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Lewis & Clark’s Updated Test-Optional Policy

May 15, 2020

A national leader in test-optional admissions, Lewis & Clark has updated its long-standing policy.

Starting with the fall 2021 incoming class, applicants who prefer not to submit standardized test scores will no longer be required to submit a portfolio of academic work in their place.

Lewis & Clark College implemented its original test-optional policy in 1991 in an effort to reduce barriers to education. Over the years, we have monitored the academic success of our students who have chosen to submit their test scores and those that opted for a portfolio of academic work in lieu of test scores. Time and again, we have found that neither the standardized test scores, nor the academic portfolio provided a strong correlation to a student’s success at Lewis & Clark. High school GPA and academic curriculum remain the best indicators of academic preparation for our students.

“I am pleased that there is a national conversation about the use of standardized tests in college admissions – and heartened to see so many colleges adopting test-optional policies,” says Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid Eric Staab. “At Lewis & Clark, a test-optional policy has been, and continues to be, the right decision for students and the college. This simplified process reflects a deeper commitment to the belief that testing does not always reflect a student’s true academic potential.”

Students will be able to indicate on their application if they want scores to be included as part of a holistic admissions review. Standardized test scores will not play a role in the awarding of merit-based or need-based financial aid.

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