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La Salle News

October 8, 2020

La Salle becomes test-optional for admissions

New undergraduate and transfer students will not be required to include a standardized test score in their La Salle applications.

La Salle University has expanded its admissions policy to become fully test-optional for all undergraduate programs—an institutional move that is emblematic of the University’s mission to provide wider access to a transformative academic experience.

Previously, La Salle had been test-flexible for the last four years with only limited programmatic exceptions to that policy. The first students eligible to take advantage of the University’s expanded admissions policy are those applying to La Salle for the Fall 2021 semester, either as new undergraduate or transfer students.

Nationally, high school students are expressing concern over an inability to locate SAT or ACT test-taking sites amid the COVID-19 pandemic. La Salle’s policy revision regarding standardized test scores will remain in effect even after the pandemic, the University announced.

“Research suggests that standardized test scores are not always indicative of a student’s ability and potential. They are a brushstroke in the admissions process, but they do not paint a complete picture,” said University President Colleen M. Hanycz, Ph.D. “Several years ago, in listening to what that research was telling us, we shifted to a test-flexible model. And now, we move to a completely test-optional model. This approach allows for a more equitable and evaluative admissions process. Our university’s mission calls upon us to improve access to high-quality education. That’s why this is not only the right decision to make, but it’s the most-just decision for prospective students and their families.”

La Salle will not replace the standardized test component of its undergraduate admissions application with another requirement, said Jim Plunkett, La Salle’s executive director of admissions. Instead, the University will redistribute the weight of a student’s credentials evenly across the entire application to arrive at a fair assessment.

“For decades, standardized test scores have served as a measure of a student’s ability to succeed in college. But let’s remember—they are not the only measure,” said Steven F. Siconolfi, Ph.D., interim provost and vice president of academic affairs. “Students provide plenty of material during the application process, and in making this move to a test-optional model, we know we are easing the burden that’s placed upon students, particularly at a time when they most need increased flexibility.”

“At La Salle, we are always looking for strong evidence of a student’s motivation,” Plunkett said. “That can be derived from a student’s high school transcript and academic performance, their extracurricular activity and involvement in a variety of organizations, and beyond. It’s intentionally open-ended to provide students from a variety of backgrounds an equal opportunity to gain admission to La Salle.”

Prospective students who are considering applying to La Salle have two methods for experiencing the University’s campus and its vibrant community, either by scheduling an in-person tour or visiting virtually.

—Christopher A. Vito