UVA Extends Test-Optional Admissions for Two Years

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January 29, 2021

The University of Virginia is waiving the requirement that first-year applicants submit standardized test scores for the next two years.

Candidates applying for undergraduate admission in the fall of 2022 and 2023 will have the option to not submit SAT or ACT scores for consideration in the application process because of the complications introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

UVA is taking the step to help ease the anxiety caused by past and future cancelations of testing dates. UVA first implemented the test-optional policy in June for those applying for fall 2021 entry.

“We believe this is a reasonable and humane response to one pressure that our prospective students are facing as a result of COVID-19,” UVA President Jim Ryan said.  “We want students to focus on things they can control: doing their best in school; cultivating their curiosity; contributing to their families, schools and communities.

“In a moment where so many things are uncertain, we hope this decision makes the admissions process more accessible and equitable for students who are considering the University of Virginia.”

Last summer, millions of students had their test dates canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. This led many schools, including UVA, to introduce a test-optional policy. At that time, UVA said it would announce whether it would extend that approach no later than the spring 2021 semester.

COVID-19 infections remain high nationally and the worldwide death toll from the virus recently surpassed 2.2 million, making cancellations of some future testing dates possible or even likely. Because of this, UVA has concluded it could be difficult and stressful for at least some high school juniors and sophomores to take the ACT or the SAT this year and next.

“Our decision to extend our test-optional admission policy was made out of concern for the health and well-being of students,” Dean of Admission Greg Robert said. “We’re looking forward to spending the next two years studying whether we should require testing of every student. We want to make sure our practices are helping our students thrive, both when they’re applying and once their enrolled.”

Students who wish to include testing as part of their application may do so, but those who do not will be at no disadvantage during the application review. When making admissions decisions, the Office of Admission will continue to take a comprehensive, holistic and personal approach to each application, reviewing students’ academic achievements, extracurricular activities, recommendations, essays and other materials.

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