Temple Option FAQ

What is the “Temple Option?”

The Temple Option is an admissions path for talented students whose potential for academic success is not accurately captured by standardized test scores.

Students who choose the Temple Option will submit self-reflective, short-answers to a few specially designed, open-ended questions instead of their SAT or ACT scores.

Why is the Temple Option being offered?

Temple supports the holistic evaluation of our freshman candidates, and we appreciate the many ways they can demonstrate their academic strengths and potential to succeed in college. In some cases, students might feel that test scores do not accurately represent their true potential for success.

You now have the option of submitting your standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) or choosing the Temple Option (not sending your test scores) and answering several self-reflective, short-essay questions. Your responses provide important details in our comprehensive admissions review process and will be considered carefully by our committee. 

How do I know if I should apply using the Temple Option?

This is a personal and individual decision that you should weigh carefully prior to beginning your Temple application. If you don’t think that your test scores truly reflect your potential, the Temple Option might be your best choice, but if you have at least an 1150 SAT (on a 1600 point scale) or a 25 ACT, we recommend you submit your test scores as part of the application.

Are there any students who cannot apply using the Temple Option?

Yes. Home-schooled applicants, recruited student athletes and international applicants cannot select the Temple Option, and must submit test scores.

How do I choose the Temple Option?

On your application, you will indicate whether you will be submitting your test scores or choosing the Temple Option. We recommend that you think carefully about your decision because it can’t be changed once you submit your application.

What application materials will I need to submit as a Temple Option applicant?

In addition to your responses to the Temple Option self-reflective, short-answer questions, you’ll be submitting all other required application materials including the application fee or waiver (if eligible), your high school transcript and one letter of recommendation.

Where, when and how do I answer the Temple Option questions?

Once you submit your application as a Temple Option candidate, you will be invited to access the short-answer questions through your student account on the Temple website called the TUportal. If you are applying through early action, the deadline to submit your completed application is November 1st to receive your admissions decision by January 10th.  The rolling admissions deadline is March 1st. 

In responding to your short-answer questions, we recommend that:

·         You give us your first-reaction responses. Preparation is not necessary.

·         You complete these questions in one sitting as they require short-answer responses (100-150 words).

·         You work in a quiet space without distractions so that you can submit your best work.

What if I have sent my test scores, but I choose the Temple Option?

Even if you have sent test scores to Temple, but subsequently apply as a Temple Option candidate, we will not consider your test scores in our admissions review.  Later, we will request test scores from all enrolled Temple Option freshmen to help inform our study of this new path.

If I choose the Temple Option, can I still be considered for academic scholarships and the Honors Program?

Yes. All Temple Option candidates will automatically be considered for academic scholarships and admission to the Honors Program. We recommend applicants with at least an 1150 SAT (on a 1600 point scale) or a 25 ACT, submit their test scores as part of the application.

Have other schools created test optional plans?

Temple is the first public research university in the Northeast and the nation’s only urban public research university to offer an admissions path like the Temple Option. A growing number of other colleges and universities have adopted some form of test-optional admissions in recent years including Brandeis University, DePaul University, Kansas State University, the University of Arizona, Wake Forest University, Washington State University and Wesleyan University.

For more information about the Temple Option, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 888-340-2222 or 215-204-7200.