• Admission & Financial Aid

    Policy on Test Optional Admission

  • Hendrix College has long held the view that college applications should be viewed holistically, asserting that no one academic marker, co-curricular activity, or other variable should have an overbearing influence on another. For this reason, you have the option to request that your test scores not be considered if you feel they do not represent your ability.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Why does Hendrix College have a test-optional admission policy?
    Hendrix College has long held the view that college applications should be viewed holistically, asserting that no one academic marker, co-curricular activity, or other variable should have an overbearing influence on another. For admission officers, reading applications became an exercise in measuring the applicant’s potential congruity with the College’s desire to apply its values toward the development of the whole person. In this light, the test score never has served an outsized role in an admission deliberation; however, due to several external factors, a popular narrative has taken root in the minds of many around the country that the test is a make-or-break factor in admission decisions at all institutions. In allowing students the choice of whether to have a score considered as part of the application, the College is among more than 1,000 colleges and universities in the United States that seek to de-emphasize the test. The College’s goal is to help re-center college choice around fit and joy – allowing a student room to understand their future success instead of their present mastery on high-stakes testing

    Am I required to submit a test score or other materials?
    In some cases, you will be required to submit a test score. If you are homeschooled or will be attending Hendrix on an F-1 or J-1 Visa, you will need a standardized test score from the ACT or College Board in order to apply. In rare instances where your application readers find they would like to have additional information to review your application, you may be asked for test scores or other materials.

    How do I apply as a test-optional applicant?
    On both Hendrix’s application and the Common Application, you may indicate whether you wish to be considered as test-optional.

    Which option affords the greatest opportunity of being admitted?
    Neither option leads to a greater opportunity of being admitted. Since the presence of an ACT or SAT test score will always be considered in light of the whole application, the College anticipates acceptance rates for both pools to run about even at the end of the recruitment cycle.
     
    If no advantage is given to students who apply test-optional, why should anyone do it?
    This option exists for students who feel their test score is not representative of their performance in high school, skills, or other abilities. It also exists for those students who develop anxiety around high-stakes testing. Since performance in the College is measured by work throughout the duration of a semester, we recognize that a single test is not always indicative of one’s ability. It follows that the student should have a choice of what materials are presented to an admission officer for consideration of admission.

    Will I still be eligible for scholarships if I apply as test-optional?
    Test scores will still play a role, as they always have, in decisions about who is invited to compete for prestigious scholarships (such as Hays Scholarships) that include full-tuition and full-cost scholarships. While all students will be considered for merit-based aid, students who wish to compete for the highest tier of scholarships should strongly consider submitting test scores. Arkansas residents who will benefit from state-funded assistance (Arkansas Academic Challenge or Governor's Distinguished Scholarship) will be required to submit test scores even if they do not wish for the score to be considered for admission. 

    What if I have already sent my scores to the College but wish to be considered test-optional?

    Upon applying for admission, you may select your wish to be considered test-optional. Making a decision to be apply as a test-optional student will directly result in your test score not being visible, even if already submitted, to the admission officers reading your application. 

    Won’t this just dilute the academic excellence that has been present at Hendrix for so many years?
    No. Although Hendrix has a very high mean test score, successful students at Hendrix have long ranged across the ACT/SAT score spectrum. Some students who would otherwise thrive in the College’s rigorous programs shy away from applying for fear their test scores do not measure up. Often these students have very admirable records in the classroom and beyond. The College hopes this policy will encourage them to apply so that they can become a part of its strong academic community.