Test Optional Policy Information

In an effort to accommodate students who have been (or will be) unable to take the SAT and/or ACT exams, Houston Baptist University (HBU) is waiving the standardized test score requirement for current applicants, as well as those applying for Summer or Fall 2021. We welcome any student, regardless of testing plan, to submit additional material (detailed in the Supplemental Application Items section below) that they feel best highlights their skills, talents, and potential contributions to HBU.

At the time of application, students will share their plans regarding the submission or consideration of SAT or ACT as part of their application. Students selecting this option will have their application and supplemental information evaluated in a holistic manner.  All applicants will be considered for scholarships whether they submit a test score or not.

Required Application Items

  • Application for Admission – on either the ApplyTexas or HBU Application, students will be required to share whether they want to be considered test optional.
  • Most recent high school transcript – students may upload a PDF of their high school transcript to the Slate portal. Official transcripts are required upon high school graduation and should be submitted by a high school official with graduation date noted.

Supplemental Application Items

  • 150 – 200 word essay using prompts on ApplyTexas or HBU Application:
    • Why do you want to attend HBU?
    • How do you think HBU can prepare you to pursue opportunities after graduation?
  • One or two letter(s) of recommendation
    • NOTE: Home school applicants must supply a recommendation from someone outside of their family.
  • College transcripts for dual credit
  • IB, AP or any other test scores
  • Resume

Evaluation for Admission

If a student wishes to be evaluated under the test optional policy, their application and supplemental information will be evaluated holistically in the following manner:

  • The admissions committee will examine applicants’ files to identify their achievements and the challenges they faced, hoping to identify the way they took advantage of the opportunities presented to them.
  • If a student previously supplied a test score prior to submitting the application and chooses on the application to be reviewed test optional, the test score will not be visible to those reviewing the file for admission.
  • Some applicants may feel the SAT or ACT does not fully reflect their academic performance. These students are strongly encouraged to submit additional documentation that would reflect the items listed above.
  • The file will be evaluated for intellectual curiosity and academic rigor, demonstrated leadership and problem solving ability, contributions to community, socioeconomic background, family responsibilities, special talents, awards, and diversity of experience and background.
  • After the holistic review, a decision will be rendered by the review committee for test optional students.
  • If a student was evaluated test-optional and denied, the student may choose to submit a test score and request a re-evaluation with the score being considered.

International Applicants

International applicants will still be required to meet English proficiency requirements as listed under HBU’s international admissions policy. Our intention with this temporary test-optional policy is to make the application process as seamless and stress-free as possible in light of challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

NOTE: International students who are graduating from a U.S. high school will follow the same admission policy as our domestic students.

If you have questions please reach out to your admissions counselor or our office directly:

HBU Admissions
7502 Fondren Rd.
Houston, TX 77074
281.649.3211
Admissions@hbu.edu

© 2020 Houston Baptist University