DePauw to begin new test-optional admission policy

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Beginning this fall, the submission of test scores from the SAT or ACT will be optional at DePauw University, which joins a growing number of selective colleges and universities around the nation that are moving to test-optional admissions.

“We’re very excited about increasing access to a DePauw education,” said Bobby Andrews, vice president for enrollment management in announcing the policy Friday. “A core tenet of the university’s mission is to provide a diverse and inclusive living-and-learning experience, and now that experience can begin before a student even sets foot on campus.”

Andrews added that students who apply to DePauw typically have much more experience and talent than a single test score can indicate, including work and community-service experience and broad talents and accomplishments.

“Moving to test-optional admissions will help the university review applicants even more holistically,” he said.

Under the new policy, most students may choose to apply to DePauw without ACT or SAT test scores; excepted are home-schooled students, for whom test scores provide a standardized measure for the highly individualized transcripts, and international students, for whom test scores assist with verification of credentials.

DePauw faculty supported the move to test-optional admission, which was reviewed by the Faculty Admission Committee and Faculty Curriculum Committee and announced at the March faculty meeting.

Students who wish to submit their test scores may still do so and are able to self-report those scores. Test-optional applicants will still be considered for merit-based scholarships in the admission process.

More details are forthcoming about the implementation and requirements of the policy.

For updates, persons can visit the DePauw Admission site at

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  • Sorry to be a nay-sayer about this new policy, in light of the recent pay-to-play admissions scandal.

    We believe it will reduce the value of a DePauw University education.

    Why did the DPU faculty vote for this?

    How can the academic scholarships be awarded when no metrics are available for comparison? Does everyone receive a scholarship? Is this the answer for an "everybody wins" scenario?

    The SAT and the ACT tests are available to anyone.

    -- Posted by Lookout on Fri, Apr 5, 2019, at 2:34 PM
  • The ACT and SAT can be detrimental to a bright student who has test anxiety leaving them at risk of being denied admission to a college that would be a perfect fit, otherwise.

    -- Posted by kbmom on Sat, Apr 6, 2019, at 10:57 AM
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    Funny that DePauw's commitment to a "diverse and inclusive living-and-learning experience" doesn't extend to non-traditional student learners. Its their college, and they can run it as they see fit. But they shouldn't lie or try to paint it pretty - they are a private college and they will decide who is welcome and who isn't. (Apparently, it ain't discrimination when the right people do it.)

    This could well be in response to the college admission scandal. If you have no standard, no one can accuse you of deviating from the standard. This makes it easier to say that student A (who ticks the right boxes and/or pays for the space) is more worthy of a space than student B (who has a better SAT/ACT score, but doesn't tick the right boxes or writes a big enough check).

    It's just a thought.

    Personally, I recommend saving the money and learning a trade. No SAT/ACT score needed.

    -- Posted by dreadpirateroberts on Mon, Apr 8, 2019, at 9:40 AM
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