2017 Best Test Optional Colleges in America

The 2017 Best Test Optional Colleges ranking filters the 2017 Best Colleges ranking to only include colleges that don't require SAT or ACT scores for admission. Explore the list of test optional schools to find a college that's right for you.
See how this ranking was calculated
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    Bowdoin College

    • Brunswick, ME
    • 641 reviews
    College Sophomore:I feel like my school has even more to offer than I thought it did and while there are definitely issues, I can't imagine myself being anywhere else.
    More about Bowdoin College
  2. 2

    Bates College

    • Lewiston, ME
    • 318 reviews
    College Freshman:I love going to class at Bates. Coming from a highly challenging high school, the classes (I was in all arts/English/humanities my first semester) the workload was sometimes difficult but overall extremely manageable. I adored every one of my teachers and felt like I got a lot of personal attention from each one of them.

    I have a lot of friends that are neuroscience majors, however, and that path of study is much more challenging.

    Pros of curriculum: study abroad highly encouraged, almost everyone does it. Also everyone gets to do a senior thesis (alas, some hate this and some love it).

    Cons of curriculum: can be an education minor and get your teaching certificate, but only for grades 6-12- no early ed. Certification!
    More about Bates College
  3. 3

    Wake Forest University

    • Winston Salem, NC
    • 723 reviews
    College Sophomore:I absolutely love Wake Forest! I am so happy that I decided to go to Wake. Not only does it feel like home but it has truly become my home. The people I have met are incredible people and I have so many great memories from my first year of college.
    More about Wake Forest University
  4. 4

    Smith College

    • Northampton, MA
    • 826 reviews
    College Sophomore:Smith is just a great place. The administration just passed a policy that will allow for transgender women to apply and get accepted, which goes to show how open-minded the school is. However, I definitely agree that views that oppose the campus norm are not well-accepted. At the end of the day, those students who are able to engage with point-of-views different from their own are going to be much better off going into the real world. The sense of community here is indeed very strong. Everyone feels the need to support a fellow Smithie. And the academics will for sure prepare you for the road up ahead. Smithies are very smart people, and employers know that. It's a great place for a female identifying individual to develop the confidence they need to really succeed in the world.
    More about Smith College
  5. 5

    College of the Holy Cross

    • Worcester, MA
    • 468 reviews
    College Freshman:The workload is ridiculous. You will be assigned a ton of work and all of it is hard. It is imperative that you stay on top of your work and don't think that you can get a good grade without studying...Professors here challenge you greatly. You will definitely feel smarter after taking any course.
    More about College of the Holy Cross
  6. 6

    Bryn Mawr College

    • Bryn Mawr, PA
    • 388 reviews
    College Sophomore:I could go on about how much I love Bryn Mawr forever. The faculty are laudible, the academics are challenging and enthralling, and its reputation as well as its connections to Haverford, Swarthmore, and Penn give it the resources of a large school while maintaining its unique character. The community is what drew me here, everyone is so passionate, compassionate, and enthusiastic about being who they are.
    More about Bryn Mawr College
  7. 7

    Wesleyan University

    • Middletown, CT
    • 653 reviews
    College Sophomore:Wesleyan may not be for everyone, but it is right for me. I couldn't have chosen a school that fit me any better, and without a doubt, I would choose my school all over again.
    More about Wesleyan University
  8. 8

    Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    • Worcester, MA
    • 599 reviews
    College Junior:WPI is an absolutely amazing school! There is something for everyone. All of the faculty want to see you succeed and are extremely helpful. There are opportunities available to get involved everywhere you look.
    More about Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  9. 9

    Franklin & Marshall College

    • Lancaster, PA
    • 771 reviews
    College Sophomore:I could not be happier with my choice to attend F&M. I have been granted many experiences and opportunities (both academic and social) that have enriched my life greatly. Getting involved is integral to both student happiness and success here. Exploring my passions through my academics and extracurriculars have given me a plethora of reasons to have pride to be a Diplomat.
    More about Franklin & Marshall College
  10. 10

    Mount Holyoke College

    • South Hadley, MA
    • 777 reviews
    College Sophomore:Attending Mount Holyoke College is one of the best decision I could have made. The people here are intelligent and welcoming and passionate. The professors are knowledgeable and personable. Coming from the West Coast, I was unable to go home for Thanksgiving but I received many invitations from my professors to join them at their respective tables. The classes and challenging and interesting without being overwhelming. The energy here is inspiring and empowering and there is no where else I would rather spend these four years of my life
    More about Mount Holyoke College
  11. 11

    Pitzer College

    • Claremont, CA
    • 594 reviews
    College Senior:The students at Pitzer are what make the environment so great. I have made my best friends here and that is what has made my college experience so successful.
    More about Pitzer College
  12. 12

    Skidmore College

    • Saratoga Springs, NY
    • 563 reviews
    College Senior:Skidmore is known for its somewhat alternative student body, which is often defined as artsy hipsters. While there is definitely a presence for artsy hipsters, every other type of student diversity can also be found there. I am so happy with my choice to attend Skidmore. I have made the most amazing friends and have made memories I know will last a lifetime. Skidmore has opened my eyes to so many possibilities and truly opened doors for my future.
    More about Skidmore College
  13. 13

