College and university articulation agreements vary in their requirements so it’s important to know whether or not you need to submit SAT scores. Plus, not every student’s transfer circumstances are identical. Many policies continue to evolve in response to COVID-19. However, transfer admissions are often more concerned with your academic performance in your current degree program than with what you did in high school. If you are transferring from a community college to a university, understanding if transfer students need SAT scores is an important first step.
Ultimately, you will need to do your due diligence in finding out the answer for your specific situation. Many institutions share transfer admissions requirements clearly on their websites. And, you can always call the admissions office to get a direct answer. Here are the three most common ways to understand this important question:
When You Don’t Need the SAT to Transfer
Many colleges and universities state that transfer students are exempt from SAT requirements if they have completed a minimum of 30 college semester hours. Depending on where you are in your college journey, this could become an important factor as you determine the timing of your transfer application.
Another instance this could be true is when your current community college has a guaranteed admission agreement with the school you’re interested in transferring into. Often, test scores are waived within that specific pipeline, making it even more likely that you won’t need SAT or ACT test scores.
When you might need the SAT to transfer:
Although a college might state that SAT scores are not required, they sometimes suggest that it is recommended. If your GPA is higher than average, and if it’s been several years since you graduated high school, you may not need the SAT.
However, if your GPA is a little low or you’ve only done a semester or two of college coursework, you may need to submit an SAT score or even retake the SAT to ensure your transfer application meets expectations
When you definitely need the SAT to transfer:
Although transfer admissions typically focus on your completed college coursework, there are some specific circumstances where you’ll need an SAT score as part of your admissions requirements. These more rare instances typically are found with small, specialized degree programs that add a higher entry threshold than the institution’s general admissions requirements.
So, you may or may not need an SAT score to transfer to a new college or university. And, if you do need one, you may or may not need to retake the exam. It all depends on your unique situation.
Although it’s increasingly common for this requirement to be waived for transfer students, you need to do your due diligence and determine that answer for yourself. There are numerous resources available online as well as admissions counselors that can help you navigate this question.