Test Optional Policy

Massachusetts Maritime Academy Test Optional Policy 

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on standardized testing across the country, Massachusetts Maritime Academy will be test optional for the 2020-2021 application cycle. This means that students applying for Spring 2021 or Fall 2021 will be able to submit their application with or without the SAT or ACT. Mass Maritime has always placed a stronger emphasis on high school transcript, GPA, and academic rigor and continues to use a holistic approach, but we hope that this change will help to alleviate some of the added barriers posed by the ongoing pandemic.  Please note that applicants with a GPA below 2.5 must submit a letter of reference from a teacher or school counselor for consideration in their review.

When submitting your application, you will have the option to select whether or not you plan to submit test scores. If you choose to apply as a test optional student, you will be reviewed in the same way as your peers submitting test scores - we will simply use the other application components to evaluate your file (including high school transcript, personal essay, letters of recommendation, resume, interview, etc.). There is not additional requirement for students applying as test optional, but we certainly encourage you to submit any additional documents (such as a resume) that you believe are relevant and important for consideration. Personal interviews are also encouraged.

IMPORTANT: Applicants who earn admission and decide to enroll must submit SAT/ACT scores, if available, for research purposes on retention, persistence, and future admission selection standards.  


FAQ's:
  • Will I be eligible for merit scholarships if I choose to apply as test-optional?
    • Yes! Our merit scholarships this year will be based on high school GPA.  Applicants will be reviewed for eligibility during the review process and notified of scholarship in their acceptance letter.
  • Are there any restrictions to who can apply as test-optional?
    • No.  All students have the ability to apply test optional during this application cycle.  Students that have test scores should still submit them as they can not hurt but only help the application.  Please note that international students are still required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS exam scores to demonstrate English proficiency unless otherwise waived.  Please see our International Student Applicant page on the website for more information regarding the possibilities for a waiver. 
  • Will it hurt my application to apply test-optionally?
    • No! Applicants with or without test scores will be reviewed by our counselors with an approach that considers the whole student - cumulative GPA, academic rigor and course selection, math and science performance, extra curricular activities, work experience, and anything else that is a part of your application. We are evaluating applications as a dynamic combination of all of these things, not measuring based on a single factor.
  • I’m not sure if my scores are good enough. Should I submit them?
    • There is not a ‘cut-off’ number that separates “good” from “bad” test scores. If you feel that your scores are a good representation of you as a student, then you should submit them.  If not, you don’t have to. Additionally, our counselors are looking to review you in the best possible light - which means that if your scores are not helping you, our counselors will be focusing on other factors. It will not hurt you to submit scores.
    • As a point of reference, our average (not minimum) scores among previous applicants are an 1100 on the SAT and 23 on the ACT.
  • If my scores were already sent to MMA or are included on my high school transcript, can I still apply as test-optional?
    • Yes. If you would like to be reviewed without the scores that were submitted, just select that option on your application. Your counselor will not use the scores as part of your application review.
  • I plan on applying for Fall 2022 (or beyond), will I need to submit SAT or ACT scores with my application?
    • Yes. Our test optional policy is a temporary change due to the impacts of COVID-19 and is only applicable for the 2020-2021 cycle. If we choose to extend the policy to future application years, we will make a follow up announcement. 
  • If I am applying for a more “competitive” program, should I submit my test scores?
    • You can, but it is not required.  Any information you feel is relevant or positively reflects your abilities as a student will be considered during the evaluation process.  Again, test scores can only help, not hurt, your application to the Academy.