Using Standardized Test Scores to Evaluate Scholarship Applicants

After making standardized test scores optional on our UA in 2021, we returned to requiring them in 2022. None of our individual scholarship opportunities use test scores for eligibility, but our reviewers have found them helpful in assessing applicants' academics. Given the trend toward colleges/universities not requiring them for admission, we are considering not asking for them at all in 2023. I am curious to learn how you have approached standardized test scores for your traditional scholarship applications. Are they required, optional, or not included in your application, and why?

Laurie Abildso

Vice President

Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc.


  • MarshaStraussMarshaStrauss Posts: 82 ✭✭✭
    First Answer First Compass Anniversary Name Dropper 5 Up Votes

    LY I had them included but made clear that it was optional, only if they wanted to share...I should look to see how many actually entered them. Have you decided yet?

  • LaurieAbildsoLaurieAbildso Posts: 68 ✭✭✭
    First Compass Anniversary Name Dropper First Comment Summit 2022

    We will continue to ask students who took standardized tests to share their scores, but offer the option of not including them if their chosen school/program of study does not require them.

    Laurie Abildso

    Vice President

    Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc.

  • MadiSyringMadiSyring Posts: 11 ✭✭✭
    CSuite Regional Training 5 Likes First Comment

    We do not require students to input their standardized test scores, but we do leave it as an optional field on the universal application. None of our scholarships have criteria that include a minimum SAT/ACT score to qualify.

    What we have seen instead is that our reviewers much prefer to have access to student transcripts. In our initial year with SLM, we made transcripts admin-facing to align with blind review. What we found was that reviewers wanted to see this information because they did not feel that GPA accurately portrayed the student.

    They wanted to know if their GPA was low because students were taking harder classes, if one class brought them down, etc. They also wanted to see if the students were doing well in the courses that correlated with their major or prospective major.

    We have found that this has taken a much bigger role in review than test scoring ever has!

  • elianapritchettelianapritchett Posts: 13 ✭✭
    Name Dropper First Comment 5 Likes First Compass Anniversary

    We don't ask for standardized test scores as none of our individual scholarships require certain scores. We do ask for GPA (and are currently figuring out how to balance weighted and unweighted GPAs).

    We have found our reviewers find GPA sufficient in determining academic success. Additionally, many of our scholarships include supplemental narratives regarding academics/community activities/work experience, etc.

    I hope this helps!

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