Test-Optional

First time freshmen applicants to St. John’s University have the option to submit a test-optional application. In selecting this option, applicants can seek admission without submitting standardized test scores for admission purposes. Research has shown that a student’s overall high school academic record is the best indicator of a student’s future success at the college level, and often a student will feel that his or her standardized test scores may not accurately reflect the student’s overall academic performance.

Important Information

St. John’s believes in the holistic approach when considering any applicant for admission. Strength and rigor of the student’s curriculum, along with involvement in extracurricular activities, will be taken into account for all applicants, regardless of test-optional status.

A test-optional application means that you are choosing to apply for admission to St. John’s University without submitting ACT/SAT test scores. In all cases, St. John’s evaluates the entirety of an applicant’s academic record, including strength of coursework (AP classes, Honors classes, etc.), extracurricular involvement, and any other information provided through the admission process. For this reason, if you believe your ACT/SAT test scores are not positively reflective of the entirety of your academic record, you may choose to not submit standardized test scores as part of your application for admission to St. John’s.

The decision to apply test-optional should be carefully considered. While we cannot make this decision for you, we recommend that students who fall within the bottom 25% on the standardized test scores of our accept pool (which equates to less than a 1050 SAT combined score* or 23 ACT Composite score) seriously consider applying as a test-optional candidate.

If you believe your academic strength is best reflected in both your grade point average and SAT/ACT test scores, then consider applying with your standardized test scores. However, if you feel your academic strength is best reflected by your grade point average, personal essay, and any other supplemental application items (excluding your SAT or ACT scores), then consider applying test-optional.

It is important to note that the decision to apply test-optional or non-test-optional cannot be changed once your admission application is submitted.

Students who apply test-optional will be considered for all merit awards except the Presidential Award (full tuition). View merit scholarship breakdown here.

*SAT Combined score is comprised of the SAT Evidence-Based Reading & Writing score + the SAT Math score

International applicants from a non-English speaking country are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission, but must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting TOEFL or IELTS examination scores (unless the applicant wants to be considered for conditional admission, in which case no test scores are required). International applicants from English speaking countries are required to provide SAT or ACT scores for admission (these applicants are not eligible for conditional admission). US citizens living abroad, and those who have attended or are attending an international secondary school, may be required to provided standardized test scores as part of their admission application. Residents of U.S. Territories are required to provide standardized test scores as part of their admission application.

Yes, there are a few groups of students who are not eligible to apply test optional:

  • Students who wish to be considered for the Presidential Scholarship (full tuition)
  • International applicants (please see question above relating to international student eligibility) and applicants from U.S. Territories
  • Homeschooled students
  • Students who completed a General Education Diploma (GED), test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) or other high school equivalency diploma
  • Students applying for the majors listed in question 7 below
  • US citizens living abroad, and those who have attended or are attending an international secondary school, may be required to provided standardized test scores as part of their admission application.
  • Prospective student-athletes

Students who apply test-optional will be considered for all merit awards except the Presidential Award (full tuition). View merit scholarship breakdown here.

Yes. Due to the competitive nature of the scholarship, students who apply as test-optional will not be considered for the Presidential Scholarship (full tuition). Students wishing to be considered for the Presidential Scholarship cannot apply as test-optional and should submit test scores as part of their application. A full list of merit scholarships can be viewed here.

Yes. Students applying to the following programs are ineligible to apply as test optional:

  • Actuarial Science
  • Computer Science
  • Cyber Security Systems
  • Healthcare Informatics
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Networking and Telecommunications
  • Philosophy
  • Risk Management and Insurance
  • Speech Language Pathology and Audiology

Students who seek admission as test-optional will not be able to seek admission to one of the majors listed in the question above prior to being fully enrolled at St. John’s University.

Enrolled St. John’s University students who were accepted under the test-optional policy and wish to change their major to a program of study that required ACT/SAT test scores for admission must complete a change of major request with their academic dean. In most cases, standardized test scores will be required at a later date to determine eligibility for an internal transfer. All internal transfer requests are considered, though none are guaranteed.

All test optional applicants will be required to include an essay explaining their decision to apply test optional as part of their undergraduate admission application. Test optional applicants are also strongly encouraged to submit a resume and two letters of recommendation so as to ensure that we have the strongest holistic picture of their academic and extracurricular accomplishments, as well as insight into their potential for success at St. John’s University. The Office of Admission reserves the right to request additional information as part of the admission process.

The Peter J. Tobin College of Business finds that the most successful students enter St. John’s University with four years of high school mathematics, which includes either statistics, pre-calculus, or calculus, as well as a mathematics GPA of 85 or better and cumulative high school GPAs of at least 85. The success of our students is our number one concern, so we encourage students to take this into consideration before applying for admission to a program within The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, regardless of the decision to apply test-optional.

The decision to apply as test-optional is made prior to application submission. You will self-select this option within the St. John’s Application or Common Application. Once your application is submitted, however, your selection cannot be changed.If multiple applications are submitted, the first application submitted to St. John’s will be used for admission review.

If you submit a test-optional application for admission, any scores received will not be considered as part of your admission review.

 

We strongly encourage all applicants, even those who elect to apply as test-optional, to submit their standardized test scores to St. John’s University for research and, in some cases, course placement purposes. For test-optional applicants, these scores will not be taken into consideration when making your admission decision.