Will Colleges Waive Standardized Test Scores for Class of 2021?

Frustrated Business Woman

Preparing for the ACT or SAT is stressful to students.  Waiting to learn your scores on the ACT or SAT tests is even more stressful to students (and parents, and advisors too!)  Imagine not needing those scores as a part of your college admissions portfolio?  This is what the Covid-19 crisis is stirring up in the college admissions world.  To waive the need for test scores or not?


To Waive or Not Waive Admissions Test Requirements
Many colleges or college systems have announced they will waive the ACT/SAT test requirements for the incoming high school graduating class of 2020.  Since most  colleges have their class of 2020 set, the focus is on the upcoming application cycle for application cycle of 2020-21. Tufts has announced they are adopting a ‘let’s try it” for 3 years approach, starting with the class of 2021. They are not alone. More than ten colleges have announced plans to pilot the test optional approach either for 1, 2 or 3 years.  What other schools have announced a change in testing requirements for the class of 2021, or beyond?  I turned to one of the best test preparation companies I know to see if they had started a list of colleges already.  Applerouth Test Preparation did not disappoint! Check out their ongoing list of colleges that are waiving standardized tests, modifying the requirements, or throwing in the towel and becoming test optional for the foreseeable future.  Another list is available at  This is a list by date from 2005-2020.


GuidedPath Tagged List:  ACT or SAT Waived 2020+
Using information gathered by Applerouth and other sources, we created a tagged list of all the colleges/universities that have so far announced a waiver of ACT or SAT test requirements as part of the application process. The list includes colleges which announced policies that waive the ACT or SAT test requirement for admissions for the class of 2020 or beyond.  This list does not include colleges that have waived the test requirement for the class of 2020 only.  Other colleges have announced changes to their test policies, but do not include a waiver.  They are not included in the GuidedPath tagged list.


Are There More Colleges?
This is list will be evolving over the next few weeks. Please feel free to share news/updates.  Together we can keep an ongoing list.  As colleges add to the list, the date and the college/university will be added.

April 20,2020

Over the past week several colleges have been added to the test optional camp, either temporarily or permanently.  The colleges listed below cover a wide range of colleges, from public to private, large to small, and in 13 different states.

  • Centre College, KY, 2021-2023
  • Colgate University, NY, 2021
  • Concordia University, NE, 2020+
  • Hawaii Pacific University, HI, 2021-2023
  • Indiana University Fort Wayn, IN, 2021+
  • Loyola Marymount, CA, 2021
  • Macalester College, MN, 2021+
  • Northeastern University, MA, 2021-2022
  • Oakland University, MI,2020-2021
  • Oberlin College, OH, 2021-2023
  • Purdue University NW, IN, 2020
  • St. Edwards, TX, 2021+
  • Tulane University, LA, 2021
  • University of Washington, WA, 2021

The largest system to go test optional was the entire California State University System.  All 23 campuses are not just test optional, they are test blind for the class of 2021. This means the SAT or ACT will not be considered at all, even if it is submitted. (Thanks to Laurie K. for pointing out the difference between test optional and test blind.)

  • CSU Bakersfield
  • CSU Channel Islands
  • CSU Chico
  • CSU Dominguez Hills
  • CSU East Bay
  • CSU Fresno
  • CSU Fullerton
  • CSU Long Beach
  • Humboldt State
  • CSU Los Angeles
  • CSU Monterey Bay
  • California Maritime Academy
  • CSU Northridge
  • California Polytechnic Pomona
  • CSU Sacramento
  • CSU San Bernadino
  • CSU San Marcos
  • San Diego State
  • San Francisco State
  • San Jose State
  • California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo
  • Sonoma State
  • CSU Stanislaus

