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Which Colleges Aren't Requiring SAT/ACT Scores for 2020 Admissions?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Aug 29, 2020 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions

 

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The novel coronavirus has had a massive impact on colleges, and that includes college admissions. Because of stay-at-home orders, virtual learning, and cancelled SAT and ACT exam dates, among other things, many universities are aware that it might be difficult or impossible for incoming high school seniors to take and do well on standardized tests in time for application deadlines.

The result? Hundreds of colleges have dropped their SAT and ACT test requirements for the 2020/2021 college admissions cycle. Which schools have cancelled exams? Will they reinstate these test requirements next year? If you're able to take a test, should you still submit your scores? This guide covers all those questions.

 

Which Colleges Are Not Requiring SAT/ACT Scores for 2020/2021 College Admissions?

Below is a chart of all the colleges and universities in the United States that are no longer requiring SAT/ACT scores for any applicants for the 2020/2021 admissions cycle as a result of the coronavirus. Some notable inclusions are the University of California system, all the Ivy League schools, most public Ivies, and top liberal arts colleges like Williams, Amherst, Wellesley, Swarthmore, and Middlebury.

Note that this list only includes colleges that have become test optional as a result of the coronavirus; colleges that were already test optional before the pandemic are listed here. Also note that this list only includes schools that are dropping the SAT/ACT requirement. Some schools still require the SAT/ACT but are dropping requirements for SAT Subject Tests and AP tests for this year's applicants. Others dropped the SAT/ACT requirements but still have TOEFL requirements for international students.

 

