Enrollment Management > Test-Optional > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding DePaul's test-optional initiative. If you are a prospective student or parent, visit the Test-Optional Frequently Asked Questions page on the Office of Admissions site.

First, to make every effort to ensure that the admission process is student-centered. This approach reinforces a consistent message that a student's high school record is the most important academic component in the review for admission. By focusing on a holistic view of the high school record, DePaul is emphasizing that four years of perseverance, motivation and effort by successful high school students bear a direct relationship to college-level work.
Second, even high-achieving students often believe that low test scores rule out their chances for admission at a four-year institution. This is especially true of first-generation and low-income students, populations that DePaul has always served well. Yet, even experts at testing agencies agree that the four years spent in high school, studying, researching and producing academic work more closely mirrors success in college coursework than does standardized test scores. In short, the best high school students make the best college students.
The review process for students who submit SAT/ACT scores and students who do not submit scores is very similar; a primary emphasis is put on the student's high school record in college-preparatory courses, as well as teacher recommendations, community and co-curricular involvement, the personal statement and the student's interests and academic goals. Students who choose to not submit test scores are asked to submit responses to short essay questions.
The NCAA mandates the submission of standardized test scores for athletic eligibility. Therefore, DePaul will require that prospective student athletes submit SAT/ACT scores with their application. International students will be required to submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) results. Homeschooled students will be required to submit a standardized test score.
In order to effectively research and study the test-optional program, DePaul will request an ACT and/or SAT score for every enrolling freshman after matriculation and before the start of the fall term, including freshmen who applied without submitting test scores. All test scores will be used in the analysis of the publicly reported profile of the entering freshman class. Scores reported after an admission decision will be used only for research, and will have no effect on the admission, financial aid or scholarship status of the student.