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Emory suspends SAT/ACT requirements for 2020-21

Emory University will not require standardized tests for first-year applicants for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

“With this change, Emory will take this year as an opportunity to re-examine its selection process, to study indicators of academic promise, and to assess how we can further advance equity, access and the diversity of our extraordinary student community,” says John Latting, dean of admission. “We continue to be committed to the thoughtful, student-centered practices that have guided our work for many years.” 

“As we continue to focus on greater access to higher education, the shift in policy equalizes the playing field for all students regardless of their testing circumstances,” says Kelley Lips, dean of enrollment services for Oxford College. 

The disruptions to testing availability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are the impetus for this decision.

The policy applies to both entry points for Emory first-year students: Emory College of Arts and Sciences and Oxford College, and it applies to all decision plans, including early decision, regular decision, and for consideration of all merit scholarships, including membership in any of Emory’s Scholar Programs.

Highlights of Emory’s test policy for the 2020-2021 year include:

  • Submitting standardized test scores is completely optional. 
  • Students will not have to justify or disclose why they are not submitting scores. 
  • Students will not be disadvantaged in the review process if they do not submit scores. 

For students who have taken or plan to take the SAT or ACT, Emory will continue to accept self-reported test scores, and those scores will be reviewed in the context of the student’s application.

In the absence of test scores, students are encouraged to demonstrate in other ways what they are interested in, what they are committed to inside and outside of class, and that they are prepared for the academic rigor of an Emory education. The admission committee will lean even more heavily on other application materials, continuing to look for students who have:

  • Taken challenging classes in the context of their high school and done well in them;
  • Pursued outside-of-class educational, volunteer, or work opportunities; and
  • Authentically shared of themselves through their application personal statements and short answer questions.

“In these extraordinarily challenging times, Emory remains committed to a holistic application review, making decisions with the best information available and with as much flexibility as possible to consider applicants from all backgrounds and experiences,” says Latting.  

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