Mercer’s Test Optional admission policy allows first-year students, and transfer students who have completed fewer than 30 credit hours, to apply to Mercer and be considered for admission without submitting official SAT and/or ACT scores. Students may apply to Mercer as without test scores and submit the standard application requirements. To help you understand our Test Optional policy, we have included some information below.
Simply put, this means that all applicants have the option of including ACT or SAT test scores in their application for admission. If you apply as a Test Optional candidate for admission, we will not review your ACT or SAT scores even if you send them to us. Test scores for Test Optional applicants are hidden so that admissions counselors will not consider them as part of your application.
If you apply as Test Optional and later decide you would like to have ACT or SAT scores considered, you can request to have your testing status changed. Just contact your admissions counselor and they can make that update at any point before your application is complete. Once an application file is completed, students cannot change their testing status.
If you are concerned about whether or not your test scores will hurt your application, ask your admissions counselor for advice. Ultimately, it is your choice whether or not to include test scores in your application, but we want to help you make that decision however we can.
Mercer has committed to remaining Test Optional through the Fall 2023 term. This means any applicant applying for admission for Fall 2023 or earlier will have the ability to apply Test Optional. During this time, we will be evaluating our Test Optional policy to determine what our testing policy will be for 2024 and beyond.
Fall 2021 incoming students came in with a middle 50% of a 1240-1380 SAT and a 28-32 ACT. This means that roughly half of our incoming students fell within that score range, while one quarter test above that range and one quarter tested below it.
No, you do not have to submit anything additional to replace an ACT or SAT score. Instead of asking for additional items for Test Optional applicants, we focus more intently on the other areas of your application. Specifically, we are evaluating your application for academics, leadership, service, and writing ability. Below is more information on what we look for in each of these areas.
- Academics–Here, we focus on your grades from your high school career and dual enrollment, if applicable. We like to see that students have challenged themselves by attempting some AP, IB, Honors, or other advanced classes that your school may offer. It is also helpful to see students do well in classes related to their anticipated major. We do not consider class rank when evaluating your application.
- Leadership–This can be activities that range from an after-school club, a sports team, a community service organization, a job, or other responsibilities that take up a significant amount of your time. We like to know what your role was in your activities and how long you have been involved in them.
- Service–This relates to the core of Mercer’s mission to serve humankind. We want to know in what ways you have served your family, friends, community, or the world around you. Service will look different for every applicant, but it is ultimately about being others-oriented.
- Writing Ability–With your essay, and any other writing sample you may have, we want to learn about your story, your passions, and your goals. At the same time, your essay should thoughtfully respond to the prompt you chose and follow basic guidelines for English grammar and syntax.
No. For all applicants, these are critically important categories that help us determine whether or not a student is a good fit for Mercer. If you apply with ACT or SAT test scores, those scores are factored in with these categories, while students applying without test scores have more weight placed on these areas.
Yes, all applicants are equally considered for all merit scholarship opportunities. Mercer has no scholarships that require or prioritize ACT or SAT test scores. When your application is completed, you are not only considered for admission, but also for merit scholarship opportunities. Many students will receive a merit scholarship offer with their admission decision. There may be other scholarship opportunities available to you after you have been admitted, so be on the lookout for more information and check our scholarships page for updates.
Ultimately, it is your decision whether or not to apply with test scores, but we want to help where we can. Talk with your high school counselor to get their recommendation on what might be best for your application. You can also contact your Mercer admissions counselor if you have more questions about our Test Optional policy and how we review applicants.
International students are eligible to apply to Mercer University as Test Optional applicants. Test Optional candidates must complete an interview with their admissions counselor as part of the application process. Please note that as Test Optional applicants, International students are required to submit language scores, as indicated below. To see exceptions for this requirement, visit our International Admissions webpage. After submitting your application, contact Beth Gonzalez at 478.538.0013 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an interview.
IELTS | 6.5
TOEFL IBT | 80
TOEFL CBT | 213
TOEFL PBT | 550
Duolingo | 115
ITEP Academic Plus | 4.5