    St. Lawrence University

    • Canton, NY
    • 706 reviews
    College Sophomore:I absolutely love St. Lawrence University. It is by far one of my favorite places on Earth. The north country people are so very nice and the environment feels perfect for me. I've had so many wonderful experiences here that it is hard to choose one. However, if I had to talk about one, I would say every weekend when me and my friends get together to have burritos and watch movies. My school is unique because there is so much more to being here than just being a student. You are part of the community. If I could choose to come here again I would do it without a doubt.
    More about St. Lawrence University
  14. 14

    George Washington University

    • Washington, DC
    • 1,837 reviews
    College Sophomore:Gw is a great school in the perfect location. There are so many things to do around and off campus, and everything is s short walk or metro ride away. The opportunities for internships are endless and Professors and staff are very helpful.
    More about George Washington University
  15. 15

    Lawrence University

    • Appleton, WI
    • 640 reviews
    College Junior:I can truly say I absolutely made the right selection in choosing Lawrence University. The community is absolutely perfect for me as an individual and the academics are top-notch.
    More about Lawrence University
  16. 16

    Providence College

    • Providence, RI
    • 732 reviews
    College Senior:Providence College, located in Providence, Rhode Island is a relatively small campus with around 5,000 undergrad. What makes it special going to a school this size, is that you will always see a familiar face when you are walking on campus. Providence has so much to offer and has so many clubs and activities for students to get involved with! PC is also located only a few minutes from downtown Providence and Federal Hill, which are main attractions for this small state! Nightlife at PC is also fun, and there are plenty of bars to head too in the city and there is even a bar on campus!
    More about Providence College
  17. 17

    Drake University

    • Des Moines, IA
    • 819 reviews
    College Sophomore:The student body works very hard as a whole, and most, if not all the students are involved outside of academics. The students support eachother and know when to have fun and when to work hard. The buildings/facilities are very clean and maintained, and many of the buildings are modern. Personally, I love the mix of brick buildings with modern. It is all unified while giving each building a unique look.
    More about Drake University
  18. 18

    Clark University

    • Worcester, MA
    • 674 reviews
    College Junior:Clark has changed me for the better. I am more conscious of the world around me and want to make a difference. The community of "Clarkies" is unlike any other. Clark changes to fit you and not the other way around. I have never seen a more accepting place.
    More about Clark University
  19. 19

    Temple University

    • Philadelphia, PA
    • 4,744 reviews
    College Sophomore:Most of the professors are great and really want you to succeed. There are a few bad ones though. Look up professors before you take their classes.
    More about Temple University
  20. 20

    Muhlenberg College

    • Allentown, PA
    • 406 reviews
    Recent Alumnus:I had an amazing experience while I was at Muhlenberg. I met my life long friends there and potentially my future husband. Within my major (psych) the professors were always there to help every step of the way. I also joined a sorority which is something I am so grateful for. Everything about this school (campus, activities, parties, food, classes, ect) was amazing. If I had the opportunity to go back and attend college anywhere I wanted, I would only want to go to Muhlenberg.
    More about Muhlenberg College
  21. 21

    Loyola University Maryland

    • Baltimore, MD
    • 924 reviews
    College Junior:There are many opportunities to get involved at my school and I strongly recommend that you do! It helps you meet people with similar interests.
    More about Loyola University Maryland
  22. 22

    Allegheny College

    • Meadville, PA
    • 826 reviews
    College Sophomore:Allegheny College has truly become my home away from home. Not only is the student body warm and welcoming to all, the professors are incredibly knowledgable and leave lasting impressions beyond the term of their classes. Each and every student knows just how hard we have to work in order to get good grades when faced with such rigorous coursework. This adds to the atmosphere of comraderie and acceptance we have for one another.

    I have met lifelong friends at Allegheny. From the court, to the classroom, to the sisterhood I joined, there are so many unique personalities that I am so blessed to have encountered. Allegheny College has made me a more well-rounded, knowledgable person, and I feel I am being completely prepared for when I start job searching after graduation! There is not one thing I would change about my school.
    More about Allegheny College
  23. 23

    Stonehill College

    • Easton, MA
    • 473 reviews
    College Junior:Stonehill is a great small liberal arts school that has a lot tooffer. The small size means you get one on one attention and professors know your name. Everyone is very friendly.
    More about Stonehill College
  24. 24

    Transylvania University

    • Lexington, KY
    • 257 reviews
    College Freshman:Professors at Transy really care a lot about their students and encourage students to come to their office hours if they need any help. Courses vary in difficulty, but you are almost guaranteed to come out of a class with some sort of long-lasting knowledge. Class sizes vary from ~5 students to <30. Most are somewhere in the middle with about 15-20 students. Many classes focus on discussions and want students to give input during lectures.
    More about Transylvania University
  25. 25

    Willamette University

    • Salem, OR
    • 684 reviews
    College Senior:I ended up choosing the school I did because of its proximity to home, far enough away that I felt I could be independent, but close enough that I could access home whenever. I also chose it because of its opportunities for study abroad, Greek life, and the possibility to study whatever you want. Students here create their own majors and I love that. I major in Archaeology, which is a really small program at my school. However I love the learning environment and my class sizes and the relationship I can establish with my professors. I feel like I thrive at this school.
    More about Willamette University