Arcadia Adopts SAT-Optional Policy for Class of 2025

By Caitlin Burns | May 20, 2020

Arcadia University will join more than 1,100 universities and colleges nationwide with a standardized-test optional admissions policy beginning with current high school juniors applying for the Fall 2021 semester.

In collaboration with University leadership, a working group of Arcadia faculty, staff, and administrators was convened to explore an SAT-optional policy. The group concluded that an optional policy would align with Arcadia’s values and provide an opportunity for a more holistic review of a student in the admission process. 

“This policy enables students to apply without the burden of a standardized test, which may not accurately reflect their ability,” said Collene Pernicello, interim vice president for Enrollment Management. “We believe this policy is one that showcases the University’s commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and we will continue to study the elements of a holistic review to determine student success, especially those that are unique to Arcadia’s learning community. ”

While studies have shown that racial, socioeconomic, and gender bias exist in both the SAT and ACT, the tests remain a viable tool in the application process for prospective Arcadia students who wish to include the scores. SAT and ACT scores will still be accepted as part of the admission process, and students who decide not to include a standardized test with their application will submit a supplement essay, interview, video, or personal portfolio. Programs like the Pre-Physical Therapy Accelerated program, where students can earn a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in six years, may still require standardized test scores for acceptance.

This change to a standardized-test optional policy will align the University’s admission process with Arcadia’s new Adaptive Strategy to build academic excellence through impactful enrollment practices. The Adaptive Strategy was approved in February by the Board of Trustees to create a values-based learning environment that prepares students for a life of scholarship, service, and professional contribution.

For more information on Arcadia’s Admissions process, visit, or contact the Office at 1-877-ARCADIA (1-877-272-2342,