Harvard University

SAT, ACT Out: Harvard Drops Standardized Test Score Requirement

The university cited the ongoing concerns of the coronavirus pandemic and challenges some students might face in submitting scores

NBC10 Boston

The next set of students who apply to college at Harvard will not need to submit any standardized test scores, the university said Monday.

The announcement, posted on the admissions page, cites ongoing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic and the challenges that some would-be students may face in submitting SAT or ACT scores.

"We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has created insurmountable challenges in scheduling tests for all students, particularly those from modest economic backgrounds, and we believe this temporary change addresses these challenges," the statement said.

More than half of all 4-year colleges and universities in the United States will also not be requiring SAT or ACT scores for their fall 2021 applicants, according to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing.

Harvard University is urging students not to return from spring break in the hopes of preventing the spread of coronavirus.

The organization said that, even before the pandemic, many schools were dropping the requirements in order to find more well-rounded applicants.

"We are especially pleased to see many public universities and access-oriented private colleges deciding that test scores are not needed to make sound admissions decisions," said Bob Schaeffer, FairTest's interim executive director. "By going test-optional, all types of schools can increase diversity without any loss of academic quality."

Harvard's early action date for the Class of 2025 remains Nov. 1. and the deadline to submit an undergraduate application is still Jan. 1. University officials say they will extend the January date if needed while monitoring the effects of the pandemic.

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