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List of Colleges & Universities That Are Test-Optional for 2020-2021

The inside of an empty classroom with a chalkboard and wooden-topped desks.

In light of widespread test date cancellations and students’ increasingly limited access to both test preparation and testing centers as a result of the coronavirus, many American colleges and universities are eliminating their standardized testing requirement, including making the SAT and ACT optional, for the high school Class of 2021. Here’s more information about how coronavirus affects applying to college.

While most of these schools explicitly mention the coronavirus in their reasoning in making the SAT and ACT optional, others list a variety of reasons for dropping the standardized testing requirement. Indeed, a few schools have decided to drop the requirement permanently, suggesting that they were planning to make this change even before the coronavirus closed test centers and cancelled schools. (To find out more about what test-optional means and which schools are permanently test-optional, see here.)

Below, you can find all the schools that have become test-optional, either temporarily or permanently, in advance of the 2020-2021 application cycle. These schools have all announced in the past two weeks, and more are likely to announce similar changes soon, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to change. If you’d like to learn more about what these changes in testing requirements mean for your application, click here.

Colleges and Universities That Became Test-Optional for Applicants in 2020-2021


* These schools have gone permanently test-optional starting in 2020-2021. Some cited the coronavirus among their reasons; others made the change earlier in the year.

** These schools have implemented pilot programs in which they will not require the SAT or ACT for two or three years, after which they will decide whether or not to bring it back.

~ Claremont McKenna also specifically stated that they would not be accepting scores from the virtual, at-home tests that the College Board and ACT are hoping to offer this fall if schools are not able to reopen for in-person testing.

^ Unlike some of the other schools on this list, Cornell still strongly recommends taking the test if at all possible. Specifically, they say, “We anticipate that many students who will have had reasonable and uninterrupted opportunities to take the ACT and/or SAT during 2020 administrations will continue to submit results, and those results will continue to demonstrate preparation for college-level work.”

^^ Georgetown University has indicated that it will only be truly test-optional for students who have not taken the SAT or ACT at all. If you have ever taken either test, you must report your scores: “Please note that we do not participate in Score Choice and require submission of an applicant’s entire testing record, if one is available. Students who are not able to submit scores from either test due to the COVID-19 pandemic are welcome to apply for admission to the Class of 2025 without the tests.”

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