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Lipscomb University to be test-optional for spring, fall 2021 applicants

Students applying to Lipscomb for spring or fall 2021 have a special test-optional opportunity.

Kim Chaudoin  | 

View of the James D. Hughes Center

Given the many challenges facing high school students in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lipscomb University has announced it will go test-optional for undergraduate students applying for entry terms in 2021.

Due to ongoing concerns about future test dates and the availability of test centers caused by the pandemic, Lipscomb University will not require standardized test scores, such as the ACT or SAT, for most first-year applicants entering in Spring 2021 and Fall 2021. 

Byron Lewis

Byron Lewis

“This is a one-year adoption of the test optional policy,” says Byron Lewis, vice president for enrollment management. "The policy will be reviewed next spring. But with all of the uncertainty about so many aspects of the college search process during this pandemic, we wanted to alleviate a small part of the stress for these high school students who are working to make decisions about their college educations during this time.” 
Lewis said the Office of Admissions website will be updated this week with more details about the temporary policy shift. Students may submit scores if they choose, including scores from the Classic Learning Test which has not had the same level of difficulty administering their exams as the ACT and SAT, according to Lewis. The Classic Learning Test which has several available registration dates, including remote proctored exams as well as in-person testing at partner colleges, including Lipscomb.  

“Students who are unable to submit standardized test results, or who choose not to, will not be disadvantaged in the admission process,” said Lewis. “For those students who do submit standardized testing results, we will continue to use the scores as one component in our holistic review of applications.”

In reviewing applications that do not include standardized test results, the Admission Committee will place greater emphasis on other required application credentials including academic performance, course rigor, rank in class, personal statements, recommendations, and co-curricular involvement, Lewis said. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the landscape for rising high school seniors, who typically prepare for the upcoming college admissions cycle by taking standardized college entrance exams. However, the pandemic has disrupted test administrations for both the SAT and ACT with numerous testing centers canceling the administration of the exams. With all the disruptions, Lipscomb began researching the possibility of a test-optional admissions policy for 2021, receiving approval from the Office of the Provost to make this temporary shift in policy.
The admission process for spring 2021 is currently open with the fall 2021 process beginning on August 1. For more information about how to apply to Lipscomb University, visit