Test optional and athletic recruiting

How will not having SAT/ACT score affect athletic recruiting? What have traditionally test optional schools (eg Bowdoin, University of Chicago) done in the past?

What about the Ivy league? How does no score work with the AI?

In our case my son took the SAT sophomore year, and fid OK but not great. So now he only has this not great score from almost a year ago.

For DI/II NCAA still requires a test score (as of right now)…so no test optional allowed. No Ivies are TO, and I doubt they will be but if they are…recruits will still need a test score.

DIII schools’ policies vary. My D was a recruited athlete at a test optional NESCAC, and had to submit a test score for the pre-read. She had a good score, so we did not push back on this…so not sure it was required of all recruits, or not.

Wouldn’t your son want to retake anyways? Even if he is recruited, it is to his advantage to have the strongest academic credentials he can supporting him.

The chances OP’s S can get another test in by July 1, when many of the DIIIs start pre-reads is slim. Definitely recommend registering for the June test, but we just don’t know if it will go.

All OP’s S can do is ask the coaches he is speaking with…how do my stats/chances look with my current score? Do I have to submit a score (if school is TO)?

I agree the coaches will have the best info. The approach might vary by school, conference, division. But really, this is one of those details that is pretty far down the list of priorities for ADs right now, and may become a non issue if some sort of testing resumes in the summer or fall. If no testing happens for the next six months or so, the conferences will figure something out and the NCAA will need to make some changes to eligibility requirements.

As far as the more selective schools, Ivies and others, that typically try to get recruits admitted during EA/ED, there’ll probably be some changes to give coaches more flexibility. For example, coaches at some of these schools have always had the ability to push a ‘late’ ED app through; I wouldn’t be surprised to see the ED deadline extended into winter for athletic recruits at schools that typically use it to ‘lock in’ supported recruits.

I’d think most recruits in this round, rising seniors, likely have at least one score in hand anyway, even if they aren’t happy with it.

Experience with Bowdoin: Coach asked for scores for pre-read in early July after junior year (SATs-high 600’s), 3.9 GPA, 3 AP’s both junior and planned for senior year.

Coach asked to retest–680/700- was told not to submit with ED application. Accepted ED1. Good Luck!

1 Like

@Booksmart27 thank you, just the kind of info I wanted. Question: do you know why the coach would ask for a retest and then tell you not to submit scores with your application?

The coach was hoping for 1400+ which is generally the minimum SAT for the NESCACS–when the new scores still didn’t hit 1400 (October test date) the risk was too great.

Scores are important- coach texted early morning looking for the scores on the release date! It was a LONG wait from November 1 to mid-December though. I have heard that many kids get rejected even with implied support.

Interestingly, the AO knew the previous scores from the pre-read…not sure how much of this was just an obstacle to determine sincere interest, but GPA was high from a very competitive high school known for academic rigor.

NESCACS are tough academically and everyone works hard. Part of the test scores helps to determine how likely they will succeed in their environment.

D1 and D2 athletes have to complete the Clearinghouse process, which requires a test score (although it could be pretty minimal). At this time, this hasn’t been waived. For D3, the NCAA doesn’t require the athletes to register through the clearinghouse but the schools can require a test.

For the clearing house, one can submit a test score at any time, so a 2021 senior could take the test even after admitted to the school.

Depends on school I would say. I applied Wesleyan ED 1 and got 1400 which the coach told me not to submit because Wesleyan 25th percentile is 1450. I got deferred and applied vassar ED2 and got in. Vassar however is not test optional and not Nescac. Vassar 25th percentile I believe was 1370-1380.

Well, asked one coach how test optional for 2021 would work with prereads, and the reply was that the prereads would be the same as previous years, just with no test scores submitted, and that the school might request a writing sample if they needed more information.

Is this for DIII?

Sorry, yes.

Wesleyan 25th percentile SAT is 1320.

My daughter spoke to the Swarthmore coach and she said they’re test optional for this year and next so she doesn’t have an issue if my daughter doesn’t send a score. We had her signed up for March and then April and then June…all have been cancelled so it’s not her fault. I guess she can go through the pre read and then try to test in August (hopefully) and if they want her to use those results she can submit them.

Does this mean both 2021 & 2022 are TO?

Yes for Swarthmore both 2021 and 2022 are Test Optional.

To Booksmart 27 if you are still around:

Why would Bowdoin ask for test scores when they have been test optional for almost 50 years? And, Coach suggested a re-test? This sounds odd and somewhat incredible. What was the sport?

I see you are new here – to tag someone so they see your reply put “@” in front of their username – @Booksmart27

I am not them, clearly, but I believe even test optional schools have kids that submit scores – but only if the scores help their application, so, over 1400. I am guessing that Booksmart’s coach was hoping s/he would get over a 1400 and thus would submit scores. Since Booksmart did not get over a 1400 s/he did not submit the scores, and still was admitted without them. Bottom line: the coach wanted as strong an application as possible, I am guessing.

My D was asked for her test score as well at Bowdoin for a pre-read…rather than pushing back by asking why are you asking for this at a TO school, we chose to give her score, which was high.

Even though some schools are TO, they may have a policy that requires test scores from athletic recruits (or some proportion of recruits, especially those for certain teams).