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U. drops SAT, ACT requirement, cancels Early Action application option for Class of 2025 applicants

Morrison Hall
Jon Ort / The Daily Princetonian

On Thursday, the University announced that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is suspending its requirement for standardized test scores for applicants to the Class of 2025, and eliminating the Early Action application option for the 2020–2021 admissions cycle. 

The announcement emphasized that the change in standardized testing policy will apply for one year and extend toward transfer applicants as well — “many of whom are veterans or active-duty military.”


The University will move to a “one application deadline” of Jan. 1, 2021 for all first-year applicants. Under this deadline, all applicants will apply using either the Coalition Application or the Common Application and will receive decisions on their applications by April 1, 2021, as is typical for the Regular Decision process of previous years. 

Still, the University will continue to partner with QuestBridge and participate in the National College Match in December. Transfer applicants will have an application deadline of early March. 

In coming toward these decisions, the announcement read, “University leadership considered the many hurdles students — especially those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and underrepresented communities — families, counselors and school administrators will have to overcome in the months ahead due to changes within school communities.” 

“We know returning to classes in fall 2020 will require students and staff to acclimate to an altered environment,” said Dean of Admission Karen Richardson ’93 in the University statement. “We hope that by pausing our Single-Choice Early Action program this year it will reduce some of the pressure on applicants and give them the time to prepare their strongest applications.”

The University is the last Ivy League institution to announce a temporary suspension of standardized test requirements for applicants. Harvard University announced its decision to drop a requirement for an SAT or ACT score earlier this week on June 15. 

According to the announcement, students who choose to sit for a standardized test and wish to submit their score will still have the option to do so, but “applications without test scores will be rendered complete.”


“Students who do not submit test scores will not be at a disadvantage,” the statement stressed. 

Recruited athletes, however, will still need to submit standardized test scores, in accordance with Ivy League policy. But the Admission Office will be “flexible in its review” for those who “simply cannot gain access.” 

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