Test Optional Colleges: List of Colleges NOT Requiring SAT Scores

Marissa Daniel
Mar 17, 2021

Sitting for hours in a quiet room answering multiple-choice questions is not most people’s idea of a good time.   Test-optional colleges are becoming much more common as coronavirus sweeps the nation, and a lot of colleges recognize this and have created admissions policies for students to attend their institutions without writing these examinations. For students with low scoring SAT/ACT grades, this means a sigh of relief, because most of these colleges will accept essays, portfolios, and other demonstrations of academic potential in place of standardized test scores.   Below is a list of some of the top-ranked test-optional schools for students to explore that will open up options for education without the need to write a major exam.

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Test optional Colleges

There are over a thousand colleges across the US that have changed their approach to emphasizing standardized test scores.   Since the coronavirus pandemic, many schools have actually updated their admissions policy to reflect the current challenges of taking the SATs and ACTs safely.   Regardless of a pandemic, test optional policies are a growing trend in admissions guidelines, which allow students to decide whether or not to include their SAT or ACT scores in their college application.   This lets applicants decide if their scores accurately reflect their academic ability.  However, many of these schools only allow flexibility for students applying to certain programs or college majors. Students will still have to demonstrate their academic abilities in other ways, but for students who did not score well on their SAT, a college with a flexible admissions policy may be the answer to acceptance.   For the 2021 academic year, the following have become test-optional colleges due to the coronavirus:
  • Abilene Christian University (TX)(2021 only)
  • Adelphi University (NY)(2021 only)
  • Alabama A&M University (AL)(2021 only)
  • Alabama State University (AL)(2021 only)
  • Albion College (MI)(2021 only)
  • Alfred University (NY)(2021 only)
  • Amherst College (MA)(2020-2021)
  • Anderson College (IN)(2021+)
  • Arcadia University (PA)(2021+)
  • Arizona State University (AZ) (2021 only) *No Official Announcement yet, have only emailed prospective HS juniors the news*
  • Auburn University (AL) (2021 only)
  • Babson University (MA) (2021-2022)
  • Baldwin Wallace University (OH)(2021 only)(minimum 3.0 HS GPA)
  • Barnard College (NY)(2021 only)
  • Barry University (FL) (All Applicants)
  • Baylor University (TX)(2021 only)
  • Beloit College (WI)(2021+)
  • Bentley College (MA)(2021-2022)
  • Berry College (GA)(2021+)
  • Bethel University (MN)(All Applicants)
  • Biola University (CA)(2021 only)
  • Bluffton University (OH)(2021+)
  • Boston University (MA) (2021-2022)
  • Buena Vista University (IA)(2021 only)
  • Bradley University (IL)(2021+)
  • Brown University (RI)(2021 only)
  • Bucknell University (PA)(2021 only)
  • Butler University (IN)(All Applicants)
  • Caldwell University (NJ)(2021-2024)
  • California Lutheran University (CA)(All Applicants)
  • California State University ALL Campuses (CA)(2021 only)
  • Carleton College (MN) (2021 only)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (PA)(2021 only)
  • Carroll University (WI)(2021 only)
  • Case Western Reserve University (OH)(2021)
  • Centre College (KY)(2021-2024)
  • Chapman University (CA)(2021+)
  • Chestnut Hill (PA)(2021 only)
  • Claremont-Mckenna (CA)(2021 only)
  • Clarkson University (NY)(2020-2021)
  • Coastal Carolina (SC)(2021 only for applicants with HS GPA of 3.5+)
  • College of Charleston (SC)(2021 only)
  • College of New Jeresy (NJ)(2021-2024)
  • College of William & Mary (VA)(2021-2024)
  • College of Saint Benedict (MN)(2021+)
  • Colgate University (NY) (2021 only)
  • Columbia University (NY) (2021 only)
  • Cooper Union (NY)(2021 only)
  • Corban University (OR)(2021 only)
  • Cornell University (NY)(2020-2021 only)
  • Creighton University (NE)(2021 only)