School Name Location
Adelphi College Garden City, NY
Alabama A & M Huntsville, AL
Alabama State University Montgomery, AL
Albion College Albion, MI
Alma College Alma, MI
Amherst College Amherst, MA
Auburn University at Montgomery Montgomery, AL
Austin Peay State University Clarksville, TN
Barnard College New York, NY
Baylor University Waco, TX
Bethany College Bethany, WV
Binghamton University Binghamton, NY
Bismarck State College Bismarck, ND
Bluefield State College Bluefield, WV
Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA
Boston University Boston, MA
Brigham Young University Provo, UT
Brown University Providence, RI
Caldwell University Caldwell, NJ
California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA
California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) San Luis Obispo, CA
Canisius College Buffalo, NY
Carleton College Carleton, MN
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
Carroll University Waukesha, WI
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
Central College Pella, IA
Central Michigan University Mount Pleasan, MI
Centre College Danville, KY
Claremont McKenna College Claremont, CA
Clemson University Clemson, SC
Cleveland State College Cleveland, TN
Colgate University Hamilton, NY
Colorado School of Mines Golden, CO
Columbia University New York, NY
Concordia University Texas Austin, TX
Cooper Union New York, NY
Cornell University Ithaca, NY
Cottey College Nevada, MO
Covenant College Lookout Mountain, GA
Dartmouth College Hanover, NH
Davidson College Davidson, NC
Drury University Springfield, MO
Duke University Durham, NC
East Carolina University Greenville, NC
Elizabethtown College Elizabethtown, PA
Elon University Elon, NC
Emory University Atlanta, GA
Fairmont State University Fairmont, WV
Franklin College Franklin, IN
Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
Grinnell College Grinnell, IA
Hamilton College Clinton, NY
Hardin-Simmons University Abilene, TX
Harvard College Cambridge, MA
Harvey Mudd College Claremont, CA
Haverford College Haverford, PA
Holy Cross College Notre Dame, IN
Husson University Bangor, ME
Indiana University Bloomington Bloomington, IN
Indiana University East Richmond, IN
Indiana University Kokomo Kokomo, IN
Indiana University Northwest Gary, IN
Indiana University Southeast New Albany, IN
Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN
Iowa Wesleyan University Mt. Pleasant, IA
Jackson State University Jackson, MS
John Carroll University University Heights, Ohio
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
Kent State University Kent, OH
Kutztown University Kutztown, PA
Lamar University Beaumont, TX
Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA
Limestone College Gaffney, SC
Lincoln Memorial University Harrogate, TN
List College—Jewish Theological Seminary New York, NY
Lock Haven University Lock Haven, PA
Longwood University Farmville, VA
Loyola University New Orleans New Orleans, LA
Lycoming College Williamsport, PA
Maine Maritime Academy Castine, ME
Malone University Canton, OH
Mansfield University Mansfield, PA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)  Cambridge, MA
Massachusetts Maritime Academy Buzzards Bay, MA
Marymount Manhattan College New York City, NY
Miami University (Ohio) Miami, Ohio
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
Middlebury College Middlebury, VT
Midway University Midway, KY
Millersville University Millersville, PA
Millikin University Decatur, IL
Minnesota State University, Moorhead Moorhead, MN
Mississippi College Clinton, MS
New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, NJ
New York Institute of Technology NY
New York University New York, NY
Newberry College Newberry, SC
North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
Northeastern University Boston, MA
Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights, KY
Northwestern University Evanston, IL
Ohio State University Columbus, OH
Ohio University Athens, OH
Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
Penn State University Park, PA
Plymouth State University Plymouth, NH
Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CA
Pomona College Claremont, CA
Portland State University Portland, OR
Princeton University Princeton, NJ
Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
Purdue University—Northwest Hammond, IN
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY
Rhodes College Memphis, TN
Rutgers University—Camden Camden, NJ
Rutgers—New Brunswick Piscataway, NJ
Rutgers University—Newark Newark, NJ
Saint Anselm College Manchester, NH
Saint Louis University St. Louis, MO
St. Mary's University San Antonio, TX
St. Norbert College De Pere, WI
St. Thomas Aquinas College Sparkill, NY
St. Thomas University Miami Gardens, FL
Saint Vincent College Latrobe, PA
Savannah College of Arts and Design Savannah, GA
Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA
Scripps College Claremont, CA
Simmons University Boston, MA
Soka University of America Aliso Viejo, CA
Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
Southern Oregon University Ashland, OR
Southwest Baptist University Bolivar, MO
Stanford University Stanford, CA
Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ
University at Buffalo (SUNY) Buffalo, NY
Stony Brook University (SUNY) Stony Brook, NY
Swarthmore College Swarthmore, PA
Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
Tarleton State University Stephenville, TX
Texas A&M University College Station, TX
Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, TX
Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
Texas State University San Marcos, TX
Thiel College Greenville, PA
Trinity University San Antonio, TX
Tufts University Medford, MA
Tulane University New Orleans, LA
University of Akron Akron, OH
University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK
University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA
University of California, Davis Davis, CA
University of California, Irvine Irvine, CA
University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
University of California, Merced Merced, CA
University of California, Riverside Riverside, CA
University of California, San Diego San Diego, CA
University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
University of California, Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA
University of Colorado—Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, CO
University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, KY
University of Dayton Dayton, OH
University of Delaware Newark, DE
University of Hawai'i—Manoa Honolulu, HI
University of Houston—Main Campus Houston, TX
University of Houston—Clear Lake Houston, TX
University of Houston—Downtown Houston, TX
University of Houston—Victoria Victoria, TX
University of Illinois—Chicago Chicago, IL
University of the Incarnate Word San Antonio, TX
University of Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN
University of Maine Orono, ME
University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
University of Miami Miami, FL
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI
University of Minnesota—Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
University of Montana Missoula, MT
University of Montana Western Dillon, MT
University of Mount Union Alliance, OH
University of Nevada–Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
University of Nevada–Reno Reno, NV
University of New England Biddeford, ME
University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
University of North Dakota–Grand Forks Grand Forks, ND
University of North Texas Denton, TX
University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
University of Oregon Eugene, OR
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
University of Pittsburgh-Bradford Bradford, PA
University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg Greensburg, PA
University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown Johnstown, PA
University of Pittsburgh-Titusville Titusville, PA
University of Richmond Richmond, VA
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX
University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
University of Texas at Dallas Dallas, TX
University of Texas at Permian Basin Odessa, TX
University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio, TX
University of Texas at Tyler Tyler, TX
University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA
University of Virginia–Wise Wise, VA
University of Washington Seattle, WA
University of Washington Bothell Bothell, WA
Valparaiso University Valparaiso, IN
Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
Vassar College Poughkeepsie, NY
Virginia Tech University Blacksburg, VA
Wabash College Crawfordsville, IN
Washington and Lee University Lexington, VA
Washington State University Vancouver Vancouver, WA
Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO
Wayne State University Detroit, MI
Webb Institute Glen Cove, NY
Wellesley College Wellesley, MA
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI
Westminster College Salt Lake City, UT
West Virginia State University Institute, WV
West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
Williams College Williamstown, MA
Winthrop University Rock Hill, SC
Yale University New Haven, CT
Yeshiva University New York, NY
York College of Pennsylvania York, PA

 

 

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Will These Schools Eventually Return to Requiring Standardized Test Scores?

