Test Optional Policy
After much research and discussion, Bryant University has adopted a test-optional admission policy that began with students entering in fall 2011. This is a four-year pilot program.
As an institution committed to developing the student as a whole, this was a natural progression in our admission process as it allows students more opportunities to demonstrate their strengths and talents. While we recognize that standardized tests accurately measure aptitude for many students, there are many still whose talents are not measured by such tests. Students who feel their standardized test scores are not an accurate representation of their academic achievement or talent will now have the option of completing two to three short answer questions in place of submitting their test scores to Bryant.
Why has Bryant decided to adopt a test-optional policy?
The admission committee at Bryant has always prided itself on providing a well-rounded and holistic application review. While the high school transcript will continue to be the most important part of the evaluation of an application, we strongly believe that by allowing you to decide how to best present your academic potential, Bryant, is also giving you the opportunity to take the first steps in taking ownership of your college education. Bryant is looking for bright students who are self directed, passionate about the possibilities that higher education offers, and who want to make a difference in their communities and in the world. The test optional alternative allows us to consider your strengths that may be demonstrated in areas other than your ACT or SAT score.
How will Bryant admission evaluate students who do not submit test scores?
Because Bryant has always considered applicants from a holistic point of view, the review process for students who submit ACT or SAT scores and for students who do not submit scores is very similar. The factors that go into an admission decision at Bryant include your overall high school academic record, recommendations, co-curricular activities, community involvement, writing ability, and other achievements. If your high school offers advanced placement (AP) or honors courses or the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, your involvement in this type of rigorous high school curriculum will reflect positively on your application. We will carefully review the strength of your high school classes and your performance in them, in the context of what your high school offers. Additionally, if you choose to apply test optional, you will be asked to respond to several short essay questions.
When do I have to choose whether I want my application evaluated as test optional?
When you submit your application to Bryant (using either the Common Application or the Universal College Application and supplements), please indicate on the supplement if you would like to be considered test optional. Once we receive your application with your intent to be considered test optional or not, students who do not want their test scores to be considered will be sent a link to the short answer questions that are required to complete your test optional application. We strongly recommend that you carefully consider your decision to apply with or without test scores. *Once you have submitted your application, you will be unable to change to the other option.
How will the short answer questions be evaluated?
The committee will be looking for clear, concise, and focused writing that demonstrates thoughtful reflection. The short answer questions provide you with the opportunity to tell the story you wish your test scores could tell. You will be able to share with us your perspective on your academic strengths, educational goals, and the impact you believe you can make in the Bryant community and beyond.
What if my scores are included on my transcripts or are sent by the College Board/ACT?
If you have indicated that you would like to apply test optional, your scores will not be considered as part of the application review.
How does being considered test-optional affect merit scholarship consideration?
All applicants to Bryant are considered for merit scholarships at the time of the review of their application. This is true for all students regardless of submitting standardized test. Evaluation for merit is based on all elements of a student’s application, as well as the competitive nature of the applicant pool.
If I do not submit test scores can I be considered for the Honors Program?
Yes. Depending on the strength of your curriculum relative to the academic programs in your high school, the score on your essay questions, and overall quality of your academic work, applicants ranking in the top 20 percent of their high school class with a minimum GPA of 3.6 are eligible for the Honors Program without submitting an additional application.
How will the policy affect my athletic status?
The NCAA mandates the submission of standardized test scores for athletic eligibility; therefore, Bryant University will require that prospective student athletes submit ACT or SAT scores with their application. Athletic recruits can request that submitted scores not be used in their evaluation for admission to the university.
Can international students be considered test optional?
Does this policy apply to transfer students?
Students who are transferring to Bryant can apply within the test optional guidelines. If you choose not to submit your SAT/ACT scores and have completed more than 10 college courses you do not need to answer the additional questions to complete the application. Students with fewer than 10 completed college courses can choose to apply as test optional but must answer the additional essay questions.
How do I know if applying test optional is right for me?
The decision to apply test optional is a personal and individual decision. If you are satisfied with your test scores and believe they are indicative of your academic potential, then feel free to submit them with your other credentials. If you have a strong academic record, but do not feel your test results are a good indicator of your academic potential, you can choose not to submit them, and instead, submit answers to several essay questions.
Every applicant presents a unique combination of credentials. Your grades, curriculum strength, test scores, recommendations, out-of-class experiences, and personal character and integrity combined are considered by the admission committee. Generally speaking, weakness in one area can be compensated for by strength in another.
The admission committee provides a comprehensive and holistic review of each application, meaning that there is no one element that guarantees admission. While considering your options, an academic profile of our incoming freshmen may provide you with some assistance in making your decision.
Will I ever have to submit test scores?
If you choose to enroll at Bryant, we do ask that you submit your test scores after you enroll. As this is a four-year pilot program, the scores will be used to measure the outcomes of students and help us to determine the future of a test optional program at Bryant.