The College of New Jersey will not require applying students to submit their SAT or ACT scores, as the coronavirus outbreak has upended testing schedules and preparatory programs.
The policy will begin during the 2020-2021 admissions cycle and last for three years, the school announced Tuesday. Applicants can still choose to submit their scores if they wish.
“Given that coronavirus cancellations made timely testing impossible for hundreds of thousands of students around the country, providing flexibility with the SAT and ACT requirements seemed more than appropriate,” Lisa Angeloni, vice president for enrollment management, said in a statement.
Applicants for the seven-year medical program or the optometry program must still submit scores.
TCNJ, like others around the country, had considered waiving the requirement in recent years to encourage more low-income and underrepresented students to apply. Some advocates have labeled the tests unfair in recent years, as middle class and wealthy families have commonly enrolled their children in preparation courses that other families cannot afford.
But more colleges and universities have made the call in recent weeks to waive the test scores as schools have closed and testing dates have been canceled. The closures have also forced high school students to take their Advanced Placement tests, which can translate to college credits, online. Some have reported tech glitches impacting their performance.
Kean University also offers a test-optional admission policy to students with high school GPAs of 3.0 or higher in certain majors. Students who do submit test scores are eligible for certain scholarships.
Angeloni said TCNJ takes a holistic approach to evaluating potential students, but has found a high school transcript the greatest predictor of success at the college level.
“When a college announces a test-optional policy, it also conveys to students that the college is aware of and sensitive to issues that impact low-income and underrepresented students and this awareness can signal to applicants an aware and inviting institutional culture,” she said.