Stetson University's Elizabeth Hall Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Along with public universities across the state, Stetson University now accepts test results from the Classic Learning Test in addition to the SAT and ACT standardized tests.

“Regarding admissions considerations, Stetson is test optional,” Stetson Senior Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing Jeffery Gates said in a statement. “Instead of requiring test scores, we allow students to showcase their skills, talents and abilities in a way that matters most to them, whether with a graded essay, or a test like the CLT, ACT and SAT.”

The test was recently added to a list of examinations that the university accepts as part of admissions for the 2024-25 school year, but, as of Sept. 10, the university has received no applications with a CLT test score. That decision came before the Board of Governors of Florida’s state university system ruled Sept. 9 that all public universities will accept test results from the CLT in addition to the SAT and ACT.

“The CLT assessment opens doors to Florida colleges and state universities,” a statement from the Board of Governors said. “The CLT places a strong emphasis on classical education, which includes a focus on reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. It is designed to align with a classical liberal arts curriculum, which some educators and institutions believe provides a more well-rounded and meaningful education.”

The exam was created in 2015 by Classic Learning Initiatives founder Jeremy Tate as an alternative to the SAT and ACT with a focus on “Western tradition” and the Western canon. While initially only accepted by smaller, private and religious schools like Hillsdale College, a university praised by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the first Florida public university to accept CLT exam scores was New College of Florida. The decision to accept CLT scores was made earlier this year after much of the New College board’s administration was replaced by DeSantis with allies like former Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran — now New College’s interim president — and conservative activist Christopher Rufo — now on the college’s board. 


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