The best online colleges that don’t require SAT or ACT scores offer alternative testing requirements for their prospective applicants. These educational institutions have a different application process in comparison to the standardized test scores provided by these examinations.
For many candidates, SATs or ACTs can be a nerve-wracking experience. These tests can be a great way of ensuring a level-playing field among candidates, but for many, these exams can cause anxiety. It’s for this reason and others that many prospective candidates are looking for the best in-person and online colleges that don’t require SAT or ACT scores.
If you’re a prospective college student interested in getting into a college without having to submit your SAT or ACT scores, this article will address all your questions. You’ll learn how to apply to colleges that don’t require standardized tests. You’ll also learn about the best online colleges that don’t require SAT or ACT, as well as university rankings and admission requirements.
What are SAT and ACT and Why are They Normally Required?
The SAT and ACT are standardized tests that students take during their grade school years. Many tertiary schools use these scores to determine the academic strengths of students in the admission process. Though having many similarities, these two exams are different. The SAT has two sections and is administered by The College Board. The ACT on the other hand is administered by ACT Inc. and has four sections.
Many colleges consider these exams to be a good indicator of how prepared a student is for admission into their institutions. These tests are written, administered, and graded by parties that aren’t affiliated with any particular school. This ensures students across the country and taking the same standardized test, which ultimately provides unbiased evaluations of students.
Is It Easy to Find Universities That Don’t Require SAT or ACT Scores?
Yes, it’s easy to find universities that don’t require SAT or ACT scores. The National Center for Fair and Open Testing list shows that over 1,775 higher education institutions in the US have some form of test-blind policy. These test-blind schools represent around three-quarters of all the educational institutions in the country.
How to Get Into a College That Doesn’t Require SAT or ACT Scores
Aside from SAT and ACT scores, there are other requirements for prospective students so they can gain admission into a good college. Some of these important requirements for the application process are listed below.
- School Report
- Letter of Recommendation
- Application Essay
- Application Fee
- Supplementary Material
Which Schools Don’t Require SAT or ACT Scores for College Admissions?
|School||US News National Rankings 2022||Other Admissions Requirements|
|Columbia University||2||Letters of recommendation, application fee, school report|
|Harvard University||2||Letters of recommendation, personal essay, application fee|
|University of Chicago||6||Personal essay, school report, letters of recommendation|
|University of Pennsylvania||8||School report, letters of recommendation, personal essays|
|Johns Hopkins University||9||Application fee, school transcript, teacher evaluations|
|New York University||28||Application fee, school report, letters of recommendation|
|George Washington University||63||Personal essay, letters of recommendation, school report|
|Clark University||103||Personal essay, school report, letters of recommendation|
|Montana State University||263||School report, recommendation letters, essay|
|Northern Kentucky University||299-391||Letters of recommendation, personal essay, application fee|
Best Colleges That Don’t Require SAT or ACT Scores
With the increased popularity of test-optional policies in tertiary institutions, a lot of schools in the country have now jettisoned SAT and ACT requirements. Below is a list of colleges that don’t require SAT or ACT for their admission process.
Columbia University is a college that doesn’t require prospective students to take the SAT or ACT. Furthermore, it’s ranked second best along with Harvard University, making it one of the best schools in the country and across the globe.
Students can report their test scores if they wish to do so. On the other hand, international students are required to demonstrate proficiency in English by speaking it as their home language or learning through it in high school. They can also take tests such as Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the Duolingo English Test.
Harvard College is one of the best-rated academic institutions in the US and around the globe. This test-flexible school has a rich student culture that balances achievements in and out of the classroom. Standardized test scores are optional for prospective students who want to get into Harvard.
Applicants can decide to submit official test scores or report them themselves so they can be considered. Harvard also doesn’t require its international applicants to submit an English language proficiency exam score.
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago doesn’t require students to submit standardized test scores. The school will consider these scores if applicants choose to send them. International students are required to submit scores showing their proficiency in English. This school is popular for its strong academic attributes and vibrant sporting life.