The short answer is that some colleges will, some won't. Some schools, such as the University of California system, have stated that the suspension of requiring ACT/SAT scores is only a temporary move. Some schools, such as Tufts University and Trinity University, are using this as a trial period, and will keep their test-optional policy for three years before deciding whether to implement it permanently or not. Other schools, such as the University of Oregon and Scripps College, have announced that they've decided to become permanently test optional, beginning with the 2020/2021 admissions cycle. However, most schools aren't committing to whether or not they'll continue their test-optional policy after the pandemic ends.

What we do know, though, is that more and more schools are becoming test optional. Colleges are making an effort to attract more diverse applicants, and they don't want potential students to be held back by circumstances beyond their control, whether that's test centers being shut down because of the coronavirus or students not being able to afford standardized tests, even in non-pandemic times.

Additionally, research has shown that students from more affluent backgrounds consistently have higher SAT and ACT scores, so many schools are dropping the standardized test requirement so students from more disadvantaged backgrounds aren't put at a further disadvantage during the college admissions process.

Already, over 1,000 colleges and universities in the United States are test optional, and others are test flexible (where you don't need to submit test scores if you have a certain GPA or meet another requirement). We expect this number to only grow over time.

 

If You Have SAT or ACT Scores, Should You Still Submit Them?

What if you've already taken the SAT or ACT, or you're able to do so before college deadlines? Should you submit those scores?

First, we recommend everyone who is reasonably able to take the SAT/ACT. You shouldn't fly across the country during a pandemic to take the SAT/ACT, but if you can safely take the test nearby, you should. Your scores might be higher than you expect, and even if they're not, if you're applying to a test optional school, you're under no requirement to submit them. Taking a standardized test gives you the most options.

Second, it's important to understand what "test optional" means. When a school says they are test optional, it means they don't require SAT or ACT scores, but they will still review and consider them as part of your application. It does not mean that SAT and ACT scores are no longer important. Only schools that are "test blind" don't look at standardized test scores at all. Test blind is a very rare policy, and currently only Hampshire College follows it.

What does this mean for you? It means that, even for test optional schools, strong SAT or ACT scores will absolutely still help your college applications. Not submitting test scores won't hurt your application, as these schools have stated, but it also means you lose out on a potential chance to make your application stronger. So, how to decide? Use these guidelines:

 

Submit test scores if:

  • Your test scores are strong (at or near the 75th percentiles of admitted students to the school)
  • You don't have other strong test scores (AP tests, SAT Subject Tests, etc.) to send
  • The school still recommends submitting scores if you can

 

Don't submit test scores if:

  • Your test scores are low (Below 50th percentiles of admitted students)
  • You're confident other areas of your application (GPA, class rank, extracurriculars, etc.) make up for a lack of test scores
  • You have strong test scores from other exams (AP tests, SAT Subject Tests, etc.) that you will submit

Basically, for people able to take the SAT or ACT, submit your test scores if you think they'll help you. They're still an important part of admissions decisions, even for test optional schools. Only don't submit scores if you feel they'll be a particularly weak area of your application. Colleges won't hold it against you for not being able to take a standardized test, but you'll still need the rest of your application to be strong in order to convince them to admit you.

 

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What's Next?

Need help preparing for the SAT? Read our ultimate study guide to get expert tips on prep and access to the best free online resources.

Debating whether to take the SAT or ACT? Read our extensive ACT vs SAT guide to learn about the differences between the two tests and to get tips on choosing the right one for you.

Do you know all the steps to apply to college? Check out this article to learn about the full college application process, step by step.

 


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Christine Sarikas
About the Author

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.



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