Test-Optional Trend Continues Post Pandemic

More colleges are expanding their test-optional policies in the post-pandemic era, which may affect the future of college admissions long term.

Why the shift?

With many students facing limited access to testing sites following the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges and universities introduced test-optional policies, including more selective colleges.

What’s changed?

The number of test-optional schools available has increased significantly since the pandemic. Research shows the number of four-year universities and colleges with test-optional policies has nearly doubled from 713 to 1,350 since spring 2020 according to The Urban Institute.

This includes a higher number of more expensive, highly-selective schools like Harvard and Stanford. While the intention was originally to help keep students safe, many schools have seen an increase in the diversity of their applicants. 

What’s next for test-optional policies?

An increase in diversity and opportunity for students has prompted some schools to adopt a more permanent test-optional policy, such as the University of California system and state schools in Colorado, Illinois, Montana, Iowa, and Washington. 

It’s likely that we’ll continue to see this trend across other schools.

Our forecast: 😁🎉

 Students will continue to find more test-optional schools when they are applying to colleges and can use this to their advantage when deciding which fit is right for them. It’s also possible that the pandemic will continue to change the standardized testing landscape as more schools change their policies and options like digital testing become available.

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