Ball State University is a test-optional institution, which means you may decide whether you want to provide your SAT or ACT score as part of your application.
Not providing scores will not count against you when reviewing your application for admission. Instead, it gives you the ability to decide how to most accurately portray your academic strengths when applying to Ball State.
We adopted this approach to our admissions review process in August 2018 because we:
- recognize the importance of GPAs and high school curricula as a predictor of long-term student success
- believe a test-optional policy will allow us to provide access for and reach students who might not perform well on standardized tests but perform well in the classroom
- know that standardized testing is not always the best indicator of students’ potential for college success, and we want students to feel that their applications to Ball State truly show their strengths
Anyone applying to Ball State as an undergraduate student may choose to not provide test scores unless you are any of the following:
- attend a high school that does not provide grades
We suggest you still submit your test score(s) if you feel they will benefit your standing in the admissions review process.
How to Apply
You will need to select one of two options on your application to Ball State:
- “I will be submitting SAT and/or ACT test scores to Ball State and want them used during the review of my application for admission.
- “I do not want Ball State to use my SAT and/or ACT test score(s) during the review of my application for admission (even if I have scores sent to Ball State).
Please carefully consider your decision on whether to apply with or without your test scores. Once you have submitted your application, will not be able to change to the other option.
If an applicant is denied admission to Ball State University, they may reapply for an earlier term only if new materials are provided (updated test scores and/or transcripts). An applicant’s test optional choice cannot be changed if applying for an earlier term. If applying for a future term, an applicant’s test optional choice can be different than a previous application.
Use our Scholarship Calculator to see if you could receive any merit-based aid if you apply test optional vs. choosing to submit test scores.
Frequently Asked Questions
Know that we are available in the Office of Admissions to help you fully consider your options. Feel free to reach out to us as we are happy to assist.
Based on our own data and research, a student’s high school GPA and high school curriculum are the best predictors of long-term student success (retention and graduation).
We strive to diversify our student body as much as possible, and a test optional policy allows us to provide further access and to reach populations who might not perform well on standardized tests, but perform well in the classroom.
We know that standardized testing is not the best indicator of a student’s potential for collegiate success, and we want students to feel that their application to Ball State truly shows the strength of their admission candidacy.
A test-optional admission policy means applicants can choose not to submit SAT or ACT scores and be considered for admissions.
Test optional admissions policies are intended to reduce the inequalities in college access. Based on our research data, we believe a test optional policy will provide greater access that will positively impact diversity and inclusion.
Ball State has always reviewed applications holistically, so the evaluation process for those who submit their scores and those who do not will be quite similar.
Applying test optional will not count against the applicant in any way. Rather, it will allow applicants to choose how to most accurately portray their academic strength.
Students who believe that their SAT and/or ACT scores are a positive addition to their academic record can submit their test scores.
Because we evaluate each application holistically and individually, there is no formula we can provide to help you decide. However, a profile of the students currently enrolled at Ball State might give you some guidance.
Here is a summary of the high school records and test scores from Fall 2018 freshman classes:
ACT (and Composite Scores)
- Top 25% – 24 or above
- Middle 50% – 21 to 23
- Bottom 25% – 20 or below
SAT (and Math + Verbal Scores)
- Top 25% – 1220 or above
- Middle 50% – 1080 to 1210
- Bottom 25% – 1070 or below
High School GPA
- Top 25% – 3.82 or above
- Middle 50% – 3.17 to 3.81
- Bottom 25% – 3.16 or below
Additionally, we require any homeschooled students and students who attend high schools that do not provide grades to submit their test scores.
Feel free to reach out to the Office of Admissions as we are happy to help you fully consider your options.
If the student at the time of application selects test-optional, but has already submitted scores (even if we receive scores from a testing agency or on your high school transcript), those will not be considered in the admissions decision.
No, applicants do not have to submit test scores to be considered for Ball State’s merit-based scholarships.
Yes, applicants are still able to apply for need-based financial aid. Students are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA.
Yes, homeschooled students and students who attend a high school that does not provide grades must turn in their test scores in order for their applications to be reviewed.
Transfers do not have to provide test scores.
No, we do not require test scores for students to be admitted to the Honors College, although we highly encourage you to submit them in this instance.