University of Pennsylvania
Test scores are not required from applicants who wish to study at University of Pennsylvania. Non-native English international students must submit scores from Duolingo or other language proficiency tests like TOEFL. Founded by American polymath Benjamin Franklin, the school is rated as one of the best in the country.
John Hopkins University
JHU has campus housing for students but most students live off-campus. The university has a vibrant campus life with excellent extracurricular activities. Its academic programs focus on arts, engineering, and religious studies.
While applicants at this university are not required to submit test scores, they will be considered if submitted. International applicants who are non-native English speakers must submit scores from the Cambridge English Exam or other tests like TOEFL.
Online Colleges That Don’t Require SAT or ACT Scores
You can also find online colleges that don’t require SAT or ACT. Below is a list of some of the top schools that are running online programs where SAT or ACT submissions are optional.
New York University
NYU’s policy on standardized testing is more flexible than other institutions. This school evaluates test scores when an applicant submits them. It’ll also accept scores from other tests like AP or IB. The school also accepts IB diplomas in place of SAT or ACT scores.
George Washington University
George Washington University (GSU) is a private American university and stands as one of the best research universities in the country. The school offers applicants a test-optional policy where they can choose to use test scores or not, as a form of preparation for admission. The school has a good academic standard and offers an exciting college life.
Clark University is a top private institution that doesn’t mandate students to submit SAT or ACT scores during the admission process. It’s a liberal arts institution with a strong online presence. Its courses span from business, multimedia, and the arts. Students at this liberal arts school are eligible for a WOO card, which grants them discounts on sports and other fun activities.
Montana State University
MSU doesn’t require students to submit test scores when applying for admission or scholarships. However, applicants must submit other academic reports such as their cumulative GPAs. Students who wish to submit their SAT or ACT scores can do so for math and writing placements.
Northern Kentucky University
From the fall of 2021, Northern Kentucky University (NKU) adopted a policy to become a test-flexible college. This applies especially to students with at least a 2.75 unweighted high school GPA. This school is rated among the top 400 universities in the country and has a strong online presence.
Should You Still Submit SAT or ACT Scores Even if It’s Not Required?
Yes, you should still submit SAT or ACT scores even if it’s not required and only if you have high scores. These tests can be beneficial in your college application. It can also provide you with other school opportunities that do require standardized test scores. However, if your SAT and ACT scores are low and won’t help enhance your candidacy for admission, it’s best to not submit them.
Submit Your SAT or ACT Scores if
- Your score will enhance your chances of admission
- You plan to play sports in college
- You’re pursuing some form of scholarship
Don’t Submit SAT or ACT Scores if
- Your score is low
- Your score will not complement your GPA
- You couldn’t take the test due to various issues
Should I Attend a College That Doesn’t Require SAT or ACT Scores?
Yes, you should attend a college that doesn’t require SAT or ACT scores, unless your SAT or ACT scores would increase your chances of admission. Most schools in the US have now made these standardized tests optional. This is due to the many cancellations caused by the pandemic.
Colleges That Don’t Require SAT or ACT Scores FAQ
The test-optional college that is right for you depends on what school you want to attend. Most institutions have either temporarily or permanently removed standardized test scores from their lists of admission requirements. For this reason, there’s a good chance your dream college already doesn’t require them.
More schools are becoming more test-optional because this policy boosts diversity in the student population. This is due to low-income and minority students who are unable to prepare or sit for these tests. In addition, the pandemic caused SAT and ACT testing to fall off track, which is why many institutions are temporarily omitting it as an admission requirement.
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A test-optional policy allows students to decide if they’ll send standardized test scores to the school they’re applying to or not. In this case, a candidate has the power to decide if submitting test scores will be detrimental to their application or will enhance it.
Some test-options schools you can attend include Wesleyan University, Brandeis University, Ithaca College, Bowdoin College, and Connecticut College. These are just a few of many institutions that don’t require standardized test scores.
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