Bellarmine goes ‘test-optional’ for undergraduate admission In 2021

St. Robert Gate stands at the main entrance of Bellarmine University on Newburg Road. The archway — completed in 2013 — was one of the new or renovated spaces funded by the university’s capital campaign. The campaign recently concluded and raised $100 million for campus improvements, increased scholarships and additional faculty appointments. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

Bellarmine University will allow candidates for undergraduate admission to apply without submitting standardized test scores — beginning in the fall of 2021.

Standardized test scores are not the only measure of potential for applicants, Dr. Michael J. Marshall, Bellarmine’s vice president of enrollment, marketing and communication said in a news release Feb. 10.

“We want prospective students from all walks of life to know that we’re committed to a thoughtful, personalized evaluation of each candidate to understand and appreciate their intrinsic dignity,” he said.

Marshall noted that three priorities in Bellarmine’s new strategic plan — access and affordability, equity and inclusion and expansion and diversity in enrollment — were key in deciding to go “test-optional.”

Students who apply for admission in fall 2021 will be able to indicate on their applications whether or not to share their SAT or ACT scores with Bellarmine.

Bellarmine will consider a variety of factors in determining admission, including high school grades, counselor recommendations, curriculum, student employment, leadership experiences and activities and involvement, the release said.

These factors, coupled with an interview with an admission counselor, are good indicators of success, Marshall said.

If students have questions about whether or not to include their test scores, they can speak with a Bellarmine admission counselor.

For more information, visit

Some students, including home-schooled students, international students who primarily speak a language other than English and those seeking certain scholarships, such as the university’s Honors Program, will still have to include their scores, according to the release.

Student-athletes are not required to include their scores for admission but they must submit test scores to the NCAA Eligibility  Center.

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