High-school students looking to attend Loras College may not need to include standardized test scores when they apply.
The Loras admission team is now using a test-optional admission process that provides students with a certain grade point average (GPA) to forego submitting an ACT or SAT score for acceptance in the College.
“We’ve been having some of those discussions internally about going test-optional for three years, so we have been trending this way,” Kyle Klapatauskas (’04), director of admission, said. “We have always taken a holistic approach to admission, especially for students who don’t meet the minimum standards, so this continues to build upon that.”
Under this test-optional path, students with a cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 or higher do not need to include a standardized test score with their application. Prospective students with a GPA of between 2.75-2.99 can provide test scores or rely on a teacher reference.
Any student with a GPA below 2.74 will still need to provide a standardized test score.
Klapatauskas explained that prospective students might have mitigating circumstances that aren’t reflected in their numbers, but the test scores can help students show their progression.
“A strong GPA outweighs so much, but that doesn’t mean a test score should be excluded. With a test-optional policy, the standardized test can now help students where before it was more of a barrier. If a student has a lower GPA, that test score can show that there is some capacity, and it can reflect a change in focus in a junior or senior year that gets muddied in their GPA,” he said.
The shift to test-optional policies has increased in the past year due to COVID-19, as many students had standardized tests canceled and don’t have a score to submit. For Loras, the lack of test scores can be replaced with a teacher testimonial if needed.
“We can talk to a teacher and find out how the student is trending. Even if their GPA is low, as long as they are committed as students, teacher testimonials can back that up and let us know that they are ready to succeed,” Klapatauskas said.