COVID-19 Changes: Test-Optional Colleges for the Class of 2022 & 2023

Real-time updates as the landscape changes

Standardized Testing Changes for Class of 2021

Updated 10/1/21

Standardized testing requirements and the college admissions landscape change frequently at the best of times—during the time of COVID-19, as colleges have scrambled to address an unprecedented lack of testing opportunities for high school juniors, those requirements were at one point changing nearly on a daily basis. 

At Private Prep, we want our students and families to be as informed as possible about these changes so that they can ultimately make the best decisions about their test prep and college admissions plans. To that end, we have compiled new and noteworthy standardized test policy changes in a central place below. As admissions offices have rolled out their plans for next year, the majority of colleges and universities that were test optional for the class of 2021 have announced that they will remain so for the class of 2022. Below are some notable exceptions. 

Colleges that have confirmed they will require testing for the Class of 2022:

  • Florida State University 
  • Georgia Institute of Technology 
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Florida
  • University of Georgia

In addition, some colleges have moved to test-free policies, as either pilot programs or permanent changes. Colleges that are or have gone test free include:

  • Caltech (2 years)
  • Cal State system (all campuses)
  • Catholic University
  • Cornell University — CALS, Business School, Architecture ONLY 
  • CUNY system (2 years)
  • Dickinson College (2021; otherwise test optional)
  • Hampshire College
  • Loyola University New Orleans
  • Reed College (2 years)
  • University of California system (all campuses)

The Class of 2023 and Beyond

While most members of the class of 2022 will likely be able to choose whether to apply test optional to many, if not all, of their colleges of interest, there is far less clarity for current high school juniors (class of 2023). Below is a list of schools that have already announced COVID-related test-optional policies and pilot programs for the class of 2023. Note: we have not included schools that were previously test optional. For a complete list of schools with test-optional and test-flexible policies, visit 

Colleges that have confirmed test-optional extensions for the Class of 2023:


Amherst College

Babson College

Baylor University

Boston University

Colgate University

College of Charleston

Cornell University (note: some Cornell schools are test free)

Davidson College

Elon University

Haverford College

Lafayette College

Middlebury College

Oberlin College

Pennsylvania State University (all campuses)

Pepperdine University

Pitzer College

Rhodes College

University of Connecticut

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

University of Southern California

Williams College


Have questions about test-optional policies? Learn more about what “test optional” really means here and the differences between test optional and test free (previously called test blind) here. For a complete list of schools with test-optional and test-flexible policies, visit 

Changes are occurring with great frequency, so we recommend checking back often!

For other important information about college policy changes, specifically with respect to virtual visit opportunities and changed deposit deadlines, visit NACAC’s online tool. As always, we are here to help you navigate the quickly changing landscape. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.


Becky McGlensey