University of Puget Sound goes test optional

Students applying for the 2016–17 academic year will no longer
be required to submit SAT or ACT scores

TACOMA, Wash. – University of Puget Sound is making a significant change to its admission requirements by giving applicants an alternative to submitting standardized test scores such as the SAT or ACT.

Those applying to the national liberal arts college beginning with the 2016–17 school year can choose to respond in writing to two short essay questions, in lieu of submitting standardized test scores. The essay questions, based on the extensive research of education authority Professor William Sedlacek, University of Maryland, College Park, are designed to identify noncognitive characteristics that have proved to be strong predictors of success in college.

“Educators have long known that personal characteristics such as leadership ability, determination, and resourcefulness are essential qualities for college success, as well as academic preparation and performance in high school,” said Jenny Rickard, vice president for enrollment at Puget Sound. “There are students who don’t do as well in standardized testing, but who have the motivation and resilience to excel. We want to broaden access for students who we believe will make the most of their college experience, but who might be overlooked by traditional admission practices.”