  • Dartmouth College (NH)(2021+)
  • Davidson College (NC)(2021-2024)
  • Dominican University (CA)(2021 only)
  • Drexel University (PA)(2021+)
  • Drury University (MO)(2021 only)
  • Eastern Washington University (WA)(2021+)
  • Duke University (IL)(2021 only)
  • Eckerd College (FL)(2021 only)
  • Elon University (NC)(2021-2024)
  • Fordham University (NY)(2021-2022)
  • George Fox University (OR)(2021+)
  • Gonzaga University (WA)(2021 only)
  • Grand Valley State University (MI)(2021)
  • Greenville University (IL)(2021 only)
  • Grinnell College (IA)(2021 only)
  • Hamilton University (NY) (2021-2022)
  • Hampden-Sydney College (VA)(2021 only)
  • Harvard University (MA)(2021 only)
  • Haverford College (PA)(2021-2024)
  • Hawai’i Pacific University (HI)(2021-2024)
  • Hollins University (VA)(2021 only)
  • Humboldt State University (CA) (2021 only)
  • Husson University (ME)(2021+)
  • Illinois State University (IL)(2021+)
  • Indiana Tech (IN) (2021+)
  • Indiana University Northwest (CA)(2020-2021)
  • John Hopkins University (MD)(2021 only)
  • Kenyon College (OH)(2021 only)
  • Lafayette College (PA)(2021 only)
  • Lamar University (TX)(2021+)
  • Lawrence Technological University (MI)(2021 only)
  • Lehigh University (PA)(2021 only)
  • Loyola Maramount University (CA)(2021 only)
  • Loyola University New Orleans (LA)(Test-Blind)
  • Luther College (IA) (2021 only)
  • Macalester College (MN)(2021+)(Application Fee Required)
  • Marietta College (OH)(2021-2022)
  • Mars Hill University (NC)(2021 only)
  • Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MA)(2021 only)
  • Meredith College (NC)(2021 only)
  • Michigan State University (MI)(2021 only)
  • Middlebury College (VT)(2021-2023)
  • Missouri Western State University (MO) (All Applicants)
  • Montana State University (MT)(2021 only with HS GPA of 3.0+)
  • Mount Mercy University (IA)(2020-2021)
  • Murray State University (KT)(2020-2021)
  • Neumann University (PA)(2021+)
  • New York Institute of Technology (NY)(2021 only)
  • Northeastern University (MA)(2021-2022)
  • Northwestern University (NC)(2021 only)
  • Oakland University (MI)(2021 only)
  • Oberlin College (OH)(2021-2024)
  • Occidental College (CA)(2021 only)
  • Ohio University (OH)(2021+)
  • Olin College of Engineering (MA)(2021 only)
  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)(2021 only)
  • Pomona College (CA)(2021 only)
  • Portland State University (OR)(All Applicants)
  • Princeton University (NJ)(2021 only)
  • Regis University (CO)(2021+)
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY)(2021 only)
  • Rhodes College (TN)(2021-2024)
  • Rice University (TX)(2021 only)
  • Rochester Insitute of Technology (NY)(2021+)
  • Rutgers University (NJ)(2021 only)
  • Saint John’s University (MN)(2021+)
  • Santa Clara University (CA)(2021-2022 only)
  • San Diego State University (CA)(2021 only)
  • San Francisco State University (CA)(2021 only)
  • San Jose State University (CA)(2021 only)
  • Scripps College (CA)(All Applicants)
  • Simmons University(MA)(2021 only)
  • Sonoma State University (CA)(Test Blind 2021)
  • Stanford University (CA)(2021 only)
  • Seattle University (WA)(2021+)
  • St. Edwards University (TX)(2021+)
  • St. Olaf (MN)(All Applicants)
  • Swathmore College (PA)(2021-2022)
  • Texas Christian (TX)(2021 only)
  • Texas Lutheran University (TX)(2021 only)
  • Texas Tech University (TX)(2021 only)
  • Trinity University (TX)(2021-2024)
  • Troy University (Al)(2021+)
  • Tufts University (MA)(2021-2024)
  • Tulane University (LA)(2021 only)
  • Oregon State University (OR)(2021+)
  • University of Alaska, Fairbanks (AK)(2021 only)
  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)(Test Optional until 2022, Test Blind 2022+)
  • University of California, Davis (CA)(Test Optional until 2022, Test Blind 2022+)
  • University of California, Irvine (CA)(Test Optional until 2022, Test Blind 2022+)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (CA)(Test Optional until 2022, Test Blind 2022+)
  • University of California, Riverside (CA)(Test Optional until 2022, Test Blind 2022+)
