Author: Michelle [Shelly] Hillman
Date: June 13, 2017
Categories: Admission

Houghton College recently expanded its admission process to accept scores from the new Classic Learning Test (CLT) as well as allow students to choose whether or not to submit standardized test scores for consideration. These additions apply to programs on the main campus, Houghton College Buffalo, and Houghton College Utica.

Houghton’s admission process has long been holistic and personal, guiding students and parents from day one and treating students as more than a test score or GPA. Standardized test scores are only one factor in a college's decision and may not be the most accurate prediction of student success, so Houghton’s test-optional decision allows students with excellent high school academic records to showcase their knowledge in more innovative ways. notes that half of the top 100 liberal arts colleges nationwide are test optional, opening the doors for college success to a wider, more diverse demographic of student, including those who may not test well. Although Houghton’s high-quality student body already scores above the national averages for the SAT and ACT, providing applicants with the option of submitting a test score gives them the freedom to decide what elements best represent their ability to succeed in a college setting.

“Expanding the test options for students continues in this same vein – allowing students the freedom to determine what information best represents their potential,” remarks Ryan Spear, director of admission at Houghton.

The CLT, developed in 2015 by the Classic Learning Initiatives organization, focuses on content that has withstood the test of time and remains highly relative to today’s thinkers through materials drawn from literary, mathematical, and philosophical thought, according to the CLT’s website. Accepting scores from this innovative substitute for the SAT or ACT allows students with a more classical education to demonstrate their knowledge of those areas.

Standardized test scores will still be required for Honors at Houghton, merit-based scholarships, international applicants from countries other than Canada, and those applying for consideration for the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine or University at Buffalo pharmacy programs.

For the full testing policy, visit