Does anybody have experience applying as a Test Optional applicant? For someone with not great grades but ok test scores, is there a rule of thumb when to submit, in light of athletic recruitment?
A few coaches have been suggesting I apply as Test Optional, but I'm surprised by the advice This seems to be a feature more at D3s
One coach told me my ACT is a point below the 25-75 percentile range (in other words, their general average), so I probably shouldn't submit the ACT. I've now been more aware to ask D3 coaches about their Test Optional and if I should submit. I'm surprised how many say not to submit, even in cases where my ACT is within the 25-75 range.
To understand my surprise, my GPA and rigor of coursework is ok but not great, at least for these colleges I'm talking to had football not been in the picture. At the same time, my high school is highly ranked, so maybe the lower level transcript is understood. However, I'd guess my transcript is the weakest part of my application, even tough unfortunately it counts for a lot.
The argument the coaches give is that the ACT is one more piece of data showing not top academic performance.
However, the colleges' websites say that without the ACT, they put more weight on everything else. I don't want them to weigh my transcript more.
Naturally, I want to trust the coaches. Though test optional is brand new at some of these colleges. I guess in general, I don't fully understand the sway D3 coaches have in admissions. It seems to vary. If anything, if I have to rely on myself largely, I want to understand the role of test optional so I'm making a good decision
Mathematically, it also seems that the average is artificially high if these colleges are citing that as many as 30% do not submit a score, likely those on the low end. Won't that raise the mean ACT each year if the bottom 25%, is in effect missing data? For example, if the average ACT range is 28-31, and people with < 27 don't submit, then the next year 28 will be below average if that's the lowest getting submitted. Then the average would increase?