List of Test-Optional Schools

Due to COVID-19, many universities have changed their policies for standardized testing to "test-optional." Here is a list of popular schools among Personalized Prep students and their test policies. Below each school is their definition of "test-optional" and whether standardized testing would help with Merit-based aid. Merit-based aid are scholarships that take into account the students' ACT and/or SAT scores as part of their criteria when distributing awards. Universities know that these standardized tests are optional, meaning students who take the extra steps can receive generous scholarships that add up anywhere from $16,000 to $100,000+ over the course of four years.

Feel free to leave a message to ask us about any schools listed or not listed.

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Boston University

"With high school juniors suddenly unable to take the standardized tests required by many colleges and universities because of COVID-19, Boston University says it will go test-optional for undergraduate students applying for the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters. Under the policy shift, it will be up to prospective students and applicants to decide for themselves whether to include standardized test scores with their applications for admission. 'This is a personal decision for each and every applicant,' Walter says. "

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Harvard University

"Students who do not submit standardized testing this coming year will not be disadvantaged in the application process. Their applications will be considered on the basis of what they have presented, and they are encouraged to send whatever materials they believe would convey their accomplishments in secondary school and their promise for the future. Applicants may choose to submit official test scores or self-report test scores if they so wish."

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Yale University

"ACT and SAT test results will not be a required component for the first-year 2021-2022 application cycle, and students who are unable or choose not to submit test scores will not be at a disadvantage. We will continue to evaluate all submitted information within the holistic and contextual review process that considers individual circumstances shaping each applicant's journey. The rigor of a student’s curriculum, their academic achievement, and their demonstrated intellectual curiosity will remain central to our review. For students who choose to submit testing, Columbia's testing policies remain the same."

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University of Pennsylvania

"Penn Admissions will not require ACT or SAT test results for the upcoming application cycle, and students who are unable or choose not to submit test scores will not be at a disadvantage in the admissions process. We will continue to evaluate all components of an individual’s application through our comprehensive review process. Penn will continue to accept SAT and ACT scores for those students who wish to include testing as part of their applications. Although we permit Score Choice, we encourage students to submit their entire testing history for both ACT and SAT exams."

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Dartmouth College

"ACT and SAT test results will not be a required component for the first-year 2021-2022 application cycle, and students who are unable or choose not to submit test scores will not be at a disadvantage. We will continue to evaluate all submitted information within the holistic and contextual review process that considers individual circumstances shaping each applicant's journey. The rigor of a student’s curriculum, their academic achievement, and their demonstrated intellectual curiosity will remain central to our review. For students who choose to submit testing, Columbia's testing policies remain the same."

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University of Southern California

"As a result, for the upcoming admission cycle (students applying for the 2021-2022 academic year), we are test optional. That means we are not requiring SAT or ACT scores to be submitted as part of the application to us. This applies to students applying for our merit-based scholarships and homeschoolers as well. When students apply to USC through the Common Application, they will be able to select whether they want test scores included. If they choose “no,” all test scores (even ones sent earlier) will be suppressed. If they choose “yes,” then we will see the test scores they choose to send us."

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Princeton University 

"Princeton will once again pause its standardized testing requirement as part of its holistic review process for the 2021-22 application cycle (fall 2022 entry). Students who do not submit test scores will not be at a disadvantage during our application review process. Applications without test scores will be considered complete. We remain committed to our holistic review process and will evaluate applications with the other required components, including rigor of academic program, school performance, recommendation letters, and school and community involvement."

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Cornell University

"Cornell University has suspended the SAT/ACT requirement for 2021 and 2022* applicants. Cornell overall has not planned to adopt a test-optional admission policy permanently. As appears to be true at test-optional colleges and universities, we anticipate that many students who will have had reasonable and uninterrupted opportunities to take the ACT and/or SAT during 2020-2021 administrations will continue to submit results, and those results will continue to demonstrate preparation for college-level 

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Columbia University

"ACT and SAT test results will not be a required component for the first-year 2021-2022 application cycle, and students who are unable or choose not to submit test scores will not be at a disadvantage. We will continue to evaluate all submitted information within the holistic and contextual review process that considers individual circumstances shaping each applicant's journey. The rigor of a student’s curriculum, their academic achievement, and their demonstrated intellectual curiosity will remain central to our review. For students who choose to submit testing, Columbia's testing policies remain the same."

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University of California System

"With high school juniors suddenly unable to take the standardized tests required by many colleges and universities because of COVID-19, Boston University says it will go test-optional for undergraduate students applying for the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters. Under the policy shift, it will be up to prospective students and applicants to decide for themselves whether to include standardized test scores with their applications for admission. 'This is a personal decision for each and every applicant,' Walter says. "

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University of Colorado Boulder

"CU Boulder is test-optional for First-Year applicants graduating high school in Spring of 2021. If you choose to submit a SAT or ACT score, we will consider it as a part of our holistic review process, evaluating many factors.You will not be at a disadvantage in any way if you don’t have test scores. We will focus our evaluation on the many other aspects of your application. If provided, test scores are never considered in isolation – but rather, in context. Just like everything else in your application!"

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Southern Methodist University

"Test-optional admission allows a high school senior to decide if submitting their standardized test scores will accurately reflect their academic achievement. Students submit for consideration their high school transcript, a personal essay, letters of recommendation and a record of what they have accomplished outside the classroom. These will be even more important for students who choose not to submit SAT or ACT scores with their application. “Test-optional admission is not easier admission,” explained Wes Waggoner, SMU’s associate vice president for enrollment management. “SMU will still look for students who have excelled in high school - and who will excel at SMU."

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University of Miami

"Due to disruptions in testing schedules caused by Covid-19, prospective students may apply to the University of Miami for the Fall 2021 entry term without submitting SAT or ACT scores. Applicants will not be a disadvantage for admission if they apply without submitting SAT or ACT scores; moreover, all first-year applicants are automatically considered for the University of Miami's broad array of merit scholarship programs regardless of whether or not they submit SAT or ACT scores."

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Texas Christian University

"At TCU, we consider your ACT or SAT scores in the context of your entire application. We will consider test scores contextually. We look at test scores, grades, curriculum choices, and recommendation letters from teachers and counselors to get a full picture of how you perform academically and how we think you will likely perform at TCU. We have a “Do No Harm” policy that prevents submitted test scores from penalizing you in our assessment of your academic ability. If a submitted score would harm your likelihood for admission or scholarship, we will exclude it from consideration."

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Brown University

"In light of the extraordinary circumstances that continue to face students this year, Brown has extended our test optional policy for first-year applicants in the 2021-2022 admission cycle. Students who are unable to submit SAT or ACT scores this year due to COVID-19 will not be disadvantaged in our admission process. If you have a standardized test score available to submit as a part of your application, we would like to be able to consider it as one among many factors in our holistic review process."

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