Pacific University Extends Test-Optional Admissions Indefinitely for Undergraduates

Pacific University's Forest Grove Campus is announcing its decision to remain test optional beyond Fall 2021, offering undergraduate applicants the choice to include standardized test scores as part of their application. The policy of no longer requiring ACT and/or SAT scores from all applicants was temporarily implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic for undergraduate students entering in Fall 2021, but college officials have decided to extend test-optional admission indefinitely.

“We are committed to making a Pacific University education accessible to a diverse population of students,” said President Lesley M. Hallick. “Our campuses are brimming with intellectual curiosity, energy and the spirit of discovery and we want to further open our doors.”

Sarah Phillips, dean of Pacific’s College of Arts and Sciences, added that the university’s ongoing practice of holistic admission review will continue. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions already considers academic achievement in conjunction with a student's unique talents, leadership and service activities, application essay, school profile, letters of recommendation and any other information a student wishes to submit for consideration.

“Pacific has always been committed to a holistic evaluation process. Over recent years, we have been growing less reliant on a student’s test score in our final assessment. We’ve determined that the ACT and/or SAT scores are often not the best indicators of a student’s ability to succeed at Pacific,” said Phillips. "Curiosity, commitment and a sense of compassion are often stronger indicators of a student’s success, and those qualities are not easily captured by a test score."

Per the new policy, for students who choose to submit an ACT and/or SAT score, the score will be evaluated as one component in the admission review process. All applicants, regardless of test score submission, will have the opportunity to qualify for Pacific’s array of scholarship awards.

Pacific says it will continue to analyze the correlation between standardized testing and academic achievement in college and will evaluate this policy on an ongoing basis.

Monday, March 8, 2021