Standardized Test Optional Policy

At RWU, we understand that our applicants are multidimensional and their talents and potential shine through in many different ways. While we recognize that standardized tests accurately measure aptitude for many students, there are many others whose abilities are not fairly measured by such tests. Therefore, standardized tests may serve as an artificial barrier to many highly qualified students.

Our policy more accurately reflects the extent to which student motivation and initiative are important predictors of success. This is especially true at RWU where students are expected to apply innovative and collaborative approaches to both traditional and project-based learning. We believe that giving our applicants the option to use test scores creates broader access to an RWU education.

How do I know if I should apply test optional?

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If you feel that your SAT and/or ACT scores accurately reflect your academic achievements and potential you may wish to submit your scores. Conversely, if you feel that your transcript and other involvements and achievements are a better reflection of your ability and potential, and that your test scores detract from that, you may choose not to submit them.

What percentage of students submit scores?

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In the past several admission cycles, approximately 60-65% of applicants have submitted test scores.

Does RWU super-score?

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Yes, RWU will take your highest score from each section of the SAT regardless of the exam date. If you submit both an SAT and an ACT score, we will use the composite score that is in your best interest per the official concordance data.

Are there any exceptions under which I should submit test scores?

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In order to be considered for direct admission into either the Elementary Education or Secondary Education bachelor’s degree programs, you must submit test scores that meet the minimum requirements established by the Rhode Island Department of Education. If you choose not to submit scores, or if your scores fall below the requirements you may be admitted provisionally with the opportunity to either meet the requirements or pass an alternate exam before the end of your sophomore year. There are no test score requirements for admission as an undeclared education major or for the educational studies program.

Homeschooled students are strongly encouraged to submit an additional credential, and standardized test scores may be a good option. These may be in the form of SAT, ACT, SAT II, or AP exam results.

International students with a native language other than English are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores to be considered for direct admission.Students who choose not to submit scores, or whose scores on these exams fall below the minimum requirements will be considered for either Bridge or Conditional admission.

How do I tell the admission committee whether or not I’d like my scores considered?

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There is a question on the RWU member screen section of the Common Application where you will indicate whether or not you would like test scores considered as a part of your application. Please know that if you select the option to have your scores considered, they will become a required item to complete your application. If you are applying Early Action and want your scores considered, please make sure that they are sent to us by the November 15 deadline.

If you had previously sent test scores to us, but then choose to apply without scores we will not include them as a part of the admission review.

How do I submit my test scores?

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Roger Williams University accepts either officially-reported or self-reported test scores at the time of application. If self-reported test scores are submitted, official score reports will only be required at the time of enrollment. 

How to submit official scores:

When taking the SAT or ACT you may select Roger Williams to automatically receive your test scores. Or, you may contact the College Board or ACT to have them send your scores directly to us. Lastly, if your scores are printed on your high school transcript we will consider those official.

How to submit self-reported scores: 

Applicants may enter their test scores directly on the Common Application or submit a copy or screenshot of the score report(s) that clearly shows the student's name. Additionally, students may request that their secondary school sends along the scores, if possible. 

What do I need to do if I choose not to submit test scores?

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If you choose not to submit your scores, just make sure you’ve indicated this accurately on the RWU member screen section of the Common Application. Nothing additional is required in lieu of test scores. Instead, we will simply consider all the other aspects of your application as part of our holistic review. No applicant will be at a disadvantage for opting out of submitting test scores.

Will I still qualify for scholarships if I do not submit test scores?

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Yes, all students who apply will be automatically considered for merit scholarships. Merit scholarships will be awarded based on a combination of academic factors that will include test scores only if an applicant has opted to submit them.

May I still apply for the honors program without test scores?

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Yes, all applicants may apply and will be considered equally for the honors program whether or not they have submitted test scores.

Are test scores required after enrollment?

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Yes, students who do not submit scores during the application process will be asked to provide scores upon enrollment. 

Are test scores used for placement?

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No, test scores are not used at all for any placement purposes.