Test-Optional Policy

Beginning with the cohort applying for Fall of 2021, California Lutheran University will be implementing a test-optional policy. Students seeking undergraduate admission will no longer be required to submit standardized testing as a component of their application process. 

This test optional policy aligns with the Office of Undergraduate Admission and its longstanding practice of holistic admissions. With an emphasis on student equity and access, the focus of evaluation will be based academic achievement, curriculum and rigor. This is further contextualized by letters of recommendation, access to resources and involvement beyond the classroom. The review process will also give consideration of the impact of an individual’s environment, community engagement and their ability to demonstrate success as a potential student at Cal Lutheran.

How to Apply Test-Optional   

On the Common Application for Cal Lutheran, you will have the option to indicate if you wish for your test scores to be considered as part of your application. If you indicate “No. I am applying test-optional,” we will not consider your ACT or SAT scores in your application review.

If a student has indicated that they will not be submitting test scores, and the test scores appear on the student’s transcript or in the self-reported score section of the Common Application, they will not be reviewed in the admission process.

Once a student submits their application and states they are applying test optional, students will not be able to change this later in the process.

Exceptions to Test-Optional

Students who have been home-schooled and students who attend schools that provide written evaluations in place of grades will be required to submit official SAT or ACT scores with their application. Students who wish to be considered for the Presidential Scholarship will also be required to submit official SAT or ACT scores.

Supplemental Information

If you choose to apply test-optional, you will be required to complete four short-answer supplemental questions. International students, in addition to the supplemental questions, will be required to interview with an admission counselor. 

Merit Scholarships

Regardless of test score submission, all students will be considered for merit scholarships up to $25,000, renewable annually. Students may also qualify for our Public Price Promise and Visual and Performing Arts Scholarships.  In order to be considered for our Presidential Scholarship, students must apply by our Early Action Deadline and submit official SAT or ACT scores. View Scholarships

How to Submit Test Scores

Students are still welcomed to submit standardized testing if they believe it is an indication of their academic ability, we will require them to be submitted directly from ACT or College Board by the application deadline.

  • Cal Lutheran ACT code: 0183
  • Cal Lutheran SAT code: 4088

Please note that your application will be considered complete once you have submitted all required materials and may be reviewed by our Admissions Committee even if your ACT/SAT scores have not been received.

Cal Lutheran's Test-Optional Policy is subject to change at the discretion of the Office of Undergraduate Admission.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the average SAT and ACT scores at California Lutheran University?
  • Average SAT: 1167
  • Average ACT: 25
How do I indicate that I want to apply without submitting test scores?

When completing your Common Application, indicate that you want to apply as test optional.

Can I change my mind after submitting my application?

No. The admission committee will review your file based on whether you indicated that you want to apply as test-optional on the Common Application. 

What if I don’t want my test scores considered, but they are submitted by a testing agency or posted on my transcripts?

As long as you indicate on your application that you are applying test optional, we will not use scores when reviewing your file.

If I apply test optional, will I still be considered for merit based aid and institutional scholarships?

Yes. All applicants are considered for most merit based and institutional scholarships;  the only exception is our Presidential Scholarship which requires that you apply early action and submit official SAT or ACT scores.

Does this policy apply to transfer students?

No. Transfer students with less than 30 units are required to submit official high school transcripts and official transcripts for all college institutions attended.

Transfer students with more than 30 units will be evaluated on their college performance only.

Will Cal Lutheran superscore across test dates?

Yes. If you have taken the SAT or ACT more than once, we will take the highest scores you earned in each section. 

Do you allow self reported test scores?

At this time, we do not allow self-reported test scores. If you would like your test scores considered in our review process, submit official scores through the testing agency or have them sent through a designated school counselor or advisor.

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