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University System of Georgia Tests out Test-optional Admissions

A temporary shift in testing policy designed to aid students impacted by COVID 19.

In response to the recent cancellations of the spring SATs and ACTs, the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia has approved a temporary test-optional admissions policy for students applying for the summer or fall 2020 semesters. Many University System colleges such as GA Tech and UGA have already admitted their summer and fall classes, but other schools actively enrolling students can now grant admission without test scores. Eligibility decisions will be “based on the materials submitted by the prospective student, utilizing newly calculated high school grade point thresholds” which establish GPA minimums for different types of educational institutions (e.g., Research institutions vs. State Universities vs. State Colleges). Strong test scores can help an applicant, but they are not required for admission.

For now, this change affects a relatively small number of students, since many Georgia schools have already filled their classes for the summer and fall. If SAT and ACT cancellations continue into the summer months, however, this policy could extend to admissions for the class of 2021 and affect hundreds of thousands of applicants to Georgia’s colleges and universities. Georgia will certainly not be the only state to enact such measures if viable testing options do not emerge in a relatively short window. 

The fate of the summer SAT and ACT dates rests on a variety of factors that are changing week to week. In the coming months, we will learn whether this health crisis will expand the test-optional movement and advance the march towards digital testing. We explore this topic in more detail in our blog post here, and will continue to provide updates on both fronts.

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