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Testing Policies

Simpson College has always believed in a holistic approach to admissions that takes many different factors about a student into account. Simpson accepts scores from either the ACT or SAT and also offers a test-optional pathway for prospective students. Our focus is to learn more about you and your potential for success at Simpson.

What does holistic review mean and why does Simpson make submitting test scores optional for students?

  • Simpson’s holistic review of all applications allows us to learn more about each applicant and the potential they have to contribute academically in the classroom as well as within the Simpson community. Each application is reviewed on an individual basis and read in its entirety. Emphasis is on the courses taken and success in a rigorous curriculum. Simpson admits students with a proven record of academic achievement who have taken advantage of the academic opportunities available.

Why would I apply with the test-optional pathway in the application process?

  • Students who perform well in the classroom may choose to apply without test scores. Applicants with a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA (4 point scale) may apply as test-optional. Applicants with below a 3.0 cumulative GPA (4 point scale) who choose the test-optional pathway will also be required to provide a response (250-800 words) to the following question: How will your experiences and perspectives add to the Simpson Community? This may include a background, academic interest or talent that is so meaningful the applicant believes their application would be incomplete without it.

Why would I submit test scores?

  • Students may decide their test scores complement their academic record and provide additional information regarding their academic potential. Test scores are required for the Cowles Fellowship.

How will Simpson evaluate students who don’t submit test scores?

  • Students will be evaluated by their success in the classroom as evident on their high school transcript and other (optional) supporting materials. Success in the classroom will be determined by performance in core, Advanced Placement, and dual-enrollment courses as well as extra-curricular engagement and leadership in those activities.

How do students indicate whether or not they want test scores considered in the admissions process?

  • When completing the application for admission, students will be able to indicate whether or not they’d like their test scores to be considered for admission.

May I submit additional materials in support of my application?

  • Yes. The Office of Admissions encourages (but does require) students to submit at least one of the optional essay prompts on the application and complete an Educator Recommendation form.

How will Simpson evaluate students who don't submit test scores?

  • Students will be evaluated by their success in the classroom as evident on their high school transcript and other supporting materials. Success in the classroom will be determined by performance in core, Advanced Placement, and dual-enrollment courses as well as extra-curricular engagement and leadership in those activities.

What are core courses?

  • The Office of Admissions encourages 4 years of English, 3+ years of math, 3+ years of science, 3+ years of social science, and 2+ years of foreign language. While these courses are not required, they are encouraged as they best prepare students for our Liberal Arts curriculum.

Is an interview required for admission?

  • No. All students are strongly encouraged to visit campus and meet with their admissions counselor. This is the best way for us to learn more about you and your educational goals.

What if my ACT/SAT scores were sent to Simpson when I took the test and/or are included on my transcripts?

  • When a student indicates on their application that they’d like to apply without test scores, all test scores will be redacted and not considered by our admissions committee.

Who is required to submit test scores?

  • Students who meet at least one of the following criteria are required to submit test scores:
    • Plan to apply as a homeschooled student
    • Plan to apply as an international student
    • Wish to be considered for the Cowles Fellowship

Can I change my decision to submit/not submit test scores at any point in the admission process?

  • No. Once a student decides to apply through the test optional pathway or submits their test scores as part of the application that decision is final and cannot be changed later on in the admission process.

Will I still be considered for academic scholarships if I choose not to submit test scores?

  • Yes. All admitted students will automatically be considered for merit-based scholarships.

 

If you have additional questions, please contact the Office at Admissions at 515-961-1624 or admiss@simpson.edu.