Test Optional

FAQs - Test Optional Policy

Messiah University's test-optional policy enables first-year undergraduate admissions applicants to receive admission, secure scholarships and compete for the Messiah University Honors Program without submitting standardized test scores. 


The test optional policy is designed for first-year applicants seeking undergraduate admission to Messiah University. If you choose to apply as a test score submitter and send your scores to Messiah, we will include them in our review of your application. For students who choose to exercise our test optional policy, the admissions review will focus on application materials you share with us, including your high school transcript.

Learn more about the application process and criteria for transfer applicants on the transfer students webpage.

The application process is slightly different for international applicants. Learn more about the application process and criteria for international applicants on our international students webpage.

Students provide information about their test score submission plans when they complete the application. Students who elect to submit standardized test scores as part of the application may submit the SAT, ACT or CLT.

Yes! If you are admitted to Messiah you will receive a merit-based scholarship, regardless of whether or not you submit standardized test scores (SAT, ACT, CLT). You will also be considered for need-based aid if you complete the FAFSA. 

You may change your test score submission plan until an admission decision has been made on your application. Please contact your Admissions Counselor to request this change.

No, there is no minimum GPA requirement. 

Yes. The Messiah University net price calculator will be able to compare your scholarship level between the two options.   

Test scores, while not required, may be submitted for consideration in the Honors evaluation process until the Feb. 1 deadline. In order to do this after you have been admitted, you will need to contact your Admissions Counselor. Your Admissions Counselor will provide you with the required form for you to complete. Please click here to view Honors Program eligibility requirements.  

Yes, it is possible for test optional applicants to increase their merit scholarship. Test optional students need to submit an improved GPA by May 1 to qualify for a possible increase. The net price calculator (updated in October) will enable you to see how much your GPA would need to increase to result in a higher scholarship award.  

Messiah University takes a holistic approach to application review for all students. All aspects of a student’s application are considered. This includes the GPA, difficulty of curriculum, student performance in core academic courses, essay, involvement and any honors or recognitions. 

Merit scholarships for test optional students are determined through a combination of GPA, difficulty of curriculum and student performance in core academic courses (English, Math, Science, Social Sciences, Foreign Language, etc.).