Harvard will allow students to apply without SAT or ACT scores due to the coronavirus pandemic, the college said in a statement Monday.
Students who wish to apply for the class of 2025 won’t need to provide standardized test scores and won’t need to worry about a padded resume, according to the statement. Harvard is easing its standards due to the limited availability of activities during coronavirus.
“We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has created insurmountable challenges in scheduling tests for all students, particularly those from modest economic backgrounds, and we believe this temporary change addresses these challenges,” the statement reads.
Students who are only able to present pass/fail grades on their transcripts will not be disadvantaged. Pass/fail grades may have been implemented at many high schools when they were forced to transition to remote learning during lockdowns.
Applicants are “encouraged to send whatever materials they believe would convey their accomplishments in secondary school and their promise for the future,” the statement from Harvard says.
Harvard states that the change is temporary, although the SAT and ACT, commonly considered among the most important factors in admissions decisions, have been recently dropped by other prestigious colleges after civil rights groups have argued the test requirements discriminate against low-income and minority students, according to USA Today.
The University of California decided in May to suspend the test requirement for freshman applicants through 2024 and then eliminate the requirement after that. A lawsuit was filed against the UC system, which includes 280,000 students, alleging the test requirements were “sensitive to socioeconomic status and race.” (RELATED: University Of California Drops SAT And ACT Requirements, Claims Tests Are Discriminatory)