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Decision aligns with social justice mission and commitment to higher education accessibility

Holy Names University Announces Permanent Test-Optional Policy

(Oakland, CA – December 14, 2021) — Holy Names University has approved a permanent test-optional admissions policy for undergraduate students. Students may still submit their standardized test scores if they believe they are a good representation of their ability and potential. However, students without standardized test scores will be given the same consideration for admission and scholarships.

“Becoming permanently test-optional is an important reflection of HNU’s commitment to social justice,” says Elizabeth Mihopoulos, Vice President for Enrollment Management. “We believe that the admissions process should be inclusive, and by adopting a test-optional policy, our aim is to increase access to a Holy Names education.”

The University’s mission states that HNU empowers a diverse student body to think critically and imaginatively, to understand and employ the various modes of knowledge, to communicate clearly and persuasively, to pursue leadership opportunities, and to promote the common good. In keeping with its mission, HNU concluded that a test score is not necessarily a good indicator of a student’s ability to embody the mission and succeed at the University.

The decision to become permanently test-optional was made just a month after Holy Names University announced the HNU Tuition Guarantee, which provides 100% tuition coverage for Pell and Cal Grant-eligible students. The goal of these changes is to make the benefits of a small, private college education affordable and accessible to more students.


Holy Names University (HNU) has been empowering and preparing a diverse student body for productive lives of leadership and service since 1868. Rooted in Catholic intellectual and spiritual traditions, the University was founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. HNU offers a liberal arts and professional education. Student-centered, with small class sizes and courses in varied formats and schedules, HNU meets the needs of all learners, including first-generation students and working adults. Nestled in the Oakland hills of California, the University’s idyllic, 60-acre campus offers panoramic views of San Francisco Bay. For more information, visit