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Rivier University Expands Test-Optional Admissions Policy to Include Nursing Program

Nursing applicants are no longer required to submit standardized test scores when applying to Rivier University.

Undergraduate Nursing students applying to Rivier University for fall 2021 are no longer required to submit SAT/ACT scores for admission consideration. This admissions policy change provides greater accessibility to a college education, streamlines the application process, and encourages a more diverse applicant pool. All of Rivier’s undergraduate programs now include the test-optional admissions policy.

“The shift to a test-optional policy allows us to apply a more holistic approach to the admissions process for nursing applicants,” says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, President. “This decision supports the University’s mission to acknowledge, respect, and educate the whole person and to increase opportunities for educational enrichment and workforce development and acknowledges some challenges in completing SAT/ACT testing during this COVID-19 period of social distancing.”

Research conducted by College Board, the nonprofit organization that administers the SAT and Advanced Placement exams, has found that SAT scores are highly correlated to socio-economic status. According to The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, test-optional policies “promote both equity and excellence” in college admissions. The Center maintains that the emphasis placed on standardized test scores deters students from minority racial and ethnic groups, and students from first-generation-to-college and lower-income families from applying to colleges and universities. The new policy also benefits motivated students whose low SAT/ACT test scores can prohibit acceptance to college nursing programs. All students continue to have the option to submit test scores as part of their application.

“Removing the SAT/ACT application requirement makes our admissions policy more inclusive,” says Paula Williams, Dean of Nursing and Health Professions. “We consider high school academic performance, the most reliable indicator of college preparedness, as well as the student’s extracurricular activities, volunteerism, and employment. Adopting the test-optional policy will offer admission to a more diverse population of qualified students.”

High school students can apply to Rivier University using the Common Application or Rivier’s online application form. There is no application fee for fall 2021 applicants, and a wide range of scholarship and grant opportunities are available. For more information, students, and families should visit, and contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at (603) 897-8507 or