In response to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Hollins University is suspending the standardized testing requirement for students applying for admission in the fall of 2021.
The one-year test optional policy means that prospective students do not have to submit SAT or ACT scores in order to be considered for enrollment in the class of 2025.
Ashley Browning, Hollins’ vice president for enrollment management, says the temporary policy is intended to help alleviate anxiety in a challenging and unprecedented time.
“We know opportunities to take SAT or ACT exams have been cancelled, and may continue to be postponed in locations throughout the country. Students may also be concerned that they will not be able to take the tests in an environment that allows for social distancing, or that their performance may be compromised in other ways,” she explains. “Our test optional policy this year will hopefully take away some stress and worry during the 2020-21 application cycle.”
Browning adds that Hollins applicants may still choose to submit SAT or ACT scores for consideration. “We take a holistic approach to evaluating applications that includes a wide range of factors. If a prospective student believes their test results are an accurate reflection of their current academic ability, we will welcome them as part of our review process.”
Hollins’ decision to go test optional, Browning notes, is just one of the ways in which the university is reaching out to prospective students at a time when stay-at-home orders remain largely in place. “This spring, we’ve been holding a number of interactive webinars where students and their parents can learn more about topics of interest and ask questions. We also offer a virtual campus tour, and our admission counselors and financial aid advisors are available via Zoom or phone to share information, including how affordable a Hollins education can be. Annually, we award $28 million in financial aid and scholarships, including scholarships ranging from $24,000 to full-tuition for admitted students.”
Founded in 1842 as Virginia’s first chartered women’s college, Hollins is an independent liberal arts university providing undergraduate education for women, selected graduate programs for men and women, and community outreach initiatives. In addition to 29 undergraduate majors and eight coeducational graduate programs, including a nationally recognized creative writing program, the university offers the Rutherfoord Center for Experiential Learning, which supports extensive career preparation, study abroad, and undergraduate research opportunities; the Batten Leadership Institute, which teaches students how to understand and navigate feedback, conflict, and negotiation; and the Entrepreneurial Learning Institute, which provides students with the resources needed to develop an entrepreneurial outlook across all fields, including the social sciences, business, humanities, fine arts, and STEM.