Ball State To Make Standardized Tests Optional for Admission

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By: Marc Ransford—

Muncie, IN— Ball State University is making an important change in its admissions process. Ball State will make submitting SAT or ACT scores optional for its next upcoming recruitment class, who will begin their college education in the Fall of 2019. The University is making the change after a deliberative process that began in the Spring of 2017.

Ball State is taking this innovative approach to have the flexibility to attract more students who are likely to be successful at the University and ultimately in life. “Our research shows high school grade point averages are the strongest predictor for student success,” said Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns. “This change will create opportunities for even more high-achieving students to take advantage of our distinctive academic programs, our unique immersive learning experiences, and our supportive campus community. The new policy also aligns with our Beneficence Pledge to maintain high standards of scholarship and excellence.”

This positive change comes at a good time in Ball State’s bright future.  Last year, the University had the second largest freshman class in its history. The freshman class was also the most academically qualified and most diverse freshman class in its history. “We want to build on this success. By becoming test-optional, we will become more attractive and accessible to students across the entire state of Indiana,” said Dr. Kay Bales, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services.

Ball State is Indiana’s largest and first four-year public university to become test-optional, but it is not alone in re-examining admission criteria. Research shows public colleges across the country see applications increase 11 percent, an increase in graduation rates, and more diversity within the student population after they become test-optional.

“If students feel their SAT or ACT test scores don’t represent their academic abilities and decide not to submit them, we’ll holistically consider their academic work and difficulty, extracurricular participation, and any applicant statements or recommendations,” said Dr. Bales. “Our goal at Ball State is to lead students to have successful careers and meaningful lives. This starts by making college education a possibility for more qualified students.”

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About Ball State University

Founded in 1918 and located in Muncie, Ball State is one of Indiana’s signature universities and an economic driver for the state. The university’s 2017-18 enrollment — 22,513 — is the largest in school history, and its freshman class of 4,002 was just three students shy of tying a school record. Every Indiana county is represented among Ball State’s student body, as are all 50 states and 68 countries. Ball State’s 731-acre campus is large enough to accommodate premier facilities and 19 NCAA Division I sports but small enough to ensure the friendliness, personal attention and access that are the hallmarks of the university, where 90 percent of classes are taught by faculty.