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Test Optional Frequently Asked Questions

We don’t want test scores to stand in your way of enrolling at Bethel! In April 2020, Bethel announced that applicants can decide to apply without submitting a test score. Applicants who would like to submit their application without a test score, should select “apply without test score” on their application to Bethel.  

Who is eligible?

All students who are enrolled in an public or private high school within the United States and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher will be able to apply without a test score. Homeschooled and international students will still need to provide a test score.  


Test scores are simply one piece of evidence that shows collegiate aptitude. Your high school GPA, essays, volunteer work, community fit, and family legacy with Bethel all point to student success, so don’t worry if your test score doesn’t resonate with you.

Does this mean Bethel is lowering its admissions standards? 

No. The average GPA of incoming students is about 3.5, and we don’t anticipate that changing with this policy. We’re committed to admitting students who are academically high-achieving, well-rounded, and involved in their communities. 

What application criteria will Bethel look at instead of test scores?

If a student chooses not to submit a test score, we’ll use GPA to gauge academic achievement and essay questions to determine whether a student is a good fit for Bethel’s Christ-centered learning environment. Both are important factors in selecting students who are likely to be successful at Bethel.  

If I apply without a test score, will that impact my financial aid package? 

No. Financial aid will continue to be allocated based on need and merit. Merit scholarships can be allocated based on GPA, but if a student feels that their test score fairly illustrates their academic achievement, they may still submit one. Note: if you do wish to apply for one of the large scholarship programs (see below) at Bethel, test scores are usually required.

What if I am unable to take the ACT because of COVID-19?

No worries! Taking a standardized test is a good skill to practice, so if you want to take a test please do so.  You can still get admitted to Bethel without your test score, however, so feel free to apply today.  

If I take the ACT/SAT/CLT do I have to send it?  

That’s the “optional” part of Test Optional. If you don’t like your score, you don’t need to send it. Test scores are simply one piece of evidence that you’ll be successful at Bethel, so send them if you want to!

Are there any programs that require a standardized test?

Students applying for the following scholarships or admission to specific programs should still submit a test score:

If you have further questions, please contact your admissions counselor.