Test-Optional Policy

Saint Leo University emphasizes a holistic review of students' credentials for admission and we believe that factors other than test scores are stronger predictors of a student's potential to succeed in college. In fact, our research confirms that the best indicators of academic success at Saint Leo are a student's performance inside and outside the high school classroom and the rigor of the high school curriculum.

As a result, Saint Leo University has developed a test-optional policy that no longer requires undergraduate applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of the admissions process. Prospective students who choose not to submit standardized test scores for review will receive full consideration, without penalty, for admission.

Once an applicant identifies they wish to be considered 'test optional' or if they choose to have their test scores considered, they will not be able to change their choice or decision at a later point. Students may only apply once and the choice submitted first will be recorded.

Competitive candidates desiring admission under the test-optional policy should have a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 and demonstrate above average performance in the core academic areas: English, math, science, and social science. The Office of Admissions focuses on individual grades in each core academic class. We are very interested in consistently strong academic performance throughout a student’s four-year high school record. In cases where initial high school performance is not strong, special attention is given to steady and substantial improvement throughout the sophomore, junior and senior years. Students with a GPA below 3.0 may be referred to the Admissions Committee for consideration at the request of their admission counselor as an exception.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the minimum high school GPA of 3.0, each student must submit at least three options from the lists below. Two of the three supplements must come from the academic options list. Further explanation of these options follows the lists.

Academic Options

  1. Academic Recommendations
  2. Academic Writing Ability
  3. AP or Honors, IB courses
  4. Standardized Test Scores
  5. Class Rank

Non-Academic Options

  1. Community Involvement
  2. Extracurricular Activities
  3. Personal or Group Achievements

International students whose primary language of instruction is other than English must still submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Test System (IELTS).

Academic Recommendations

Applicants must submit at least two letters of recommendation from teachers who can attest to their academic abilities. Additional recommendations received will not factor into our decision-making process.

Academic Writing Ability

Applicants should submit a recent, graded writing sample with a high school teacher's comments. This writing sample will preferably be at least 500 words and written within the last two years. Research papers, position papers and literary analysis are all acceptable examples of graded writing samples.

AP or Honors, International Baccalaureate Courses

When assessing grade point average, consideration is given to the strength and frequency of Advanced Placement, Honors, and International Baccalaureate course work in a student's curriculum.

Standardized Test Scores

Students who feel that their SAT or ACT scores are a good indicator of their abilities may submit their results and request that they be reviewed in their admission decision. If, however, the student does not feel that their test scores accurately represent their academic abilities, they do not need to submit them.

Class Rank

Class rank, like GPA, indicates a student’s performance in the classroom. Although class rank is not the ultimate indicator of academic performance, it provides us with a more precise understanding of where each applicant falls on the academic spectrum.

Community Involvement

Community service and volunteer experience highlight students who have a genuine concern for people and their community. Such activities are aligned with Saint Leo University’s core values.

Extracurricular Activities

Saint Leo University desires to admit students who participate in quality involvement in their high school. Students must demonstrate the type of involvement they have in particular clubs, organizations, or sports teams, with leadership positions preferred over general membership.

Personal or Group Achievements

Outstanding achievements are just that—they stand out. Students may submit resumes, YouTube videos, DVDs, PowerPoint presentations or slide shows that demonstrate their backgrounds, athletic or artistic talents, interests or accomplishments. This achievement summary gives the student the opportunity to highlight special skills or talents, interesting experiences and personal accomplishments. When reviewing candidates for admission, Saint Leo University is looking for those experiences that might suggest high potential for leadership and involvement on campus.