In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems we wake up every morning, holding our breath, to see what changes are occurring around us. That is nowhere truer than in the state of college admissions. This morning, I attended a web conference with admissions officers from American University, George Washington University and University of Maryland and they tried to help us navigate this unprecedented time. While many admit they are currently focused on the class of 2024 (current high school seniors) and don’t yet have the answers for our current high school juniors, the one big take away was to remember that admissions officers are staffed by human beings who have hearts and are empathetic to your plights. They are doing their best to serve your needs, along with the needs of their respective institutions. Right now, we are in a mode of “wait and see.” While that may not offer too much comfort to understandably anxious students and their understandably anxious parents, I hope you will take some solace in the number of institutions who have announced a test-optional policy for the 2020-2021 application cycle. As of April 14, 2020, here is the current list (please check with individual schools for the most up to date information):
2020 New Test-Major Optional Colleges or Other Major Testing Changes as of April 2020-in alphabetical order.
- Amherst is now test optional for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle.They are no longer considering SAT subject tests or taking admissions deposits. They no longer require SAT or ACT scores for transfer applicants.https://www.amherst.edu/admission/covid-19-considerations
- Babson College goes test optional for one year. It will review its policy next spring. https://entrepreneurship.babson.edu/test-optional-policy/?fbclid=IwAR1OjX8TEjfG2N7QTT5Ok193SvFck-_1Bm6nAMqLacckVG-V9u4QbC7e2a8
- Boston University is now test optional for next year, and will reconsider its decision next year. http://www.bu.edu/admissions/apply/faqs-helpful-forms/test-policy/?fbclid=IwAR3ZpuUzddJW1YpXX1JeUveU8vuypVf8idpFp6vPz1O4llDmnxr-SOrY95s
- Case Western becomes test-optional for 2020-2021. “We are test-optional for students entering in the fall of 2021. We will determine policies for future classes in winter 2020/21. Students who want to submit their scores may self-report by completing the form on their applicant portals. https://case.edu/admission/features/admission-financial-aid/message-dean?fbclid=IwAR0XWogvWA4VH9M_pVXrQBnljRNOTZZGTELbRmkWMkkm9_AVpY58VqndTD8
- Center College releases three year test optional policy. https://www.centre.edu/centre-college-moves-to-test-optional-for-next-three-years/?fbclid=IwAR13SYBVqhwsyLPlISv4c9oQ1LBvD8jv0EXrkjwmNNX18VNYiandVwykCL0
- Chapman is now tested optional for 2020-2021. Those who were home-schooled or attended a high school that provided a narrative transcript will be required to submit a standardized test score with their application. https://www.chapman.edu/admission/undergraduate/how-to-apply/test-optional.aspx/ In addition, all applicants who are non-native English speakers must submit proof of English proficiency. Students who score at least a 600 on the SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section, or a 24 on both the ACT English and Reading sections, will automatically have this requirement waived. For more information, visit our International Admission page.
- Colgate College goes test optional for one year https://www.colgate.edu/news/stories/colgate-university-test-optional-fall-2021-applicants?fbclid=IwAR26hYFUUgPt3Rgs00-XfoKQJ8Rsyk3r7lZMtpwjNqE36232rrv3bmx1s3g
- College of Wooster goes test optional permanently. https://news.wooster.edu/news/2020/04/wooster-faculty-adopts-test-optional-admission-policy/?fbclid=IwAR3qyIdNpUmcTgIzfB2u_Xk8_5C3SQAutfmJa3SD3R_7ASopZwDKYH_VfZk
- Davidson College announces its own 3 year test optional policy. https://www.davidson.edu/news/2020/03/30/davidson-college-goes-test-optional-three-year-pilot?fbclid=IwAR2sdsxBmWLz3gps-Nj1bKMnf5q8AAPY6j5UbeAnn235LtQLR7qKrv5jSWs
- Haverford College launches three year test optional policy. https://www.haverford.edu/admission/blog/haverford-adopts-test-optional-policy?fbclid=IwAR2jogHQL1YWSbQ_i0ktNprQ7kkCzRqVcmy40CJewYwAyP8dtHIB1eqAbh4
- Indiana University-January 22, 2020-Indiana University goes test-optional for Fall 2021. https://admissions.indiana.edu/test-optional/index.html. See Indiana University listing for details.
