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Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Test-Optional Admissions FAQ

Students applying for freshman admission to the University of South Carolina’s Columbia campus will not be required to submit standardized SAT or ACT scores through the spring, summer or fall 2023 terms. The test-optional policy applies to students applying for general university and South Carolina Honors College admission, as well as to merit scholarships awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Frequently Asked Questions

All applications go through a review process regardless of a student choosing to apply test optional. We will rely on grades, rigor of curriculum, application essay responses, and involvement both in and out of the classroom. A student’s educational environment will also be factored into our review process.

When you apply, you will indicate whether or not you would like us to consider test scores.

No, students will be considered fairly and equitably regardless of whether or not they submit scores.
 Yes, these exceptions include:
  • Applicants attending secondary schools that provide written evaluations in lieu of grades.
  • Applicants attending unaccredited or non-state recognized online/virtual high school as primary school of record with the exception of students required to shift to online courses due to the impact of COVID-19.

While we do not provide individual advice on whether or not you should submit your score, we do suggest you review our Academic Profile and make the decision that is best for you.  

Yes, international students may also decide if they want to include an ACT or SAT score for our review. We still require proof of English proficiency in our review process.

All students will be considered for merit scholarships even if they choose to apply test-optional. Note that some scholarships require submission of the South Carolina Honors College/Top Scholars application.

At this time we are only test-optional through spring, summer and fall 2023. While scores are not required for admission and scholarship consideration, we encourage students to take the SAT or ACT as required by their school, district or state. Not only can having a test score open the door to more educational opportunities, scores are still used to qualify for other opportunities including local, state and national scholarship programs where test scores are required for consideration. Additionally, some colleges still require test scores.  



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