University Announces Test-Optional Admission Cycle for 2020-2021


A student stands under the arch of Corr Hall.

Emily Cox Co-Editor-in-Chief

The University announced plans to become test-optional for the next admission cycle. Students may now choose whether or not to submit SAT or ACT results for consideration when submitting their applications. At this time, the University’s decision is only for the 2020-2021 cycle of applications.

This decision from the school comes as a result of the novel coronavirus and the impact it has had on a student’s ability to take a standardized test and a family’s financial position to pay for testing. The University understands that many current high school juniors may not have the opportunity to take as many SAT or ACT tests as they would have liked, so it will offer a test-optional alternative to its already holistic review process for admission. 

The University has also added Early Decision II, in order to provide the most options for applicants to the Class of 2025. The ability to apply Early Decision II will allow students to apply by January 15 and be notified by March 1. The University will also continue to offer Early Decision I, Early Action, and Regular Decision options for applicants. 

In previous years, the University has required students to either submit SAT or ACT scores. Applicants may still submit these scores through the College Board or ACT.

Applying test-optional will not put students at a disadvantage in the admission process. This process “has always been comprehensive and holistic, meaning that standardized tests were only one part of the process,” according to the Office of Undergraduate Admission. 

Admission decisions for students who choose not to send their test results will be based on academic work, strength of curriculum, essays, activities and letters of recommendation, viewed within the applicant’s context of opportunity. 

The admission cycle for 2020-2021 will also not require applicants to submit test scores in order to be considered for merit-based scholarships or evaluated for the Honors Program. 

The University joins several other universities across the nation that have decided to offer test-optional admission for future admission cycles. Within the Big East, the University joins Butler University in allowing students to apply test-optional for the next admission cycle. Marquette University announced last spring that it would become a test-optional institution effective Fall 2020, and Providence College additionally does not require test scores for admission. Georgetown University, at the moment, will still require applicants to submit scores from either the SAT or ACT.

Other prestigious institutions, including most Ivy League schools, will continue to require students to submit the SAT or ACT. Cornell University is the only Ivy League institution that has made the SAT or ACT optional. Although still mostly requiring a submitted standardized test,  many Ivy League schools have made SAT subject tests completely optional for the Class of 2025.