Test Optional Colleges: List of Colleges NOT Requiring SAT Scores

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.


Want more insider student loan information? Sign up for our newsletter and check out our student loan offers.


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:


The following schools have and will remain test-optional beyond the 2021 academic school year:


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:


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.


College Life Today’s top student loan lenders

Now that you might not have to take the SATs, that’s one less thing you have to worry about, and you can focus on getting into the college you want. Attending college also means making smart decisions when it comes to funding your tuition. That’s why we selected the best student loans based on your school.


Here they are in order of our top picks:

  1. Discover
  2. Sallie Mae
  3. Earnest
  4. College Ave


The top student loan rates by your school

Written by