Test Optional

USF does not require students to submit standardized test scores when applying for undergraduate admission.

We're taking this step because we strongly believe it is the right thing to do. Caring for and appreciating the whole person ('cura personalis') is an essential part of our mission as a Jesuit institution. We know that you’re more than your test scores. Being test optional means we can better align our admission process with our institutional values.

It's up to you to show what you feel is the most accurate view of your academic ability. If you feel that your test scores represent your accomplishments and potential, feel free to submit them. If they don't, you can choose to leave them out of your application, and our admission team won’t see them in your application.

You will not be penalized if you don’t submit your scores, and you will be considered for admission and merit scholarships just the same as students who do submit scores. When you fill out USF’s application on the Common App, you will see a question that asks if you’d like to have your test scores considered for admission and scholarship purposes. Here, you’ll have the choice to select yes or no. Please note that if you choose not to submit standardized test scores, our admission team will place more weight on your short answer question.

The chart below shows estimated merit scholarship amounts for an incoming first-year student. As you can see, lower test scores (if submitted) can result in a smaller merit scholarship than if you had not submitted scores at all.

This information below is based on a student with a 3.50 GPA* and represents scholarship amounts from fall 2021. Amounts may vary from year to year.

SAT Composite score (if submitted) Estimated Merit Scholarship
1450 $17,000
1350 $17,000
Did not submit test scores $15,000
1250** $15,000
1150 $13,000
1050 $11,000

*USF-calculated GPA
**average score of our fall class profile


Who can apply test optional?

Students applying for undergraduate admission to USF may choose to omit their standardized test scores. Exceptions include:

  • International students must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting an official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo score, or by meeting one of the waiver requirements listed on our English Language Proficiency page.
  • Student-athletes: Typically, student athletes who have been recruited to play in one of USF’s Division I programs are required to submit official ACT or SAT scores as per the NCAA eligibility rules. For students applying for the spring 2022 and fall 2022 term, this requirement has been waived, and you do not need to include test scores in your application.

If I choose to include my test scores and then later decide I do not want them included in my application, can I change my mind?

For students applying to the fall 2022 or spring 2022 term, you'll be allowed to change your mind even after you've submitted your application. If you are applying Early Action, you must submit your request here by November 19, 2021. For students applying Regular Decision, you must submit your request here by February 11, 2022.

Will applying test optional impact my scholarship?

No. You will still be eligible for merit-based scholarships, and your application will be considered on the same grounds as students who do submit test scores. You will not be penalized if you choose to omit your test scores from your application. We only recommend submitting test scores if your score exceeds the average of our fall class profile.

Should I apply test optional?

If you feel that your test scores are an accurate portrayal of your academic ability, feel free to include your test scores in your application. If you feel that your academic ability is better demonstrated with your academic history in high school than with your test scores, you can consider applying test optional. We also recommend looking at our fall student profile for guidance on whether to submit test scores.

My scores were automatically sent. Can I still apply test optional?

Yes. When you submit your Common Application to USF, there will be a space for you to indicate that you’d like to apply without submitting your test scores. Even if your testing agency or high school has submitted your test scores to USF, our admission team will not see your scores when they are reviewing your application.

If I choose to apply without submitting my test scores, how will my application be reviewed?

Our admission team will continue to consider your academic achievement, your unique talents, your leadership and service activities, your optional letter(s) of recommendation, and any other information you choose to submit in your application.