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What Colleges and Universities Will Be Test-Optional in 2021-2022?

Two pencils resting on top of a completed scantron form.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult or impossible for many students to take the ACT and the SAT, the vast majority of American colleges and universities chose to institute temporary (or, in some cases, permanent) test-optional policies. Schools in this group included all of the Ivy League universities, most large public universities, and many, many small liberal arts colleges.

While no one can be sure yet how these new policies will affect admissions trends at these schools, a larger question hangs over the proceedings for current juniors: what does this all mean for them? Which colleges will be test-optional for the Class of 2022?

A few colleges and universities declared from the outset that they would make standardized tests optional for a two- or three-year period, in anticipation of ongoing uncertainties surrounding testing opportunities. Others, as mentioned, made the tests permanently optional. Yet, many other schools (including all the Ivy League universities) instead committed only to a one-year test-optional policy, with an unstated intent to return to requiring tests.

To make matters even more confusing, some colleges that initially said they were only going to go test-optional for the 2020-2021 school year have since changed approaches. As testing disruptions have continued, they now say that they will be test-optional for multiple years.

Amid this dizzying array of responses to an ever-shifting situation, it can certainly be difficult to tell whether any particular school will be test-optional or test-blind in 2021-2022.

But Spark is here to help!

Below you will find an up-to-date list of every school that will be test-optional, test-flexible, or test-blind in 2021-2022. To clarify these distinctions, a test-optional school is one that accepts but does not require test scores from applicants; a test-flexible school is a generally test-optional school that places limitations on applying without test scores (for instance, you might need to have a certain GPA in order to apply without a test score); and a test-blind school is one that will not consider test scores from any student, even those who might wish to submit them.

A quick note: some schools will still require homeschooled students, students interested in merit aid or honors programs, ad/or students applying to particular programs (such as nursing or BS/MD programs) to submit an SAT or ACT score even if the university is otherwise test-optional; those distinctions will not be noted here, so if you fall into one of those categories, check the policies at your schools. We have also not distinguished between colleges and universities that have long been test-optional and those that just instituted the policy, nor indicated whether a school’s test-optional policy is permanent or temporary. This list simply shows all of the schools that will not require testing for the Class of 2022.

With all those details in mind, please enjoy the list!

Test-Optional, Test-Blind, and Test-Flexible Schools for the 2021-2022 College Admissions Cycle:

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