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U.Va. admissions will be test-optional for students applying for fall 2021

The decision follows similar announcements from the University of California System and other schools

“This will give us an extraordinary opportunity to explore the utility of tests in our overall admissions process going forward,” University President Jim Ryan said.
“This will give us an extraordinary opportunity to explore the utility of tests in our overall admissions process going forward,” University President Jim Ryan said.

Due to uncertainty regarding access to SAT and ACT testing during the ongoing pandemic, the University has announced that applicants for fall 2021 will not be required to submit standardized testing scores. This policy applies to all undergraduate admission at the University, including international students and transfer students.

Additionally, the University announced that its Early Decision application deadline will be pushed from Oct. 15 to Nov. 1, the same date as the Early Action deadline. The 2020 admissions cycle was the first time that the University allowed early decision applications since 2006.

At this time, the Regular Decision deadline remains Jan. 6. 

“Students and families face enormous challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” University President Jim Ryan said. “This change in our admission system during a year in which all applicants might not have the same access to testing will remove at least one obstacle that might otherwise discourage a student from pursuing her higher education aspirations.”

According to Dean of Admission Greg Roberts, students who do not submit test scores will be at no disadvantage to their peers who choose to submit their scores. 

The announcement notes that the University may extend the practice of test-optional admissions in the future and will make a decision on the matter next spring.

“This will give us an extraordinary opportunity to explore the utility of tests in our overall admissions process going forward,” Ryan said.

The announcement also mentions that going test-optional might benefit first-generation and low-income students, “who historically have not benefited as frequently as others in preparatory help such as test tutors.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many other schools have announced that they will be going test-optional. On May 21, the entire University of California System announced that its schools would be going test-optional. Since then, schools such as William and Mary and Virginia Tech have also elected to begin operating test-optional, at least for the Class of 2025.

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