UT-Austin won’t require SAT or ACT scores for 2022 applications due testing limitations because of COVID-19

The University of Texas tower on July 16, 2020. (Credit: Allie Goulding/The Texas Tribune)
The University of Texas tower on July 16, 2020. (Credit: Allie Goulding/The Texas Tribune)

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The University of Texas at Austin is suspending the SAT and ACT test score requirement for fall 2022 applicants, citing continued limited access to testing opportunities for students due the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The continuation of the temporary suspension will ensure that testing limitations related to COVID-19 do not affect a student’s ability to apply, or be considered for admission, to UT Austin,” the university said in a statement.

The flagship university is the latest across the country to continue the temporary hold on the traditional application requirement. Earlier this year, multiple ivy league universities and others had extended their “test-optional” policies through 2022. In Texas, Rice University in Houston, made a similar announcement.

Last year, multiple Texas universities temporarily scrapped the testing requirement for the 2021 applicants, including Texas A&M University, Baylor University, Texas Tech University, Texas Christian University and Southern Methodist University.

Some universities that were doubting the value of test scores even before the pandemic see an opportunity to change the admissions process altogether. In Austin, St. Edward's University had been planning to permanently waive ACT and SAT requirements for months, Dean of Admissions Drew Nichols told The Texas Tribune last spring.

“We have come to find out the SAT is not exactly predictive of whether or not a student is successful on our campus,” Nichols said, adding that students with low scores often have a stellar first semester and vice versa.

Last year, the University of California system announced its campuses would begin phasing out the ACT and SAT immediately. By 2025, university officials hope to make both exams obsolete.

Disclosure: Baylor University, Rice University, Southern Methodist University, St. Edward’s University, Texas Christian University, Texas Tech University and University of Texas at Austin have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.