Menu Search

Get updates on Healthy at Transy, our campus reopening plan.

Test Optional

Application Details

Transylvania has adopted a test-optional policy for the admissions and scholarship process. This policy allows applicants to decide for themselves whether or not their test results accurately reflect their academic ability and potential. You can choose whether or not to submit your ACT or SAT test scores as a part of your application.

Our highly personalized evaluation process focuses on your performance and drive in the classroom as well as your involvement with your high school and your community.

If you choose not to submit your test scores, you will follow the same process for submitting your application, but will need to also submit an essay. 

  • If you are completing the Transylvania Application, you may submit a typed graded essay from your junior or senior year in high school.  Must be a minimum of 1-2 page essay.  Or you may choose to submit an essay based on answering one of the questions on the application.
  • If you are completing the Common Application, it will require you to submit an essay based on one of the questions on the application. 

Test-Optional F.A.Q.

Why did Transylvania make the submission of standardized testing optional?

The role of standardized testing in the Transylvania admissions process was discussed and debated leading up to our decision to drop the requirement beginning with the class entering in the fall of 2016. To us, your overall portfolio of academic experience (as demonstrated through your transcript) is more powerful than a single test or combination of tests.

Our experience shows that the rigor of your program and overall academic performance best illustrates to us your commitment, motivation, and willingness to take on challenges, and therefore how well you would fit into the challenging academic community at Transylvania.

What will Transylvania consider for my admission?

We will consider, as we always have, a student’s high school transcript, application information, the essay, and any supplemental materials.  The strength of the high school, the rigor of the curriculum and the class rank are considered in the process.

While not required, a personal interview is highly recommended to assist us with evaluating your admission.

I live far away and/or it’s a financial hardship for me to make it to campus. Will I still be considered for admission?

We will consider circumstances such as distance or financial hardship. Having said that, it’s important that we know as much as we can about you (and for you to know about us, too), so visiting campus really is crucial.

I’m a test-optional applicant, but I have visited Transylvania already. Must I visit again?

The interview for admission as a test-optional applicant is different from our normal campus visit. Therefore, we strongly encourage an additional visit but will not require one if you have already visited during your senior year of high school (defined as visiting after June 1 preceding your senior year).

I’m an international applicant. Must I submit my standardized test scores?

Yes. The policy applies only to domestic students who would have submitted ACT/SAT scores. International students must still supply their TOEFL scores.

Can I still qualify for grants and scholarships from Transylvania as a test-optional applicant?

You may still qualify for institutional grants based on your academic characteristics and your financial need. However, if you wish to be considered for an academic scholarship above the Pioneer Scholarship level, you must still submit your ACT/SAT scores. 
More information about scholarships »

Can I change my mind after I submit my application, either to change from test-optional to regular admission or vice-versa?

Yes. You may change from test-optional to regular admission (or vice-versa) up to the point that the university makes an admission decision. Please discuss any requested changes with your admissions counselor.

Will the Net Price Calculator work if I’m a test-optional applicant?

It is unlikely to be accurate. After all, the Net Price Calculator is built with information (including your test score) that is available to you before you apply. 

Am I allowed to get help on the extra essays that I must write as a test-optional applicant?

No. It’s essential that we base your admission on your abilities rather than those of your teachers or peers. We do, of course, encourage you to think carefully about your writing sample and to edit.

Where may I send questions about this?

Contact your admissions counselor, call 800-872-6798 or email