Even as many colleges extend their test-optional admissions policies another year, the ACT and SAT still affect merit-based scholarships, placements, and college admissions.
- MIT is the first prominent school to reinstate required test scores for the class of 2023 based on internal research.
- In June 2021, Georgia’s public university system announced that its colleges will again require test scores for enrollment and merit scholarships in 2022.
- After the pandemic began, a 2020 NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) survey of admissions officials at 221 colleges, more than 82% answered that they gave standardized test scores “considerable or moderate importance” in admissions decisions.
- In June 2021, the Montana University System Board voted to make scores optional for admission, though ACT/SAT scores are required for Honors Scholarships.
Taking the test is optional for those excited to pay full price.
Test-optional often means that no test score is required for admission. But many test-optional schools financially reward students for ‘college-ready’ ACT/SAT scores. The grid below illustrates how tuition cost decreases at three test-optional colleges with a higher ACT score. Students headed to trades, or community colleges should also test prep. Many two-year colleges also give scholarships thanks to a higher test score.
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