Southwestern University recently announced a change in its admission policy designed to streamline the application process and provide a substantial cost-savings for potential students.  Starting August 1, 2017, Southwestern University will accept an unofficial copy of a student’s test score with their application– with the test score to be verified upon enrollment. Applicants will no longer be required to submit test scores via testing agency, a process that often carries a hefty fee and can take up to three or four weeks. This new policy provides a faster and more cost efficient application process.

No matter a student’s financial situation, the cost of the admission process when applying to a variety of schools can add up quickly. Southwestern’s updated process will defray a portion of that cost.  “We hope that a student will use those funds to come and visit our campus,” says Christine Bowman, Dean of Admission and Enrollment Services at Southwestern University.

Very few colleges offer this type of streamlined admissions approach. Although there are a number of liberal arts colleges that have shifted to a “testing optional” admission process, they typically have other requirements that must be sent in lieu of test scores. Southwestern has never used test scores as the driver in admission review process, instead choosing to focus on the academic performance. But the scores are part of a holistic review, and allow the admission team to see a fuller picture of an applicant’s potential.

Bowman sees Southwestern’s development as a win for both sides. “We don’t know if the policy is going to help students gain admission, but it will help the process to run more smoothly and with fewer costs for both student and institution.” She believes that, in the end, it will be the excellent liberal arts and science opportunities available at Southwestern that will attract prospective students. However, if this change opens the door to more students considering SU, “I’d be thrilled to get to know them,” she says.