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Rockhurst University adopting 'test optional' policy

Student won't have to submit test scores
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Posted at 9:11 AM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 10:11:05-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, is joining a growing number of higher education institutions placing less emphasis on test scores.

The university is adopting a “test optional” policy in reviewing applicants, it announced Tuesday.

The policy allows admissions officials to consider a wide range of factors in enrollment decisions, including a student’s performance in core subjects such as math, science and language, rather than focusing on ACT and SAT scores.

Rockhurst said standardized tests don’t account for students’ skills outside a single session, and the tests have been accused of inherit bias.

With the test optional policy, Rockhurst said it hopes to better make decisions in determining a student’s college readiness based on other factors.

Students could still be asked to submit test scores in some cases, and all students will still have the option to freely submit their scores on their application, the school said.

Admissions officials said the new policy will allow them to get to know students in new ways during the process.

“One of the aspects of this change that I’m most excited about is the access and opportunity this will provide for some highly-qualified students who might have thought attending Rockhurst wasn't a possibility for them,” said Micaela Lenhart, director of undergraduate admissions.

Lenhart added that the policy will not make admissions less competitive, and it won’t reduce the academic level of courses once students are enrolled.

Rockhurst University is the 11th of 27 Jesuit universities to adopt a test optional policy.