Rutgers University has announced that students applying next year will not be required to submit standardized test scores including the SAT or ACT due to the challenges of the pandemic.

“The college search process can be stressful for high school juniors and rising seniors and their families even in the best of times," Rutgers University-New Brunswick Chancellor Christopher Molloy said. "Our adoption of this temporary, test-optional policy will ensure full consideration for qualified students whose ability to take the SAT or ACT is being disrupted by this global pandemic.”

For international applicants, Rutgers also will expand the list of acceptable English language proficiency tests, including the TOEFL and IELTS at-home versions.

A week earlier, The College of New Jersey announced its test-optional policy after the pandemic interrupted the testing schedule.

Montclair State University became the first public four-year institution in New Jersey in 2014 to make SAT/ACT scores optional in the application process.

Drew University has a test optional policy regarding SAT or ACT scores, as does Stockton University, which adopted its policy last fall.

At Rowan University, SAT/ACT test score submissions have been optional for the past year, according to Vice President Joe Cardona.

Bloomfield College and Kean University also previously moved to test optional applications before the pandemic.

As of Thursday, it was unclear whether Monmouth University or New Jersey Institute of Technology would move to waive a required submission of standardized test scores for applicants in 2021.

Princeton University issued a statement to prospective students noting the unprecedented schedule disruptions, noting "SAT or ACT test scores are only one part of our holistic review. We will continue to review our test policies as more information about the exam schedule becomes available."

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