Test-Optional Means Test-Optional


The COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty among students and families about nearly all aspects of the college admission process, including the role of standardized testing. 

Due to the cancellation of SAT and ACT testing dates, more than 1,450 US colleges and universities announced they are moving to a test-optional policy, and more will surely follow. By going test-optional, institutions are making a definitive statement that they will not need test scores to make admission decisions this year. Despite the change in policies, high school students and their parents are asking, “Does test optional really mean test optional?” The answer, simply put, is: YES.

The following colleges with test-optional policies in place affirm that they will not penalize students for the absence of a standardized test score. Together, we strongly endorse a student-centered, holistic approach to admission that will not disadvantage any student without a test score.



All institutions are members of NACAC except those marked with an asterisk (*).

This list is published by NACAC so it may inform the actions of students and parents. We seek one signatory per institution with a test-optional policy ― a senior leader in admission or enrollment. Add your name and institution to the signatories list.

Interested in learning more? Higher education administrators are invited to attend a two-day forum on Aug. 20-21 called "Transitioning to Test-Optional Admission."

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