Students who apply to Harvard’s class of 2025 this fall will not be required to submit their SAT or ACT scores.
This is a one-time measure taken to reassure students who face unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has created insurmountable challenges in scheduling tests for all students, particularly those from modest economic backgrounds, and we believe this temporary change addresses these challenges,” the university explained in a press release.
The SAT will be offered nationwide on August 29, September 26, October 3, November 7 and December 5 of this year. And the College Board is planning on adding a test in January 2021, if there is a demand for it.
However, students in densely populated areas that were hit hardest by the coronavirus — like Boston, Denver and New York City — will face difficulties in finding open seats due to scarcity in test centers, the College Board has warned.
And the College Board’s plans for online SAT tests were dropped after the furor ignited by the online AP exams in May, which thousands of students had to retake due to technical glitches.
Unlike the College Board, which canceled the June SAT, ACT went ahead with the ACT scheduled for June 13. However, there were numerous test center closures due to the coronavirus. Registered students who couldn’t take the ACT due to test center closures have the option to reschedule or apply for refund.
The ACT will be offered next on July 18 (but not in New York), September 12, October 24 and December 12. There are two makeup test dates: June 20 and July 25. Additionally, ACT has plans for online ACT tests in late fall/early winter this year.
In all, 1,240 U.S. institutions are now test-optional for the fall 2021 entering class, according to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest).
Susan Chu is a writer and editor who likes to write about trends in higher education.