Test-Optional FAQs

Why is Miami University implementing a test-optional policy for standardized test (ACT/SAT) scores for the Fall 2021 undergraduate admission process? 

We recognize changes to test availability and testing environments due to the COVID-19 pandemic leave many students with inequitable access to standardized tests. Miami has chosen to make test scores optional for students applying to the university for Fall 2021 to ensure equitable opportunity for admission, scholarships, and honors programs. Also, some applicants may feel their standardized test scores do not accurately reflect their academic potential. A test-optional admission policy allows you to choose whether your SAT or ACT test scores will be considered as part of the admission review — letting you decide how best to describe your academic history. The scope of the pandemic’s impact is yet to be determined, and academic performance (GPA and the rigor of a student’s curriculum) is the strongest predictor of success. 

What exactly does test-optional mean?

On the Miami University supplement for the Common Application, you will select, “Yes I would like my test scores to be reviewed” or, “No I choose for my test scores to not be considered as a part of my application.” If you select "no," your application for admission will be reviewed without considering scores, regardless of whether we have already received them or they are listed on your high school transcript. 

How will Miami review applications that do not include the optional standardized test scores?

Miami has always taken a holistic approach to evaluating students for admission. Standardized test scores have historically been just one indicator, among many, in our review process. In the absence of a test score, we will continue to look at all available factors holistically, including the completion of a core curriculum that includes English, math, science, social studies, foreign language, and various electives; grades earned; grade trends; a student’s decision to take rigorous coursework such as AP, IB, honors, or dual credit where it is offered; application essays; co-curricular and extracurricular activities; talent; and other achievements or mitigating factors. 

Admission to Miami University is competitive. Our strongest candidates choose rigorous secondary school curricula (within the context of their high school’s course offerings), and academic performance has always been our primary focus in review. Strong applicants challenge themselves beyond core high school graduation requirements. Because secondary schools vary by size, academic program, and grading scale, we do not have rigid GPA requirements. The large majority of our incoming first-year students receive As and Bs in core classes. A complete list of required application materials can be found on our application information web page.

How should I decide whether to submit test scores?

Through your application for admission we will evaluate whether we believe you are well prepared for academic success at a challenging liberal arts university and whether, through your experiences and background, we can expect you to be an active member of the Miami community. Admission to honors programs or to the Farmer School of Business will be test optional, but will remain highly competitive, and programs in the College of Creative Arts have talent requirements. Please note, there are some exceptions that will require students to provide ACT or SAT scores. (See information about Nursing, athletes, home schooling, and other exceptions, below.) 

While we recommend students submit as much information as possible with their application, the test score is just one factor in Miami’s overall admission evaluation. If you believe your test scores are indicative of your academic achievement, we will be happy to consider them. However, if you have a strong academic record demonstrated by above-average grades in challenging courses, but do not feel your test results are a good reflection of your academic performance, you can choose not to submit them, or to not have them used in the admission review. You may use the table below for context.

MIAMI FIRST-YEAR STUDENT PROFILE - MIDDLE 50%*
GPA 3.57 to 4.15
ACT Composite Score 26 to 31
SAT Combined Score (ERW+M) 1220-1400

*Middle 50% means 25% of students are above this range and 25% are below. Refer to our admitted student statistics webpage for more information.

Will test scores be required for merit scholarships?

Students who apply test-optional will be considered for merit scholarships based on a holistic review of all other information provided with their application. However, all admitted students will have until February 1* to provide updated scores for merit scholarship consideration, including admitted students who change their mind about being test-optional and want to provide test scores for scholarship consideration.

*The deadline to provide updated scores may be extended if scholarship funding remains available beyond February 1.

Will test scores be required for honors programs? 

Students who apply test-optional will be considered for all honors programs

Will any applicants be required to send scores? 

Yes, the following groups* will be required to submit test scores with their application:

  • Home-schooled students
  • Students who attend schools that do not offer grades
  • Students who want to participate in NCAA athletics
  • Students applying to the Nursing program (Nursing applicants must have a minimum composite ACT of 23 or an SAT of 1060 and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 for admission consideration.)

*Teacher education majors can be admitted without test scores but will need to submit a test score by the end of their first year to continue the program. For more information, visit the College of Education, Health and Society bulletin.

When must I decide whether to submit standardized test scores? Can I change my preference?

You will be asked on the admission application whether you want Miami to consider your test scores in our evaluation, and we encourage you to make a decision before submitting your application. If, when you apply, you ask us to use your test scores, you will not be able to change your mind. Once an application is complete we will begin evaluating it based on the information provided. Please note: if your high school reports ACT or SAT scores on student transcripts AND your application asks us to use your scores, we will use your scores.
 
Alternatively, if your application indicates you do not want us to use your scores, you will have time to change your mind. We accept new information (including test scores) during the application review process, and admitted students can send new or first-time test scores by February 1 for scholarship consideration. 

How do I submit test scores to be considered for the review process?

You may ask testing agencies to send your scores directly to Miami, and we will accept scores that are included on high school transcripts. We do not accept self-reported scores. Both testing agencies allow students a limited number of free reports if they select the schools to receive them at the time they are registering for the tests. For a fee, students can request the agencies to send scores from previous test dates. When sending scores to Miami University, Oxford, use the following school codes: ACT - 3294; College Board (SAT) - 1463. No preference is given for ACT or SAT.

How are test scores considered during the review process?

Miami superscores, using the highest test scores submitted for admission and scholarship consideration. For the ACT, the highest scores for each subscore from different exams will determine a combined highest composite score. For SAT the best Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) and Math (M) subscores will be used to calculate a maximum single score. We will use the national concordance table to determine whether the SAT best or ACT best is the better overall score.

Being test optional, will you consider senior (7th semester) grades in the application review?  

You may request that mid-year grades be reviewed with your application. While mid-year grades are not required, studies have shown that students who experience a drop in their senior year grades will often follow with poor grades in their first year of college, so it is always in your best interest to continue to do well through senior year. If you think your fall senior year grades will help our review, you may send them. Miami University does require an official transcript for all admitted students after high school graduation. We reserve the right to rescind an offer of admission due to poor academic performance in the senior year.

If I confirm my enrollment at Miami, will I need to submit my ACT or SAT scores?

Yes, if you have taken the ACT or SAT, score submission is requested for placement in appropriate coursework and research purposes, but will not negatively impact your admission decision or financial aid. Students who confirm their enrollment will need to submit scores by May 2 to facilitate course registration during Orientation. Students who have not submitted ACT or SAT scores by then will be required to complete an internal math placement assessment prior to Orientation. Confirmed students who do not submit scores and are not among those who are required to provide ACT or SAT scores will be required to complete an internal math placement assessment prior to Orientation.

Who do I contact if I have questions about this policy?

Please reach out to your Miami admission representative, email admission@MiamiOH.edu, or call the Admission Office at 513-529-2531.