- Lawerence University goes test optional. https://www.lawrence.edu/admissions/apply/what_we_consider
- Middlebury College announces three year test optional policy. http://www.middlebury.edu/newsroom/archive/2020-news/node/646137?fbclid=IwAR02-LVjcbwyr7pZcvbGXG6vnBN_hNW2hMoqUFOo1MW1vR04E-1yEUpUjzc
- Northeastern University announces one year test optional policy. The new policy does not apply to admissions requirements for the Northeastern University School of Law juris doctor program.
- Northern Illinois University becomes test-optional. All applicants with a 3.0 GPA or higher in a college preparatory program will be guaranteed admission with no need to submit standardized test scores. The exception: applicants to the Nursing program must submit scores.
- Oregon State University is going test-optional. More details to follow on their site. https://www.outhereinoregon.net/2020/03/osu-admissions-responds-to-covid-19.html?fbclid=IwAR3_Q1yHOjIyUq7zW1OzHkMjucQIVO7Ubh_xtiTdhJ5eT49iHh-DVHOriRg
- Rhodes College announces it will go test optional for the next three application cycles. https://news.rhodes.edu/stories/rhodes-college-adopts-test-optional-admissions-policy?fbclid=IwAR1XtjWXgsIJ82yLykEgBmdkYp6wxTkEnqNdgAVyabE_p5EntbniyiZ_xtY
- St. Mary’s of Maryland becomes test-optional. All applicants except (1) who have been home-schooled; (2) who were taught in a non-traditional academic setting (i.e. without course-specific grades, pass/fail only grading scales, or narrative transcripts); and/or (3) who must demonstrate English language proficiency (i.e., are required to take an English language proficiency examination). All applicants will submit scores after admissions for institutional research purposes. http://www.smcm.edu/admissions/test-optional-policy/
- Santa Clara goes test optional for the next two years. https://www.scu.edu/admission/
- Scripps College is now test optional. https://www.scrippscollege.edu/admission/apply/first-year-applicants
- TCU goes test optional for next year: a temporary decision. Read more.https://admissions.tcu.edu/frogblog/posts/2020/temporarily-test-optional.php?fbclid=IwAR3fHeYP6fIB0ePXkgZw8Wt5Xfa8R2JdF9Ttmu5MxiREwfQhaQhEGHl51Ag
- Tufts University pilots 3 year test optional policy. https://admissions.tufts.edu/blogs/inside-admissions/post/tufts-introduces-sat-act-test-optional-admissions-policy/?fbclid=IwAR1OJdpIn936DjMeigODiVpnwmJaWZCiXj3wqsA6NfODnMNKmvrrJ24mwdc
- Vassar goes test optional for the next application cycle and then will re-evaluate. https://stories.vassar.edu/2020/vassar-waives-standardized-tests-for-admission.html
- The University of Washington announces one year test optional policy https://admit.washington.edu/covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR3dGPtspKfO_2gvAaq2NDQdVM80T_WhyFmtzF_2NuupHnyPspTSmYTFM2s. International students are required to submit English proficiency exam scores that meet the UW’s admission requirement. In recognition of the COVID-19 pandemic’s global impacts, the UW will also accept the Duolingo English Test for any summer/autumn 2021 applicants.
- Williams College launches one year test optional policy. https://williamsrecord.com/2020/04/college-adopts-test-optional-admissions-policy-for-2020-2021-applicants/
The best advice I can offer to you now is to focus on the things you can control – your grades, your activities, your families – and leave the rest to the college experts. I have no doubt they will figure it out before the next application cycle begins.
List courtesy of All College Application Essays