By: Michael Bruckler, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
St. Mary’s City, MD- St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Board of Trustees approved a new test-optional admissions policy on Saturday, February 1, 2020. This means first-year applicants seeking admission to the College beginning in the fall of 2021 may choose whether or not to provide standardized testing (SAT or ACT scores) as part of the admission application process.
“This policy change will allow students who are academically ready for a robust college educational experience but who generally do not do well on standardized tests, the opportunity to study at Maryland’s public honors college,” said Tuajuanda C. Jordan, president of St. Mary’s College of Maryland. “Our mission includes a focus on greater diversity among students whether it be socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, or other differences, as well as diversity among faculty and staff. Increasing diversity enhances the institution’s intellectual capacity, enhances students’ experiences and creates a vibrant learning environment.”
According to David Hautanen Jr., vice president for enrollment management, the College reviewed its standardized admission test requirement over the past year andconducted research on the efficacy of standardized admissions tests in predicting academic performance. The College also examined issues of equity in the use of standardized admission tests in the admissions process.Research showed that a student’s academic record and potential for success at St. Mary’s College are captured more fully through a comprehensive review of a student’s academic record, types of courses the student has taken, extracurricular interests, and accomplishments to date rather than by standardized admission test data.
St. Mary’s College offers a rigorous and relevant education for those with the talent, ambition and potential to be successful. The College has among the highest four-year graduation rates in Maryland, an excellent graduation outcomes rate of 94 percent, and the lowest debt among graduates of all Maryland’s public four-year institutions.
“We believe this policy will encourage students who might be an excellent fit for our distinctive education, and whose standardized admission testing might not reflect their academic promise, to consider the College,” said Hautanen.
For more information, visit www.smcm.edu/admissions/test-optional-policy.