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Test Optional Admission Policy

William Jewell College believes in a holistic review of student credentials for admission to the College. Our own observation of successful students and graduates supports research that demonstrates that factors other than test scores are better indicators of potential for success in the classroom and the College community. Students with an outstanding record of academic achievement in a rigorous high school curriculum and demonstrated leadership and service in their community and school are the most successful test-optional applicants.

Students who apply as test-optional candidates must have a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 and demonstrate outstanding performance in core academic courses in English, math, science and social sciences. Successful candidates will have demonstrated consistent, above average performance or substantial progress throughout their high school career. Students with GPAs of less than 3.0 may be recommended for consideration by their high school guidance counselors.

Of course, many, perhaps a majority of students will want to submit ACT and/or SAT test scores as part of their admission application. We welcome and encourage those students to do so and may continue to indicate this desire by including William Jewell College’s school code (ACT - 2394, SAT - 6941) on the tests.

Student who would like to take advantage of the test-optional opportunity will need to indicate that on the application for admission.

In order to enable evaluation of the effectiveness of our test-optional policy, William Jewell College will require that students submit their test scores to the Office of Admission in August before classes begin.

Eligibility criteria for students qualifying for test optional review

  • All students must hold a 3.0 GPA in core academic courses
    • 4 years of English
    • 3 years of math
    • 3 years of science
    • 3 years of social science
  • Satisfy 3 of the following options (2 must be from the academic options)
    • Academic Options
      • 2 academic recommendations from teachers attesting to academic ability
      • Graded writing sample from previous 2 years with teacher comment
        • 500 words or more, can be a
          • Research paper
          • Position paper
          • Literary analysis
      • AP/Honors, IB courses (Evaluated on the strength and frequency of course work
      • Class Rank (Provides context with student’s immediate peer group)
    • Non-academic options
      • Demonstration of Community Involvement
      • Demonstration of Service/Volunteer activities aligned with Jewell values
      • Demonstration of Extracurricular activities, showing an emphasis on leadership through:
        • Clubs
        • Organizations
        • Sports teams
      • Personal/Group achievements and experiences demonstrated by:
        • You Tube videos
        • DVD
        • PowerPoint
        • Slide Shows
          • Your portfolio should showcase leadership potential and campus involvement through:
            • Personal background
            • Artistic/Theatrical/Musical talent
            • Athletic ability
            • Accomplishments/Interests

Frequently Asked Questions about Test-Optional Admission

Why did William Jewell College adopt a test-optional admission policy?

It has been determined by researchers and the College’s own empirical evidence that standardized tests are not the best indicators of future academic success. Consequently, it was determined that a more holistic review of a student’s academic preparation and contributions to school and community through activities and demonstrated leadership potential was warranted and necessary.

It is also a demonstration of the College’s commitment to broaden the applicant pool to reflect students from a range of backgrounds. William Jewell welcomes students from all socio-economic backgrounds to participate in the educational opportunities that are available.

Admission to William Jewell College will remain a very selective process. Adoption of a test-optional policy in no way diminishes the rigor of the evaluation of student credentials. The holistic review process that the test-optional process requires will result in an even more thorough evaluation of all aspects of a student’s high school and community performance.

Who should apply as a test-optional admission candidate?

Students who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance in a rigorous academic core curriculum and who believe their standardized test scores are not indicative of their true accomplishments and potential may want to consider the test-optional opportunity. Students may also consider that they will benefit more from a thorough review of their extracurricular, community and leadership experiences when deciding to take advantage of this process of application review.

We also encourage each student to consult with their guidance counselor as they explore the test-optional application.

Who is not eligible for test-optional admission?

Because the nature of the home school environment presents difficulties in determining the rigor of curriculum and academic engagement, home school students must still submit a standardized test score.

International student applicants are required to submit standardized test scores. And in certain instances, standardized test scores for transfer students may also be required.

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