Mercer University will implement a test optional admission policy for first-year applicants during the next three admissions cycles, making submission of SAT and ACT scores optional through the fall 2023 entering class.
The intent of these standardized tests is to predict how successful a student will be in his or her first year of college, but a number of test optional schools have found student success at their particular institution does not necessarily correlate with their SAT and ACT scores. Many of these institutions have likewise found that going test optional has made positive contributions to ethnic and economic diversity on campus.
While Mercer has considered making this change for the past several years, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an appropriate time to evaluate this admissions approach in practice. In response to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that has limited access to ACT and SAT standardized testing opportunities, colleges and universities across the country have examined their admission criteria and instituted test optional or test flexible policies or otherwise de-emphasized the use of ACT or SAT scores in making admission decisions for all or many applicants who recently graduated from high school.