Hamline Adopts Permanent Test-Optional Admission Policy

Hamline University continues to lead by becoming one of the first Minnesota universities to enact a permanent test-optional admission policy. The new policy will no longer require prospective students to submit standardized test scores during the admission process.

“We’re proud to be among the first Minnesota universities to take this important step in removing barriers for historically underserved students,” President Dr. Fayneese Miller said. “The changes we make today will open doors for first-generation students and underrepresented communities, adding to Hamline’s rich legacy of equity and opportunity.”

Research has shown a 10 to 12% increase in first-time students from underrepresented backgrounds at private universities with test-optional admission policies. Those universities also show an average 6 to 8% increase in first-time enrollment of women.

“Standardized tests are ineffective at defining a student’s academic success,” said Mai Nhia Xiong-Chan, Vice President of Enrollment Management.

This change helps mitigate those concerns, along with the financial barriers presented by standardized testing.

“In addition to the test itself being a financial burden for many students, we also know there are correlations between high test scores and stronger socioeconomic status,” Xiong-Chan added.

The new policy will reinforce a practice already done in Hamline’s admission process: placing greater emphasis on student academic performance through all four years of high school when making admission selections. Prospective students are still allowed to submit test scores as part of the admission process. Instituting a test-optional policy further underscores Hamline’s ongoing commitment to expanding opportunities for students from underserved communities.

“Strong and consistent academic performance throughout high school was and is the strongest predictor of future academic success in college,” Xiong-Chan said. “We look for students who show they can run the marathon, not just a sprint.”