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Does the SAT just seem impossible to you? Is your ACT  score not as high as you’d like it to be? Don’t worry, there is a growing group of hundreds of colleges and universities that have joined the movement to make standardized test scores an optional element of their respective  application processes.

There are quite a few reasons as to why institutions of higher learning have begun shying away from considering SAT/ACT scores. For one, a growing number of colleges and universities are beginning to realize that the SAT and the ACT actually limit their applicant pools by discouraging otherwise promising candidates from applying. Moreover, in an effort to champion socioeconomic diversity, various schools having recognized that applicants coming from schools or families that can afford test prep courses possess an unfair advantage, have decided to drop standardized test scores as a reliable measure of an applicant’s abilities. Of course, technical schools, music schools, and art schools have never seen SAT or ACT scores as adequate indicators of the skills they look for. And finally, for some reason, schools with incredibly strong religious affiliations tend not to require standardized test scores.

Last time around, we gave you a brief overview of test-optional institutions and a quick introduction of what to expect. Now that the application season is in full swing, we thought we’d give you another hand.

Here’s a quick breakdown of ten of our favorite test-optional colleges to get you started:

1. College of the Holy Cross – Worcester, MA 

Acceptance Rate: 33%

SAT Critical Reading (25th to 75th Percentile): 580 to 670

SAT Math (25th to 75th Percentile): 600 to 680

Total Enrollment: 2,926

Student to Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1

Total Cost: $57,832

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 72%

Average Grant Amount: $31,317

First Year Student Retention: 95%

2. Pitzer College – Claremont, CA

Acceptance Rate: 16%

SAT Critical Reading (25th to 75th Percentile): 590 to 700

SAT Math (25th to 75th Percentile): 600 to 670

Total Enrollment: 1,084

Student to Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1

Total Cost: $59,226

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 47%

Average Grant Amount: $30,595

First Year Student Retention: 90%

3. Mount Holyoke College (Women’s College) – South Hadley, MA

Acceptance Rate: 47%

SAT Critical Reading (25th to 75th Percentile): 600 to 710

SAT Math (25th to 75th Percentile): 600 to 720

Total Enrollment: 2,251

Student to Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1

Total Cost: $55,495

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 79%

Average Grant Amount: $26,015

First Year Student Retention: 89%

4. Sarah Lawrence College – Yonkers, NY

Acceptance Rate: 60%

SAT Critical Reading (25th to 75th Percentile): N/A (No consideration given to scores)

SAT Math (25th to 75th Percentile): N/A (No consideration given to scores)

Total Enrollment: 1,736

Student to Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1

Total Cost: $62,636

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 64%

Average Grant Amount: $30,337

First Year Student Retention: 90%

5) Bowdoin College – Brunswick, ME

Acceptance Rate: 15%

SAT Critical Reading (25th to 75th Percentile): 650 to 740

SAT Math (25th to 75th Percentile): 650 to 730

Total Enrollment: 1,839

Student to Faculty Ratio: 9 to 1

Total Cost: $59,900

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 48%

Average Grant Amount: $32,258

First Year Student Retention: 97%

6. George Mason University – Fairfax, VA

Acceptance Rate: 65.8%

SAT Critical Reading (25th to 75th Percentile): 500 to 600

SAT Math (25th to 75th Percentile): 530 to 630

Total Enrollment: 32,961

Student to Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1

Total Cost: $25,355 (in-state), $44,019 (out-of-state)

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 70%

Average Grant Amount: $7,895

First Year Student Retention: 86%

7. Smith College (Women’s College) – Northampton, MA

Acceptance Rate: 43%

SAT Critical Reading (25th to 75th Percentile): 590 to 710

SAT Math (25th to 75th Percentile): 560 to 670

Total Enrollment: 3,212

Student to Faculty Ratio: 9 to 1

Total Cost: $57,913

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 72%

Average Grant Amount: $33,015

First Year Student Retention: 93%

8. Ursinus College – Collegeville, PA

Acceptance Rate: 70%

SAT Critical Reading (25th to 75th Percentile): 550 to 660

SAT Math (25th to 75th Percentile): 560 to 660

Total Enrollment: 1,650

Student to Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Total Cost: $57,580

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 95%

Average Grant Amount: $33,034

First Year Student Retention: 93%

9. Washington College – Chestertown, MD

Acceptance Rate: 67%

SAT Critical Reading (25th to 75th Percentile): 520 to 640

SAT Math (25th to 75th Percentile): 520 to 640

Total Enrollment: 1,512

Student to Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Total Cost: $54,312

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 93%

Average Grant Amount: $21,117

First Year Student Retention: 81%

10. Wake Forest University – Winston-Salem, NC

Acceptance Rate: 35%

SAT Critical Reading (25th to 75th Percentile): 610 to 700

SAT Math (25th to 75th Percentile): 630 to 710

Total Enrollment: 7,602

Student to Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1

Total Cost: $60,242

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 81%

Average Grant Amount: $24,118

First Year Student Retention: 93%



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