SAT scores now optional when applying to Temple Univ.

NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Temple University announced a big change for its admissions process as the school says it will no longer require students to submit standardized test scores.

The university is taking some of the pressure off prospective students. Starting with those applying to start school in 2015, students will have a choice about whether they want to submit standardized test scores.

Many rising high school seniors say they feel a lot of pressure to score well on standardized tests like the SATs or ACTs.

Mallory Barbee of Spring City tells us, "It makes me very nervous just knowing that this one test can just decide which college you go to."

But Temple has just announced it's joining a growing number of colleges and universities that give applicants a chance to opt out of submitting test scores.

Students who choose the "Temple Option" application process will instead answer four short essay questions, designed to give admissions officers a better idea of who they are.

Senior Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, William Black, says the Temple Option is designed for students whose test scores don't reflect how well they actually perform in school.

Black says, "How do we evaluate students? How do we find the student who has a 3.8 [GPA] and is in the top ten percent of his or her high school, but isn't testing well? Why shouldn't we find out how that student has succeeded and figure out how to make sure that student continues to succeed when he or she comes to Temple."

Mallory's mom, Cathy Barbee, thinks the Temple Option sounds great.

"I think the university would get a better picture of her," she said.

And though Jonathan Moore of Macungie is happy with his test scores and says he's likely to submit them, he still likes the Temple Option concept.

Moore tells us, "Given more options a student able to show the best of himself or what he's best at doing - whether it be essays or whether it be testing."

Temple's the first large, urban, public university to allow applicants to opt out of standardized tests. But other schools in our area, including Bryn Mawr College and St. Joe's, have similar programs.
Copyright © 2019 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.