Niagara University To Implement Test-Optional Admission Policy
Niagara University is taking the lead in Western New York by implementing a test-optional admission policy for the fall 2018 semester. As part of the policy, students seeking admission to Niagara may elect not to submit standardized test scores as part of their admission application.
“We know from our own data, as well as other research, that high school GPA serves as one of the strongest predictors of student success in college, and that the academic rigor of a student’s high school experience is central to preparation for success in college,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University. “A test-optional policy allows us to use these core areas as the foundation for our admissions process. This is truly a progressive way to maintain Niagara University’s high academic standards while, at the same time, challenging the paradigm of the overreliance on standardized testing as an admission criterion for incoming students.”
In arriving at this decision, the university community engaged in a yearlong review, which included consulting with sister Vincentian universities – St. John’s and DePaul, both of which are test-optional universities. The review of data showed that the high school grade point average (GPA) has the highest predictive strength relative to first-year GPA. Additionally, when standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) were combined with the high school GPA, the predictive strength difference was negligible.