Students Applying for Fall 2021 and Beyond
We know that as a result of COVID-19, you may have experienced changes and/or disruptions to your academic plan. We hope that the FAQs below will help you as you prepare to apply to Fordham.
Some Spring 2020 testing administrations have been cancelled. Will Fordham consider going test-optional for the Fall 2021 admission cycle?
Beginning with the fall 2021 entering class, Fordham University will make standardized admissions tests—the SAT and ACT—optional for a two-year period, at the end of which the University will revisit the policy.
On April 29, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) urged institutions to reassess their standardized testing policies, especially in light of the effects the COVID-19 pandemic is having on academic schedules. We have done so but must also acknowledge that this is a policy the University had been considering before the pandemic. There has been ongoing dialogue in the admission community about the racial and socioeconomic disparities that standardized testing reinforces and exacerbates. We too acknowledge these concerns, even more so now with the additional stressors placed on so many students and families by the pandemic.
Fordham has always employed a holistic admission process to counterbalance the aforementioned forces implicit in testing; making those tests optional is the logical next step, and consistent with the University’s mission and Jesuit identity. In the spirit of caring for the whole person, the Office of Undergraduate Admission will continue to develop new ways to keep the student central to our focus as we build our campus community.
From our experience with a holistic admission process, we know that academic rigor does not need to be sacrificed in order to level the playing field, and that we can engage in a quality assessment process without prioritizing those applicants who choose to submit test scores. Our test-optional plan will distinctly yet fairly consider students who submit and who do not submit testing. We will continue to seek students who can thrive at Fordham—students who can discover themselves and their new intellectual horizons; students who want to learn to think rigorously, write persuasively, and act in service of the human family.
In the coming weeks, we will share more details on this policy on the Fordham University Undergraduate Admission website. Please note that this change only applies to undergraduate admission. Fordham’s graduate and professional schools still require certain standardized tests for admission to their programs.
How will changes to my high school program be viewed by the Committee?
Fordham reviews all applicants holistically and within context. We hope that you have been able to continue on your planned academic path. However, we understand that you may have had curriculum and/or grading changes beyond your control as a result of necessary changes to your instruction due to COVID-19. These changes may include:
- Graded courses changed to Pass/Fail
- Changes in academic rigor due to lack of offerings (e.g. an AP class changed to a regular track class)
- Inability to continue with dual enrollment courses
- Final grade calculations based on academic assessments in lieu of exams (i.e. IB, GCSE, IGCSE, AS Level, A Level).
The above changes will not impact our offer of admission, as long as you still meet your requirements for high school graduation.
For international applicants, the admission committee recognizes that final results may be significantly different from previously submitted predicted results due to changes to the evaluation criteria.
I am applying Early Action/Early Decision. Is there anything you recommend I should do?
Since we may have Pass/Fail grades for the second term of your junior year, we recommend that Early Action and Early Decision applicants submit first quarter or first trimester grades or earliest predicted results as available. These updates may arrive through November 16.
We strongly recommend that Regular Decision and Priority Performance applicants submit midyear grades when they become available.
Predicted IB and A Level results are required for all Regular Decision and Priority Performance applicants.
How will Fordham review the online AP exams I took in Spring 2020 in the admission review and for potential transfer credit?
We will continue to recognize the academic rigor of the Advanced Placement program and appropriately acknowledge your achievement in AP courses and on the 2020 online exams. Results for these modified AP exams will be considered for transfer credit in an identical manner to previous years.
Will the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition and IELTS Indicator offered online be accepted to meet the Fall 2021 English language proficiency exam requirement for non-native English speakers?
Yes, both temporary at-home exam options offered during suspension of in-person testing will be accepted for Fall 2021 applicants.
Will the lack of on-campus visit opportunities hinder my ability to demonstrate interest in Fordham? Will not visiting negatively impact the review of my application?
We understand that you may be concerned about the impact of visit cancellations on your ability to demonstrate your interest in Fordham. Campus visits for the summer and fall of 2020 will be virtual. You can register for an event at fordham.edu/visitus. That said, we can assure you that our consideration of demonstrated interest includes many factors, such as online engagement, regional programming, etc. Your inability to visit would never be a barrier to admission.
Are there other ways to connect with Fordham to help me in my college search?
Yes! We would love to recommend a few: