Top 100 Colleges That Are Test-Optional In 2023 - Crimson Education GE (2023)

Here’s a comprehensive list of test-optional colleges for 2023, helping you navigate the application process more flexibly and confidently. Read on to discover the wide range of institutions embracing this progressive approach to admissions.

In recent years, many colleges and universities have adopted test-optional policies, allowing students to apply without submitting standardized test scores.

This significant shift in the college application process reflects a growing recognition that a single test score may not accurately represent a student's full potential.

What is a Test-Optional College?

A test-optional college is an institution that allows students to apply for admission without necessarily submitting standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT. This approach acknowledges that a single test score might not accurately capture a student's academic capabilities and potential.

By offering test-optional admissions, colleges allow applicants to showcase their strengths in other areas, such as grades, course rigor, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, community service, and personal essays.

Test-optional policies have become increasingly popular in recent years as they help create a more diverse and inclusive applicant pool, reducing the emphasis on high-stakes testing and leveling the playing field for students from various backgrounds.

What is a Test-Free College?

A test-free or test-blind admissions policy goes a step further than test-optional by not considering standardized test scores at all, even if the student submits them. The admissions process is solely based on other aspects of the applicant's profile, such as high school performance, extracurricular involvement, essays, and recommendation letters.

Can test scores be submitted to Test-Optional colleges, and how are they considered in the application process?

Test-optional schools will consider test scores if you choose to submit them as part of your application. While these institutions do not require standardized test scores for admission, they still recognize that some students may feel their test scores accurately represent their abilities and strengthen their application. In such cases, applicants are encouraged to submit their test scores for evaluation alongside other components of their application, such as grades, coursework, extracurricular activities, and personal essays.

It is essential for students to research each test-optional college's specific policy to understand how submitted test scores will be considered and weigh the potential benefits of including them in their application.

Benefits of Submitting Test Scores to Colleges

  • Showcasing strengths: If you have earned a high standardized test score, submitting it can be an excellent way to highlight your academic achievements and showcase your strengths in specific subject areas.
  • Competitive edge: A strong test score may provide a competitive edge in the application process, especially if other components of your application are relatively weaker or if the college still places some emphasis on test scores.
  • Demonstrating improvement: If you have significantly improved your test scores over time, submitting them can demonstrate your commitment to growth and ability to overcome challenges.
  • Meeting requirements for specific programs or scholarships: Some colleges may require test scores for particular programs, honors colleges, or merit-based scholarships. Submitting your scores in such cases can help you qualify for these opportunities.

Benefits of NOT Submitting Test Scores to Colleges

  • Focusing on other strengths: By not submitting test scores, you can place greater emphasis on other aspects of your application, such as academic performance, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and personal essays. This allows you to showcase a more comprehensive picture of your abilities and potential.
  • Reducing stress and pressure: Opting not to submit test scores can reduce the stress and pressure associated with preparing for and taking standardized tests, allowing you to focus your energy on other important components of the application process.
  • Minimizing potential bias: If your test scores are not as strong as the rest of your application, not submitting them may reduce the chances of unintentional bias against your application by admissions officers.
  • Saving money: By choosing not to submit test scores, you can avoid the fees associated with taking standardized tests and sending scores to colleges, potentially saving a significant amount of money.

Top 100 Colleges That Don’t Require The SAT/ACT

According to FairTest’s website, there are 1,843 colleges in the US that offer test-optional or test-free policies. We present the top 100 colleges that are test-optional/free for this admission cycle.

Northeast - Ivy League Schools

  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Harvard University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Princeton University
  • Yale University

Note: While Ivy League schools have extended their test-optional policies, Columbia has adopted this initiative permanently.

Northeast - Private

  • Amherst College
  • Babson College
  • Bates College
  • Carleton College
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Colby College
  • Davidson College
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • Hamilton College
  • Haverford College
  • Middlebury College
  • New York University
  • Northeastern University
  • Northwestern University
  • Rice University
  • Skidmore College
  • Swarthmore College
  • The Cooper Union
  • Tufts University
  • Vassar College
  • Wellesley College
  • Williams College

Northeast - Public

  • Rutgers University
  • SUNY Binghamton
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Maine
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Vermont

Midwest - Private

  • Grinnell College
  • Kenyon College
  • Macalester College
  • Notre Dame University
  • Oberlin College
  • Wesleyan University

Midwest - Public

  • Michigan State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Wisconsin

South - Private

  • Clemson University
  • Scripps College
  • Trinity University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Villanova University
  • Wake Forest University
  • William & Mary

South - Public

  • North Carolina State University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Maryland
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Richmond
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Texas - Austin
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Tech

West - Private

  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Pomona College
  • The Cooper Union
  • Wellesley College

West - Public

  • Brigham Young University
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Santa Clara University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Merced
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of Washington

Deciding Whether to Submit Test Scores: Tips and Guidelines

To determine if submitting test scores would be beneficial for your specific situation, consider the following factors:

  1. Compare your scores with target colleges' averages: Research the average test scores for admitted students at your target colleges. Submitting them could be advantageous if your scores are at or above these averages.
  2. Evaluate other application components: Assess the strength of your application's other components, such as GPA, coursework, extracurricular activities, and essays. If these aspects are strong and well-rounded, you may not need to submit test scores to showcase your potential.
  3. Consider program or scholarship requirements: Some colleges or scholarships may require test scores for specific programs, honors colleges, or merit-based scholarships. Ensure you meet these requirements if you plan to apply for such opportunities.
  4. Weigh the potential impact on admissions: Reflect on whether your test scores will positively or negatively affect your application. If you believe your scores might detract from your overall application, you may choose not to submit them.
  5. Factor in your financial situation: Consider the costs of taking standardized tests and sending scores to colleges. Not submitting test scores might be a more cost-effective choice if these expenses are a concern.

Considering these factors can help you make an informed decision about whether to submit test scores when applying to test-optional colleges.

Final Thoughts

As the landscape of college admissions continues to evolve, test-optional policies offer students more flexibility and a more holistic approach to showcasing their unique strengths and potential. As you consider your options for applying to college, remember that the application process is a personal journey, and the best choice for you may differ from that of your peers. Take the time to research each institution's test-optional policy, and make an informed decision that aligns with your strengths, goals, and circumstances.

If you're seeking additional guidance on college applications or want personalized advice on whether to submit test scores, our team of experienced college counselors is here to help. Book a free consultation with one of our college counselors today, and let us support you in navigating this crucial step in your educational journey.

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Top 100 Colleges That Are Test-Optional In 2023 - Crimson Education GE? ›

Columbia University: Test-Optional for 2023 and 2024. Cornell University: Test-Optional for 2023 and 2024. Dartmouth College: Test-Optional for 2023. Harvard University: Test-Optional for 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026.

Will colleges be test optional for class of 2023? ›

Columbia University: Test-Optional for 2023 and 2024. Cornell University: Test-Optional for 2023 and 2024. Dartmouth College: Test-Optional for 2023. Harvard University: Test-Optional for 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026.

Are SAT scores optional for class of 2023? ›

But for now, the short answer is that most colleges are not requiring SAT or ACT test scores for the class of 2023.

Is UT Austin test optional 2023? ›

Students are encouraged to submit SAT/ACT scores, but it is not required.

Which Ivy Leagues are test optional 2023? ›

All eight Ivy League schools will continue to have test-optional policies for the 2022-23 application cycle. While high SAT scores are an asset, they're just one metric that colleges consider. Students should aim to score in the 75th percentile among admitted students.

How many colleges are test optional in 2023? ›

According to FairTest's website, there are 1,843 colleges in the US that offer test-optional or test-free policies.

What is a good SAT score 2023? ›

If you get a composite SAT score of 1083 or more, you are above average. The 75th percentile composite SAT test score is 1215, the 90th percentile is 1340, and the 95th percentile is 1410. This table, which is based on College Board data, lists the percentile ranking for various composite SAT scores.

Can I get into Harvard without SAT 2023? ›

Is SAT required for Harvard? Ans. Harvard University follows a test optional admission process. The university is looking forward to allowing students to apply for 2023 admission without SAT or ACT scores.

What colleges do not require SAT? ›

Other Schools That Don't Require SAT or ACT Scores For Admission
SchoolTest-Optional Policy Duration
Wake Forest UniversityIndefinitely
Tufts UniversityUntil at least 2027
Boston CollegeUntil at least 2023-2024
University of RochesterUntil at least 2023-2024
11 more rows
Jun 13, 2023

What changes will happen to the SAT in 2023? ›

The digital SAT will be shorter, reading passages will be more concise, questions will be more direct, and students will have access to a wider range of digital tools. The goal of these changes is to streamline the test-taking process and give students a smoother exam experience.

How to get into Ivy without SAT? ›

Apply to test-optional and/or test-blind colleges

In fact, in 2022, two-thirds of colleges won't require SAT scores. That includes some Ivy League institutions. These schools fall into two categories: Test-optional and test-blind. Test-optional admissions means applicants decide whether to provide test scores.

Will Princeton require SAT for 2023? ›

We will not require the submission of standardized test scores for falls 2023, 2024, and 2025 application cycles; this includes transfer applicants.

Is Cornell test optional for 2023? ›

Cornell University has suspended the SAT/ACT requirement for 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024 applicants.

What percentage of colleges are test optional for 2023? ›

As the college application process picks up steam for the upcoming academic year, a new survey shows that more than 80% of U.S. bachelor-degree granting institutions will not require students seeking fall 2023 admission to submit either ACT or SAT standardized exam scores.

Will Harvard be test optional for 2023? ›

As of 2023, yes, Harvard University still uses a test optional admissions policy—and will continue to be test optional through the 2026 admissions cycle.

When should class of 2023 take the SAT? ›

2023–24 School Year Test Dates
SAT Test Date*Registration DeadlineDeadline for Changes, Regular Cancellation, and Late Registration
Aug 26, 2023July 28, 2023 RegisterAugust 15, 2023
Oct 7, 2023Sep 7, 2023 RegisterSep 26, 2023
Nov 4, 2023Oct 5, 2023 RegisterOct 24, 2023
Dec 2, 2023Nov 2, 2023 RegisterNov 21, 2023
4 more rows

What is the average SAT score for class of 2023? ›

The average score for the Evidence-Based Writing (ERW) section is 529, and the average score for the Math section is 521. A good SAT Score for 2023 will likely be close to 1050 as well.


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