Test-Optional Admissions

At Berea College, we have always been committed to a holistic assessment of a student’s potential. This assessment has traditionally included the consideration of standardized test scores. Just as important as a fair assessment, though, is equal access to all requirements of the application. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and due to limited access to the exams over the past several months, our application process for Fall 2021 admission will be test score optional.

Although we are test score optional, we are still happy to accept and consider ACT or SAT scores from students who wish to share their scores as part of their application. All applications will be given the same consideration, regardless of whether a student chooses to submit test scores.

Deciding whether to share your test scores

Not sure whether to share your ACT or SAT score? A student’s curriculum and high school GPA are often the best indicators of whether or not a student will succeed at Berea. Test scores can become one more piece of evidence that helps an applicant make a solid case for admission but they are only one component of all submitted items that are considered within our holistic review.

During our admission review process many factors are considered, including financial eligibility, academic rigor and high school GPA, teacher recommendations, extracurricular and co-curricular activities, community service, student character, and much more.

If you’re wondering whether or not you should submit a standardized test score, we encourage you to consider the following:

  • If you think your scores are an accurate representation of your ability, then you should submit them. If you feel they are not, then don’t submit them.
  • If you earn the score you hoped for, and especially if it’s above average for Berea, submitting your score may help you in the admission process.
  • Keep in mind that we consider your test score in context. Even if your score is not above average for Berea, but it is for your high school or neighborhood, your score may help you in the admission process.

Still unsure? Contact your Admissions Counselor to talk it over. Or, if you’ve decided what you want to do, apply now.

Note that there are some exceptions to the test-optional policy, including homeschooled students and GED recipients. A complete list can be found in the FAQs below.

Test Score Optional Applicant FAQs

On the application, you will be asked “Do you plan to submit your ACT or SAT test scores as part of your application?” You will simply choose “no”. If you submitted your scores before applying and choose to apply with test-optional status, we will remove your test scores from consideration.

At Berea, we seek students who stand to benefit from the Berea experience as much as Berea will benefit from having them as a member of our community. While our competitive process means we consider academic performance in determining who to admit, no one factor will earn a student a place in the class. If you decide to apply without a test score, we will consider the merits of your academic successes alongside the other relevant information you submit as part of your application.

No. All applications will be given the same consideration and we will rely on your other academic and personal achievements and information when making a decision.

No. At the time you apply, you’ll need to decide whether you’re applying with or without your test scores. You will not be able to change your mind after you apply. If your scores were submitted to Berea before you applied, and you choose to apply test-optional, they will be removed from your file when you submit your application.

To ensure we have sufficient information to make a decision, we still require test scores from some applicants. These applicants include:

  • Homeschooled students
  • GED recipients
  • Early high school grads
  • Students who are given non-traditional grades (e.g. narrative transcript)

While scores are not required for students whose native language is not English, these students are encouraged to submit a writing sample as supplemental material for their application.

Yes. As a NCAA Division III school, you do not need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Division III schools set their own admissions standards.

Yes, if they are available. Prior to enrollment at Berea, you will be asked to submit standardized test scores if you have them. This is for research and reporting purposes only. It will NOT change your admission decision and may even help you waive some college courses.

Students who wish to submit test scores may submit results from the ACT or SAT. No exam results more than 5 years old will be considered. AP exam results may be submitted for college credit prior to enrollment, but cannot fulfill the test score requirement for students who do not apply test-optional or for those who are required to submit scores.

Every Berea College student, regardless of their test score submission choice, is awarded the No-Tuition Promise. This means you will never pay tuition at Berea. The No-Tuition Promise is valued at more than $176,000.

Yes. International students are required to submit official scores from at least one of the following exams: TOEFL, IELTS, ACT or SAT