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10 Colleges that don't require the SAT


If you got low SAT scores or if you didn't take the exam in time for application deadlines, realize that hundreds of test-optional colleges do not require entrance exams as part of their admissions applications.

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is a standardized multiple-choice test used by most colleges and universities to measure high school students’ readiness for college. The examination is composed of three sections – Math, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Essay.

Universities and colleges in the U.S. more often than not require the applicants to submit their SAT scores to be considered in their desired programs which means that the students’ SAT score will most probably affect their college applications. 

According to the U.S. News’ “Best Colleges and University” rankings, only about percent of the four-year regionally accredited colleges in the country state that they don't use the SAT in admissions.

If you are a high school student looking for a college or university that doesn’t require the SAT score, then here are 10 colleges and universities for you:

1. New York University 

Established in 1831, NYU is a private non-profit research university based in New York City. With an acceptance rate of 32 percent, students get to choose which standardized test score(s) to submit. Applicants to NYU artistic programs are required to either go for an audition or submit a portfolio but test scores such like the SAT are not compulsory. 

2. University of Texas - Austin 

UT - Austin is a public research university and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. It is based in Austin, Texas and was established in 1883. The Austin branch of UT is not only test-optional, they have also released a report advocating for a reduced emphasis on SAT scores in college admission decisions. UT has an acceptance rate of 39 percent. 

3. Cornell College 

Founded in 1853, Cornell is a private liberal arts college based in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Cornell has an acceptance rate of 70 percent  and instead of test scores, applicants can submit creative work including photo journals and creative writing to demonstrate their skills and abilities. However, this is a three-year-long pilot program and Cornell could resume requiring test results for applicants as soon as 2018. There haven’t been any recent announcements whether they would retain this in their admission process or not. 

4. Arizona State University 

ASU is a public metropolitan research university based in Tempe, Arizona since 1885. While they don’t require SAT scores, they do want applicants to either be in the top 25 percent of their graduating class, or have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and above. Its acceptance rate is 83 percent.

5. American University  

Established in 1893, AU is a private, united Methodist-affiliated university based in Washington, D.C.  AU is a test-optional university which means you can choose to submit your scores but you can also leave that out. 

6. Montana State University 

MSU is a land-grant university in Bozeman, Montana since 1893. With an acceptance rate of 83 percent, it’ s also one of the most flexible schools on the list. However, they require their prospective students be ranked in the top 50 percent of their graduating class, or maintain a high school GPA of 2.5. Standardized test scores are optional.


7. George Washington University  

GWU, a private research university in Washington, D.C,.  It became a test-optional college just three years ago but was founded since 1821.  The shift to being a test-optional university promotes their belief that students should have the right to choose. If an applicant thinks their test scores should be included in determining their acceptance, they have the liberty to submit. If not, it won’t affect their application results. 

8. Boston University  

Established in 1839, BU is a private, non-profit research university in Boston, Massachusetts. US students are required to submit their SAT scores. However, students at non-US high schools who have completed the International Baccalaureate diploma program are not required to submit their SAT scores. Candidates for certain scholarship grants are required to submit standardized test scores, and all applicants of the College of Fine Arts must submit either SAT or ACT scores. 

9.   University of Chicago 

Its acceptance rate is 7.2 percent making it the lowest acceptance rate not only on this list, but also nationwide. Established in 1890, UC is a private, non-profit research university based in Chicago, Illinois. The University of Chicago recently announced that it will no longer require its American undergraduate applicants to submit SAT scores, making it the most prominent institution to make the exams optional. 

10. Pitzer College 

Established in 1963, Pitzer is a private residential liberal arts college in Claremont, California. They’ll accept your test scores if you choose to send them. They became a test-optional college in 2003. They started to focus on a prospective student’s transcripts, extracurricular, and overall commitment to Pitzer’s core values. 

Although the SAT score is an advantage to your acceptance to universities and colleges, there are still some which do not require it and have made the admissions for applicants test-optional. So don’t lose hope when you’ve received your SAT scores and have not gained higher than average scores or did not pass. You can always find a good university or college that will help enhance and nurture your skills.

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