Best 10 Colleges That Don’t Require SAT or ACT in 2023

Are you a prospective college student and you are looking for the Best Colleges That Don’t Require SAT or ACT? This article will provide you with comprehensive information on the topic of test-optional schools and other important definitions and tips.

College admission is not a common process in American higher education institutions. Each school has its own complex criteria for deciding which students to bring in to become a part of the student body. One of the growing differences in how schools measure SAT and ACT scores when considering applicants.

Standardized test scores were once widely considered the most important factor in admission, but now more than 1,000 accredited colleges and universities do not require SAT or ACT scores in the application process.

Originally, the test scores were designed to provide an unbiased and standardized comparison of students across the country, but over time, college applicants who had test anxiety or lacked the funds or ability to take the test were put at a significant disadvantage.

In addition to preventing many talented students from continuing their education, this has led to a decrease in the racial and economic diversity of college students across the country.

As a result, more and more schools are changing their approach to reduce or eliminate the need for students to disclose test results through optional or flexible testing policies.

Figuring out and finding the schools that don’t require SAT or ACT scores and figuring out your application options can be difficult.

It is important that you read this article to find out all you need to know about colleges that do not require SAT/ACT.

Colleges That Don't Require SAT or ACT

What is SAT/ACT?

The SAT and ACT are tests that are required for entrance that many colleges use to assess students’ academic ability and make admissions decisions.

The most significant difference between the two tests is that the SAT composes of two sections and is regulated by the College Board, while the ACT composes four sections and is regulated by ACT, Inc.

Colleges have long viewed these test scores as a good indicator of a student’s level of preparation apart from their high school transcript, extracurricular activities, class rank, and GPA because they are standardized across the country. This enables assessments to be made on a more equal basis.

Here’s our guide to some keywords and questions to help you better understand the situation when evaluating your options:

What does it mean when a school is test-optional?

This is a kind of policy that allows applicants to decide whether to send SAT/ACT scores to the school. This allows potential students to determine whether their test scores accurately reflect their academic abilities and potential, and gives them more options when creating applications that better demonstrate their strengths and attributes.

Also Read: The New School Acceptance Rate, Admissions, SAT/ACT, Tuition

Why are more and more universities and colleges adopting the test-optional policy?

A growing number of liberal arts colleges and some large research universities believe that test scores are only one of the factors limiting a student’s application and do not represent their full academic potential.

While there are still some critics, schools that do not require SAT or ACT scores argue that the new policy will lead to a more diverse student body by attracting low-income students and minority students who fail the test or have anxiety disorders toward tests, but otherwise, they are effective learners.

What does it mean when a school is text-flexible?

When a school is text-flexible means that the admissions committee requires a certain level of test scores, but is open to options other than the SAT/ACT. Some schools even waive the test score requirement if the student meets a minimum GPA or applies to a specific program, while others accept others such as AP or SAT test scores.

What does it mean when a school is test-blind?

Schools with test-blind means that the institution categorically does not want students to report test results. As you are going to see while reading this article Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts is the only school in the United States that has the test-blind policy currently.

Considering SAT and GPA for Admissions

Education experts have debated whether SAT/ACT scores should be given more weight than a student’s high school GPA.

Some college officials say they find GPAs more useful because they measure a student’s effort, focus and persistence over four years than SAT scores, which measure how well a student does in a few hours.

However, the same admissions committees take SAT scores seriously behind the scenes. While GPA is really the only numerical value that can show a student’s growth in hard work, self-discipline, and intelligence over time, it only measures a student’s standing in school, not an SAT/ACT assessment offer.

GPAs can also reflect teacher bias or overestimation when the SAT and ACT are administered and scored by a neutral, trusted third party.

While GPA remains an important measure of a student’s academic potential during the college application process, SAT/ACT scores are still generally better at colleges that require test scores.

Also Read: Washington State University Acceptance Rate, SAT/ACT, Tuition, Ranking

List of US Colleges That Don’t Require the SAT or ACT

Whatever your reason for looking for schools with more flexible test scoring methods, here are some of the best schools to get you started that don’t require SAT or ACT scores:

New York University

NYU is one of the more rigorous institutions, but its standardized testing practices are much more flexible than other research universities of its size and quality. The world-renowned Manhattan School offers graded test scores but allows prospective students to exchange SAT/ACT scores for other scores, such as AP or IB scores or IB diplomas.

