The Catholic University of America

Admissions at The Catholic University of America

Test-Optional Policy - Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Catholic University choose to make standardized test scores optional in the admission process?

After studying the academic credentials for students who enrolled in the Classes of 2009 through 2013, our research has confirmed that the combination of the strength of a student’s high school curriculum and the grades received are the strongest predictors of academic success in college.  The study reinforced our longstanding message that a student’s high school career is the most important academic component in the review for admission.

Students often believe a low test may rule out their chances for admission to Catholic University. This policy encourages students who have achieved success in high school to confidently consider the University.


How does Catholic University’s test-optional policy work?

Catholic University’s test-optional policy, which is a five-year pilot program, means that students are no longer required to submit SAT and ACT scores to be considered for admission. The academic review has always emphasized each student’s high school performance more than standardized test scores and this policy change allows students to decide whether they wish to have their standardized test scores considered as part of their application for admission. Students who choose not to submit SAT or ACT scores will still receive full consideration for admission and merit scholarships.

Please note: Students who choose to enroll at Catholic University will be required to submit their test scores upon enrollment.


Why will students need to send standardized test scores after they have officially enrolled at Catholic University?

Test scores will be required after students enroll so that they may receive appropriate academic advisement. The scores will also be used in the assessment of the pilot program.


How does the Catholic University Committee on Admission evaluate applications?

The Committee on Admission weighs each student’s academic record (evidenced by the strength of the curriculum and the grades received), the extracurricular profile, the required essay, letters of recommendation, and any other information that a candidate chooses to share.  The consideration of academic preparation and the personal fit to the University is essential in our effort to shape each entering class.


If standardized test scores are not required for admission, why would students choose to submit their scores?

Candidates may believe that their test scores provide further evidence of academic ability and potential, so they prefer that their scores are part of their application for admission. However, students without test scores will not be penalized in our review for admission. 


Has Catholic University added any additional requirements for students who choose not to submit their test scores?

No additional requirements for admission have been added.


Does this policy include international students?

Yes.  However, international applicants must demonstrate English proficiency by submitting the results of either the TOEFL or the IELTS.


Does this policy include home-schooled students?

Yes. However, home-schooled students are encouraged to submit detailed information about the depth of their curriculum, including reading lists and a graded writing sample.