Test Optional FAQs

How will UofL evaluate a student who chooses to not have their test scores considered?

We will work with applicants using our holistic approach, by factoring in all the many variables beyond test scores. In the absence of test scores, our faculty will put more emphasis on student’s grades, curriculum, and essay. Our goal has always been to consider all factors and make a decision centered around student success at the University of Louisville.

If a student chooses to go test score optional, what additional materials will be requested?

  • A Cardinal Principles essay
  • After initial review of Cardinal Principles essay, a student’s first-semester senior grades and/or resume may be required.

Is every academic program going to be test optional?

Most academic programs will consider students without test scores. 

Nursing and Business are currently reviewing a pathway to be test optional. If you apply test optional now to these programs you will be considered for admission to the College of Arts and Sciences as a pre-nursing or pre-business student and will have an opportunity for a review for direct admission if test optional pathways are developed. Keep in touch with your admissions counselor for the latest information. 

Our Honors Program, which requires a separate application, will no longer consider test scores as a criteria for acceptance.

If a student applies without test scores, will he or she be eligible for any UofL scholarships?

For the Fall 2021 admission cycle, the University of Louisville is test optional for most scholarship opportunities. We are closely monitoring the limited testing opportunities due to the global pandemic. We are committed to making scholarship opportunities available to students, whether they apply with or without test scores. We strongly encourage students with qualifying test scores to submit those to automatically receive your award. Please visit the scholarship website for specific criteria and requirements. As with any year, there are limited scholarship funds. We will look primarily at a student’s grades, high school curriculum and a student-involvement resume. For more information about the scholarship processes please reach out to your admission counselor.

The following scholarships do not require test scores:

Also, the Office of Student Financial Aid manages a number of scholarships for new students that only require admission to UofL. In addition, they manage some automatic awards that are based on need and begin to be awarded November 1 (Based on the FAFSA and admission). All students are encouraged to check in with their admission counselor to review financial options for college planning.

How should a student choose whether or not to have test scores included as part of their review?

If a student is unable to take the ACT/SAT due to COVID-19 prior to applying, they should select test-score optional.

If a student believes their test score is not reflective of their academic standing, they may choose to be test-score optional. If a student has tested, they can review our admission guidelines to determine eligibility for admission to UofL or various academic programs. If a student has questions about this decision, they can reach out to their personal admissions counselor for more information and guidance.

What if a student changes their mind and decides later to be considered without test scores or wants to be reviewed with test scores? 

If a student applies with scores, they can only change to test score optional if their application has NOT been submitted/reviewed.

A student that has chosen to apply test score optional may contact their admission counselor or email to request their application be changed to include test scores at any time.

What if a student has already sent the University of Louisville test scores or they are on the high school transcripts?

These students can still choose to be reviewed without test scores. Those scores will not be weighed in the decision. They will need to indicate they want to be considered for admission without test scores on their application.

If a student is admitted, how will he or she be placed in courses without test scores? 

Any student admitted without test scores will be required to take the Accuplacer Math and Reading tests or another exam approved by the Council on Postsecondary Education for determining college readiness. Those tests will be used to determine placement. Some subjects such as Biology and Chemistry have either test score requirements or separate placement tests that will be required. These tests are available online and can be taken any time before freshman orientation or earlier. We will work with students and review these results to recommend resources developed to help students be best prepared for the rigors of college. Also, if a student is admitted and would like to submit test scores at that time they may. Some ACT or SAT sub-scores may be able to be used to meet the placement test requirement.  

Why did the University of Louisville make standardized test scores optional?

We recognize that opportunities to take the ACT or SAT have been limited due to COVID-19. We have always used a holistic approach when reviewing applications and will continue to do so now. We work with applicants who do not meet our ACT/SAT and GPA requirements and will work with students now who are unable to complete the ACT or SAT.  We look beyond test scores and consider a student’s grades, class schedules, external factors in their life, and their desire to earn a college degree. Going test-optional in Fall 2021 allows us to eliminate the pressure of submitting a score. It will also standardize what a student must present for admission review to UofL without scores. We will use the 20-21 academic year to carefully review the effectiveness of being test-optional and make a decision about continuing the policy for future terms.