutions that have successfully implemented test-optional admission.  

“This change helps reaffirm our identity as a Catholic, Jesuit mission-driven institution by facilitating access to Saint Joseph's University for groups of talented students who might not otherwise seek the opportunity,” noted John Haller, associate provost for enrollment management, who added that the decision to implement test-optional admission arose from the knowledge that on the national level as well as at Saint Joseph’s, high school GPA is a significant predictor of first-year GPA and retention even in the absence of standardized test scores.

“We know there is a population of students with strong academic records in high school who have standardized test score outcomes below our middle 50% range who are likely to be successful and difference makers at Saint Joseph’s University,” Haller said. “There is ample statistical evidence demonstrating that standardized test scores can be shaped by environmental and cultural factors that make them an inaccurate predictor of academic success.”

In implementing the test-optional policy, Saint Joseph’s joins a growing number of top-tier colleges and universities that have made SAT/ACT an optional part of the application process.  Altogether, 875 accredited four-year colleges – nearly 40% of the total – provide some flexibility on the tests.

Media Contact

Harriet Goodheart, Assistant Vice President for University Communications, 610-660-1532;


As Philadelphia's Jesuit, Catholic University, founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts. SJU ranks as a top university in the Northeast, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the College of Arts and Sciences and AACSB accreditation of the  Erivan K. Haub School of Business. The University is also deeply committed to the Jesuit tradition of scholarship and service, earning a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. With courses offered on campus and online, SJU prepares its more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to lead lives of personal excellence, professional success and engaged citizenship.


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