Hobart and William Smith have proudly had a “test optional” standardized testing policy since 2006. Now, possibly more than ever, we want you to consider applying to HWS without worry or fear about the role test scores may play in your admissions decision and accordingly, have shifted to a “no harm” policy. This means we do not require you to submit any test scores and if you choose to, we will only use your SAT or ACT results if the scores help us make a positive admissions decision. If your admissions counselor believes that your test results may harm your chances for acceptance, your scores will be removed from your application before our deliberations begin. In other words, there is “no harm” in sending (or not sending) test scores to Hobart and William Smith.

At HWS, we do not use test scores as a comparative tool. Instead, they are reviewed individually in combination with your other submitted materials (transcript, recommendations, essay, etc.) and considered only if they make a positive impact. Whether your scores are above or below our median, there is no harm in submitting your scores if you feel they enhance the strength of your overall application.

On the Member Page of the Common Application, we ask students to indicate that “Yes” they would like us to use their scores, “No” they would not like us to use their scores, or “HWS Choice.” Beginning in fall 2020, our “no harm” policy means that your scores will never be used if they will hurt your chances for admission regardless of the option you select. We hope this eases some of the anxiety surrounding the college admissions process, especially as you consider Hobart and William Smith.