Test Optional Policy Information

Houston Christian University (HCU) no longer requires standardized test scores for applicants. We encourage students to submit additional materials (detailed in the Supplemental Application Items section below) that they feel best highlight their skills, talents and potential contributions to HCU.

We ask students to share their plans regarding the submission or consideration of SAT or ACT scores as part of their application. Students who select test optional will have their application and supplemental information evaluated in a holistic manner.  All applicants will be considered for scholarships whether they submit a test score or not.

Required Application Items

  • Application for Admission – with our HCU Application, or through ApplyTexas or the Common App. Students will be required to share whether they want to be considered as test optional or not.
  • Most recent high school transcript – students may upload a PDF of their high school transcript to their Application Status Portal. Official transcripts are required upon high school graduation and should be submitted by a high school official with the graduation date included.
  • 300-word short answer response question on the application with the following prompt:
    • “We all have experiences and/or perspectives that have shaped our lives. Please
      share how your experiences and/or perspectives will positively impact the HCU

Supplemental Application Items

  • Highly Recommended: One or two letter(s) of recommendation
    • NOTE: Home school applicants must supply a recommendation from someone outside of their family.
  • College transcripts from dual credit courses (if applicable)
  • IB, AP, or any other test scores (if applicable)
  • Resume (optional)

Evaluation for Admission

If a student wishes to be evaluated under the test optional policy, their application and supplemental information will be evaluated holistically in the following manner:

  • The admissions committee will examine applicants’ files to identify their achievements and the challenges they faced, hoping to identify the way they took advantage of the opportunities presented to them.
  • If a student previously supplied a test score prior to submitting the application and chooses to be reviewed test optional, the test score will not be visible to those reviewing the file for admission.
  • Some applicants may feel that their SAT or ACT scores do not fully reflect their academic performance or capability. These students are strongly encouraged to submit the additional documentation items listed above.
  • The application will be evaluated for intellectual curiosity and academic rigor, demonstrated leadership and problem-solving ability, contributions to community, socioeconomic background, family responsibilities, special talents, awards, and diversity of experience and background.
  • After the holistic review, a decision will be rendered by the review committee.
  • If a student was evaluated test optional and is denied, the student may choose to submit a test score and request a re-evaluation with the score being considered.

International Applicants

International applicants will still be required to meet English proficiency requirements as listed under HCU’s international admissions policy.

NOTE: International students who are graduating from a U.S. high school will follow the same admission policy as our domestic students.

If you have questions, please reach out to your admissions counselor or our office directly:

HCU Admissions
7502 Fondren Rd.
Houston, TX 77074

Discerning Decision Policy

HCU Admissions will act in each student’s best interest in order to give them the best chance of being admitted.

If a student applies as test-optional with a low high school GPA that would lead them to be denied but then submits a test score that would get them admitted, we will switch them from test-optional to traditional admission. On the same note, if a student applies for traditional admission and submits a test score that would lead to them being denied, but has a great high school GPA and/or class rank, we will switch them to test-optional to give them the best chance of being admitted.