Hampshire College

Located in the beautiful Berkshire neighbourhood of western Massachusetts, Hampshire College is currently the only school in the United States with a test-blind policy. This means that the school does not require test scores from students and refuses to consider any test scores sent by students.

According to the school’s official website, “Even if the score is perfect, it does determine how an applicant is assessed. Instead, the small art school prioritizes the continuity of the applicant’s academic performance and extracurricular activities, and places great importance on personal essays.”

Pitzer College

Pitzer is a small liberal arts college near Los Angeles that became a test-optional college in 2003. Although there is an alternative method of admission, Pitzer is considered highly prestigious and highly selective.

While Pitzer’s Office of Admissions still accepts those who choose to submit test scores, the school focus on potential students’ transcripts, activities outside the classroom, and overall reflection of Pitzer’s core values.

Also Read: Harvard University Acceptance Rate, Admissions, SAT/ACT, GPA, Tuition

Connecticut College

Another school that does not require SAT or ACT scores is Connecticut College. This school is located in New London and has 1,865 students.

Despite the college’s moderate approach to test scores, 92% of Connecticut College students rank in the top 20 of their high school graduation class.

However, the college encourages promising students to share accomplishments or materials that better reflect their academic progress and potential.

Montana State University

Montana’s proximity to Yellowstone National Park is a dream come true for any student who loves the outdoors, and the highly flexible admissions policy makes it even more appealing.

Although standardized test scores are not required, the school requires potential students to have at least a GPA of 2.5.

University of Chicago

For students who wish to attend City College, the University of Chicago is located in Chicago’s Hyde Park, surrounded by all the vibrant city life and culture Chicago has to offer.

Along with the school’s encouragement of students to challenge conventional thinking, the institution has adopted a test-optional policy that gives applicants the freedom to build a strong application outside test scores.

Ithaca College

Since Ithaca College was founded as a small conservatory in 1892, the College has grown to 6,200 students at the undergraduate level in 5 schools and over 120 majors. The school allows students to choose whether to submit standardized test scores for admissions review, rather than making it a must.

Also Read: Virginia Tech Acceptance Rate, Admissions, SAT/ACT, GPA, Tuitions, Ranking

Cornell College

Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, has decided to adopt the test-optional policy that allows applicants to submit portfolios as part of a pilot program.

Students can replace scores with creative work, such as photography or creative writing, to best demonstrate their skills outside of scores. Because Cornell is trying out this process, the academic institution can decide to return to accepting test scores as part of its admission requirements at any time.

Colorado College

Colorado College has many aspects of its approach to learning including the test-optional policy. The Colorado Springs School has just over 2,000 students at the undergraduate level of studies and thrives on an academic plan called the ‘’block plan”.

What this means is that students only attend a class that will last for three after which they will advance to the next.

George Washington University

Located in the capital of the United States, George Washington University is privates schools that have decided to adopt a test-optional policy.

The school is known for its strong faculty, a roster of Division I national sports teams, and easy access to internships in DC, GW has more than 26,000 students.

Since 2015 the school adopted an optional-test policy and now focuses on evaluating students’ performance in the classroom rather than judging their performance on a four-hour exam.

Also Read: What could be the potential advantages and disadvantages of working part-time as a student?

Smith College

As one of the first and most prestigious all-girls schools in the United States, Smith emphasizes the importance of considering factors other than applicants’ test scores.

Although the school makes the possibility of submitting test results open and optional, potential students are encouraged to make arrangements with the department upon application for an interview.

Top Schools That Don’t Take the SAT Seriously

The list of schools in this article is only the tip of the iceberg that has eased the SAT/ACT score admission policies.

Whether it’s optional or flexible, here are some other schools that put less emphasis on the SAT and are among the best in the country:

  • Hofstra University
  • Wake Forest University
  • Bates College
  • American University
  • University of Texas – Austin
  • Middlebury College
  • Drexel University
  • Gettysburg College


You can find a good education in many places, and it is important to choose a school that not only recognizes your unique potential but also offers you the college experience that best suits you.

Therefore as you look through these schools with no SAT and ACT requirements do well to make sure that the academics of the school meets your personal academic goals


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