Test Optional Admission

A path to acceptance without standardized test scores

At JBU, we understand that a standardized test is not the only predictor of academic success. Test optional admission is an alternative route to admission based on writing ability, high school GPA and interview responses.

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How to choose between Test Optional and Regular Admission

In the application for admission, you’ll have the choice of applying with or without test scores. To figure out which option is best for you, read the below options and if you’re still unsure, reach out to your admissions counselor and they’ll help you choose the best route.

If you applied or were accepted to JBU before the test optional announcement, please choose the regular track or test optional by October 1, 2020 so we can offer you the correct scholarship when you file your FAFSA. If you have special circumstances and want to discuss the deadline, please reach out to your admissions counselor.

You may be a good candidate to apply as test optional if:

  • You were unable to take any standardized test.
  • You were limited in taking standardized test scores because of COVID. Students often rely on taking tests multiple times to raise their score, so if you were unable to do so, it may make sense to apply test optional.
  • Your HS GPA qualifies you for a higher academic scholarship than with a test score. See charts below.
  • You do not want to continue taking the ACT/SAT/CLT in order to raise your scholarship, and are ready to lock in your academic scholarship with your HS GPA alone.

You may not be a good candidate for test optional if:

  • Your test score and GPA together will give you a higher academic scholarship than with GPA alone.
  • You are a good test taker and want to continue to take the ACT/SAT/CLT in order to try to increase your academic scholarship.
  • You have high test scores and GPA and want to qualify or already qualify for our highest competitive academic scholarships.
  • You are an international student without a high school transcript from a U.S. school.

Academic Scholarships (2020–2021)

Trustee's Award: $12,000

Dean's Award: $11,000

Professor's Award: $9,000

Scholar's Award: $7,000

Instructor's Award: $5,000

Learn more

Eligibility requirements for Test Optional Admission students:

Eligibility requirements for Regular Admission students:

Test Optional Admission process

1. Apply

2. Submit the following documents

  • High school transcript
  • Writing sample from your current English class (or second semester junior year)
    • Must be minimum of 500 words
    • Must include the grade earned on the English paper along with the teacher’s comments
  • One academic reference from a teacher in a core subject (i.e. math, English, history, science)
  • Standardized test scores
    • Even though we will not consider your test scores for acceptance or scholarships, please provide them for data and class placement purposes, if you have taken the ACT, SAT or CLT.

3. Complete an interview

  • In response to COVID-19, all interviews will be conducted through video chat until further notice.
  • Interview Attire – This is a formal college interview. Please dress as you would for a college/job interview.
  • Interview Length – The interview will take approximately 20–30 minutes. 

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Test Optional Admission contact

Image of Hannah Bradford

Hannah Bradford

Director of Admissions

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can international students participate in test optional admission? 

International students with a transcript from a U.S. high school may qualify for test optional admission. Please contact Samantha Linder at samantha@jbu.edu for more information.

I'm accepted! What's next? 

Congratulations on your acceptance! The next step is to put down a housing deposit to reserve your spot in on-campus housing. Your SAT/ACT score will be used for placement into math, English, and some science courses. For some students, this could mean placement into remedial level math/English courses. Please check the requirements for your major in the JBU catalog or contact your admissions counselor to map out your first semester.

I've already been accepted but can I keep taking the SAT/ACT/CLT? 

Once you opt into test optional admission, JBU will not consider your test scores when awarding academic scholarships, even if you raise your scores. Some students may have other commitments that require a certain ACT/SAT/CLT score such as state scholarship requirements, course requirements, NAIA eligibility, etc. For those purposes, you can take the SAT/ACT/CLT as many times as you'd like. 

For which scholarships/financial aid am I eligible? 

Please see the charts above for academic scholarship information. Students with financial need may also be considered for need-based scholarships, work-study, and federal loans and grants. Please see JBU's financial aid page for more information.