April 14, 2020
The ACT or SAT Waiver 2020+ list is of colleges/universities which have announced test waiver policies for upcoming class of  2021 (and some are beyond).  Colleges with changes applicable to class of 2020 are included if the changes apply to class of 2021 and beyond. Check individual university websites for details.
CollegeCityStateYearsPolicyCategoryUpdate Date
Alma CollegeAlmaMI20212021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/13/2020
Amherst CollegeAmherstMA20212021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/13/2020
BabsonBabson ParkMA20202021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/13/2020
BethanyLindsborgKA2020+2021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/13/2020
Boston UniversityBostonMA2021-2022Pilot program4/13/2020
California Maritime AcademyVallejoCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
California Polytechnic PomonaPomonaCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
California Polytechnic San Luis ObispoSan Luis ObispoCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
Case Western ReserveClevelandOH20214/13/2020
Centre CollegeDanvilleKY2021-20234/20/2020
Coastal Carolina UniversityConwaySC2021+future of policy unclearPublic4/13/2020
Colgate UniversityHamiltonNY202014/20/2020
College of WoosterWoosterOH2021+4/13/2020
Concordia UniversitySewardNE2020+permanent change4/20/2020
Concordia UniversityAustinTX2020-20214/13/2020
CSU BakersfieldBakersfieldCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
CSU Channel IslandsCamarilloCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
CSU Dominguez HillsDominguez HillsCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
CSU East BayHaywardCa2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
CSU FresnoFresnoCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
CSU FullertonFullertonCa2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
CSU Long BeachLong BeachCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
CSU Los AngelesLos AngelesCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
CSU Monterey BayMonterey BayCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
CSU NorthridgeNorthridgeCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
CSU SacramentoSacramentoCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
CSU San BernadinoSan BernadinoCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
CSU San MarcosSan MarcosCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
CSU StanislausTurlockCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
DavidsonDavidsonNC2021-20233 year pilot4/13/2020
Hamilton CollegeClintonNY20214/13/2020
HaverfordHaverfordPA2021-20233 year pilot4/13/2020
Hawaii Pacific UniversityHonoluluHI2021-20203Pilot4/20/2020
Humboldt State UniversityArcataCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
Indiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonIN2021+4/13/2020
Indiana University Fort WayneFort WayneIN2021+4/20/2020
Indiana University Purdue University IndianapolisIndianapolisIN2021+4/13/2020
Loyola MarymountLos AngelesCa20214/20/2020
Macalester CollegeSt. PaulMN2021+permanent change4/20/2020
Middlebury CollegeMiddlebury VT2021-20233 year pilot
Northeastern UniversityBostonMA2021-20222 year pilot4/20/2020
Oakland UniversityRocklandMI2020-20214/20/2020
Oberlin CollegeOberlinOH2021-20233 year pilot4/20/2020
Oregon State UniversityCorvallisOR2021+4/13/2020
Pomona CollegeClaremontCA20214/13/2020
Purdue University NWHammondIN2020summer, fall4/17/2020
Rhodes CollegeMemphisTN2021-20233 year pilot4/13/2020
San Diego StateSan DiegoCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
San Francisco StateSan FranciscoCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
San Jose StateSan JoseCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
Santa Clara UniversitySanta ClaraCA2021-20222 year pilot4/13/2020
Scripps CollegeClaremontCA2021+4/13/2020
Seattle UniversitySeattleWA2021+4/13/2020
Sonoma StateRohnert ParkCA2021-20222021 fall, 2022 winter, spring4/20/2020
St. Edwards UniversityAustinTX2021+4/20/2020
Swarthmore CollegeSwarthmorePA2021-20222 year pilot4/13/2020
Texas Christian UniversityFort WorthTX20214/13/2020
Trinity UniversitySan AntonioTX2021-20233 year pilot4/13/2020
Tufts UniversityMedfordMA2021-20233 year pilot4/13/2020
Tulane UniversityNew OrleansLA20214/20/2020
University of California BerkeleyBerkeleyCA20214/13/2020
University of California DavisDavisCA20214/13/2020
University of California IrvineIrvineCA20214/13/2020
University of California Los AngelesLos AngelesCA20214/13/2020
University of California MercedMercedCA20214/13/2020
University of California RiversideRiversideCA20214/13/2020
University of California San DiegoSan DiegoCA20214/13/2020
University of California Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraCA20214/13/2020
University of California Santa CruzSanta CruzCA20214/13/2020
University of OregonEugeneOR2021+4/13/2020
University of ToledoToledoOH2020+ 20212 year pilot4/13/2020
University of WashingtonSeattleWA20214/20/2020
Vassar CollegePoughkeepsieNY2021Pilot4/13/2020
Williams CollegeWilliamstownMA20214/13/2020
CSU ChicoChicoCA2020-20212021 fall, 2022 winter, spring

ACT or SAT Waiver 2020+

Colleges waiving ACT or SAT test requirements for admissions application for class of 2020 or beyond.