Shawnee State is Test-Recommended

We are excited you are considering Shawnee State University. You have made a great decision!

We offer affordable tuition, amazing majors, and student-centered faculty. We know that this has been a unique year for college-bound students like you.  Shawnee State is going “Test-Recommended” to clear the path for students to enroll.

Our goal is to make sure the availability of ACT and SAT is not a barrier to you getting started on your college degree.

What does “Test-Recommended” mean?

Shawnee State recommends that students take the ACT or SAT, but we don't want testing to become a barrier. SSU is open access and does not require a minimum test score for admission to the university. We do use ACT or SAT scores for admission into some of our selective programs, to determine scholarship eligibility, and identify the best course pathways in math, reading and English.

If you are able to take the  ACT or SAT, send us your score. If you do not have an ACT or SAT score, a free online Accuplacer placement test is available to you and may be used to determine admission, scholarship eligibility, and course placement.

For Admission:


If you have already submitted an ACT or SAT score (or have a score to share with us), you are eligible for our current admission process and do not need to take any additional steps under the Test Recommended policy.

Admission with no ACT or SAT Score

If you have not taken the ACT or SAT, have not been able to schedule one, or will not be available to take one in the future, we encourage you to do the following:

  1. Let the Office of Admission know!
    1. If you are applying for the first time, be sure to indicate on your application you do not have an ACT or SAT score.
    2. If you have already sent an application and need to let us know you will not be submitting the ACT or SAT test, please complete this form to let us know and plan to schedule a placement test:
      ACT/SAT Opt-Out Form
  2. Schedule a placement test. Shawnee State offers free, virtual Accuplacer placement tests using Zoom to students considering enrollment.
    1. Schedule your test:
      Register for Accuplacer Test
    2. If you have additional questions about the placement test, email our testing coordinator, Mikhail Smith: If you need accommodations for testing, please contact Mikhail Smith to discuss your options. Accuplacer placement tests do have limits to accommodations, but students can use some assistive devices
    3. When you register for the placement test, you will be asked why you are taking the placement test. Please select either “New Student Placement For Students Over 21 Years of Age” or “New Student Placement For Students Under 21 Years of Age”
    4. Please select that you will be taking all 3 tests: Reading, Math and English.

Once we have received your placement test scores, we will process your complete application file, and you will receive your official admission letter!

Admission with no Accuplacer Placement Test Score

If you do not indicate that you are expecting an ACT or SAT test and you have not completed or scheduled an Accuplacer Placement Test, the Office of Admission will admit you based on your high school performance. Your transcript will be reviewed 30 days after you submit your application and transcript without test scores. If your transcript reflects an academically rigorous high school curriculum, you can be admitted without test scores.

*Note: You must also provide evidence of "rigorous course of study" including:

  • Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus or Calculus, or CCP/AP credit in Statistics, Algebra, or Calculus
  • College Prep, Honors, AP, or CCP credit in English,
  • At least two credits in or a combination of two credits in Biology, Chemistry or Physics

If you are admitted without ACT, SAT, or Accuplacer score and do not have previous college or AP credits, you will be placed in developmental courses. Developmental courses may have to be completed over the summer and are required for students that do not have documentation of college readiness in math, reading, and English.

Developmental courses are billed as a part of student’s tuition like other course, but do not meet major or course requirements for graduation. To avoid placement into classes that are below your readiness level, we highly recommend students schedule an Accuplacer Placement Test to be placed in the appropriate courses.

If you submit college credit transcript and/or AP scores (provided you satisfy both MATH or ENGL) you may be admitted and bypass testing requirements. An unofficial copy, or proof of completed college work on your high school transcript will be permissible for admission, but the official transcripts must be received prior to your scheduled orientation date. 

Please note that students who do not take an ACT, SAT, or Accuplacer placement test will not be eligible for merit-based scholarships.

For Scholarships:

Will I be considered for scholarships if I take the Accuplacer Placement Test instead of submitting ACT/SAT scores?

Yes. If you submit an ACT or SAT score, you will be considered for scholarships within our existing Merit-Based Scholarship Matrix. If you take the Accuplacer Placement Test instead, you will be considered for scholarships using the Accuplacer Placement Scholarship Matrix below.

