ODU to offer admission without tests for 'high-achieving' students


by Kaila, DeRienzo, 13News Now


Posted on June 16, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 16 at 6:08 PM

NORFOLK -- Old Dominion University is starting a new program this fall where high-achieving high school interested in attending the school won't have to take a standardized admission test, such as the SAT or ACT in order to be considered for acceptance.

The school defines "high-achieving" as students having a 3.3 or higher grade point average.

SAT and ACT tests will be considered optional for these students for two years as their progress is monitored by ODU officials.

Ellen Neufeldt, Vice President for Student Engagement and Enrollment Services, said this is a way to make applying for college fair to everyone- regardless of economic standing.

"We're always about student success and making sure that we're bringing motivated students into our classroom so we think piloting this program will help guide us in the right directon of this journey," Neufeldt said.

She said the decision has gotten mixed reaction from faculty members, but plenty of research was done before this action was taken.
"While GPA was there, it showed no correlation between standardized tests and student's persistence here at ODU," Neufeldt said.

Students with a 3.3 don't automatically get in. There will be other ways they are assessed.
"We want to see what types of courses they've taken in high school and the rigor of those courses and how they've performed in those courses that help denote success," Neufeldt said.

Other Universities like George Mason, Christopher Newport and Wake Forest already have the test-optional plan in place.

 "Anything we do, we're going to assess carefully and make sure it's the best for our student body," Neufeldt said.