Date of Thesis

Spring 2023


This phenomenological qualitative study explores students’ experiences navigating test-optional admissions when applying to post-secondary education. This thesis examines how test-optional admissions influence students' admissions decisions. The recent policy changes in college admissions practices raise questions about student experiences when making decisions when regarding test-optional admissions. First, this study explores the factors that go into a student’s decision on whether to submit test scores in their college application. Second, this thesis investigates college admission administrators’ perspectives on test-optional policies at their respective universities. Third, this study analyzes where the views of college admissions and student applicants are dissimilar. One important insight of the test-optional movement is to understand how students make the decision to apply either using or not using high-stakes standardized test scores as a part of their admissions profile. This study examines the experiences of first- and second-year students at Bucknell University.


Admissions, Policies, Students, Test-Optional

Access Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts



Minor, Emphasis, or Concentration

Political Science

First Advisor

Sue Ellen Henry

Second Advisor

Abe Feuerstein