Nearly 400 NACAC-Member Colleges and Universities Affirm Test-Optional Means Test-Optional

Shanda Ivory


Arlington, VA (August 7, 2020) – Nearly 400 college and university members of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) have signed on to the association’s statement affirming that students will not be penalized for the absence of a standardized test score for admission in Fall 2021. View the list of schools that have signed the statement here.

Many four-year colleges and universities will not require applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores next fall, which has caused uncertainty for students and families as they weigh concerns about the safety of going to test centers or the feasibility of testing from home during a global pandemic.

School counselors are also requesting clarification about how institutions will assess their students’ applications without test scores—asking specifically whether students without scores will be at any disadvantage compared to those who have tested and will submit scores.

“The message to students and families is simply that test-optional means test-optional and that students won’t be subject to penalty if they do not present a test score during the upcoming admission cycle,” said Angel B. Pérez, NACAC CEO. “The institutions that have signed our statement support our approach and are affirming that students without a test score will not be disadvantaged.”

Additional institutions with test-optional policies may sign the statement.


The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of nearly 14,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. NACAC is committed to maintaining high standards that foster ethical and social responsibility among those involved in the transition process, as outlined in the association's Code of Ethics and Professional Practices.

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