West Virginia University announced Monday it will no longer require applicants to submit SAT or ACT test scores.
The public university’s Board of Governors approved the test-optional admissions policy, which had been adopted in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and had been extended three times since then. The last extension runs through spring 2024, after which the permanent policy will take effect, WVU said in a news release. Test scores could still be required for some course placements.
Scholarships will continue to be offered by the 27,000-student university for test-optional applicants and those providing test scores, the statement said. The SAT or ACT remain requirements for the merit-based PROMISE Scholarship offered by the state for residents of West Virginia.
"Students have been embracing test-optional admissions processes as part of their college searches since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and, going forward, we have an obligation to remove any barriers that may deter those interested in higher education," said George Zimmerman, the university’s assistant vice president for enrollment management. "Giving students the flexibility to choose whether or not standardized tests are included in their college applications has shown to be effective in helping them feel more in control of the process."
According to the nonprofit National Center for Open and Fair Testing, or FairTest, more than 1,800 four-year colleges and universities nationwide had ACT- or SAT-optional or test-free policies for fall 2023 applicants.