SPU no longer requiring students to submit SAT or ACT scores when applying

SPU is now a “test-optional” school, meaning that high school students applying to Seattle Pacific this year are no longer required to submit SAT or ACT scores. It’s one of several changes SPU has introduced to make an SPU education accessible to students.

SPU Stories spoke with Ineliz Soto-Fuller, director of Seattle Pacific Undergraduate Admissions, to learn more about this change and how it benefits students.

What does “test-optional” mean for Seattle Pacific University?

Soto-Fuller: “Test-optional” means that standardized scores (SAT/ACT) are no longer required for undergraduate students applying to Seattle Pacific. Test scores are also not required for SPU scholarship consideration.

Why did we make this change? With schools closed for extended periods of times and many testing sites shut down due to COVID-19, taking the SAT and ACT has been a significant challenge for many students across the country. We do not want to disadvantage students who have not been able to take these tests, and we want to students to know they can demonstrate their academic abilities in other ways.

SPU has a long history of reviewing students for admission through a holistic process, looking at each student’s application, academic performance, and situation as a whole. We are well-equipped to make admissions decisions from the information students provide in the application process, even without test scores.


Do test scores matter anymore?

Soto-Fuller: Some students feel test scores are a good reflection of their academic preparation. For this reason, some students will still want to submit their test scores. For students that choose to submit, we will review their test scores as part of the holistic review process.

Certain scholarship programs (In-State Matching Scholar Commitment, Faith for the Future Scholarship, Falcon Bound Commitment) include both test score and GPA qualification options. Some students may wish to use their test scores to qualify for these programs, while others can use their GPA.


Will I be at a disadvantage if I don’t submit SAT/ACT test scores?

Soto-Fuller: No. If you choose not to submit test scores, your application will be reviewed holistically in the same way as a student who does submit test scores. Plus, all SPU scholarships have GPA-only qualification options!


Are test scores required for Merit Scholarships?

Soto-Fuller: No! There are many ways for a student to qualify for a Merit Scholarship or one of SPU’s other major scholarship offerings. SPU’s Merit Scholarships are now based on a holistic review of a student’s application and overall academic performance. Plus, our other scholarship offerings include a GPA qualification option as an alternative to a test score requirement.


How do I decide whether or not to submit test scores?

Soto-Fuller: Last year, the middle 50% of our freshman class had a GPA range of 3.26–3.83.

If a student’s cumulative GPA is quite a bit below this GPA range, and they believe they have the ability to do well on the SAT and/or ACT, it might help to take the test.

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