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College Talk Blog

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Is optional really optional?

Posted on July 21, 2015 at 11:37 PM
Test optional and essay optional are terms that are becoming more common in college admissions process discussions. While some colleges have embraced a test optional policy for students with minimum grade point averages, others have also made essays optional. But is optional REALLY optional?

Whether a student should seriously consider either scores or essays as optional is up to the strength of academic achievement in high school and SAT or ACT scores. 

My concern about not including essays in college applications is that essays are the best current opportunity for students to show their uniqueness. When an essay is optional, I argue that not taking the opportunity to include an essay in a college application is missing out on an opportunity to affect admission outcomes. 

Categories: College Admission Essays