Test-optional policy

Earlham College, joining nearly 800 other institutions of higher education in the U.S., no longer requires students to submit standardized test scores (either SAT or ACT) with other materials in support of their application for admission (*see below for exceptions).

For many students, standardized test results are not an optimal predictor of the ability to succeed in college. Furthermore, Earlham has always taken a holistic approach in its review of students’ applications for admission, giving consideration to academic achievement, writing ability (the essay is very important) and letters of recommendation from teachers and guidance counselors. In determining academic ability and college readiness, the College gives particular weight to a student’s performance in high school courses and the quality of their chosen college preparatory academic program. Earlham also recognizes applicants’ commitments, accomplishments and contributions beyond the classroom.

Under Earlham’s test-optional policy, applicants can submit their scores and choose to have them considered or ask that the scores not be taken into account during review for admission. Earlham accepts the best score on each section of a student’s test. Students indicate their preference for use of test results on the Earlham section of the Common Application and may elect to consult with the Earlham Admission Staff about their decision.

Test score results are also not required by Earlham for review of admitted students for merit scholarships. Due to the competitiveness for the College’s top scholarships, it is recommended that students wishing to be considered submit their SAT or ACT scores. For reference, the middle 50% of enrolled applicants who chose to submit a standardized test score ranged between a SAT (critical reading and math) total score of 1200 to 1360 or an ACT composite score between 26 and 31.

*Home-schooled students and students receiving a GED are required to submit either a SAT or an ACT score with their required application materials. This decision was made because it is more difficult to assess academic readiness when a student’s record of academic performance cannot be compared to those of peers. A home-schooled student may appeal this policy if she or he is able to submit an academic transcript with at least one year of senior-level work from an accredited high school or at least one year of academic preparation from an accredited college.

*International students must continue to submit either the TOEFL or IELTS, or SAT or ACT results with their admission application.