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Undergraduate: Test Optional Policy

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

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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?

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. Applicants who indicate they want SAT or ACT scores considered, but who do not provide scores, either official or self-reported, will be reviewed and considered for admission without them.

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.).  Additional information for our Homeschool Requirements can be viewed here.

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

Self-Reporting Test Scores

While a test-optional institution, applicants to Marist College who do wish to have standardized test scores considered in their admission review are invited to provide self-reported ACT and SAT test scores. Only admitted students who choose to enroll at Marist must have official scores sent directly from the testing agency.

You may self-report your ACT and SAT scores in one of two ways:

  • Provide your scores in the testing section of the Common Application. Please note that your scores will not appear in the PDF preview that generates prior to submission, but scores will still be sent to us for and imported into our application system for applicants who are not test-optional.
  • Send a pdf of the unofficial score report to

Marist College will verify scores for all enrolled students and any discrepancies between official and self-reported scores may jeopardize a student’s admission and enrollment status.

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.