Test Optional FAQ

Milligan University has moved into a test-optional evaluation process for the 2021 admissions cycle. We are making this change to give Milligan applicants a choice that will ease the anxiety that many future students and families are experiencing as a result of test-taking disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that Milligan will offer two options for admission and awarding: (1) with a standardized test and (2) without a standardized test.

Test-optional means that students will have the opportunity to decide whether they would like us to include SAT or ACT exam scores in the evaluation of their application and in their scholarship awarding. Students should carefully deliberate their response to the test-optional question on the application. When making that decision, students should consider how they would like to present themselves both in the application and scholarship process at Milligan (the decision applies to both).

To be considered for admission without a test score, students must submit the following additional material with their application: (1) a writing sample AND (2) a description of high school involvement.

We do still encourage students to take a standardized test – the ACT, SAT, or CLT – as they play an important role in determining course placement for our students.

Who is eligible for test-optional admission?

First year applicants with less than 24 previous college credits obtained post-high school (does not count dual enrollment) may choose from the two options listed above.  Transfer students with more than 24 credits are not required to submit high school information or a standardized test score and are awarded based on their college GPA.  Please see the transfer website for more information.

International first-year students also may select admission and awarding without a standardized test score.  However, international students will still be required to demonstrate English language proficiency via TOEFL, IELTS, or Duoligo English Test results. This requirement may be waived for students who speak English as their native language or attended a U.S. high school for at least three years in a non-ESOL curriculum.

How do I select my option?

Applicants to Milligan will choose their option on the admissions application. The decision affects both admission and merit scholarship awarding.

How do I know which is best for me?

The choice applies to both admission and scholarship awarding.

Admission: We want students to consider their full academic performance while in high school. If a student has a particularly strong academic record, but does not feel their standardized exam scores reflect their full academic potential, that student may want to apply to Milligan and not submit SAT or ACT exam scores to be considered in the evaluation of their application or scholarship award. However, if a student feels that standardized test scores supplement their overall academic achievement, we invite them to have their exam scores included in the evaluation of their application and scholarship award.

Scholarship: All applicants will be considered automatically for merit scholarship awards following admission, regardless of test score submission.

  • For students submitting a test score, Milligan’s merit scholarships are determined by the student’s GPA and test score. Awards range from $8,000-$16,000. Students can visit our scholarship calculator to view these merit award amounts.
  • Students who choose to be admitted without a test score will be awarded merit scholarships individually on the basis of their GPA (minimum 3.25 required for scholarship), strength of curriculum, writing sample, and high school involvement. Awards range from $8,000-$14,000. Due to the nature of the individual awarding process, we cannot “quote” scholarship amounts in advance for students who choose not to submit a test score.

    If you later are able to provide a test score, we will review your award and will use the test only if it benefits you. Your admissions decision will not change and your scholarship amount would either stay the same or increase.

What if I already sent Milligan my test score?

Students make the choice of their admission and awarding option on the admissions application.  If we have a test score on file and the student chooses admission without a test score, that score will be ignored for the purposes of admission and scholarship awarding.  The test score may be used for class placement and advising purposes.

Can I switch options?

Students who have chosen to be admitted and awarded with a standardized test score may not switch to scholarship awarding without a test score once they have been admitted and notified of their scholarship.

Milligan has a longstanding policy to re-evaluate academic scholarships if a student retakes a standardized test and improves their score.  This policy will still be honored for both admissions options:

  • If a student has been admitted and awarded WITH a test score and later sends in a new, improved score, they will be re-evaluated for scholarships. If their improved score bumps them to a new scholarship level, the student will be awarded the new, higher scholarship.
  • If a student has been admitted and awarded WITHOUT a test score and later submits a test score, they also will be re-evaluated and receive the highest scholarship option.
  • If a student has been admitted and awarded WITHOUT a test score and later attempts a standardized test, they may be re-evaluated for academic scholarships once their results are received by Milligan. Please note, Milligan does not reconsider academic scholarships based on standardized test scores attempted prior to admission.

How does this affect competitive scholarships?

Jeanes Honors Scholarship: Students applying for the full- tuition Jeanes Honors Scholarship must submit a test score to be considered for the scholarship. The baseline academic criteria for consideration is a minimum of a 28 ACT/1300 SAT/86 CLT and a minimum of 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

Goah Diversity Scholarship: Students applying for the Goah Diversity Scholarship do not have to submit a test score as the baseline academic criteria remains the same as previous years: minimum of a 21 ACT/1060 SAT/ 68 CLT OR a 3.0 high school GPA or above.  Transfers must have a minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.75 after 24 hours.

Ministry Leadership Program: Students in the MLP program do not have to submit a standardized test score but must meet all other eligibility criteria listed on the website.

Engineering: Engineering students must be all eligibility criteria and submit a test score to be eligible to be considered for the Engineering scholarship.

Athletes: Athletic scholarships, activity scholarships, performing, and fine arts scholarships should be discussed with the coach/director.

Bible Bowl: Bible Bowl Scholarships are not affected.

Tuition Waiver Programs: Students applying for Tuition Waiver Programs must submit a test score.

How does this affect outside scholarships?

Scholarships from outside sources, such as TN Hope scholarship, Ballad Health Scholarship, Equal Chance for Education, and others, are managed by outside organizations.  Each organization sets their own criteria for awarding.  Please contact admissions for questions on specific outside scholarships.


Contact your Admission Recruiter or email admissions@milligan.edu.