chapman university

Chapman University to go test-optional starting Fall 2021

Chapman University announced today the decision to adopt a test-optional admission policy. Beginning with the fall class of 2021, both domestic and international undergraduate students can choose whether to submit standardized test scores such as the SAT or ACT as part of their admission application.

“We studied this issue for years, knowing that multiple-choice tests do not necessarily measure a student’s ability to solve complex problems,” said Chapman University President Daniele C. Struppa. “Our internal research and analysis validated this by showing a significant decline in the value of the SAT or ACT in predicting a student’s success at Chapman.”

A multiyear study by Chapman Presidential Fellow and economic scientist Steven Gjerstad, Ph.D., shows that a much stronger predictor of success is a student’s high school grade point average, and consideration of the ACT/SAT score actually devalues the importance of the GPA in the admission decision.

“When we evaluated the first-year GPA of Chapman students, we saw that students who entered with a higher high school GPA performed better regardless of the ACT or SAT score. This held true for every academic discipline we measured,” said Chapman University Vice President of Enrollment Mike Pelly. “While students can still submit their score if they feel it may help their application, withholding their score won’t work against an applicant.”

Pelly added that the University’s holistic admission review will continue to consider academic achievement in conjunction with a student's grade point average, curriculum, leadership and service activities, essay, recommendations and school profile.

Chapman joins a growing list of national universities that have elected to make standardized tests optional. According to a major study of more than 955,000 applicants and 28 colleges and universities, institutions with such policies have seen increases in applications, a more diverse pool of applicants and greater diversity in enrolled students.

“Research nationwide shows that those who do not submit test scores graduate at the same or higher rates, compared with other students,” said Pelly.

“Our mission is to provide a distinguished and personalized education to students we believe will thrive at Chapman,” said Struppa. “The policy to remove the standardized test helps bring in students who otherwise may not have been admitted simply because they don’t perform well on a single test. We believe this provides a better admission standard for students of all backgrounds.”

About Chapman University

Founded in 1861, Chapman University is nationally-ranked private university located in Southern California. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 "high research activity" institution and offers personalized education to more than 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The campus has produced a Rhodes Scholar, been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars and hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. Based in the City of Orange, Chapman also includes the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine. In 2019, the university opened its 11th college, Fowler School of Engineering, in its newest facility, Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Learn more about Chapman University: www.chapman.edu.

This article was released by Chapman University.

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