Please complete your application and submit all transcripts and test scores by May 1, 2024 for scholarship consideration.

*Note: You must also provide evidence of "rigorous course of study" including:

  • Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus or Calculus, or CCP/AP credit in Statistics, Algebra, or Calculus
  • College Prep, Honors, AP, or CCP credit in English,
  • At least two credits in or a combination of two credits in Biology, Chemistry or Physics

To see what you may qualify for, match your high school GPA to your Accuplacer Placement Test scores in the table below.

Accuplacer Placement Scholarship Matrix
High School GPA AAF 276+
WP 7+
READ 241+
AAF 263-275
WP 5+
READ 241+
QRAS 253+
WP 5+
READ 241+
QRAS 241-252
WP 5+
READ 241+
GPA 4.0+ $5,000 $4,000 $3,000 $2,000
GPA 3.8+ $4,500 $3,500 $2,500 $1,750
GPA 3.6+ $4,000 $3,000 $2,000 $1,500
GPA 3.4+ $3,500 $2,500 $1,500 $1,250
GPA 3.2+ $3,000 $2,000 $1,250 $1,000
  • AAF = Advanced Algebra and Functions
  • QRAS = Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra and Statistics
  • WP = WritePlacer
  • READ = Reading Placement

Other Questions:

How do I let admissions know I won’t be sending my test scores?

If you have completed an application and are not planning to take an ACT or SAT test, please let us know by complete the Test Recommended Form.

If you have any questions about the Test-Recommended process, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Admission at (740) 351-4778 to speak to an admission associate.

What about selective programs at Shawnee State?

Admission to selective programs in Allied Health Sciences, Rehabilitation Therapies, and Nursing still require ACT test scores for program admission. Please visit the program webpage and contact the program director to learn more about standardized test scores and program admission criteria.

Can I take Accuplacer more than once?

No. Students may only take Accuplacer Placement tests once per year for SSU admission and placement. We do not permit students to take the test multiple times within the year to increase their score.

If I have an ACT or SAT score already, how can I send that to SSU?

We have many options to receive your test score:

For fastest processing:
Or send in by:

Contacting your counselor and requesting they send the scores to us on an updated high school transcript (Make sure your counselor has your scores!). Your counselor can email (, fax (740) 351-3111, or mail your scores to the Office of Admissions, Shawnee State University, 940 Second Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662

Contact ACT or SAT directly and request an official score be sent to SSU. Having additional test scores directly from the agency typically requires a fee

Are there resources to prepare for the placement test?

YES! Please visit our Placement Testing Site to learn more about preparing for the test.

Can you fail the Accuplacer placement test?

No. This test is used to learn more about your current abilities in math, reading, and English. It allows us to place you in the right classes so you can succeed. We do ask that students take the test seriously by completing all sections of the test, encourage students to take their time while completing it, and if possible, prepare ahead of time!

If I have already submitted my ACT or SAT and don’t currently qualify for a merit-based scholarship, can I take a placement test to qualify for a scholarship?

Yes. Please schedule an Accuplacer Test. You will be considered for scholarships on the Accuplacer Placement Test Matrix

Can I still take the ACT or SAT if I need it for a local or independent scholarship, selective admission, or to be considered for the Standardized Test Scholarship Matrix?

Yes. However, testing locations have been limited recently and, in some cases, testing centers have cancelled scheduled tests due to COVID-19 restrictions.

If you are interested in taking the ACT or SAT, but cannot pay the registration fee, please contact your high school counselor to learn more about the fee waiver process

I took a placement test for CCP at another university, can I use that score?

Yes. If you took the Accuplacer test and the testing coordinator can send your placement scores to the Office of Admission for processing (they can be emailed to or faxed to (740) 351-3111).

If you look at my transcript and courses admission, what will you be looking for?

The Office of Admission will review some of the following courses and grades to determine your academic pathway: B or better in Algebra 2, Pre-Calc or Calculus, AND a B or better in College-Prep, Honors or AP English, AND a B or better in Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

However, we highly recommend you complete a placement test so we can accurately place you in math, reading, and English.