Temple University has made an extremely bold move regarding student admissions. Standardized test scores will now be optional for students to submit when applying to the university. This will be known as the Temple Option—an admissions path for students who are talented with great potential but don’t perform well on standardized tests (SATs and ACTs). The Temple Option will begin with applications for fall 2015.
This change is in response to research evidence that shows high-school GPA, class rank and “noncognitive” factors (student’s grit, determination, and self-confidence) as more reliable predictors of college success. University President Neil D. Theobald is determined to ensure students that at the university, they are more than a test score.
So, if students choose not to submit their test scores, how will their admission be determined? Those students will have to submit answers to specially designed, self-reflective short-answer questions. These questions are designed to assess leadership, self-awareness, goal setting, determination, and grit. The answers to these questions will be better predictors than standardized test scores of future college success.
While Temple is not the first university to move to test-optional admissions in recent years, they are the first and only urban public research university to offer an admissions path like the Temple Option. Without a doubt, this change in admissions will provide Temple with a more diverse, talented, and motivated student body.