Popular Universities in the US Accepting Applications Without SAT Scores

By Subhashri Roy Updated On - Jun 18, 2021 03:31 PM

Registering for the SAT? A number of US universities such as the University of California, Cornell, Amherst College, Williams College have decided to drop both ACT and SAT. Have a look at the list of US universities offering admission without SAT scores for the 2021-22 intakes.

Did you know that over 1,200 US colleges and universities have made SAT optional for the upcoming 2021-22 intakes? While a few such as the University of California, Cornell, Amherst College, Williams College have decided to drop both ACT and SAT, many have decided to go test-optional after a 2019 lawsuit argued that standardized tests were biased against the poor and Hispanic and Black applicants.

Some might say that going test-optional takes away a lot of scholarship opportunities from meritorious international students. However, some also believe that it will now give international students a chance to demonstrate their strengths or talents through extracurricular activities, community involvement, academic grades, and more.

The College Board has also brought about two major changes to the SAT including discontinuing the SAT Subject Tests and the SAT optional Essay and moving it online. Now, let us look at the popular universities in the US that are offering admissions to international students without SAT scores.

What is a Test-Optional College?

When a college announces that it is going “test-optional”, it simply means that scores of standardised tests like ACT or SAT would no longer be mandatory to complete the undergraduate application. However, if an applicant chooses to submit SAT/ACT scores, the admissions committee will consider them while evaluating their application.

The number of US universities choosing to go test-optional has been growing even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world. However, the pandemic sure led to a surge in the number after ACT and SAT test centres were closed temporarily.

It is also worth noting that if a college or university has made SAT/ACT optional for the 2021 or 2022 intakes, they might shift back to the traditional way of reviewing applications.

Also Read: Application Deadlines 2021-2022 for Popular US Universities

Popular Universities in the US that Have Made SAT Optional for 2021 Admissions

Here is a list of the universities that have recently announced that they were going test-optional for admissions starting Summer/Fall 2021:

Name of the University

Courses Offered

Arizona State University

List of Courses

DePaul University

List of Courses

American University

List of Courses

University of Chicago

List of Courses

University of Illinois at Chicago

List of Courses

University of Kansas

List of Courses

Suffolk University

List of Courses

Louisiana State University

List of Courses

Wake Forest University

List of Courses

New York University

List of Courses

University of Rochester

List of Courses

Harvard College

List of Courses

Boston University

List of Courses

Brandeis University

List of Courses

Fordham University

List of Courses

Case Western Reserve University

List of Courses

George Washington University

List of Courses

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

List of Courses

Virginia Tech

-

Williams College

-

Swarthmore College

List of Courses

Pomona College

List of Courses

Bowdoin College

-

Hamilton College

-

Middlebury College

-

Colby College

-

Davidson College

-

University of Massachusetts, Boston

List of Courses

Wesleyan University

List of Courses

California State University

List of Courses

Carnegie Mellon University

List of Courses

Duke University

List of Courses

George Mason University

List of Courses

Hofstra University

List of Courses

Oregon State University

List of Courses

Also Read: USA Universities With the Highest Acceptance Rates for Int'l Students

Universities in the US that Don’t Require SAT for 2021 Admissions

Given below is the list of popular US universities that have dropped the use of SAT scores for admissions in Fall 2021 and future intakes:

How are Test-Optional Colleges Making Admission Decisions?

Contrary to popular belief, standardized test scores are the only criterion for admission to universities in the US and other countries. There are several other factors that are considered while assessing an application for undergraduate admission.

For a test-optional college, one’s application is looked at holistically and more emphasis is put on other criteria including high school transcripts, GPA, grade trend, curriculum and class rank (if applicable). Following that, an institution will consider a profile based on their personal statement, letters of recommendation, participation in extracurricular activities, demonstrated interest and more. Let’s look at these in detail:

Statement of Purpose (SOP): Whether one has the highest SAT scores, GPA, an SOP may be a deciding factor in their admission to their university of choice. What a good SOP does is convince the reader(s) or admissions committee that the applicant has solid achievements that will add value to their college and show promise in success in their undergraduate study.

Letter(s) of Recommendation: Recommendation letters are nothing but brief, formal statements that are an attempt to highlight an applicant’s positive qualities and reasons why they would be a great fit for the college. Usually, LORs are written by high school teachers, seniors or previous employers.

Extracurricular Activities: Be it any involvement or participation outside the classroom, extracurricular activities do help in glorifying one’s application.

Essay Prompts: In case it is applicable to the university or college one is applying to, essay prompts help the admissions committee find something interesting about the candidate. They may have a better understanding of the candidate’s quick and experimental thinking along with proficiency.

Projects/Internships: An internship certificate can do a lot more than one can imagine. Although not many get the opportunity to find an internship during high school, in case they do, they should definitely add it to their profile.

So, while it is not much different than a traditional application review which considers standardised test scores, applicants will now have to pay equal attention to all the other aspects of the application and try to make it stand out.

Should I Send My SAT Scores to Test-Optional Colleges?

It is totally up to the applicant. A lot of US universities have made a commitment that students submitting SAT scores will not have an edge over those with no SAT scores (one can find the same on the NACAC website).

It will entirely depend on one’s academic profile and whether or not they think submitting the SAT scores would help them boost their application. In other words, sending standardised may be a good idea if the applicant believes that the scores are good enough and will help them stand out from the crowd.

In case the application looks strong enough without the SAT scores, there is no need to send them. Also, the best way to go about it is to discuss it with one’s college counselor or the admissions staff and ask them what the ideal thing to do would be.

Still have doubts about applying to US universities without SAT scores? Write to us at abroad@collegedekho.com to speak to our experts and clear out your doubts.

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