  • University of California, San Diego (CA)(Test Optional until 2022, Test Blind 2022+)
  • University of California, San Francisco (CA)(Test Optional until 2022, Test Blind 2022+)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)(Test Optional until 2022, Test Blind 2022+)
  • University of Chicago (IL)(2021+)
  • University of Cincinnati (OH)(2021 only)
  • University of Connecticut (PN)(2021-2024)
  • University of the Cumberlands (KY)(2021+)
  • University of Dallas (TX)(2021 only)
  • University of Delaware (DE)(2021 only)
  • University of Hawai’i Manoa (HI)(2021 only)
  • University of Illinois – Chicago (IL)(2021 only)
  • University of Illinois – Springfield (IL)(2021 only)
  • University of Louisville (KY)(2021 only)
  • University of Memphis (TN)(2021 only)
  • University of Miami (FL)(2021 only)
  • University of Mobile (AL)(2021+)(Minimum HS GPA of 2.75)
  • University of Montana (MT)(2021 only)
  • University of New England (ME)(2021+)
  • University of Oregon (OR)(2021+)
  • University of Pennsylvania (PA)(2021 only)
  • University of Richmond (VA)(2021 only)
  • University of San Diego (CA)(2021+)
  • University of St. Francis (IL)(2021 only)
  • University of Tulsa (OK)(2021 only)
  • (USC)University of Southern California – Los Angeles (CA)(2021 only)
  • University of Southern Indiana (IN)(2021+)
  • University of Washington (WA)(2021 only)
  • UNT Dallas (TX)(2021 only)
  • Vassar College (NY)(2020-2021)
  • Villanova University (PA)(2021 only)
  • Virginia Tech (VA)(2021 only)
  • Washington and Lee University (VA)(2021 only)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (MO)(2021 only)
  • Wellesley College (MA)(2021 only)
  • Western Michigan University (MI)(2021 only)
  • West Virginia Wesleyan (WV) (2021 only)
  • Widener University (PA)(2021 only)
  • William Woods University (MO)(2021 only)
  • Williams College (MA)(2021 only)
  • Wooster College (OH)(2021+)
  • Yale University (CT)(2021 only)
  • Youngstown State University (OH)(2021 only)
  The following schools have and will remain test-optional beyond the 2021 academic school year:
  • American University (DC)
  • Bates College
  • Bennington College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Clark University
  • College of Atlantic
  • Cornell College
  • Dickinson College
  • Earlham College
  • The George Washington University
  • Hamilton College
  • Hofstra University
  • Knox College
  • Pitzer College
  • Saint Lawrence University
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Skidmore College
  • Smith College
  • Texas A&M University
  • Trinity College
  • Union College
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Rochester
  • Wake Forest University
  • Wesleyan University
  • Wofford College
  For a complete list of test-optional colleges, visit the National Center for Fair and Open Testing at fairtest.org  

The test-flexible colleges

Some schools offer a test-flexible option that allows students to submit different credentials in place of their SAT scores.   Depending on the school, students can submit AP scores or even SAT section scores (in place of the overall mark) for specific programs, while some even waive test scores altogether in favor of a GPA minimum.   The qualifications vary from school to school so it is important to research what requirements will be needed for each individual college before submitting an application.   Some great options for test-flexible schools are:
  • Brandeis University
  • Colby College
  • Colorado College
  • Hamilton College
  • Middlebury College
  • New York University

Test-blind (rare)

Currently the Hampshire College in Amherst, MA is the only Test Blind school in the US. They actually reject scores that are sent in and do not weigh them into their decision-making process.   Test scores aren’t everything and luckily for prospective undergraduates, more schools are taking a flexible approach to admissions.   This doesn’t replace hard work and a studious approach to education, it simply eliminates some of the barriers to higher education that many students face.  

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