Ohio University

Search within:

Ohio University Test-Optional Admission Pathway

Ohio University has adopted a test-optional pathway for admission to the Athens campus for freshman applicants. We created a test-optional pathway to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we believe providing that pathway to our future applicants is simply the right thing to do. Removing the requirement to submit standardized test results (ACT or SAT) means eliminating a barrier for students and supports our mission to expand access to higher education without negatively impacting academic quality or student success outcomes.

All applicants, including test-optional applicants, will be eligible to be considered for University benefits, including direct admission to academic programs, merit-based scholarships, and honors and scholars programs.

Applicants may submit test scores (ACT or SAT) if interested in having them considered. Ohio University will adjust internal processes appropriately to ensure that no student is harmed in admission selection if they do not submit a test score.

Update as of June 18, 2020

Which applicants are eligible for test-optional review?

Students applying for degree-seeking freshman admission to the Athens campus may elect to apply via the test-optional pathway. Transfer and international applications, applications to OHIO's regional campuses, and OHIO Online applications do not require submission of ACT or SAT, so the test-optional pathway is not needed. In accordance with state guidelines, College Credit Plus applicants may still be required to submit test scores.

Why is OHIO implementing a permanent test-optional admissions pathway?

While standardized test scores have been used among other measures to signal an applicant’s college readiness, they represent only one factor among many that are considered when making an admission decision. Removing the requirement to submit standardized test results (ACT or SAT) means eliminating a barrier for students and supports our mission to expand access to higher education without negatively impacting academic quality or student success outcomes.

How do I choose whether or not to have my test scores considered as part of application review?

We evaluate each application holistically and individually so there is no right answer for everyone. The following statistics from students admitted for the fall 2020 cohort may provide some guidance for your decision. These ranges represent the middle 50 percent of admitted students—meaning that 25 percent of admitted students had scores below this range and 25 percent of admitted students had scores above this range.

Freshman Profile (middle 50%)

  • Average high school grade-point average (on a 4-point scale): 3.58
  • Average combined SAT Scores (Math and Evidence-based Reading and Writing): 1050-1230
  • Average composite ACT Scores (Composite): 21-26

We recognize some students may not have standardized test scores or do not feel their test results reflect their academic performance. In application review at OHIO, we are looking for evidence of academic preparation to succeed in college, which may be reflected by your performance in a college-preparatory curriculum. 

How can I inform Ohio University I intend to apply under the test-optional admissions pathway?

If you apply using the Common Application, in the Preferred Testing Plan field in the General section, select this option: “No, I do not intend to submit official ACT or SAT scores as part of my application (I am applying as a test optional candidate).”

If you apply using the alternative online application, in the Preferred Testing Plan field on the Application Information page, select this option: “No, I do not intend to submit ACT or SAT scores as part of my application (I am applying as a test optional candidate).”

How will Ohio University evaluate my application without an ACT or SAT test score?

Ohio University already takes a holistic approach to reviewing every application for admission. While standardized test scores are helpful in determining an applicant’s college readiness, they represent only one factor among many that are considered when making a decision. Other data that are considered include the following:

  • Strength and rigor of curriculum
  • Performance in curriculum
  • Class rank
  • Grades, grade-point average, and grade trend
  • Essays (optional)
  • Letters of recommendation (optional)
  • Information about extra-curricular interests, activities, honors, or awards (optional)
Will applying test-optional have a negative impact on a student’s admission decision?

No. Ohio University will adjust internal processes appropriately to ensure that no student is harmed in admission selection if they do not submit a test score.

How does applying test-optional impact consideration for scholarships, OHIO Honors, or other scholars programs?

Freshman applicants who submit a test-optional application will be eligible to be considered for all University benefits, including merit scholarships and honors and scholars programs. More information will be available as selection processes begin for the next cycle. Of course, test-optional applicants are eligible for consideration for need-based financial assistance if they file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at fafsa.gov.  

How does this test-optional pathway impact other test scores, such as AP, IB, or CLEP?

Test scores used to provide course credit at OHIO must continue to be submitted officially, but test scores used for credit by examination do not need to be submitted for the purpose of admission. You can submit them later to get your credit.

Does the test-optional pathway affect English proficiency requirements for international students?

All students must demonstrate English proficiency to be admitted to academic study. International students may provide evidence of English proficiency through standardized test scores (ACT or SAT), but other evidence is also accepted, including a recent TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo score; completion of at least three years in a high school in an English-speaking system, including three years of high school English (not ESL) courses with a grade of B or better; or completion of the equivalent of Ohio University's English 1510: Writing and Rhetoric I (Freshman Composition) with a grade of C or better.

Who can I contact if I have questions about the application or the test-optional pathway?

Please contact Undergraduate Admissions by email at admissions@ohio.edu or by phone at 740.593.4100. We are available to assist you during our regular business hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.