Bellarmine University raises more than $100 million for school improvements

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Bellarmine University will become “test optional” for undergraduate admissions, meaning its applicants will no longer have to submit their ACT or SAT scores.

Not every high school student has the resources to pay for prep classes or take the test multiple times, and according to Bellarmine University’s vice president of admissions, marketing and communication, Dr. Michael Marshal, studies show standardize testing is not the best indicator for college success.

“We took about 10 years of data to say, ‘If we were to implement test optional, what would the impact be?’” Marshall said. “And what we discovered is high school GPA and rigor of the curriculum were the two strongest variables to predict the likelihood of success.”

The school will account for an application, extracurricular activities, recommendations and an interview. Students can choose to submit their scores but won't be penalized if they don't.

“We subscribe to a holistic admission review process,” Marshall said.

Marshall said the school is focusing on access, affordability, equity, inclusion, expansion and diversity in enrollment.

“There is a lot of pressure that takes place within those three hours where you have to be at your absolute academic best,” McKenna said.

There are some students who will still be required to submit their scores, including home schooled students, international students whose primary language isn't English and students seeking certain academic scholarships.

Student athletes will have to submit their scores to the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Bellarmine has 3,331 students, 2,553 of which are undergraduate students. Undergraduate tuition is $40,880 a year. Currently, the average ACT score is a 24.8.

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