Standardized Testing Policy
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Why did Hofstra choose to make standardized test scores optional in the admission process?
At Hofstra, we are firm believers that your potential for success cannot be determined solely by standardized test scores, and we see you as much more than a test score! We understand that standardized tests are not the most important predictors of academic success. The Admission Committee reviews applicants holistically and considers high school performance, strength of curriculum and achievements in the classroom and the community. This test optional policy is meant as an alternative; for nearly 75% of our applicants submitting test scores is the right choice. Please note that international students must submit test scores to qualify for admission. Please see the International Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.
2) How will I know if I should submit my test scores?
The mid-range of admitted students submitting SAT scores is 1130 to 1300, with an average ACT equivalent of 24 to 30. If your scores fall within this range, including them in your application could make you a more competitive candidate.
Previous applicants have expressed the following concerns, and our counselors have offered advice, about their decision to submit test scores:
- “My test scores are above average, but I didn’t do as well on the SAT/ACT as I personally would have liked." This student should submit his/her test scores.
- “Standardized testing has been a weakness of mine throughout my high school career. My grades and curriculum are rigorous and competitive, but my SAT/ACT scores aren’t as strong as I would have liked.” This student should not submit his/her test scores.
- “I don’t want to pay or can’t afford to send my test scores.” Scores can be sent to us using a wide variety of free options. This student should submit his/her test scores.
- “Sending my test scores is an obstacle and will take way too long.” This student should submit his/her test scores.
- “I think that my academic profile is strong enough that I might be eligible for Hofstra’s prestigious and highly competitive Trustee Scholarship Program.” This student should submit his/her test scores.
- “My best test scores are significantly below Hofstra’s published average and mid-range scores (mentioned above).” This student should not submit his/her test scores.
3) What qualities will the Admission Committee look for?
The Admission Committee looks for ambitious, determined and motivated students who are eager to explore a variety of subjects and gain hands-on, experiential learning opportunities. Thus, our review process for any applicant includes a close look at:
- the applicant’s high school curriculum and its rigor
- academic and personal strengths and weaknesses
- depth of commitment, contribution and potential for leadership
- performance on standardized tests (if presented)
- strength of the applicant’s character, integrity and maturity
4) If I choose not to submit my standardized test scores will I still be considered for merit based scholarship?
Yes, all applicants are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships, whether or not they submit scores. Keep in mind that the Presidential Scholars Program and Trustee Scholarship Program are offered only to students who submit standardized test scores; these students are among the top 10% in academic achievement in the entire applicant pool.
More than 80% of admitted test optional candidates are offered the Provost Scholars Award or Deans Scholars Award. Click here for an in depth description of merit based scholarships available at Hofstra.
5) What if I have sent my test scores, but choose to apply as a test optional candidate?
If you have previously sent standardized test scores to Hofstra, or they appear on your high school transcript, the admission committee will not consider them during their review, if you have selected you are applying “test optional” on your application.
6) If I choose not to submit standardized test scores will I still be considered for the Honors College?
Yes; standardized test scores are not required for consideration to Honors College. Invitations to Honors College are not based on any single criterion; these students have challenged themselves in the classroom by taking and performing well in honors, IB, and AP-level curriculum while maintaining a very strong high school average very close to or above an A-. For those who choose to submit a standardized test score, a 1340 or better on the evidence-based reading and writing + math sections of the SAT (or a 29 on the ACT) is recommended. Additionally, this elite group of applicants typically submits a co-curricular resume demonstrating commitment to one’s school and/or community along with strong leadership skills. For more information please visit www.hofstra.edu/honorscollege.
7) Are there any students who cannot apply as test optional candidates?
Yes, not every applicant is able to apply without standardized test scores. Hofstra requires scores from:
- Students who were homeschooled during high school.
- International students for whom English is not their native language must submit the results of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the SAT / ACT.
- Applicants of Hofstra’s direct entry dual degree program in Physician Assistant Studies and the Hofstra 4+4 Program: BS-BA/MD in conjunction with The Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine.
- Students interested in applying for Hofstra’s Trustee Scholarship.
** Please Note: No other dual degree programs require the submission of standardized test scores.**
8) Does this policy apply to transfer students?
Yes. Transfer students with fewer than 24 earned credits may elect not to submit standardized test scores. Transfer students with 24 or more earned college credits will be evaluated on the basis of their college performance.
9) Do you require or recommend any other material to be submitted if I don’t submit a test score?
An interview is strongly encouraged and for some may be required. If there is anything else that you believe may set you apart from other applicants and/or distinguish a special talent or ability, contact your admission counselor regarding the best way to highlight these characteristics.
10) How do I let Hofstra know that I will or will not be submitting a test score?
On the application, there will be an opportunity to indicate your choice to submit or withhold your scores. If you choose not to submit your scores, we request a short written response on the application asking you to clarify the thought process you used in your decision making.