Colleges waive SAT/ACT testing requirement for Fall 2020

A number of colleges nationwide, including the University of California (UC), California State Universities (CSU), and private universities, have suspended the SAT and ACT as requirements for admissions in fall 2020.

This announcement comes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing a shift to online distancing learning and cancelling in-person events for the rest of the school year. With the March, May, June SATs and April ACT cancelled or postponed, students, especially juniors, have fewer opportunities to take these standardized tests. 

“The COVID-19 outbreak is a disaster of historic proportions disrupting every aspect of our lives, including education for high school students, among others,” UC President Janet Napolitano said on April 1. “The University’s flexibility at this crucial time will ensure prospective students aiming for UC get a full and fair shot — no matter their current challenges.”

CSU will be suspending standardized tests from students planning to attend in fall 2021, winter and spring 2022. The UCs confirmed on Thursday, May 22 that the tests are no longer requirements for incoming freshmen until 2024. However, applicants can still submit their scores.

Private universities such as Cornell and Harvard are waiving SAT subject tests for juniors applying in the fall. However, most Ivy League schools and competitive schools in the West Coast still require SAT and ACT scores for admission.

“I was not surprised that colleges and universities were adjusting their policies based on what is going on right now,” co-head counselor Amy Klamberg said. “I think that many colleges are trying to make the application process more equitable since many families are being affected by COVID-19.”