Bridgewater College to institute test-optional admission policy beginning in 2021

Bridgewater CollegeBridgewater College will be instituting a test-optional admission policy for three years, starting with undergraduate applicants for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Bridgewater’s admissions team recognizes that standardized test scores are not the main determining factor of student success. In addition, the College understands some students may have difficulty scheduling a test date due to complications related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Undergraduate students applying to Bridgewater for the 2021-2022, 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 academic years may choose whether to submit SAT or ACT scores, alongside application information such as grades, overall classroom performance, extracurricular activities, etc.

“Our admissions staff members have always examined every component of a student’s application, but the record of course selection, grades, GPA and the strength of the curriculum has consistently provided the most accurate predictor of a student’s chance for future success at BC,” said Vice President for Enrollment Management Michael Post. “Careful analysis and research at BC has shown that standardized testing did not add meaningfully to the prediction of student success that our holistic admission process already provides. We believe other aspects of an applicant’s academic journey better reflect how they will perform and thrive at BC.”

At the end of the three years, BC will determine whether to reinstate a testing requirement for undergraduate applicants or to extend the test-optional policy.

“Bridgewater’s commitment to building connections for life gives students more opportunities to flourish,” Post said, “and we will continue to examine ways in which to provide the optimal educational experience for our students.”

With this decision, BC joins more than 1,000 four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. that have adopted the test-optional policy, including Roanoke College, Christopher Newport University, Old Dominion University and James Madison University in Virginia.

Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to nearly 1,800 undergraduate and graduate students.


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