Undergraduate: Test Optional Policy

Marist is committed to a holistic approach of application review. ACT/SAT scores are optional.

About Marist's Test Optional Policy


Marist College: About Test Optional


Why does Marist College make submission of SAT/ACT test scores optional?

By making the submission of ACT/SAT scores optional, Marist is reaffirming its commitment to a holistic approach to application review.

Many studies indicate performance on standardized tests is closely linked to family income and education level, while others suggest a possible bias against certain minority students. Our experience shows that the rigor of a student’s program and overall academic performance can best illustrate commitment, motivation, work ethic, and a willingness to take on challenges. For years, our application review process rewarded students who performed well in the classroom. However, in recent years, as the Marist applicant pool has grown significantly (approximately 11,000 applications in each of the last two years), a common concern among students is the emphasis placed on standardized test scores. 

We hope that this policy will help both students and parents reassess the importance of testing, while at the same time redirecting attention back to what really matters- day-to-day performance in the classroom and the personal characteristics of the student.

Does this policy make it easier to be accepted to Marist?

This past year, Marist accepted 42% of the students who applied, placing Marist among the most selective schools in the country. We believe this policy enables students to apply knowing the information they chose to submit is the best reflection of their academic potential. Certainly, students who have excelled in a challenging high school curriculum will be positioned well as their file is reviewed by the Admission Committee. We don’t expect this policy to make it easier to get into Marist.

Are any students required to submit standardized test scores for admission?

International students whose native language is not English are required to submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (T.O.E.F.L.).  In addition, students applying for our HEOP program, and/or students that have been homeschooled at any time in their high school career, are required to submit their SAT or ACT results. Learn more on our Homeschool Requirements page.

How does a student indicate whether they want their standardized test scores considered for admission?

On the Marist admission application or the Marist Supplement to the Common Application, each applicant indicates whether they want their standardized test scores to be considered for admission.  If a student has previously sent their scores to Marist and later indicates on their application/supplement they do not want their scores considered, the scores will be deleted from the Marist admission system.  If a student changes their mind about consideration of their test scores after they have submitted their application, the student must send an email to admission@marist.edu indicating their desire regarding the use of their standardized test scores. 

Can a student be considered for a merit scholarship if they do not submit test scores?

Yes. All students who apply to Marist are eligible for merit scholarship consideration.