Test-Optional Policy

Application Review That Focuses on You.

Creighton University’s application review process reflects our values as a Catholic, Jesuit institution. As such, we maintain and value a holistic review of all submitted application materials. We believe the full evaluation of a high school record is the best way to demonstrate a student’s preparedness and academic abilities over time. Our process also values the use of standardized tests as a piece of the review process to level-set the variance of curriculum offered at schools throughout the country.

That said, some applicants may feel that an ACT or SAT score doesn’t fully reflect their academic abilities. There is sufficient evidence that there can be some inherent bias in standardized testing. If this is case for you, you may choose to select Creighton’s test-optional method of application. We welcome any student, regardless of testing plan, to submit additional materials that they feel best highlights their skills, talents, and potential contributions to Creighton.

For students electing to send scores, the SAT, ACT, and other standard measures can continue to be an important part of Creighton University’s holistic admissions process. Standardized test scores are a required part of the application process at many other selective colleges and universities. These tests can provide valuable information about a student. If a student chooses to include these scores in their application review, we will consider them, along with all other materials in a student’s application.

Applicants who feel their ACT or SAT score does not accurately reflect their ability to be successful at Creighton or who have been unable to take the ACT or SAT due to the pandemic may elect to apply test-optional. If you have questions about whether or not this is right for you, contact your admissions counselor.

Note that while homeschooled students have previously been unable to apply test-optional, in response to the disruptions caused by COVID-19, the 2020-2021 application process will be test-optional for home-schooled applicants as well. However, we find it helpful to have additional materials submitted, if possible. We recommend submitting either ACT/SAT results, transcripts from college courses, AP/IB exam results, or other accredited online schooling transcripts. We may sometimes require a virtual interview as a part of our review of home-schooled applicants.


What does it mean to apply test-optional?

Students who choose to submit their application and select the test-optional path will not have their test scores considered as a part of the admission review process. Test scores will only be considered as part of the scholarship review process if it benefits the student.

I haven’t been able to take a test yet, so I don’t know if I should apply test-optional. What should I do?

We encourage students who haven’t gotten the chance to take a test yet to apply to Creighton as a test-optional applicant. We don’t want to pause your college search while you wait for an upcoming test date. If you are able to take the test in the coming months and want your application to be re-reviewed for merit scholarships with your test score, you will be able to do so through the December testing dates (provided we receive the test scores by January 5, 2021).

There is no risk to sending in a test score; we have your best interest at heart. Your admissions decision will not change and your scholarship amount would either stay the same or increase. In fact, we will review and award scholarships based on the highest possible scholarship outcome. If a student sends scores after admission that would improve their scholarship award, we will re-evaluate. If scores are sent after admission that would negatively affect their scholarship decision, no change will be made.

How does Creighton evaluate students who don’t submit standardized test scores?

As with every applicant, the review process for students who don’t submit SAT or ACT scores is very personalized. We review and consider your official high school transcript (including the scale on which you were graded, sent directly from your high school), your high school counselor evaluation and your essay or personal statement. The essay is your chance to demonstrate your writing potential while allowing the Admissions Committee to get to know you better. If you are completing the Common Application, you do not need an additional personal statement or essay; simply use the one included in the Common Application. We will also review and consider an optional resume, and/or letters of recommendation written by one of your teachers, coaches, counselors, or mentors, attesting to your academic and social preparedness to study at Creighton.

Will I be at a disadvantage if I decide not to submit standardized test scores?

No. There will be no negative impact on your application. In fact, we will review and award scholarships based on the highest possible scholarship outcome. If a student sends scores after admission that would improve their scholarship award, we will re-evaluate. If scores are sent after admission that would negatively affect their scholarship decision, no change will be made.

Why would a student submit standardized test scores if they don’t have to?

Some students decide that his or her scores give a more complete picture of academic achievements and potential.

Will I be eligible for scholarships if I submit a test-optional application?

If you apply test-optional, you will be considered for merit awards. As with any applicant, you will automatically be considered for merit-based scholarships with your application for admission.

I chose to apply test-optional, but now I’d like my scores considered. Can I change my mind after I apply?

You can change your mind up until your admissions decision has been made. You can contact your admissions counselor to find out where your application is at in the review process. We will not begin reading applications until October 15, 2020, so every applicant will have until at least this date to make this change.

Students who don’t apply test-optional, but then decide they would like to apply test-optional can also change their application, as long as the application hasn’t been reviewed yet. If you have questions about whether or not test-optional is right for you, contact your admissions counselor.

If I apply test-optional, will I still need to send my scores in at some point?

Submitting your test scores at the time of admission does not mean they will be reviewed when making admissions or scholarship decisions. If you select on your application that you are applying test-optional, scores will not be used (even if submitted) for admission or scholarship review. 

Students will be required to submit official ACT or SAT score results upon enrollment for the purposes of determining the validity of our test-optional policy. This validity examination will include the review of our advising process and will ensure that students admitted will be successful in the programs of their choice. For students entering pre-health tracks, these will be particularly informative and may reveal that students will need additional support to best position them for success in General Chemistry.

Because of NCAA eligibility rules, Division I student-athletes are required to submit official scores in order to be declared eligible for competition.* These scores are submitted to the NCAA Clearinghouse and not necessarily directly to Creighton University. *This requirement has been waived for incoming freshmen for fall 2021.

Some special programs and additional scholarships have minimum ACT/SAT requirements. These scores determine eligibility for the programs and scholarships, but are not reviewed by the Admissions Committee. These scores can be either official or self-reported via the form in the student’s admissions portal.

International students and students who attend a high school outside of the United States still need to submit one of the approved forms of proof of English language proficiency.

If I choose to send in my scores, do they have to be official scores?

Students who choose to submit SAT or ACT scores may share either official or self-reported scores. Students sharing self-reported scores will not be required to submit official score reports unless they are admitted and choose to enroll. We permit students to self-report test scores through a form in their student portal. Students should not super score their own results or recalculate scores in any way; scores should be sent exactly as they are received.

Why did Creighton make standardized test scores optional in the admissions process?

We wanted to make a Creighton education accessible to high-achieving students who may believe that test scores are not reflective of their academic record and ability to be successful in college. To us, your overall portfolio of academic experience, as demonstrated through your transcript, is more powerful than a single test or combination of tests. Four years in the classroom says more to us than four hours taking a test. Our experience shows that the rigor of your program and overall academic performance shows us how you will fit into the Creighton community.

Our goal was to ensure that the admissions process is student-centered. This is not new for us. We have always focused on a personalized and holistic review of every application. Offering a test-optional opportunity reinforces our belief that four years of hard work, motivation and effort by successful high school students is the key to making successful college students.