The University has joined a number of other universities including Harvard (Mass.), Columbia (N.Y.) and Rice (Texas), in transitioning to a test-optional admissions cycle for the 2020-21 academic year. 

The new policy, which will apply to the Class of 2025, highlights three key points: submitting standardized test scores will be completely optional, students will not have to justify their reasoning and they will not be disadvantaged in the admissions process. 

The change will apply to all first-year students in the College and Oxford College and all decision plans, including early decision and regular decision. Applicants who do not submit their scores will also still be considered for merit scholarships. 

In the wake of the ACT and College Board’s cancellation and postponement of testing dates throughout April and June due to the pandemic, a number of students’ testing plans were thrown into disarray, begetting further confusion over how universities nationwide would respond.

Students who have taken or plan to take the ACT or SAT may still self-report their scores as a part of their application, which will then be “considered in the context of the student’s application.” Additionally, student scores for both the ACT and SAT will be superscored for this admissions cycle and future cycles. Previously, only SAT scores were superscored.

Emory Admissions Building./ Matthew Friedman, Contributing

Emory’s announcement emphasizes that applications without standardized test scores should emphasize extracurricular activities, community engagement and academic rigor via their transcripts for admission.

The change in policy reaffirms Emory’s commitment to conducting a holistic review of admission applications which take into consideration applicants’ diverse backgrounds, Dean of Admissions John Latting wrote in the emailed announcement. 

In response to multiple requests for an interview, Latting referred the Wheel to Director of Undergraduate Selection Mark Butt, who could not interview by press time. 

Emory has not announced any other changes to its application deadline or its financial aid program.

Ultimately, Emory noted the policy was a timely necessity as national conversations surrounding increased accessibility to higher education proliferate. It is unclear whether the policy will continue beyond the 2020-21 admissions cycle.