As most families with high school students know, the pandemic has changed college admission, perhaps forever, with the advent of the ability to apply with or without standardized testing. This movement, called test optional, had been gaining momentum in the spring of 2020 when the closures of most ACT and SAT test sites, largely secondary schools, forced the hand of nearly all 4-year institutions.
Test optional admission policies are confusing and may further complicate a student's college application process, a process that may seem to border on the ridiculous with all its various permutations. Our office worked diligently this year to assist students in determining when and if they should submit test scores, assuming they had them. We anticipate that test optional is here to stay, and with that, some families may be frustrated by the lack of one more opportunity to prove their student's mettle. To that I say, "take heart."
Test optional means students get to choose whether they send their scores. A student now has the opportunity to ask, "Does this test score support my opportunity for admission?" If the answer is "yes," then that student is able to send their score. If the answer is "no," that student may suppress their score in almost all circumstances. Creating choice and ownership in the college application process benefits students. For that, I am very grateful.
To see the complete list of test optional schools, please visit FairTest.org, and click on the link on the right for the searchable database of schools.