Top 20 schools offering a SAT waiver for 2021
Last Updated on February 1, 2021 by iSchoolConnect
Before shortlisting universities for your 2021 applications, check out this list of top colleges offering a SAT waiver. Applying to these colleges will not only save you money, but it also might spare you from taking the 4-hour long SAT test!
The SAT used to be the gold standard for getting into college. If you had a good score, you were accepted almost anywhere. But if you didn’t, finding a good college was an uphill battle. The good news though, is that it is 2021 and priorities have changed. Many schools are going “test-blind” with admissions, and others are temporarily waiving tests because of the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some of the top schools offering a SAT waiver.
Founded in 1960, CSU offers 43 amazing undergraduate majors available in many fields. They also boast an impressive 16 master’s degree programs. On top of this, California State University – Stanislaus is dedicated to serving its diverse student body. It offers LGBTQ+ Mentor Programs that connect LGBTQ+ students with trusted mentors. California State University – Stanislaus is waiving the SAT requirement for the Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 admission cycles.
At Hampshire College, students build their own major in conjunction with an advisor instead of choosing one. Hampshire College’s campus is turning green, with the Kern Center creating its own energy. Students applying to Hampshire create their own portfolio type application with writing samples, recommendations, and examples of projects. Hampshire College is test-blind, meaning it never considers standardized test scores of prospective students.
Loyola New Orleans was the top producer of Peace Corps volunteers in the country in 2017, probably because of their strong Jesuit traditions. All located only 20 minutes from New Orleans’s French Quarter, Loyola New Orleans offers 110 excellent undergraduate programs and 36 impressive graduate programs. Loyola New Orleans is a test blind school that never takes SAT scores into consideration, even if a student submits one. Instead, the school considers ‘GPA, academic rigor, student involvement, and the student’s personal statement.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland has 38 degree programs and 29 study abroad programs. St. Mary’s City is home to one of the first English settlements in North America, and the campus is over 300 acres and on the beautiful waterfront. St. Mary’s College of Maryland says SAT scores do not fully represent students’ academic achievement and are optional on the application. But if a student believes the score would strengthen their application, they are welcome to include it.
Kansas State University offers an impressive 250 undergraduate programs and 165 graduate programs while also awarding $230 million dollars in financial aid and $36 dollars million in scholarships. The university gives freshman students the opportunity to meet a 3.25 GPA requirement or submit an SAT score. Students can also apply without doing either and their application will be reviewed individually.
Oregon State University is a research-driven institution that earned a total of 439.7 million dollars in research contracts and grants in 2019. Students can earn degrees in fields like botany, geology, creative writing, and photography with Oregon State University’s diverse offering of over 200 undergraduate programs and 100 graduate programs. Students applying for Fall 2021 and subsequent seasons do not need an SAT score to apply.
Indiana University is one of the top public research universities in the US. This university has a broad and diverse offering of degrees in the fields such as gender studies, science and engineering, music, data science, school psychology, and much more. The 2021 admissions cycle will offer a test-optional policy that will consider all aspects of an application including grades earned in academic coursework, honors work, International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement courses, and extracurricular activities.
Centre has been a top 15 college in the south on Forbes list for 7 years now, and for a reason! It pushes students to move beyond the classroom with an internship or study abroad program. 85% of students at Centre study abroad. Centre College is offering an SAT waiver for the 2021, 2022 and 2023 admission cycles’ due to COVID-19 and testing challenges.
NYU provides a rigorous, demanding education to more than 50,000 students and undertakes nearly $1 billion in research annually. This private university offers majors in visual and performing arts, social sciences, business, management, marketing, and related support services. NYU wants scores, but students have the option to substitute an SAT score for AP test scores, IB test scores, or the IB diploma.
Arizona State University is not only a huge school, but it also ranks #1 in innovation in the US. ASU is also in the top 5 for universities with global impact based on research and stewardship. Students are sure to find a major they love with ASU’s 350 undergraduate programs. To be admitted to Arizona State University, students can submit an SAT score, but can also be top 25% in their high school class or have a GPA higher than 3.00.
The American University is a student-centered research institution located in Washington, DC with 89% of students completing an internship in their 4 years. American is a test-optional school, but students who graduate from a secondary school outside of the United States will probably have to submit either an SAT or ACT score.
The University is an Ivy League school with amazing programs in architecture, engineering, and hotel management. Its campus is in a rural setting but spans over 700 acres. Cornell ranks 18th for best national universities. Beginning August 2021, Cornell will be offering a SAT waiver for applications. However, they note that this is not a permanent change but simply due to Coronavirus and the testing difficulties that come with it.
Lewis and Clark is a small liberal arts college described as collaborative and open-minded by its students. Popular majors at Lewis and Clark include social sciences, biological and biomedical sciences, psychology, English language, literature, and visual and performing arts. Since 1991, Lewis and Clark have had a test-optional policy and boast their role in leading the way towards test-optional. Students may submit a score if they want, but it will not play a role in the awarding of merit-based or need-based financial aid.
Students come to George Washington University for the passionate faculty, diverse student groups, the division I athletic program, and once in a lifetime internship opportunities. George Washington holds numerous prominent events yearly, like hosting the U.S. Presidential debates and the World Bank annual meeting. George Washington also consistently ranks highly as one of the most politically active college campuses in the U.S. Enrollment for the 2021 admission cycle is test-optional, but George Washington will be reverting back to a pre-pandemic policy that requires a test score.
Ithaca is a private liberal arts college known worldwide for its fantastic Roy H. Park School of Communications. Multiple organizations have ranked the Park school as a top school for journalism, film, media & entertainment. Ithaca believes every student is an individual with talents, skills, accomplishments, and potential that cannot be reduced to a single test score. Because of this, Ithaca gives students the opportunity to submit or withhold test scores in most cases.
JMU is a public research university with a recognizably beautiful campus in Virginia. There are eight undergraduate major programs and six graduate programs. James Madison is also a lower cost university that still provides quality education. James Madison offers a SAT waiver for applications and no applicant will be penalized for withholding scores.
This is a selective and highly rated university in the Greensboro area of North Carolina. The admissions here are somewhat competitive with a 29% acceptance rate. Wake Forest stands out for its kinesiology, communications, and finance programs. Wake Forest provides students with the option of a SAT waiver, where only 45% of applicants admitted in 2017 submitted test scores.
The University of Chicago sits on the shores of Lake Michigan with over 200 acres. Students from the University of Chicago go on to do amazing work like splitting the atom, developing the field of sociology, and measuring the speed of light. The University of Chicago is test-optional and describes test scores as neither required nor recommended.
MIT is an outstanding school that regularly ranks #1 for best colleges in America. MIT is an extremely competitive school with a 7% acceptance rate and about 4,500 undergraduates. Students love to take up majors such as mathematics, computer science, and mechanical engineering here. Though MIT usually requires test scores, this year’s admission cycle will be test-optional due to coronavirus.
Harvard University is an excellent school dedicated to fantastic teaching, learning, and research. It was the first University in America and continues to excel in preparing students for the world. Students interested in a unique field can create their own special concentration. Harvard is offering a SAT waiver for this year because of Coronavirus but will return to requiring scores in future years.
SAT is no longer the main indicator of a student’s academic abilities. Universities are now focusing on all of a student’s achievements, not just a number. This new age will usher in a generation of diverse college-educated students.