Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Miami University extends its test-optional policy through 2026

Miami University will remain test-optional through the spring 2026 semester, meaning admission applicants are not required to submit ACT or SAT scores during that time.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more universities have elected to do the same. Some universities, like Columbia University, have permanently gone test optional.

Miami first introduced this policy for the fall 2021 admission applicants and has continued it every year since. Those accepted students are now in their second year at the university. Brent Shock, vice president of Student Enrollment Management and Success at Miami, said the university wanted to see how those students did before fully committing.

“We want the first class that we admitted under the test-optional policy to have the opportunity to graduate,” Shock said. “That’s really what it boils down to is we’re using this time to gather that data to make sure we know … how students are performing under a test-optional policy.”

Gwendolyn Rhorer is a first-year individualized studies major with a focus on sex education and women and gender studies. Rhorer said if Miami didn’t have a test-optional policy she wouldn’t have applied.

Rhorer graduated salutatorian, making her the second highest in academic achievement for her class. Despite this, Rhorer got a 14 on the ACT, a score that would automatically disqualify her from admittance at some schools.

“Coming from a lower income school where there wasn’t a lot of ACT prep, we got kind of blindsided,” Rhorer said. “None of us knew anything on it.”

Shock said the university started looking into going test-optional before the pandemic in 2018. He said Miami recognized some applicants may not have the same resources as others and that could affect ACT or SAT scores, and there are better options when determining enrollment eligibility.

“There’s a large amount of evidence out there that would suggest a test score does not really speak to a student’s true ability to be successful in college,” Shock said. “And in fact, the best predictor of college success is the student's high school GPA.”

Rhorer said she thinks no university should require students to submit ACT or SAT scores. 

“I don’t think that they should at all,” Rhorer said. “Because there’s not a reason to. You can’t test someone’s abilities through one test.” 

Unlike Rhorer, Isa Abrinica, a sophomore emerging technology and business and design major, said the test-optional policy didn’t affect her decision to apply to Miami.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

Abrinica opted to submit her ACT score. She said in her case, the ACT represented her capabilities well. However, she questioned whether others could say the same.

“I'm a good test taker,” Abrinica said. “[The ACT] might do well to reflect my academic ability but at the same time, the way that people learn, and how they learn, it’s not the same for everyone.”

Abrinica said she couldn’t think of a reason why the university shouldn’t continue being test-optional past 2026.

According to a press release from Miami in March, about 50% of applicants ask the university to use their test scores in the decision-making process. However, Shock said that even if test scores are submitted for use, they are not weighted more than any other factor.

“In reality, the test score was always one small part of the criteria that we use to admit students,” Shock said. “And that has continued to stay the approach that we're taking.”